moved for leave to introduce Bill C-341, an act to amend the Access to Information Act (Cabinet confidences).
Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Delta—South Richmond for seconding my bill to amend the cabinet confidences section of the Access to Information Act.
Last week Treasury Board kept secret 33 full pages of documents and an additional 57 partial pages, using the excuse of cabinet confidences. All the documents pertain to a treasury board firearms oversight committee that had been reviewing the huge cost overruns and bureaucratic bungling of the gun registry.
The Department of Justice has used the same cabinet secrecy excuse repeatedly to hide 172 pages of gun registry budget documents, an entire 115 page document on the economic cost of the gun registry, and 61 pages on how user fees would cover the entire cost of the gun registry program.
In 1996 the information commissioner published a report entitled “Access to Information Act and Cabinet Confidences, A Discussion of New Approaches”.
My private member's bill would implement the information commissioner's recommendations, and that is very important. The information commissioner was kind enough to review an earlier version of my bill and his recommendations have been included in this draft. The bill should reduce some of the complaints of government secrecy which the information commissioner says have more than doubled in the last year.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)