Right from the get-go, we decided as a country, after a white paper on access, that the way to go was to have an Information Commissioner. We did not need to do this. The white paper had other options. In the States, for instance, you don't. You put in a request to an agency, and if you're not happy with it, you complain to the agency. If you're not happy with a response, you go to federal court.
In Canada, we had an ombudsman style with the Information Commissioner. It was designed with basically three roles. The first one was to investigate the complaint; the second was to monitor and enforce the act upon the various federal institutions, and the third was to report to Parliament, but the primary task and the only role is to investigate complaints.
Now we find, years afterward, over the past decade or so, that it has grown so top-heavy that we have less than 50% of the staff who investigate complaints, 40 out of the 93 people, and when we find four commissioners.... Pardon me—do we need four commissioners and five executives and so on? All of that is at the expense of their sole function of investigating complaints, and that's what I want. If a department doesn't give me or excludes information and records, for example, my only avenue is going to the Information Commissioner.
I'm in the business of law. If I don't get an answer from that, then I have the ability to go to the Federal Court and get the Federal Court to adjudicate my request, except I have to wait until the Information Commissioner issues a report. At the moment, I have to wait four years, six years or eight years, so it's killing us if we need to have access to these records through the only legal but quasi-constitutional mode, which is the access regime.