This week, CBC/Radio-Canada lawyers went to court in Montreal to plead that their Crown corporation not be subject to the Access to Information Act (AIA) like all other federal institutions.Yes, we are footing the bill for both sides. Figure that one out!
The CBC has been bound by the AIA since 2007. However, it systematically applies a legal provision to reject requests for information arguing that these jeopardize its journalistic, creative or programming activities.
The Office of the Information Commissioner challenges this interpretation and wants to see the documents requested before judging if the loophole applies. The CBC refuses.
What this means is taxpayers are paying lawyers of both sides as the case goes before a judge.
The CBC always insists the government be held accountable, demanding documents and information but when the shoe is on the other foot it's a different story. Do as I say and not as I do!
Maybe this could be one of the reasons as to why they are refusing to release any information.
A good example of the usefulness of the AIA was revealed in Quebec a few months ago. Just after the CBC was made subject to the AIA, a sovereigntist activist, Patrick Bourgeois, requested a copy of the secret agreement between Radio-Canada and La Presse (a Montreal daily).So signing backroom deals with with private companies. Hmmm.........! What other backrooms deals have Mothercorp signed on to that they don't want us to know about? Have they signed backroom deals with the Liberal party for instance? They sure do spew the Liberal party talking points to demonize the PM and the Conservatives everyday so one wonders. They don't like to give the Conservative point of view that's for sure. What about colluding with special interest groups? We need to know.
He obtained a copy of the secret deal signed in January 2000. Article 19 of the agreement specifically mentions “the parties (Radio-Canada and La Presse) vow not to reveal the content of this agreement.”
There is good reason why they don’t want us to know: Our taxes are funding a public broadcaster that signs backroom deals with a private company that already owns 70% of the printed papers in Quebec.
The deal goes on and on about the “cross-promotion,” “synergies” and “co-operation” between the two companies.
If any other public utility or department secretly signed a deal to promote the private interests of a private company, there would be a huge public outrage
How are they spending all that money that we are forced to give them? We have a right to know that little tidbit of information.
It's obvious with their rigorous challenge to fight this they have something to hide. They're an elitist media and think they're above the law. I hope the judge rules against them. It might bring them down a notch or two.
They are a crown corporation publicly funded. They should be held to account. They should live up to the standards they demand of the government. Be subject to the Access to Information Act and release the information that has been requested!
Also, why is Sun Media the only ones covering this story?