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Meet Senator

Elizabeth Hubley

The Hon. Elizabeth  Hubley Senator Elizabeth Hubley represents the province of Prince Edward Island. Appointed to the Senate by the Rt. Honourable Jean Chrétien, she has served in the Senate of Canada since March 8, 2001.

Statements & Hansard

Access to Information Act

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Statement made on 22 April 2009 by Senator Tommy Banks (retired)

Hon. Tommy Banks:

Honourable senators, my question is to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. During Question Period on March 25, 2009, in response to a question by Senator Fox, she said:

Recent actions taken include developing a framework to strengthen information management across government because that is part of the problem. Different departments process these requests differently. There is an excess of paper in some departments and there is no cross-government management.

Minister, until recently there was highly efficient cross-government management of information and cross-departmental coordination of access to information requests. It was called the Co-ordination of Access to Information Requests System, or CAIRS, and was created in a brilliant move by the Progressive Conservative government of Mr. Mulroney in 1989. However, the government of the honourable leader did not think that it was a good idea and has axed CAIRS because, as a Treasury Board official explained at the time, extensive consultation showed that the program was not valued by government departments. However, there were uses for CAIRS other than by government departments, for example to enhance openness and accountability. Apparently, Robert Makichuk, the government spokesman, did not think so because he said:

. . . the valuable resources currently being used to maintain CAIRS would be better used in the collection and analysis of improved statistical reporting.

We have all heard a great deal in our respective offices about requests for access to information, but no one is beating down my door to ask for better analysis of statistical reporting. CAIRS was an inconvenience, so it has been made to disappear — people kept asking questions.

Will the minister undertake at the next Conservative government cabinet meeting to urge the Prime Minister to rejuvenate that valuable program with its openness, its accountability and its precious access to information from government?

Please click here to read the full text of the Senator's question

Recent Statements from Liberal Senators

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19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Joan Fraser | Colleagues, I'm rising to speak on behalf of my leader, the Leader of the Opposition, Senator Cowan, who had to be in Halifax tonight on public business. I must tell you that when I called him to say we were going to be adjourning for the summer tonight, he was, I could tell, quite irritated, not because he wanted us all to go on working like galley slaves but because he had already written a speech that he wanted to give tomorrow morning.

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19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Jim Munson | Thank you, Your Honour, and my apologies to Senator Champagne.

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19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Jim Munson | Honourable senators, I am looking for a bit of love and empathy at this late hour because I do have a speech, but you have to understand that, in the interest of having dignified departures for our five senators this week, I gave up my time to make sure that we were able to celebrate the departures of Senator Buth, Senator Segal, Senator Callbeck, Senator Dallaire and Senator Champagne.

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19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Grant Mitchell | So, you thought you weren't going to hear from me? Well, I fooled you! So there! I rise in support of this report by the Defence Committee recommending that Canada become involved in ballistic missile defence with NORAD. I congratulate Senator Lang and other members of the committee for what I think was great collaborative work, completely non-partisan, very extensive and detailed with intense research.
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