Now Reading
Environment Canada takes years to answer public questions

Environment Canada takes years to answer public questions

Some requests went unanswered up to six years. In other cases, the department stated that it did not have records related to the inquiry.

Article content

Another pattern is that some requests are no longer being processed due to old age. However, many more were abandoned after department searches revealed no documents.

Sometimes the reasons are obvious. Someone asked for jokes or memes, doodles, and amusing material to put on the office walls, but got nothing.

Some are more puzzling than others.

The department denied that it had any information regarding a request for information about nutrient contamination (sewage and fertilizer) in 2014. It was also the year that Lake Erie was covered by an extensive algae bloom. Nutrient pollution can cause algae blooms.

Someone asked for all records relating Canada’s greenhouse gas reduction targets under the Copenhagen Accord of 2009. Again, the department denied that it had any records relating to Canada’s target for reducing greenhouse gases under the Copenhagen Accord of 2009.

Also, there was no information on nationally endangered wildlife that had been the subject of court proceedings.

Many frequent users of the ATIP system complain that too many requests go unanswered, or take too much time.

It can be frustrating, especially if it is stuff you are familiar with, said David Reevely who covers federal politics at The Logic.

You’re really at the mercy and inexplicable failure of a system.

He stated that the ATIP offices are severely under-resourced. There is only so much work that a small number of people can do in a single day. Although processing this stuff is time-consuming, the system is just getting worse and worse.

He said that the public never gets a clear picture about what their government is doing. This could be because they don’t get answers or they arrive too late.{”””/>

{” =””>Me ATIP officer: “Imagine yourself standing in the ocean with your shovel and trying to shovel away the water. But the tide is coming in and the waves keep crashing over you.”

Claire Brownell (@clabrow) November 10, 2021


Article content

If you’re a journalist, and you want to report to people, it is impossible to get it. There are many requests (requests) from public. He suspects that funding for access-to-information offices is too low, but more worrisome is that it (Environment Canadas situation) reveals an attitude that data belong to the government and not to the public Its like: This is our information and well make it available if we have time and the interest to do so.

These are not the same staff at information offices, who take their responsibility seriously and get the material for your request. It is possible.

Environment CanadaspokespersonSamantha Bayardresponded that requests are abandoned for various reasons, including: A request doesnt contain enough detail to start a search or doesnt include the $5 fee; a request is submitted under the wrong Act; it is sent to the wrong federal department; the sender doesnt respond to the ATIP office or cant be found; or the sender decides he or she no longer wants the information.

Also, the government won’t search for information that is already available publicly or can be found by an informal request.

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.