The Centre for Law and Democracy and Access Info Europe put Canada at a dismal number 55 in their annual ranking of countries with effective freedom of information laws. The home and native land fell six spots from last year. The system is clearly broken.
The poll was released during Right to Know Week 2018. In Vancouver, the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association hosted its Info Summit, where journalism professor and transparency advocate Sean Holman delivered an urgent warning in his Sept. 27 keynote speech.
Information, Holman said, “does not appear to be able to purchase the kind of citizen and consumer control that we thought it would and should,” because of the rise of partisanship, the permanent campaign and the influence of special interests. Governments and corporations are using sophisticated surveillance, storage and information retrieval technologies. They are exerting their power through propaganda and advertising that, Holman said, “poisons the public square, choking off debate and dissent.”
“We should not simply be advocating for transparency, it means we should be advocating for the value of information. We need to do more to teach our children to use that information to make the reasoned and empathetic decisions that our society is supposed to be based on.”
On this edition of theBreaker.news Podcast, listen to part of Holman’s Sept. 27 keynote speech, which includes pop culture references, quotes from academics and politicians and Holman’s own astute observations.
Also: commentaries and headlines from around the Pacific Rim and Pacific Northwest.
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