Minister Anand announces the Government of Canada Trust and Transparency Strategy

OTTAWA, ON, May 29, 2024 /CNW/ – Today, the Honourable President of the Treasury Board, Anita Anand, announced the publication of the Government of Canada Trust and Transparency Strategy.

The Trust and Transparency Strategy sets out a whole-of-government blueprint to strengthen public trust in federal institutions.

Founded on the principles of transparency, accountability and participation, the strategy identifies objectives and supporting commitments that will guide federal institutions to foster a culture of openness. This means setting objectives for better access to government data and information, providing information and tools to hold government to account, and making it easier for Canadians to be more involved and engaged in decision-making processes. It also means being able to measure how well the Government of Canada is doing against those objectives and continuously improving so that Canadians can see the benefits of their participation in a strong democracy.

Two key pillars will support the achievement of the objectives of the Trust and Transparency Strategy: The Access to Information (ATI) Modernization Action Plan and the National Action Plan on Open Government.

The ATI Modernization Action Plan, also published today, sets out several actions that the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat is undertaking over the next three years to address the most pressing challenges facing the access to information regime across three broad categories: improving services to Canadians, enhancing trust and transparency and advancing Indigenous reconciliation.

One of the first actions the Government of Canada has taken is the development of the Policy Guidance on the Disclosure of Historical Records. Published today, the Policy Guidance is intended to enable a more efficient and consistent approach to the review and potential disclosure of historical records. This includes reducing processing delays and associated operational costs, as well as minimizing the need for lengthy consultations on whether a record could be released.

The new guidance identifies recommended non-statutory time thresholds to help federal institutions apply discretionary exemptions under the Access to Information Act (ATIA).  For example, the exemption related to federal-provincial affairs has a recommended time threshold of 30 years, and the exemption related to international affairs and defence has a recommended time threshold of 50 years. This guidance will lead to more records being released to Canadians, reinforce right of access and enhance transparency of government documents.

The National Action Plan on Open Government sets out commitments to make the Government of Canada more transparent, accountable and participatory. To ensure federal government institutions remain responsive to the needs of Canadians, the public, civil society, academia and the private sector are provided with the opportunity to co-create and influence government policy and decision-making. The Government of Canada has launched engagement opportunities to develop the 2025-29 National Action Plan on Open Government

To monitor progress in a transparent and accountable manner, an annual year-in-review report on implementation of the Trust and Transparency Strategy will be published on Canada.ca. To monitor progress in a transparent and accountable manner, an annual year-in-review report on implementation of the Trust and Transparency Strategy will be published on Canada.ca.

The Government of Canada is committed to the core principles of transparency, accountability and participation, which are integral to a healthy, functioning democracy, and to maintaining public trust.

Quote 

“As we continue to face an unprecedented surge in misinformation and disinformation, our government remains committed to the values of openness and transparency. The Trust and Transparency Strategy—supported by the Access to Information Modernization Action Plan and National Action Plan on Open Government—is a set of strong commitments that strengthen transparency, accountability, and the involvement of citizens in Canada’s democratic institutions. Openness and transparency are essential to building and maintaining public trust in government.”

–          The Honourable Anita Anand, President of the Treasury Board

Quick Facts 
  • As a member of the Open Government Partnership since 2012, Canada has published 5 National Action Plans on open government and is consulting with Canadians to develop the sixth.
  • To participate in consultations on the development of the 2025-29 National Action Plan on Open Government, go to letstalkopengov.ca.
  • In 2020, the Government of Canada launched the historic Access to Information Review. This was the first full review of the Access to Information Act since it was introduced in 1983.
  • The Access to Information Review Report to Parliament was tabled in December 2022. The report presented 21 conclusions that highlighted several areas where administrative or operational improvements are needed to the ATI regime. The Access to Information Modernization Action Plan was developed to address these opportunities for improvement.
  • Budget 2024 proposed $84M in funding for the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) and Library and Archives Canada (LAC) to maintain the ATI and Privacy regime.
Associated Links
Stay connected

X: @TBS_Canada
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TBSCanada
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/tbs-sct/

SOURCE Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat