Canada Could Use a Bradley Manning of Our Own

In February, US President Barack Obama announced that there would be increased public access to publicly funded research. The logic of this is obvious, the public pays to produce such information and the public should be allowed to see and use that information. In reality, nothing the government does should be secret. The public, after all, pays for everything that government does and the individuals in government are meant to be our representatives and not our rulers. After all, an informed public is a necessity if you're going to have a healthy, representative democracy. The case for the government holding any information back is thin at best.

Governments, obviously disagree with this. Bradley Manning is currently facing a long list of serious charges for giving the American public information on what its government is doing; information on what they are paying for.

In Canada we could use a patriot like Manning. Today we learned that the former head of the Security Intelligence Review Committee (the watchdog that oversees Canada's spy agency) made potentially shady contributions to Stephen Harper's Conservatives:
"Arthur Porter was a donor to the federal Conservatives during his time at Canada's spy watchdog, public records show.

But his contributions appear to have run afoul of guidelines that all members of the Security Intelligence Review Committee must abide by.

Elections Canada records show Porter gave the Tories the maximum donation allowed by law over a period spanning the weeks leading up to his appointment to SIRC through to his rise as chair."

And now that Harper appointee is also wanted for questioning in the Quebec anti-corruption probe.

It seems that on a weekly basis the Harper government gets worse and raises more questions: He muzzles his own MPs, federal scientists, the RCMP, diplomats, his children and tries to muzzle the press. Despite all the secrecy, there have been fundraising scandals, spending scandals, military procurement scandals, allegations of election fraud and a conviction for contempt of Parliament (and these are just a few). This government simply does not seem to understand democracy. They were not even elected by a majority of Canadians.

Despite the lack of democratic legitimacy, this government has still taken it upon themselves to (among other things) rewrite Canada's environmental laws and unemployment laws, reinvent the criminal justice system, sign long term trade deals with a wide variety of countries and put the country on a dangerous heading with its policies in the Middle East.

It would be no bad thing if someone took it upon themselves to do a document dump so we can see what is being done in our name, by our representatives, with our money.
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