Transparency (iv)

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Well, it was a fun ride while it lasted, but it looks like I'm going to have to shut down my little fledgeling online database of provincial government orders in council.

Keith Hutchings, minister responsible for access to information, said that the government's decision to post orders in council online didn't have anything to do with the stories I've written. (Yes, I asked at the news conference. I think I heard somebody at the back of the room laugh when I finished the question.)

In case you're just getting up to speed on this, I developed an obsession with orders in council earlier this year. They're an incredibly powerful, obscure class of government documents. Orders in council are the formal decisions of cabinet, which receive royal assent from the lieutenant governor. They're essentially one step below legislation. Technically, they've (apparently) always been publicly available to citizens, but up until Tuesday, the government didn't post them online, or provide any information to let people know that they're public documents.

Every other province in Canada either posts them online, or has information on the government website telling people how to get copies of orders in council. Now, Newfoundland and Labrador does too!

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  • concerned
    April 25, 2013 - 11:48

    James... there was laughter in my office when I read this. The move by government has everything to do with your excellent work. You have embarrassed them to the extent that they move into the 21 st century. Bravo, the province is indebted to your hard work. Now you can start on political donations.