Thursday, April 22, 2010

Buried in the news

Here's something from the other day that may be of note, likely lost among other higher profile news items such as the Guergis/Jaffer matters and the Afghan detainee issue, this item:
A related question of legalities is confronting the Harper team. Evidence is accruing to the effect that political operatives may have instructed civil servants to block the release of documents requested under the Access to Information Act. If such were the case, the actions would be a violation of the law. The last thing the government needs now are civil servants blowing the whistle on political manipulation of the access to information process. (emphasis added)
Was Martin just summarizing recent reporting? Or does he have a sense of the Information Commissioner's "priority" investigations of three Harper ministers that are underway?

If you don't recall, one of those investigations is of Christian Paradis and the incident of the political staffer running down the hall to take back a report that the access to information officials gave the ok to release. A second investigation is of the Department of National Defence (Peter MacKay) and the third is unknown. The Information Commissioner said this last week about those investigations:
"As I announced on March 2, my office is conducting three priority investigations into complaints we received over specific allegations of political interference with requests made under the Access to Information Act. My objective is to conclude these investigations promptly."
Whether Martin was picking up on some imminent developments, who knows. It may be a sleeper issue to watch alongside the other biggies.

P.S. Martin's assessment of Liberal strategy direction in his column today is also worth a read. Good quote from Frank Graves there.