After weeks of fighting dozens of access-to-information requests, the CBC has now relinquished some – but not all – of the requested documents to the parliamentary committee demanding the files.

After weeks of fighting dozens of access-to-information requests, the CBC has now relinquished some – but not all – of the requested documents to the parliamentary committee demanding the files.

As The Globe and Mail reports, while the CBC has handed over some of the documents it is keeping others sealed after it receiving a legal opinion from firm Borden Ladner Gervais.

The Globe quotes from CBC president Hubert Lacroix’s speech to the National Press Club:

In the present circumstances, after serious consideration, we decided to provide the documents to the Committee this morning, but to seal some of them. At the same time, we formally expressed concerns about some important constitutional questions and boundaries.

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According to the Canadian Press, Lacroix has submitted an unsealed envelope that contains papers Lacroix believes won't compromise CBC's journalistic independence. Another sealed envelope contains documents that Lacroix says could affect the CBC's ability to carry out its business. The national broadcaster wants the committee to get a ruling from the Speaker on whether the seal should be broken.

Parliamentary law clerk Rob Walsh, for one, thinks the committee should wait. A Toronto Star story quotes from Walsh’s Nov. 9 letter:

It would seem prudent to await the conclusion of the court proceedings as this would show respect for the independence of the judicial function …The argument might be made that the enforcement actions of the House are unlawful as they are done for a purpose that is beyond the constitutional functions of the House. The powers and privileges of the House are meant to assist the House in carrying out its constitutional functions.

The requests for the documents comes after Quebecor chief Pierre Karl Péladeau’s complaints to the committee that CBC – which he repeatedly, and wrongly, calls the state broadcaster – has been withholding information requested via ATI from employees of his media chain.