Court rules CBC must hand over documents to information commissioner
The Federal Court of Appeal has ruled that the CBC must hand over all the documents at the centre of the broadcaster’s access-to-information dispute to Canada’s information commissioner.
The Federal Court of Appeal has ruled that the CBC must hand over all the documents at the centre of the broadcaster’s access-to-information dispute to Canada’s information commissioner, Suzanne Legault. The CBC had tried to block the commissioner from seeing the documents after she received a complaint from the requestors. She will review whether the broadcaster has properly applied exemptions under federal access to information laws.
The ruling comes after weeks of dispute in which Quebecor head, Pierre Karl Péladeau, said the CBC has been withholding information requested under access laws by reporters in his media chain. The Globe and Mail reported that the exclusions were made on the basis of journalistic, creative and programming activities.
Last week, the public broadcaster handed over both sealed and unsealed documents at the request of the access-to-information parliamentary committee. The CBC had requested the sealed documents not be opened as to not affect their ability to carry out business.
As the Toronto Star reported, NDP MP Charlie Angus has said that the dispute is “very much part of the dirty war between Quebecor and the CBC,” and that the committee’s responsibility was, “trying to establish whether CBC is being accountable to the taxpayer or CBC is being undermined in a campaign by their number one competitor.”