The results of Canada’s latest freedom of information audit are in, and journalists hoping for progress since the 2007 and 2009 audits will be disappointed. As well, there have been some questionable provincial policies of late, notably in B.C. Canada’s FOI reputation has suffered internationally in recent years, with moves such as the Harper government’s shut-down of a publicly accessible data base for tracking info requests. Exorbitant fees for electronic data is another issue that’s been flagged on the pages of J-Source. But don’t give up! FOI requests are a key tool for investigative journalism, as these j-students discovered. Visit our Ask a Mentor section for tips on filing successful FOI requests.    

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Patricia W. Elliott is a magazine journalist and assistant professor at the School of Journalism, University of Regina. You can visit her at patriciaelliott.ca.