OTTAWA, Nov. 22, 2017 /CNW/ – The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is the 2017 recipient of the Code of Silence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy in the category of law enforcement agencies.

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ), Centre for Free Expression at Ryerson University (CFE), News Media Canada and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) have joined forces to expand an award that the CAJ has for almost 20 years handed out to government departments, agencies or public bodies that put extra effort into keeping information from reaching public attention.

The awards jury, which comprised representatives of the four press-freedom advocacy groups, recognized the RCMP with this citation:

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, responsible for enforcing the law, is unwilling or incapable of readily providing information mandated under the federal Access to Information Act.  As chronicled in News Media Canada’s 2017 Freedom of Information Audit, the RCMP did not respond to any requests for information filed under the Act. This follows a long tradition of secrecy and non-response that has drawn criticism from Canada’s Information Commissioner and from Canada’s Minister of Public Safety.

In light of this persistent determination to deny information to the public, the RCMP has been selected as the winner of the 2017 Code of Silence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy in the category of Law Enforcement Agencies.

The CAJ, CFE, News Media Canada and CJFE will announce the Code of Silence Award recipient in the Provincial category on November 29. Previously announced recipients of 2017 Code of Silence awards are the Treasury Board of Canada (Federal category) and Toronto Hydro (Local category).

All four organizations will continue to advocate for substantive reform to Canada’s federal access-to-information law.

SOURCE Canadian Association of Journalists


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