Monday, October 11, 2010

A humble thought on the CBC

Here's a thought regarding the CBC...

"Great, they don't get money from the federal government until they comply with the requests."

But Lantagne’s records were denied citing a section of the Access to Information Act, 68.1, which allows the crown corporation to withhold information based on its journalistic, creative or programming activities.

CBC spokesman Marco Dube said Lantagne’s records were withheld because “as general manager for Television de Radio-Canada, Louise Lantagne's activities and related expenses are most of the time deeply intertwined with our programming activities.”

Access to information expert David Statham believes CBC is misapplying the section 68.1.

The public broadcaster is also refusing to hand over documents to the information commissioner so the watchdog can check whether the CBC is fairly excluding documents or simply trying to avoid embarrassing information from leaking out, he said.

The Federal Court recently ruled CBC has no right to deny the information commissioner access, but CBC plans to appeal the court’s decision.

“Unless they receive political direction that enough is enough, they are going to fight the federal court ruling as far as they can go, and that’s going to cost the taxpayer,” said Statham.

It is in CBC’s interest to fight because while the case is under appeal dozens and dozens of CBC requests lie unanswered, Statham said, noting he is waiting for the information commissioner to investigate whether CBC was right to deny him access to Peter Mansbridge’s salary range and possible discretionary benefits.

Simple as that.

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