Criminology professor issues call for reform of access to information act

It’s time to overhaul the federal Access to Information Act, says a University of Windsor criminology professor.

Randy Lippert recently co-wrote an opinion piece that appeared in the Montreal Gazette calling on the Canadian government to address three main issues with the 35-year-old act: provisions that protect rather than challenge ministerial secrecy in government, the limited powers of information commissioners to make orders, and the narrow scope of organizations subject to the act.

The piece corresponds with Dr. Lippert’s ongoing four-year Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight grant into the private sponsorship of public police. In it, Lippert says police foundations have started to pop up across the country and are treated as private, independent charities.

“Many accept private money and channel these funds into the public police for purchasing equipment and technological upgrades,” the article states. “The transactions of police foundations are not currently subject to access to information or freedom of information laws.”

Lippert says the research project is still in progress and expects to have findings ready for release by next year.