Backdating life insurance save age
The 2013 report “Information management in the Canadian federal government” is a title not likely to attract the non-librarian reader.But the conclusions drawn by its authors, a librarian at Carleton University and an information-management consultant, are chilling. and, at the same time, create a more cost-effective, efficient and responsive government.” Rona Ambrose, the minister of health, announced a Transparency and Openness Framework that included a commitment to begin “transparently publishing drug safety reviews.” Those dependent on these data balk at such claims.The threat this poses to a functioning democracy has been raised over the past several years, most recently, in the massive, damning June 2015 report “Dismantling democracy: Stifling debate and dissent in Canada” produced by Voices-Voix, a non-partisan coalition of more than 200 organizations and 5,000 individuals.Less discussed, however, is how data erasure also threatens the economy, industry, the arts, and the country’s ability to compete internationally.The need for such efforts has taken on new urgency since 2014, says Li, when some 1,500 websites were centralized into one, with more than 60 per cent of content shed.Now that reporting has switched from print to digital only, government information can be altered or deleted without notice, she says.Yet elsewhere in government, claims of “digitization” can be a precursor to brick-and-mortar closures.
“There is no transparency, oversight, or published criteria for the decision-making process,” she says. But the organization has suffered a 50 per cent cut in its digital staff, and received no additional funding in the 2015 budget.
“Nothing comes up when I type my name into the search engine on [Environment Canada’s] website,” says Hoff, now a professor emeritus at the University of Maryland.
Also gone are internal reports on the oil sands experiments of the 1970s. Now, the people who need to protect Canada’s environment can’t get access.” Protecting Canadians’ access to data is why Sam-Chin Li, a government information librarian at the University of Toronto, worked late into the night with colleagues in February 2013, frantically trying to archive the federal Aboriginal Canada portal before it disappeared on Feb. The decision to kill the site, which had thousands of links to resources for Aboriginal people, had been announced quietly weeks before; the librarians had only days to train with web-harvesting software.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada spokesman Patrick Girard said it isn’t a shutdown, explaining that the government was simply “moving toward a digital-service delivery model, while keeping all materials of business value.” But according to PIPSC, its members are losing vital data.
“They will have access to some information but in no way will they have full access; that’s not how digitizing works,” says Peter Bleyer, special advisor at the union.
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“We are not collecting a lot of data that used to be routine.” Canada not only lags other governments, but also international business, says Jan Kestle, founder and president of Toronto-based Environics Analytics: “Everyone is moving toward setting up data-governance processes inside companies to collect information and safeguard it,” she says. government-publication digitization efforts, Canada has no such mechanism.