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Further restrictions in access to government information

Carla Graebner

The Government of Canada (GoC) has recently acknowledged plans to reduce the number of government websites to 6 and then to 1. This acknowledgement has come in response to an article and leaked documents produced in the Huffington Post: "Harper Government Centralizing, Slashing Federal Web Info" [].

The GoC has also indicated it will no longer produce content in print and will remove content deemed "redundant, old or trivial". In anticipation of the web site convergence, various departments have already started 'cleaning up' their websites by removing content. Any guidelines indicating what content should be removed are vague. The immediate result is that the Aboriginal Canada Portal was taken down on February 13th despite evidence that usage was going up, not down. Thanks to efforts by the University of Alberta Libraries and University of Toronto Libraries, this website--and associated publications--was archived.

The reduction, or in some cases elimination, of access to government information will have profound impacts on anyone doing research.

There is more. Library and Archives Canada now requires its employees to adhere to a new code of ethics: 'On occasion, LAC employees may be asked by third parties to teach or to speak at or be a guest at conferences as a personal activity or part-time employment... Such activities have been identified as high risk to LAC and to the employee with regard to conflict of interest, conflict of duties and duty of loyalty.” While Federal Government employees are required to privilege some information, this new requirement goes far beyond what has been mandated in the past. And, to the best of my knowlege, this code is only being introduced at Library and Archives Canada.

I encourage you to let others know since the mainstream media is largely overlooking these very important developments and our MPs need to hear from us.

Thank you,



Publications Canada e-publication announcement:

Reduce Redundant, Outdated and Trivial Content:

Aboriginal Canada Portal (defunct):

Archive of Aboriginal Canada Portal:*/

Locate Your Member of Parliament:

Federal librarians fear being muzzled

Library and Archives Canada Code of Conduct

Carla Graebner
Liaison Librarian: Economics and Government Information; Data Curator and Digital Preservation Project Manager W.A.C. Bennett Library, Simon Fraser University
8888 University Drive, Burnaby, B.C. V5A 1S6 Canada
Tel: 778.782.6881
Fax: 778.782.6926