Access to Information Act - CBC/Radio-Canada and its obligations

January 16, 2009

Over the past few days, a number of newspaper articles have reported on the results of anAccess to Information Act study commissioned by the Canadian Newspaper Association and published on January 10, 2009. The study rates various public and semi-public organisations on their ability to respond promptly and correctly to requests submitted under the Access to Information Act. The study gives CBC/Radio-Canada a mark of “D”.

The Facts

CBC/Radio-Canada takes very seriously its obligations under the Access to Information Act. Since September 1, 2007, CBC/Radio-Canada has received 738 document requests under the Act, which is a much higher number than we had expected. To date, we have successfully processed 588 information requests, with the vast majority of these coming from a very small number of individuals. Given that it is a leader in the Canadian broadcasting industry, CBC/Radio-Canada has drawn more interest under this Act than have other Crown corporations. In 2008, CBC/Radio-Canada hired additional staff to handle requests. The public broadcaster has been firmly committed to upholding the Act since it took effect.

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