May 7, 2011

Open government a Cabinet secret declares BC Minister


I love reading Estimates debates in the legislature. 

It is a rare opportunity for Opposition critics to grill their assigned Cabinet Ministers at length.  Sometimes the oddest things come out. 

On Wednesday the NDP Critic Doug Routley was questioning the Minister for Citizen Services and Open Government Stephanie Cadieux.  It turns out that following up on Christy Clark’s campaign commitments when she was running for Liberal Leader, the government has created a Cabinet committee to examine open government.  However, the work of the Cabinet Committee (on open government) is secret and exempt from the Freedom of Information Act because it is a Cabinet committee.

Routley said:

I think its odd that a committee to examine public scrutiny is sheltered from public scrutiny

Cadieux, apparently immune to irony, responded that:

The very fact that there is a cabinet committee on open government is a signal of the importance of open government to the Premier and to this government.

Honestly, you couldn’t make this stuff up.