Exposing Library and Archives Canada’s dismal transparency record

An opinion piece under the above headline, by well-known access researcher Ken Rubin, ran in the Hill Times. It has the sub-head summary “It’s an agency that’s too secretive, slow in disclosures and supportive of record destructions, that’s also falling behind in declassifying Canada’s historic records.”

The remainder of the article is behind a paywall, but thanks to an Ottawa Public Library subscription, here are a few lightly edited snippets.

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez … declined to put forward a strategic plan to quickly correct LAC’s laggard and disgraceful access-to-information record.

LAC has fallen in line with the centralized secrecy commands in their dislike to giving Canadians access to their records on a timely and fuller basis.

It would help if LAC, who holds the vast majority of government historical records, gets going in declassifying more records for release.

LAC badly needs to change course and become an independent record manager … a champion for the fulsome and quick release of federal information.

Those who have waited for years to obtain a simple WW2 service file will heartily agree. Sadly Leslie Weir, the current Librarian and Archivist of Canada, appears unable or unwilling to act to uphold the LAC legislated mandate.

3 Replies to “Exposing Library and Archives Canada’s dismal transparency record”

  1. I find two things especially frustrating on the LAC website, and these have been problems for a long time. (1) There is no list anywhere of all the digitized microfilms by reel number with links to that reel. I find references to a microfilm reel that have no link to view that reel nor even to find out if it has been digitized, and I have nowhere to find those answers. (2) Links/shortcuts I have made go dead because LAC changes things and has no permalink feature.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *