Another Big FOI Update Coming
Our Freedom Convoy documents still aren't here, and it seems more and more every day that the Ontario government truly has something to hide.
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I debated releasing this update because a bigger one will come next week, but I feel it’s valuable for you to see the Freedom of Information process step by step.
I think it’s important for citizens see how hard it can be to get transparency from government, including how many road blocks will be put in place to ‘make a situation fade away.’
Freedom of Information requests have typically been very smooth for us. We apply, pay our fees, and get documents 30 - 90 days later. But our Freedom Convoy documents have been wildly difficult to obtain.
This is likely because what the Canadian and Ontario government did during the Freedom Convoy is amongst the most controversial things they’ve ever done. In fact, many have also argued what they did was illegal and unconstitutional.
At the bottom of this article you can read the full story around our Freedom Convoy document saga, but for those that have been following, I have some updates.
After a third party adjudicator was assigned to our case about a month ago, we expected the Ontario government (through our case worker) would reach out and provide us with some sort of response. They had gone dark on us for months, and they are more than 6 months past their deadline.
We heard nothing. Instead, all dialogue seems to be occurring only through the adjudicator.
I got an email from the adjudicator this week requesting a phone meeting to discuss updates from the government’s side of things. No details, no hints, no nothing. Just straight up “let’s get on the phone.”
It seemed weird to me, but to be fair, I’ve never gone as far as the adjudication process so this is all new to me.
The meeting is set for Apr 11th. What I expect is the adjudicator will say something to the following:
“The government is taking long as they need third party consultation on the documents.” (This is the type of consultation that helps the government decide what to censor under loose claims of “national security” or “protecting government employees” etc.)
Either way, why have they taken so long, and why couldn’t my case worker tell me this? Further, how am I supposed to believe they are being fair given their actions during the Convoy were highly controversial? What reason do I have to believe they would be transparent in good faith?
“The government is requesting you create a more specific scope to documents/emails of ‘Admins & Directors’ only. This would save them time and require less consultation.”
I don’t want to do this though, I gave them a SPECIFIC short-list of names for a reason. They have had more than enough time to provide the documents. They were quick to shut down protestors bank accounts, why can’t they be even half as quick in being transparent about their decision making?
Beyond that, I don’t know what they might say. My suspicion is what I have asked for will reveal the Ontario government did some shady things during the convoy, and it may reveal things that didn’t come out during the Emergencies Act Inquiry that occurred in 2022 - 2023.
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To me, the Emergencies Act Inquiry was simply a way to appease citizens with the idea that due process was done. I could of course be wrong.
To me, governmental power is out of control and they are accountable to no one.
My belief is that the more people witness the nature of the outdated and corrupt systems we operate within, the more the systems crack. Of course, the more they crack, the harder those in control of the systems push. As that happens, it acts as an evolutionary pressure for people to begin imagining something new, and healing the parts of ourselves that our current ways have hurt.
To me, it’s a sacred process. Not one driven by revenge, but driven by a grounded sense and knowing that on the other side, something incredible is possible.
Below are the previous updates I have provided on this case. I am hoping we are near some sort of final conclusion.
Here is the first part of the story:
Here is the second part:
Joe, your work has always been of an excellent standard. Thank you for being a calm voice amongst the frenzied many.
Thanks for your journalism work! 🙏