OTTAWA — The information commissioner is taking the Prime Minister’s Office to court, accusing it of refusing to release documents about four senators embroiled in scandal.
The Canadian Press filed an access-to-information request to the Privy Council Office, the central bureaucracy serving the prime minister and cabinet, in August of last year asking for any records created since March relating to senators Mike Duffy, Mac Harb, Patrick Brazeau or Pamela Wallin.
The PCO identified 28 pages of responsive records, but withheld 27 of those pages, releasing just two emails in which its staff discussed similar access-to-information requests.
PCO claimed every single word on every single one of those 27 pages might jeopardize solicitor-client privilege, or reveal personal information, or third-party information, or details on secret deliberations.
The Canadian Press went to the federal information commissioner, who found the complaint well-founded and recommended the prime minister release additional information.
But the Prime Minister’s Office did not do so and now the information commissioner is asking Federal Court to order the prime minister to disclose any records that don’t warrant being withheld under certain sections of the Access to Information Act.
The Canadian Press