Today, Vic Toews and Stephen Harper pulled a "Van Loan" (formerly known as a "John Baird"), in trying to defend the government decision to end the information registry. Toews cited "expert" Alasdair Roberts to support the government action:
"a leading expert on access to information law,"
Harper then cited a 2003 report by Roberts on government secrecy.
"It (CAIRS) was called the product of a political system in which centralized control is an obsession and that is why the government got rid of it," Harper told the Commons.
Toews subsequently claimed the same virtuous high ground, citing Roberts verbatim.
Well, the "leading expert" isn't amused:
The Conservative party line backfired when Alasdair Roberts - "a leading expert on access to information law," according to Treasury Board President Vic Toews - trashed their talking points moments after the daily question period.
But neither Harper nor Toews mentioned that Roberts had recommended fixing the problem by making the registry public online - something the federal information commissioner reported in 2004 could be done "at virtually no cost" to government
"They really don't care what I think about CAIRS or any other aspect of ATI," Roberts said Monday from New Delhi, India.
"If they did they would have taken my advice about CAIRS a few years ago when I said they ought to switch on the capacity to make the entire thing publicly accessible."
This is how pathetic this government can be, they elevate people to defend their policies, people who actually VEHEMENTLY disagree with those policies. If that isn't the height of absurd, I don't know what is.