Thursday, December 19, 2013

Open and transparent Ontario government in downward spiral

I finally received my long awaited response from the Ontario Minister of Health, Deb Matthews, regarding my questions to her. And regarding my questions to Premier Wynne.
It is a sad little letter that doesn't actually answer any of my questions, so I'm not really sure why she bothered. Maybe she was just trying to shut me up. 
(I wonder if Deb liked my comic and if Kathleen enjoyed my video?)
Regardless, I'm formulating my reply to her now. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, I know you're dying to read what the Honourable Ms. Matthews wrote, so here it is for your reading enjoyment on this snowy-and-soon-to-be-more-snowy week in Ottawa land.
Thank you for your e-mails advising of your meeting with Madeleine Meilleur, MPP for Ottawa--Vanier, and for your questions regarding records relating to the provision of abortion services, under section 65. (5.7) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). Premier Kathleen Wynne has also referred your e-mail of October 21, 2013, on the same matter to me for response.
The passing of Bill 122, the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act, 2010, which contained the provisions that amended FIPPA so as to bring hospitals under FIPPA, followed the customary legislative process, ensuring there was opportunity for public scrutiny, input and open debate. On October 20, 2010, the bill received first reading, and at that time it was publicly available for review.
After second reading on November 16, 2010, the bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Social Policy. The committee held public hearings on the bill on November 22nd and November 23, 2010, at which time eighteen interested parties made deputations to the committee.The bill was also debated several times in the House after both second and third readings. As a result, there was ample opportunity for views on any issues associated with the bill to be considered. For more detail about the passing of Bill 122 the following Legislative Assembly of Ontario Website link takes you to the Bill 122 summary:
Regarding the Canadian Institute for Health Information’s (CIHI) published abortion statistics, I understand that CIHI specifically indicates that when reporting abortion figures, counts of abortions by province are an underestimate count and that it is currently the best way to produce pan-Canadian comparable data.  For information on CIHI’s compilation of statistical data you may wish to contact CIHI directly.
Thank you again for writing. I hope this information is helpful.

Deb Matthews
cc: Premier Kathleen Wynne
    Madeleine Meilleur, MPP

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed your comic and your video with that "True Grit" determination and the "Rocky" musical accompaniment. I also admire your tenacity in pursuing answers from our civil servants and representatives. You certainly got a combined acknowledgment, but, you're right, that was about it. True and undeniable access to information is a freedom which should never be downplayed or shuffled off into obscurity. There is factual evidence to hold these people to account. Kudos to you for your perseverance.