December 5th, 2013
CCLA has written to the Secretary-General of McGill University regarding court proceedings that the University has initiated in light of a number of access to information requests made by McGill students. The University first applied to the Quebec Commission d’acces a l’information (access to information commission) asking for permission to disregard a number of existing requests for information along with future requests that meet certain criteria. The Commission denied this request and McGill is asking the Court of Quebec to hear an appeal from that decision.
CCLA is committed to the principles of openness and transparency in public institutions and wrote to McGill to lay out these principles and how they apply to the case McGill has started. CCLA encouraged the University to take a more proactive approach to disclosure of information, arguing that this would provide students with information they are seeking and pose less of a burden on administration in responding to multiple requests. We also proposed that the University organize discussions or forums where information about ongoing research work or corporate partnerships could be shared with students and feedback could be solicited.