Canada’s Department of National Defence clinches top spot for 2023 Code of Silence Award

Canada's Department of National Defence wins 2023 Code of Silence Award

In a shocking revelation, the Canadian Department of National Defence has taken a whopping three years to respond to a researcher’s information access request regarding new Canadian warships. This delay has not only raised concerns about transparency and accountability within the government but has also sparked outrage among Canadian citizens.

**The Costly Conundrum of Canadian Warships**

The researcher’s request for information on the cost of a program to build new Canadian warships has brought to light the staggering estimate of $84 billion, as revealed by Parliamentary budget officer Yves Giroux. With the project already facing delays and cost overruns, the lack of transparency surrounding the process has left many questioning the government’s priorities and commitment to serving its citizens.

Association president Brent Jolly aptly described the situation as a sinking ship of accountability and transparency, with the government’s actions being likened to a Kafkaesque nightmare. The blatant disregard for the right of Canadians to know how their tax dollars are being spent is not just concerning but downright disrespectful.

**A Federal Cabinet Dishonourable Mention**

In a further blow to transparency, the federal Cabinet Office, in collaboration with the Australian government, has come under fire for secretly undermining the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in 2003. The revelation that critical decisions were made without Indigenous consultation has raised serious concerns about the government’s commitment to upholding the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The lack of proactive cabinet records disclosure dating back to the 1980s has been criticized as regressive and detrimental to the collective right to know. By failing to provide essential information to its citizens, the government has inadvertently eroded the foundation of trust and transparency that is essential for a functioning democracy.

**Conclusion: Upholding Transparency and Accountability**

The Code of Silence Awards serve as a stark reminder of the importance of transparency and accountability in government operations. Hiding information from the public goes against the fundamental principles of democracy and must be addressed to maintain the integrity of the government. It is imperative that citizens are given access to information that impacts their lives and livelihoods, and any attempts to obscure the truth must be met with scrutiny and condemnation.

As we navigate the complexities of governance and public service, it is vital to hold our leaders accountable and demand transparency in all aspects of decision-making. Only through openness and honesty can we build a society that is truly equitable and just for all its citizens.



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