ATIP: Watchdog raps Justice Department for six-year extension


The federal information watchdog says the Justice Department should not have told an MP it would take six years to respond to his request for documents about plans to ensure online platforms remove harmful images.

New Democrat MP Charlie Angus, who filed the access to information request last year, calls the case a disturbing example of federal disregard for the law.

Angus asked for correspondence and briefings from a three-month period related to a proposed regulator to address child pornography and other exploitive material.

The access law says federal agencies must answer requests within 30 days or provide valid reasons why additional time is needed.

Justice told Angus it would take 2,280 days beyond the original 30 days to process the approximately 30,000 pages that might be responsive to the request.

Information commissioner Caroline Maynard says it was unreasonable for Justice to take such a long extension and she orders the department to respond promptly to Angus, but Justice now says it will need until the end of March 2024 to comply.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 28, 2022.

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