Cornwall gets nod in government secrecy awards

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – The City of Cornwall has been given the dubious honour of being a Canadian municipal government that doesn’t easily hand over public information.

The city received an honourable mention in the 2019 Code of Silence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy.

The award is given out each year by five journalism organizations.

Cornwall joins the list of runners-up including North Bay, Cranbrook, B.C., Morinville, Alta. and Cote-Sainte-Luc, Que. – places that “put extra effort into denying public access to information.”

The winner for 2019 was Erin, Ont. (near Guelph). The jury said in that community, “it has become commonplace…to refuse to be transparent with the media and therefore local residents on even basic matters of public interest.”

The groups are the Canadian Association of Journalists, Center for Free Expression at Ryerson University, News Media Canada and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression. They are pushing for substantive reform to Canada’s access-to-information law.