FEDS LAUNCH INFO STUDY

An illustration from the Task Force on Government Information’s final report, To Know and Be Known. (Graphic by Government of Canada)

August 30, 1968 – Amidst concerns about his government’s secrecy,1Anthony Westell, “The New Game in Ottawa is – I’ve Got a Secret,” Globe and Mail, July 11, 1968. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau announced the appointment of the Task Force on Government Information. Trudeau said the task force would make recommendations to “promote greater efficiency in the diffusion”2Editorial, “One Countervailing Force,” Globe and Mail, August 31, 1968. of that information. It was chaired by d’Iberville Fortier, a long-time friend of Trudeau and former chief information officer for the Department of External Affairs.3The Canadian Press, “Trudeau Names 5 to Undertake Study,” Toronto Daily Star, August 30, 1968. It’s other two members were former journalists Bernard Ostry and Thomas Ford.4The Canadian Press, “Trudeau Names 5 to Undertake Study,” Toronto Daily Star, August 30, 1968. Ironically, news about the task force’s appointment was the Trudeau government’s first major leak.5Editorial, “One Countervailing Force,” Globe and Mail, August 31, 1968. Prime Minister Lester Pearson had launched a similar study headed by former La Presse news editor Jean David, who had been a president of the Young Liberal Association of Canada.6“Jean David,” Gazette, January 2, 1968. However, that study ended when David died in a car accident.7Special to the Ottawa Citizen, “Man Dead in Five-Car Road Crash,” Ottawa Citizen, December 30, 1967.

This post is part of a series of articles documenting major events in the history of freedom of information in Canada. To see the complete version of that developing timeline, click here.

References   [ + ]

1. Anthony Westell, “The New Game in Ottawa is – I’ve Got a Secret,” Globe and Mail, July 11, 1968.
2, 5. Editorial, “One Countervailing Force,” Globe and Mail, August 31, 1968.
3, 4. The Canadian Press, “Trudeau Names 5 to Undertake Study,” Toronto Daily Star, August 30, 1968.
6. “Jean David,” Gazette, January 2, 1968.
7. Special to the Ottawa Citizen, “Man Dead in Five-Car Road Crash,” Ottawa Citizen, December 30, 1967.

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