Name of law: Access to Information Act
First adopted: 1983
Last modified: 2019-06
RTI Rating last updated: 2020-09


Although it was once among the world's leaders in terms of government openness, Canada now ranks relatively poorly on the RTI Rating, mainly due to global progress in this area, which Canada has failed to keep pace with. The law has only been updated in bits and pieces since it was originally adopted in 1982 and therefore reflects many outdated norms. The law's lax timelines, lack of a proper public interest override, over broad regime of exceptions and blanket exceptions for certain public authorities all contravene international standards for the right to information. Since the Access to Information Act was first passed there have been several attempts to reform it but all have been defeated in one way or another.