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QUESTION PERIOD — Privy Council Office

Adoption of Secret Orders-in-Council

June 1, 2022

My question is for the Government Representative in the Senate, because the government is accountable to this chamber. My question has to do with transparency.

This morning, CBC reported that this government has adopted 72 secret orders-in-council since 2015. That is a record number, significantly surpassing the number adopted by all prime ministers of Canada. How does the government explain these 72 secret orders-in-council?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ + ]

Thank you for the question. The government has consistently stressed the importance of being transparent with Canadians and has made that a priority. The government also ensures that its activities are in keeping with national security needs.

As you know, honourable senator, despite the number that you mentioned, this really is nothing new. The government is required, often by law, as is the case with the Investment Canada Act, to protect information on certain subjects, such as national security and the confidentiality of investments.

I cannot presume the exact reasons, but I want to reassure this chamber that the government takes its responsibilities seriously when it comes to striking a balance between transparency, the protection of national security and other relevant issues.

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