Among the developed countries of the world, Canada seems to rank about midway between those having the most administrative secrecy and those enjoying the least. The main reason for this is not difficult to find. Historically, Canada has come under the strong influence of both the United Kingdom and the United States, and its political system is a remarkable blend of British and American influences. For instance, the very basis of its constitutional system is a mixture of the two. It has inherited the British parliamentary system, with a strong executive responsible to Parliament, and has, like the Americans, adopted a federal structure, with a clear division of powers between the central government and independent provincial governments. Since the United Kingdom has had a tradition of administrative secrecy inherited from earlier centuries when its administration was under the control of a powerful monarchy, and the United States has developed in the direction of greater administrative openness, it is not surprising that Canada’s practice is about half-way between the two.


National Security Provincial Government Green Paper Royal Commission Government Information 
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  1. 26.
    T. Murray Rankin, Freedom of Information in Canada: Will the Doors Stay Shut? ( Ottawa: Canadian Bar Association, August 1977 ), p. 155.Google Scholar

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© International Institute of Administrative Sciences 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald C. Rowat

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