07.25.2013 07:20 AM

Ann Cavoukian admits she “didn’t do a good job”

Regular readers know my view about the preening megalomaniac who is the ostensibly non-partisan Ontario’s Information Commissioner – but who is, truly, a crazed publicity-seeking McGuinty-hater.  Officers of the Legislature, like her, are supposed to stay above partisan politics.  But – as the partial transcript of her Wednesday interview on Ottawa’s CFRA shows – she has taken to regularly commenting on politics, seeking out media attention, and acting entirely unlike a neutral employee of the Legislature.  (More and more, in fact, she makes John Gomery look professional in comparison.)

Her potshots at me, meanwhile, suggest something else entirely. They are revealing.  They suggest I am getting under her skin.  She doesn’t like being challenged by a lowly citizen.

So I intend to keep doing it.

Here’s the partial transcript, with emphasis added to illustrate how egotistical and reckless she has become:


Host: In recent days, your impartiality, shall we say, has come into dispute. And whether you have been impartial in conducting your investigation. On the nasty side, we have people like Warren Kinsella who calls you an unelected narcissist, who is over-the-top and is dialing up the rhetoric. Uh, not to play “he said she said”, but how do you react? Have you been impartial throughout all of this, do you think?

Cavoukian: Well, Rob, perhaps in fairness you can quote some of the dozen people on the other side who have, uh, applauded the work I’ve done, how quickly we’ve issued our report, how thorough it was, and how we addressed all three parties in terms of the investigation that we did…I didn’t even have to investigate this, I thought it was the honourable thing to do…I do oversee compliance with the Freedom of Information, Protection, Privacy Act. So, who else is gonna investigate this? We decided to investigate. And I think we did a thorough job.

Now, you know, I get Kinsella. My understanding is he’s Mr. Liberal Party and I don’t know him, I know nothing. But all I would just suggest is there were dozens of others who suggested that I did a very thorough, stand-up job. So you can explore all of them. I’m not partisan. I’m not — I don’t report to any party. That’s the beauty of offices of the legislature, they’re not reporting (a) to the government of the day, because then if they criticize the government, their jobs could be in jeopardy. The whole point of the officer of the legislature i s that you’re impartial.

Host: And you believe you’ve fulfilled that now?

Cavoukian: (pauses) Well I don’t think I did a good enough job, honestly. Because, there was some new information that was unearthed that I should’ve known about, during the course of my investigation…



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    patrick says:

    I suppose pointing out that the dozens of people approving her efforts are conservative hacks is pointless. I don’t know whether she is doing a good job or bad, since I only have a he said, she said type discussion of the importance of the missing emails, but she obviously is enjoying the attention from have a camera and microphone regularly in her face.
    And fame does funny things to people.

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    Tisme says:

    It is simply incomprehensible that she would have believed that the emails were lost forever. She is suppose to know more than the average bear when it comes to such things. You really have to wonder not only about her but what about the people who work for her office? Are they impartial as well? Do they have axes to grind?

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    Darwin O'Connor says:

    Nothing says megalomaniac like being willing to admit you made a mistake.4

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    davidray says:

    Time for another book Warren. How about one that would entice the rabid right to move to the middle. You could call it “the twits and the pendulum.” 🙂

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    Sid MacLeod says:

    i. Cavo. says: “I know nothing” ( compare to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34ag4nkSh7Q

    ii. “It’s the oldest question of all, George. Who can spy on the spies?”
    Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

    iii. technically, it is impossible to not have an ideological/partisan perspective – this is the central error of these functionaries and indeed the whole foundation of these kangaroo tribunals – they/”it” know better than citizens at the ballot box.

    iv. note this whole psychodrama could not have happened without the “press” – who other could turn someone like Cavo. into a “rock star?” – political discourse in Canada is on par with Survivor or Big Brother style reality television – tacky, petty, gossipy, catty, entirely contrived nonsense – this should be the take home.

    Dark times …

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    Luke says:


    I have no opinions on this gas plant thing at all – I’ve never lived in Ontario, so I don’t pay much attention to politics there. But reading your views on (some) unelected overseers, I am wondering where you stand on interactions between the Parliamentary Budget Officer and the federal government. Do you think there is merit to the Conservatives’ gripes about Kevin Page overstepping his mandate and being partisan?


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      Luke says:

      I understand that the PBO isn’t an officer of parliament, but it is much the same type of oversight body that Warren is cautioning us about these days. Hence I was wondering whether he had the same feelings about Kevin Page, for example, as he does about Cavoukian or Gomery.

      I know exactly how I feel about the PBO, and it is much the same as the way you do.

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    George says:

    Not all the e mails will be recovered and regrettably, none before august2

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    Ian Howard says:

    Ann Cavoukian is not a rock star. The only part of the email debacle that has any interest is why the Liberal Party could not generate a consistent narrative and then follow it . Whatever Ann Cavoukian is she is only relevant because of Liberal incompetence.

    The first mistake was not listening to the OPA and building the plants which would have been quietly producing electricity last week when the temperatures soared. There seriously is a disaster in the making here as we have stretched our energy supply needlessly over hundreds of kilometers and we should all remember the Quebec ice storm of 1998. If the plant was so badly sited the entire planning department of Energy and the OPA should have been fired and we all know that didn’t happen.

    The second mistake was not coming forward with a reasonable number for the cancellations from the beginning.

    The third mistake was believing that the actual process of negotiations would stay hidden and try to stonewall the process.

    The final and most unbelievable error was the continued insistence in Sept that you have all the documents and making the opposition look credible with the continuing release of emails almost a year later.

    When the history of the gas plant closures is finally written Premier McGuinty will look back and wonder how did we screw this file up so badly.

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    Paul says:

    The nutsy thing to me is we have this office of the Information Commissioner that I am sure costs us untold millions a year full of lawyers and others – they decide rightly or wrongly that rules (laws?) have been broken but there is no recourse avaiable to them other than to try to embarass them…what a waste of time and money… maybe they should task a minion with strengthening the stick they can hit folks with

    My guess is that any outgoing government anywhere blows away emails etc when they leave office

    Also …there is a big distinction between supposed broken rules and criminal intent – OPP thingy will likely go nowhere but waste more time

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    Andrew says:

    I have to say I agree with you Warren. I have been wondering why she has been so much in the news, constantly rehashing her points in this report. Just today, again in the news on CBC with nothing new to say, rehashing the “illegal” deletion of emails. There has been nothing proven about the illegality of what happened. No smoking gun except for the supposed pressure on the speaker. Not good enough for her, has to get her name on the radio one more time. I believe she is a megalomaniac.

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      Warren says:

      And guess what? Freedom of information legislation doesn’t cover her office. Interesting, that.

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