Kady O'Malley, the CBC's Parliamentary Pixie, posted some ho-hum Access to Information documents to her Inside Politics blog today. Without any explanatory notes! Please tell me what to think, Kady!

So I read them, and shrugged at first.
Correspondence - June through October 2009

Proposed Letter Exemption Rejected

Final Letter Exemption Approved

Then I posted this as a comment:

So...what, exactly?

Is it a story that the stodgy gc.ca sites lack the Zazz! and Pop! of the Economic Action Plan proposal? Hardly.

Perhaps the story is that the Privy Council Office inappropriately sought to distinguish the look and feel of the EAP site from standard government sites?

Maybe there's a story in the fact that the decision was made, even after a request for a stronger rationale, to deny the PCO request for exemption? And the letter from Vic Toews is right there advising the the Minister of Finance. But this decision was mysteriously and inexplicably reversed over staff recommendations.

I know where you're really going with this: the Economic Action Plan site and the Conservative Party of Canada site bear striking resemblances. The Look and Feel of the EAP certainly has more in common with the CPC than any other Party's site with respect to page layout and colour scheme. The EAP site bears little resemblance to the Look and Feel of government sites.

Judge for yourself: [see gallery below]
EAP: http://www.actionplan.gc.ca/
CPC: http://www.conservative.ca/
LPC: http://www.liberal.ca/
NDP: http://www.ndp.ca/
DoF: http://www.fin.gc.ca/fin-eng.asp

Now, is any of this important enough to get worked up about? I'm not sure. It suggests to me that the PCO is branding the Government's stimulus spending as Conservative spending—remember those giant novelty cheques with the big C?

Perhaps this is another case for Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson.

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