News  PGSS condemns McGill’s intention to limit access to information

The Post-Graduate Students’ Society (PGSS) called on McGill to withdraw parts of a motion filed by the University which would grant McGill the authority to deny Access to Information (ATI) requests submitted by McGill students.

The University filed a motion on December 7 to the provincial body that oversees ATIs, the Commission d’accès à l’information, seeking to exempt itself from fulfilling ATIs filed by 14 respondents. The motion also asks for authorization to deny future requests submitted by any McGill student.

The student society’s motion, passed by its executive committee, asks McGill to “acknowledge that any McGill student shouldn’t be prohibited from submitting ATIs based on previous requests from other students.”

PGSS External Affairs Officer Errol Salamon proposed the motion after seeing a lack of responses from different campus groups regarding this issue.

“I thought it would be important for PGSS to take a stance, particularly because I’ve been working on a project regarding industry and university research partnerships. And if it goes through, if the motion passes, it would limit the extent to which PGSS would be able to gather information for research,” Salamon told The Daily.

SSMU is in the process of dealing with the issue internally and has yet to issue a formal, public response, according to President Josh Redel.

Two of the respondents named in McGill’s motion are SSMU executives.

While PGSS denounced specific clauses in the motion regarding the University’s request to dismiss ATIs, it did not condemn the motion as a whole, due to a lack of consensus within the executive committee.

“From my perspective, I wanted PGSS to be able to denounce the entire motion, but, it was amended to…particular issues that everyone in the executive could agree to,” Salamon said.

Salamon told The Daily that he would try to get other associations on campus involved before determining a further course of action.