Graduate Course 2017 – Winter term



Wednesdays: 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.

Room 2311 River Building

David McKie, CBC News
Phone: (O) 613-288-6523 (C) 613-290-7380

Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press
Phone: (O) 613-231-8653 (C) 613-859-3752 (fax) 613-238-4452

| Course Objectives Needs and Special Accommodations  | Assignments and Evaluation | Course Schedule | Link to a more detailed syllabus Business Story Whatever-happened-to? Story | Database Story | Access-to-information story Week one Week two Week three | Week four | Week five Week six Week seven Week eight Week nine Week ten Week eleven Week twelve |Tutorials | Datasets |

Course Objectives

1) Obtain a thorough grounding in journalistic research methods.

2) Acquire skills, such as data-journalism reporting techniques, needed to make sense of the information gathered and filing access-to-information requests.

3) Develop the ability to shape the information into accurate and compelling stories for all platforms.

Digging Deeper 3rd edition is the mandatory textbook.

The Data Journalist is optional, as is Your Right to Know.

The first two books are available at the Carleton bookstore. You can order the third book online.

Special needs and Accommodation (TOP)

You may need special arrangements to meet your academic obligations during the term. For an accommodation request the processes are as follows:

Pregnancy obligation: write to us with any requests for academic accommodation during the first two weeks of class, or as soon as possible after the need for accommodation is known to exist. For more details visit the Equity Services website:

Religious obligation: write to us with any requests for academic accommodation during the first two weeks of class, or as soon as possible after the need for accommodation is known to exist. For more details visit the Equity Services website:

Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: The Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities (PMC) provides services to students with Learning Disabilities (LD), psychiatric/mental health disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), chronic medical conditions, and impairments in mobility, hearing, and vision. If you have a disability requiring academic accommodations in this course, please contact PMC at 613-520-6608 or for a formal evaluation. If you are already registered with the PMC, contact your PMC coordinator to send us your Letter of Accommodation at the beginning of the term, and no later than two weeks before the first in-class scheduled test or exam requiring accommodation (if applicable). After requesting accommodation from PMC, meet with one of us to ensure accommodation arrangements are made. Please consult the PMC website for the deadline to request accommodations for the formally-scheduled exam (if applicable) at 

You can visit the Equity Services website to view the policies and to obtain more detailed information on academic accommodation at

School ethics policy:

School publishing policy:

School electronic media usage policy:

Assignments and Evaluation(TOP)

Assignments in this course are governed by the provisions of the document Ethics and Standards in the School of Journalism and Communication. There are four assignments, each with a deadline. Lateness will be penalized, though exceptional circumstances will be taken into account. There is no final examination. Each assignment has three components, all of which will figure in the grade:

A. Copies of the actual documents compiled / gathered (in paper or electronic form).

B. A description of how the documents were obtained, and why they were useful.

C. The resulting story.

Each of the four assignments is worth 20 per cent of the overall course grade. The remaining 20 per cent of the grade will be determined based on presence, punctuality, participation and professionalism.

Final standing in this course is determined by the course instructors subject to the approval of the Dean of Public Affairs. This means that final grades submitted by the instructors may be subject to revision. No grade is final until it has been approved by the Dean.

Due Dates
1) Business story outline due Mon., Jan. 30, noon.

2) Business story due Feb. 5, noon.
3) Canada 150 story outline due Mon., Feb. 13, noon.
4) Canada 150 story due Sat., March 4, noon.
5) Database story outline due Mon., Feb. 27, noon.
5) Database story due Wed., March 15, 6 p.m.
6) Access-to-information story outline due Sat., March 18, noon.
7) Access-to-information story due Wed., March 29, 6 p.m.

Course Schedule (TOP)

Jan. 11: a. Course introduction b. Introduction to Access to Information
|| Reading: Digging Deeper, Chapters 1, 2, 3, 10, 11 and Appendix – Finance Facts

Jan. 18: a. Access to Information tips: Previously released records b. Assignment: Access-to-information story c. Corporate / Business resources (Researching companies, corporate filings, securities exchanges) d. Assignment: Business story
|| Reading: Digger Deeper, Chapter 9 and Appendix C

Jan. 25: a. Corporate / Business resources (part two) b. One-on-ones / Research time
|| Reading: Digging Deeper, Chapters 4, 7

Feb. 1: a. Business story due Sun. Feb. 5, noon b. Access-to-information tips: focusing a request, negotiating, seeking partial releases c. Introduction to archival records d. Assignment: Canada 150 story
|| Reading: Digging Deeper, Chapter 8

Feb. 8: a. Databases (part one) b. One-on-ones / Research time
|| Reading review: Digging Deeper, Chapter 11 and Appendix A

Feb. 15: a. Business story feedback b. Databases (part two) c. Assignment: Database story

Feb. 22: Break Week. No class scheduled.

March 1: a. Canada 150 story due Sat., March 4, noon b. Access to Information: Making sense of records (decoding documents, chronologies) c. Databases (part three) d. One-on-ones / Research time
|| Reading: Digging Deeper, Chapter 6

March 8: a. Database story due Sat., March 15, six o’clock b. Databases (part four) c. One-on-ones / Research time
|| Reading: Digging Deeper, Chapter 12

March 15: a. Canada 150 story feedback b. One-on-ones / Research time

March 22: a. Access-to-information story due Wed., March 29, 6 p.m. b. Database story feedback
c. Public Records (part one) d. One-on-ones
|| Reading: Digging Deeper, Chapter 5

March 29: a. Database story feedback b. Public Records (part two) 

April 5: a. Access-to-information story feedback b. Interviewing / Sources c. Enterprise journalism tactics 

Business story  (TOP)

A news story about a publicly traded company. 600 words, due Sun. Feb. 5, noon. (An outline is due Mon., Jan. 30, noon.) To get a sense of the stories that have been done for past assignments, please check out these examples.

What’s required?

1)    A 600-word story on a publicly traded company.

2)    The story MUST emerge from the financial statement(s).

3)    Upload the story to the Masters2017_1 category.

4)    At least two interviews, including one with an expert who can put the number(s) in context. The expert can be a business professor, or a business analyst, and not someone who works for a special interest group.

5)    An interview, emailed response, public statement such a news release, or discussion in the financial document of a company representative discussing an aspect of the trend that you’ve discovered.

6)    An annotated financial statement(s) uploaded to DocumentCloud that MUST be embedded in your story.

7)    A visualization of stock prices in Tradingview  that MUST be embedded in your story. The visualization must have a title and source. You can follow the tutorial to learn how to embed it.

What’s to be submitted?

1)    A an emailed, 500-word explanation in a Word document that explains how you got the story, the sources you used or attempted to contact and their coordinates (phone numbers, email address, twitter handle, LinkedIn page, etc.)

2)    One Excel spreadsheet containing your calculations to be emailed as an attachment.

3)  The story in a Word document to be emailed as an attachment.

3)    The assignment is also to be uploaded to our WordPress site to the “category” which will be assigned.

Answers to general questions

Q: Should I set up a Google Alert to keep track of the latest news about my company?

A: Yes.

Q: Can it be any company?

A: Yes, but as mentioned above, it must be publicly traded.

Q: Does it have to be the most recent financial statement?

A: Yes.

Q: Which types of financial statements should I be using?

A: Stick with the ones discussed in the business chapter.

Q: Should I create a Google Alert for my company?

A: Yes!

Q: You require that one of the at least two interviewees should be an export. Who should the expert be?

A: It could be a business professor, for instance. So as soon as you choose your company, be sure to line up an interview. It can’t be a representative from an advocacy group.

Q: What if no one from the company gets back to me?

A: This is a distinct possibility. So brace yourself. Certainly, try to obtain the company’s comments on the record either through an interview or emailed response. Failing these two options, there are other ways to obtain the company’s point of view that are described in chapters four, seven and nine. For instance, what has the company said in the Management Discussion and Analysis section of the financial statement, in a news release, an interview, an appearance before a Parliamentary committee, a court document, etc.?

Q: Can I refer to what the company has said in a previous media story?

A: No. That report could be incorrect, or the corporate executive could have been misquoted. Stick to options described in the previous answer.

Q: What multi-media elements should the story contain?

A: A chart or line graph showing the company’s stock prices, using the TradingView website, as demonstrated in this tutorial. You should also have a picture of the company or person in your story. If it’s a business prof., the piece should have a picture that is properly sourced.

Q: How do I illustrate the financial statement?

A: It MUST be uploaded to DocumentCloud and annotated, which means that each annotation contains your analysis of the significance of the numbers, why they matter and why they are in your story. For an example, please see BlackBerry’s 2016 financial statement.

Q: Must the story contain hyperlinks?

A: Yes. For instance, if you reference a statement that an institution has made, then link to the news release, statement or interview on YouTube. If it’s a study that an academic or thinktank has conducted, link to the study uploaded to DocumentCloud and appropriately annotated. In other words, take your audience to the kind of primary sources such as public records we discuss in Digging Deeper. The idea with all of these assignments is to depend on primary sources, not secondary sources like news reports which can be inaccurate.

Q: So it’s a good idea to use DocumentCloud whenever possible, then?

A: An emphatic YES!!!! The idea is to hunt for the original records described in chapter four of our textbook.  For instance, if you cite a quotation from the financial statement, then there must be a hyperlink to the statement in DocumentCloud.

Q: How many numbers should I use?

A: Please keep it simple!! TELL A STORY. Just take one or two numbers and write about it or them. Take what the financial statement(s) gives you. Do not begin with any preconceived notions of what the story may be. For instance, if the company lost money in the quarter that you analysed, tell us how much the company lost, how it compares to the same quarter from the previous year, and then explain why, using some analysis from an expert.

Q: Can I use the financial statement to confirm a story idea I already have?

A: NO!!!!!!!!!!!. The idea is to analyse the financial statement, and then let the story emerge from the analysis. (Note: this is true for all the assignments. That is, the story should originate from the record you’re studying.) As mentioned above, the story could be as simple as profits are up compared to the same quarter from the previous year; or the cost of sales has increased significantly; or the company may be making money, but only by selling property or parts of its business. So, to repeat, avoid going into the story with a preconceived idea. Let the story emerge from the financial statement. The business chapter should give you some ideas. If not, I’m happy to brainstorm or provide feedback on your draft.

Q: When is the draft due?

A:  Jan. 30 at noon

Q: How should I send the draft?

A: Email.

Q: When is the story due?

A: Saturday, Sun. Feb. 5, noon

Canada 150 story  (TOP)

A news story that updates the reader on a memorable person or event from Canada’s first 150 years. The peg must be an anniversary: 25th, 50th, 75th, 100th, 125th or 150th. If you choose to write about a person, select someone who hasn’t attracted much, or any, public attention in recent years.
Story length: 600 words.
Category: Post the story to the “Masters2017_2” category on the syllabus.
Due Sat.: March 4, noon. (An outline is due Mon., Feb. 13, noon.)


1.Story must include comments from the person in question or participant(s) in the original event.
2.  Copies of two pieces of documentation gathered during research for your story.
3. For EACH of the two pieces of documentation, full-sentence answers to these questions:
(*) What is the documentation?
(*) How did you find/obtain it?
(*) Why was the documentation helpful?

Canada 150 story questions and answers

Q: When is the outline due?
A: Mon., Feb. 13, noon (pasted in the body of an email, NOT in a Word document)

Q: What must be included in the outline?
A: Please submit the following by email:

(*) The anniversary you are writing about, e.g. the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Canadian flag.
(*) What’s new about this person or event? e.g. New research reveals Lester Pearson, then prime minister, wanted the flag to be purple, not red, and to incorporate a large cartoon beaver.
(*) Who do you plan to interview to develop the story? e.g. I plan to interview 1) the historian who unearthed the documentation revealing Pearson’s views, 2) the president of the Canadian Flag Admiration Society, and 3) Jane Smithleaf, who was a member of Pearson’s cabinet.

Q: When is the story due?
A: Sat., March 4, noon

Q: The story must include comments from the person in question or participant(s) in the original event. Does that mean I need to do just one interview?
A: No, treat the story as you would any other. Though it depends on the story, three voices seems about right. You might interview one person who remembers the original event, someone involved in the issue today and an expert – such as a professor or author – who can place the issue in perspective.

Q: My story focuses on events that happened a century ago. How can I interview people involved when they are all dead?
A: Seek out comments they made at the time – perhaps in a speech, a diary entry or a book.

Q: Do I need to include hyperlinks in my story?
A: If they help the reader, yes, one or two well-chosen hyperlinks are welcome.

Q: How should I post my story?
A: Post your story in the relevant category of the syllabus (Masters2017_2) in the same way you filed your Business story.

Q: What sort of documentation do you want?
A: It could be anything that helped you do the story, such as a news clipping about the original event, a photo, a telephone listing of someone you tracked down or a partial transcript of one of your interviews.

Q: Could the documentation be a .jpeg image or an audio or video clip?
A: Yes. But please be sure to test all posted links and media to make sure they work.

Q: How should I hand in my two pieces of documentation?
A: You could upload an annotated document to DocumentCloud that is then embedded in the WordPress post. Depending on the format, you could also upload the scanned documentation directly to WordPress. For instance, you could post a .jpeg file of a photograph or a Word document with a screen grab of a Canada 411 entry.

However you post your documentation, don’t forget to answer the questions on the checklist about each piece.
(*) Think of your person or event as a rock dropped into a pond decades ago. You are charting the ripples.
(*) Do not write a rehash. Ask yourself: Could my story have been written many years ago?  If so, something’s wrong.
(*) Tell a story.

Database story  (TOP)

Data Journalism assignment

A 600-word story, using a dataset from a municipal, provincial or federal open-data site, or one that we have already explored.
An outline due: Mon., Feb. 27, noon.
Story due: Sat., March 15, six o’clock.

The idea behind this assignment is to find a pattern in your data that can be obtained using the techniques we’ve covered: sorting, filtering, pivot tables.

What’s required?

  • A 600-word story based on data downloaded from a federal, provincial or municipal open-data site, or one that we have used in class.
  • The story MUST emerge from the data.
  • Upload the story to the category on the Masters2017_3 category on our WordPress site.
  • At least TWO interviews, including one expert who can put the trend that you’ve identified into context. As was the case with the business assignment, the expert CAN’T be an advocate, a journalist, member of a special interest group, family member, acquaintance, or friend.
  • A primary document – such as a bylaw, law, public policy statement, news release, or academic study — uploaded to DocumentCloud and annotated.
  • A visualization using a data-viz tool such as Google Fusion Tables.

What’s to be submitted?

  • A 500-word explanation in a Word document that explains how you got the story, sources you used or attempted to reach, along with contact information such as phone numbers, email addresses, Twitter handles, and LinkedIn pages.
  • One —  AND ONLY ONE–  Excel spreadsheet containing your original table on one worksheet, and subsequent worksheets with your filtered or pivot tables that you’ve used for your analysis. PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT MULTIPLE EXCEL WORKBOOKS. If you are doing the census story, then please submit the Excel or csv file that contains the census tracts and population figures, and be sure to highlight the rows with the census tracts that you’ve used for your stories.
  • A Word document with your story – minus the visualizations.
  • The assignment is also be uploaded to the “Masters2017_3” category on our WordPress site.

Answers to general questions

Q: Can it be any topic?

A: Yes.

Q: Can it be a dataset that we have already used in class.

A: Yes.

Q: How extensive should my analysis be?

A: You’ll only be required to use the skills we’ve learned in class and covered in the textbook: sorting, filtering, using basic math to determine rates of increase and pivot tables. Depending on the nature of the database, you’ll be required to use a combination of these skills.

Q: What if I don’t want to use a dataset we’ve already explored, but am struggling to find something new?

A: Let me know, and I’d be happy to brainstorm.

Q: Once I’ve found my dataset, what if I’m struggling with the analysis?

A: Again, please let me know and I will help you. The idea is to spend as little time with your data as possible. So, it will be important to get the analysis out of the way quickly, allowing yourself the maximum length of time to conduct the research and find people.

Q: Must the story emerge from the data?

A: Yes.

Q: Should I set up a Google Alert once I’ve decided on a topic?

A: Yes.

Q: What’s an example of a story that can be told from data?

A: For instance, the city of Ottawa has a dataset of citizen’ complaints about everything from lack of garbage pick-up to excessive noise. After building a pivot table, you may discover that a particular ward has the highest number of complaints per capita, or that a particular kind of complaint is the most prevalent at certain times of the year. From there, you’d dig for information, talk to people, and then interview sources (city politicians, bureaucrats, bylaw officers, residents, urban study professors, and so on.) to determine why the trend is occurring, and what is being done to solve the problem. Or, using Ottawa’s 2016 census tract map, you may want to show why certain parts of the city have experienced the fastest growth rates from 2011 to 2016. Or, conversely, why certain areas have lost residents during that same time period.

Q: What if the politician or bureaucrat doesn’t get back to me?

A: As was the case with the business assignment, this lack of cooperation is a distinct possibility. Use creativity to find the appropriate voice (a local historian, for instance), or be prepared to execute plan-B, which could be an emailed response, or something the official has said publicly in a news release, testimony before a committee, or blog post.

Q: Then does an emailed response count as an interview?

A: Yes, but only if you’ve attempted to interview the official over the phone, or in person. And an emailed response only counts for ONE of the two or more interviews you conduct.

Q: Can I quote officials from previous news stories?

A: An emphatic no!!!!!! The official could have been misquoted. You risk repeating the error. It’s best to use your research skills to find original records, which is also the point of these assignments. Digging Deeper’s chapter four provides a good overview of the kinds of public records you should be seeking.

Q: How much visualization do I need?

A: At least three visualizations. One MUST be a document uploaded to, and then annotated in DocumentCloud. You can embed a key quote, or simply the url; the second must be a visualization in Google Fusion Table, or another piece of open-source software that you may have learned in another class, or on your own. Digging Deeper’s online appendix on visualizations covers Fusion Tables and Tableau. Ensure that your visualization has a title, cutline and source citation. The third visualization should be a photo, either of the person quoted in the story, or the subject of your story.

Q: Does the document have to be annotated?

A: Again, yes.

Q: Can I also use a multi-media element such as a video, or sound clip.

B: Absolutely. However, the clip should be no longer than 2:00 minutes, and it should only be used if it adds value to your story. For instance, a particularly colourful or animated description of an Ottawa resident who has filed a complaint with the city that you’ve writing about. Or, an interview with someone in one of Ottawa’s fastest-growing areas whose personal story is symbolic of that growth.

Q: Must the story contain hyperlinks that take me to original sources of information?

A: Yes. As was the case in the business assignment, please avoid linking to media reports, as they are secondary sources of information that could contain factual errors. We always strive to find original sources of information such as studies, minutes of meetings, annual reports, and datasets from open data websites.  Get used to hunting for primary records, and use the hyperlinks to provide value-added and technical information that should not be used to bog down your story.

Q: How many numbers should I use?

A: The fewer, the better. However, make sure that you pull the key bits of analysis out of the data. For instance, the rate at which something increased, key dates, the top-five instances of the trend that you have discovered.

Q: Can you show me examples of stories students have done in the past?

A: Yes. Please click here to see the first stories my data-journalism students told last fall using Statistics Canada’s crime data.

Q: When is the draft due?

A: Feb. 27 at noon

Q:  When is the story due?

A: March 15 at six o’clock

Best of luck!

Access to Information story  (TOP)

A news story based on documents obtained through freedom-of-information laws.
600 words, due Wed., March 29, 6 p.m. (An outline was due Sat., March 18, noon.)


A 600-word news story, in alternative format (see below), based on documents provided to you.

  • Copies of at least two – but not more than 10 – particularly relevant pages of information from these records that assisted your story.
  • For the pages mentioned above, full-sentence answers to these questions:
    (*) What is the information?
    (*) From which department did these pages come?
    (*) Why was this information helpful?
  • Copies of one original request to EACH of the three levels of government (municipal, provincial, federal).
  • A copy of one request for previously released records from the federal government.
  • Copies of correspondence received/sent by you during the course of each of the four requests.

Access-to-information story questions and answers

Q: When is the story due?
A: Wed., March 29, 6 p.m.

Q: What format must the story follow?
A: Please follow this format, which we will discuss in class (see example below):

The topic:
What’s new:
Why it’s important:
What the government says:
What others say:
What’s next:

Q: Must I include extras?
A: A few, well-chosen hyperlinks in the story and a photo or chart are welcome.

Q: How do I hand in my story?
A: Upload everything – including documents, images and answers to the three questions – to the relevant “Masters2017_4” of the syllabus. It doesn’t matter what format you choose, but most supporting material should be in PDF, .jpeg or Word format. You can also use DocumentCloud to upload pages of your records to the syllabus.

Q: Do I have to use the documents in my story?
A: Yes, there should be a substantial connection between the records you have obtained and your story. A good test of this is to ask, ‘Could I really have done this story without the documents?’

Q: How should I select which pages to hand in?
A: Choose records that contain passages you quoted or information that underpinned your story. You can hand in more than two pages, but no more than 10 pages. Please try to highlight relevant passages and do not hand in entire documents or huge volumes of paper.

Q: My request forms include personal information (address, phone number). Can I black it out before uploading them?
A: Yes.

Q: Do you want every piece of correspondence related to the four requests?
A: I want to see all relevant correspondence to help me understand how things proceeded.

Q: I dealt with agencies largely on the phone. What should I do?
A: Please give me dates and summaries of these calls wherever possible.

Q: I forgot to make copies of my requests. What should I do?
A: Please try to recreate the wording and date of your original requests as best you can.


Supreme Court building to get ‘urgent’ rehabilitation

By Dean Beeby, CBC News

The topic: The state of Canada’s Supreme Court building.

What’s new: Canada’s Supreme Court building is crumbling, with some parts expected to fail as early as next year, which means the venerable justices must be evicted to permit five years’ worth of urgent repairs.

Why it’s important:
Public Works is already searching for a temporary location for the high court so it can refurbish the art-deco stone building for its first complete renovation since being built in 1938-39.

The mechanical systems are expected to fail by 2020, the electrical systems a year later, and the water-damaged roof of the parking garage could collapse by 2018, says an internal report.

Wood panelling, marble wall panels and plaster finishes must all be removed, in part to get at asbestos and other hazardous substances suspected to lie within the interior and exterior walls and the ceiling spaces.

“Rehabilitation work is considered complex, disruptive and noisy,” says an internal document outlining the problem.

The building is located west of Parliament Hill on Wellington Street in central Ottawa. Like the Parliament Buildings, it backs on the Ottawa River.

“Systems and infrastructure are mostly original — over 75 years old and have well exceeded their expected life cycles,” the document says. “Water infiltration into the parking garage has reduced the structural capacity on the western roof deck.”

CBC News obtained the June 22, 2016, document prepared for the justice minister under the Access to Information Act.

The briefing says the building was constructed using a structural steel frame that was not designed to withstand earthquakes, which have rumbled through the Ottawa area many times in the past.

The Supreme Court of Canada – including the judges’ chambers, and two federal courts and chambers located in the same building – must be moved for at least five years during the major rehabilitation.

The document says that the temporary facilities, or “swing space,” will have to be located in the vicinity, known as the federal precinct, which includes Parliament Hill.

The cost of the move and the rehabilitation are blacked out in the released document. Also deleted are two proposed “swing space” possibilities.

The building was last given a major upgrade in 1995, when the copper sheathing of the roof was replaced and there were electrical and mechanical improvements, among other things. The bill came to almost $22 million.

What the government says: Representatives of Public Services and Procurement Canada — the department in charge of the projects — declined to provide any information. “It would be premature, at this point, to speculate on estimated costs and timelines,” said Nicolas Boucher.

“While the project scope is being developed for the major rehabilitation, inspections are conducted as part of ongoing maintenance and urgent repairs have been implemented,” he said.

Added spokesman Jean-Francois Letourneau: “PSPC is continuing to develop plans on an urgent basis given the condition of the Supreme Court. ”

What others say: A spokesman for the Supreme Court, Rémi Samson, referred all questions back to Public Services and Procurement Canada.

What’s next:
Most of the buildings in the Parliamentary Precinct have been refurbished or are slated for major rehabilitations, including the Centre Block starting in 2018, forcing MPs and senators into temporary quarters elsewhere.

The total cost — excluding the 10-year Centre Block project, where the chambers of the House of Commons and Senate are located — is about $3 billion.

The projected cost of the Centre Block rehabilitation has not yet been released, and the Supreme Court rehabilitation was never part of the original Parliamentary Precinct refurbishment plan.

Week One (TOP)



Week Two (TOP)



Access to Information sites

Access to Information Act

Interim Directive on the Administration of the Access to Information Act

Federal Departments and Agencies

Access to Information and Privacy Coordinators

Info Source: information listings

Access to Information: general info

Access to Information request forms

Access to Information fillable request form

Search Summaries of Completed ATI Requests

David McKie’s Coordination of Access to Information Requests System (CAIRS) site

Specific Exemptions under the Access to Information Act (Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat)

Office of the Information Commissioner

Office of the Privacy Commissioner



British Columbia
Completed requests:

Completed Requests:

New Brunswick

Newfoundland and Labrador
Completed requests:

Northwest Territories

Nova Scotia

The Right to Know Coalition of Nova Scotia



Prince Edward Island








Halifax Regional Municipality











ATIP-related stories and documents

Liberals look to create social finance strategy to help indigenous groups

Supreme Court building to get ‘urgent’ rehabilitation

Judicial Precinct Project — Swing Space Options (briefing material uploaded to DocumentCloud)

EXCLUSIVE: Phoenix pay system also breached federal workers’ privacy

Phoenix Pay System Records Access to Information request (uploaded and annotated in DocumentCloud)

Electric-vehicle plan hits roadblock at minister’s office

Update on replacement of ministerial vehicle briefing note (uploaded to DocumentCloud)

Week Three (TOP)



Ottawa still failing to provide adequate health care on reserves: report

Coordination of Access to Information Requests System (CAIRS)

Donald Trump tells Detroit auto CEOs that environmental regulations are ‘out of control’

Toronto Stock Exchange Listed Company Directory

General Motors Proxy Statement and Notice of Annual Meeting of Shareholders uploaded to DocumentCloud

General Motors

GM_condensed consolidated income statement table_10Q.pdf


Security Exchange Commission

General Motors 10-Q uploaded to DocumentCloud

General Motors Management’s Discussion and Analysis uploaded to DocumentCloud


General Motors Stock Prices uploaded to TradingView

Additional reading

Investigative Reporters & Editors

CEO salaries soar to new heights

Throwing Money at the Problem:10 Years of Executive Compensation

To download a spreadsheet containing CEO salaries used for the story, please click here.

The traditional way of reporting on a president is dead. And Trump’s press secretary killed it.

An open letter to Trump from the US press corps

Emoluments: Trump’s Coming Ethics Trouble

 Trump versus the press: Canadian deja-vu

Week Four (TOP)




EXCLUSIVE: Dion not properly briefed on human rights before Saudi arms deal

Library and Archives Canada

City of Ottawa Archives

Week Five (TOP)


Walmart: Thousands of police calls. You paid the bill.

Ottawa struggles to recoup $70M paid in error due to Phoenix issues


Police chief says force will review way it conducts sexual assault investigations

This fire hydrant costs Toronto drivers the most in parking tickets (The Canadian Press)

Review of pay for public-sector bosses off to a ‘false start,’ Wynne says

Ontario Sunshine List of highest-paid public sector employees reveals thousands earn more than premier

Bagnall: Census reveals some dramatic changes within capital region

Census 2016: Western provinces’ populations are the fastest-growing in Canada

Interim Directive on the Administration of the Access to Information Act

Ottawa Open Data Catalogue

Ontario Open Data Catalogue

Federal Open Data Catalogue

2016 Census Program release schedule

Dictionary, Census of Population, 2016

2016 Geographic boundaries

Population and Dwelling Count Highlight Tables, 2016 Census

Hierarchy of standard geographic areas for dissemination, 2016 Census

Germany slowly relaxes its grip on how it confronts the Holocaust

Gulf War Syndrome questions remain after 25 years

Week Six (TOP)


Ottawa schools rife with asbestos

Ontario Sunshine List of highest-paid public sector employees reveals thousands earn more than premier

The Ottawa Citizen ‘Huge, huge overtime’ lifts Ontario nurses into $100,000 salary club

Census shows Conservatives still hold sway in Canada’s fastest growing regions

Census 2016: Western provinces’ populations are the fastest-growing in Canada

Current population and household estimates

2016 Monthly Service

Ontario Public Sector

Ottawa Census Tracts in Fusion Tables and ArcGIS Online


Digging Deeper’s online tutorials for Excel and Fusion Tables

A guide to Google Fusion Tables Visualizations

Week Seven (TOP)


To download the tutorial that explains building a chronology using Excel, please click here.

To download the tutorial that explains how to put numbers into context, click here.

To download the Fusion Tables tutorial for the city of Ottawa’s complaints data, please click here.

To see an example of Ottawa ward noise complaints mapped, please click here.

To download the tutorial for “A Guide to Google Fusion Tables Visualizations”, please click here.


The Deadliest Jobs in America


ANALYSIS: Half of complaints against RCMP lead to discipline, data suggests

50 ideas in 60  minutes #NICAR15//ATL

Week Eight (TOP)


Windsor real estate breaking records, realtors say

Diving into Data Journalism: Strategies for getting started or going deeper

City of Ottawa Graffiti Complaints: data visualization

Previously released records online


British Columbia:



To download the Ottawa Census embed code, please click here.

Week Nine (TOP)

Plan D Access Documents











 Week Ten (TOP)

City Council & Committee Agendas & Minutes

Federal Resources

Parliament of Canada

Lipad (Search the Canadian Hansard from 1901 to today)


Week Eleven (TOP)


Tens of thousands of failed refugee claimants remain in Canada

Provincial and Territorial Hansard Searches

Government-wide reporting

Global Affairs increases security after gift of $2,000 watch to Canada is stolen

 Auditor General of Canada

Provincial auditor resources

Coroners’ reports

Week Twelve (TOP)


Discovery recalls Justin Trudeau’s 1st visit to High Arctic — as a 3-year-old

To see the video  of the plaque’s presentation to the Prime Minister, please click here.

Don Meredith says ‘racism has played a role’ in his sex scandal

Christine O’Donnell walks out on Piers Morgan

Christine ODonnell Walks Off Piers Morgan Interview.mp4

Oprah Winfrey interviewing Lance Armstrong.mp4

BBC’s Jeremy Paxman persistently questions a reluctant cabinet minister.mp4

Katie Couric presses former Alaska governor and Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin to name the
publications she reads.mp4

The fifth estate interviews former Toronto Police chief Bill Blair about his force’s handling of G7 protesters.mp4

Full Barack Obama “60 Minutes” Interview And Complete Transcript



From week three

To learn how to embed a table from Tradingview, please click here to learn how to use embed it.

For instructions on how to upload data to, please click here.

From week six

Digging Deeper’s online tutorials for Excel and Fusion Tables

A guide to Google Fusion Tables Visualizations

Datasets (TOP)

From Week Six

2016 Monthly Service

Ontario Public Sector

Ottawa Census Tracts in Fusion Tables and ArcGIS Online