Winner of the 2016 Grace-Pépin Access to Information Award

Ottawa, March 22, 2017 – The Information Commissioner of Canada announced today the winner of the 2016 Grace-Pépin Access to Information Award. This year’s recipient is Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner for the United Kingdom.

Elizabeth Denham has been a staunch advocate for access to information rights. She previously served as the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia. Throughout her 30-year career, Ms. Denham has made significant inroads to advance access to information. Notably, She increased access to the City of Calgary’s archives, published a report “Access Denied” following the triple delete scandal in British Columbia, and issued countless recommendations on the issues of timeliness, proactive disclosure, and greater reporting of information in the public interest.

“We received a record number of very strong nominations this year, all of whom are deserving of recognition,” said Commissioner Legault. “Canada’s access community remains strong and engaged.”

Nominees for this year included:

  • Charlie Angus, Member of Parliament for James Bay
  • Canadian Press journalist Jim Bronskill
  • the Canadian Institute of Access and Privacy Professionals
  • La Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec
  • Michael Geist, Professor, Faculty of Common Law, University of Ottawa
  • the late Thomas Riley, and
  • and, the 2016 winner, Elizabeth Denham

The 2016 Selection Committee was comprised of Mary Francoli, Associate Professor, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University; Tom Henheffer, Executive Director, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression; Diane Poitras, Vice-President, Commission d'accès à l'information du Québec, and Karen Rose, Information and Privacy Commissioner of Prince Edward Island.

The award was presented to Ms. Denham at the Transparency for the 21st Century Conference. The Grace-Pépin Award was named in recognition of the contributions of John Grace, former Information Commissioner of Canada, and Marcel Pépin, President and founder of the Commission d’accès à l’information du Québec.


For media inquiries please contact:
Natalie Bartlett
Manager, Communications and Media Relations
Office of the Information Commissioner
Tel.: 819-994-1068