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Top court rules PM, ministers beyond reach of Access to Information Act

OTTAWA - The country's top court has ruled that daily agendas produced by the prime minister and his cabinet are not subject to public scrutiny.

In a landmark decision released today, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled unanimously that ministers of the Crown are beyond the reach of the Access to Information Act.

The question of how much of what the prime minister and his ministers do is above the act was central to the long-standing case, which pitted the current PM against the information commissioner.

The actual case involves access requests for Jean Chretien's daily agendas when he was prime minister in the 1990s, along with those of his transport minister and notes by his defence minister and staff.

Analysts say the ruling could have profound implications for how government ministers function that go well beyond the narrow scope of the original requests.

The judges ruled 9-0.

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