Secrets in High Places is the story of a group of young researchers who set out in the summer of 1998 to evaluate the Canada Infrastructure Works Program (CIWP), a government initiative that promised to repair the country’s crumbling infrastructure while creating much-needed jobs for Canadians.
During their investigation, the researchers discovered that many of the projects that received funding had nothing to do with infrastructure, and the government’s claim that the CIWP was reducing unemployment was questionable at best. What was most disturbing, however, was how difficult it was for them to obtain any reliable information on the program at all. At every turn, the group was met with suspicion, secrecy and mistrust. Although three levels of government (federal, provincial and municipal) participated in the program, no one, at any level, could tell them how and why particular decisions were made - or even who was responsible! Their findings reveal an alarming truth about the nature of government spending in Canada: it is a shamefully unaccountable process that almost entirely excludes the ordinary citizen.
Jay Innes holds a master's degree in journalism from Carleton University and has worked as a researcher and reporter for newspaper, radio, and television. He is now working on a television documentary version of Secrets in High Places for Stornoway Productions.
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