CBC continues fight for PNP names
The CBC continued its legal battle Tuesday to get the names of P.E.I. companies that received funding under the Provincial Nominee Program.
CBC lawyer Alan Parish argued in P.E.I. Supreme Court that revealing the Island companies that received PNP units would not harm the businesses.
"I don't see how the revealing of any of that public information is going to cause harm to any company, and it's not going to be any unreasonable invasion of the privacy of any individual," Parish told CBC News in an interview.
The provincial nominee program enabled foreign investors to expedite their applications for Canadian immigration in exchange for money, some of which was invested in Island companies.
The CBC wants the court to reverse a decision of the Privacy Commissioner to keep the names of the companies private.
CBC asked the Supreme Court to review the decision in June 2010.
Parish argued Tuesday that knowing what companies received PNP is in the public interest. He pointed to an auditor general's report in 2009 that raised questions about how the program was handled by Island Investment Development Inc. or IIDI.
"The CBC is a company that's involved in public affairs," Parish told CBC News. "And this particular issue is a matter of public interest. And the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is fulfilling its duties and obligations as a public company involved in public affairs and it wants to further investigate this public issue."
Release would harm firms: lawyer
IIDI's lawyer Rosemary Scott wouldn't do an on camera interview Tuesday.
She argued there would be harm done to these companies if their names were revealed.
"Government isn't a warehouse of information that can be accessed by anyone for any reason," Scott told the court.
Scott also argued that the CBC hasn't demonstrated the need for the public release of this information in order to evaluate how PNP operated.
Scott said the release of company names would result in the release of highly sensitive information about the companies, including their immigrant partners.
The CBC's lawyer wrapped up his arguments this morning. The judicial review continues Wednesday.