P.E.I. municipalities may soon have to open books
P.E.I. only Atlantic province with no freedom of information rules for municipalities
Freedom of information legislation may soon apply to municipalities on P.E.I., just as it does to the provincial government and to municipalities in other parts of Atlantic Canada.
"In the consultations under land governance we'll make a decision on which way we go with that," said Justice Minister Janice Sherry.
"Right now it's certainly on the table."
Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee said despite the lack of legislation forcing the city to open its books, Charlottetown has a reputation for openness.
"The city has been recognized over the last number of years by the national media organizations," said Lee.
"The city has always been recognized as providing the information efficiently and quickly. And actually providing more information than they've requested sometimes."
Cornwall deputy mayor Corey Frizzell said the bringing the municipalities on board is a good idea, but he does have some concerns about the added workload for town staff.
"Hopefully in the province's wisdom, they'll see that and maybe they'll help with some more money to be able to pay for some of this extra work that's going to be dropped on our staff," said Frizzell.
If there was freedom of information legislation for municipalities, the City of Summerside might have been forced to release the report on the failed Michael Jackson concert last year.
"If the regulations are in place I would have absolutely no problem with that," said Mayor Basil Stewart.
"If there's a law in place, it would have to be obeyed."