Release PNP names, court rules
Number of units companies received should not be released, says Justice
CBC News is entitled to the names of companies that received money through the immigrant partner program of the Provincial Nominee Program, the P.E.I. Supreme Court has ruled.
The Provincial Nominee Program
Under the immigrant partner program of the Provincial Nominee Program potential immigrants had to invest in a P.E.I. business. More than 1,400 businesses on the Island received investments. The auditor general estimates the program was worth $120 million to the provincial economy.
The CBC had appealed a decision of the province's freedom of information and protection of privacy commissioner that would have kept the names secret.
The commissioner had agreed with Island Investment Development Inc., the government body that administered the immigrant investor program, that releasing the names could cause significant harm to the companies.
Supreme Court Justice Wayne Cheverie disagreed.
"There is nothing in the record to support a finding the third parties would suffer any harm, let alone significant harm, and therefore this conclusion drawn by the Commissioner is also unreasonable," Cheverie wrote in his decision, which was delivered to the CBC and the province Friday afternoon.
"The submissions received by the Commissioner claiming harm do not amount to 'detailed and convincing' evidence … From my review those references are replete with possibilities and speculation."
Cheverie supported the commissioner's ruling denying the CBC's request that the number of units each company received be revealed.
"The disclosure of the number of units would indeed transgress the prohibition against disclosure of commercial or financial information," he wrote.
The ruling could be appealed by the provincial government.