Steve Kent: Access to information changes on track for June 1

New legislation wiping out the controversial Bill 29 will be tabled in the House of Assembly this week.

Bill 1, tabled in legislature this week, will override controversial Bill 29

Bill 1 is expected to be tabled this week for debate in the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly. (CBC)

New legislation wiping out the controversial Bill 29 will be tabled in the House of Assembly this week.   

Deputy premier Steve Kent told reporters Wednesday the new law remains on track to come into effect June 1.

First, it must be passed by the legislature.    

Kent says the wording of the new law is almost exactly what was recommended by former premier and judge Clyde Wells.

There are two small changes. Wells agreed with both, according to a letter provided to reporters.

One fixed a typo; the other clarified language about municipally-owned corporations that will now be covered under open-records law.

That specific change will come into effect a few months later, on Aug. 1, to give towns and cities time to prepare.

Bill 1 got first reading in the House of Assembly Tuesday. Second reading and debate is expected to begin Thursday.

The new law rolls back the suite of restrictions imposed on public access to government information brought in by Bill 29 three years ago.

It also empowers the information watchdog with new authority, and shortens the timeline for the province to respond to requests.


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