PEI

Freedom of information expansion delayed

P.E.I. municipalities and post-secondary schools won't be included under the province's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act any time soon, says Justice Minister Janice Sherry.

P.E.I. municipalities and post-secondary schools won't be included under the province's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act any time soon, says Justice Minister Janice Sherry.

In January, Sherry said she was thinking about adding municipalities, the university and colleges to the act. Charlottetown, Summerside and Cornwall all told CBC News they had no serious objections.

UPEI has an administrator who handles freedom of information requests, but if that person denies the request there's no recourse.

The issue has taken on a new urgency for some, as the university struggles with how to deal with a $9 million deficit that will affect students, staff and faculty.

"The faculty association membership would be very interested in knowing what the salary of the university president is, what the salary of senior administrators is," said UPEI faculty association president Betty Jeffery.

"That information would be available if freedom of information Legislation applied to the university sector."

Sherry said since UPEI has its own system it may not have to be included under the act. P.E.I. and New Brunswick are alone amongst Canadian provinces in not including post-secondary institutions under freedom of information laws.

As for municipalities, Sherry said there is more work to be done.

"There is a duty to consult and to get feedback and that's exactly what the department is in the process of doing," she said.

Sherry said she's unsure when, or if, amendments to the legislation would be introduced.

For mobile device users: Should the freedom of information laws be extended to municipalities and UPEI? 

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