Opposition 'deeply skeptical' about freedom of information review
Access to information a pillar of accountability, says premier
The P.E.I. government has announced its review of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, but the opposition parties are questioning the government's attitude before it even starts.
A discussion paper on the 15-year-old act has been posted online.
P.E.I. privacy commissioner Karen Rose recently completed her own review of the act.
Among her recommendations is the inclusion of municipalities and post-secondary institutions under freedom of information regulations. P.E.I. is the only province where they aren't included.
In a news release, Premier Wade MacLauchlan said the update is important, because much has changed in the last over the last 15 years about how information is collected and stored.
"Rigorous, efficient and timely access to information is an important pillar of accountability for government," said MacLauchlan.
Opposition concerned about government attitude
In the legislature Thursday, Progressive Conservative MLA Steven Myers said his party's experience was that the government had no interest in open government information.
Myers read off a list of information requests the opposition was waiting on, including:
RFP results for provincial nominee program intermediaries.
Who is lobbying the finance minister on cannabis regulations.
List of salaries for senior government officials.
"It's appalling what I've had to sit through in six years of stuff that you ask for that you never, ever, ever get to see. And then you wonder why things like egaming happen," said Myers.
"That's because there's no information and no actual openness in this government."
Green Leader Peter Bevan-Baker noted the review is long overdue, and also doubted the government's commitment to openness.
"Given the almost decade of inaction, multiple reviews and the continued procrastination, it's really hard to be anything other than deeply skeptical that this administration will do what we all know needs to be done, and that is to do a fundamental review and strengthen this act," said Bevan-Baker.
"I look forward to the premier proving me wrong."
The government is accepting public submissions on the act until Feb. 23.
- MORE P.E.I. NEWS | Park crews fight fire risk with fire
- MORE P.E.I. NEWS | Hounds seized by Humane Society last month destined for new homes