PEI

Agriculture minister seeking privacy watchdog's OK to release IRAC report

P.E.I. Agriculture Minister Bloyce Thompson says he hopes to release a report on an investigation into a controversial corporate land transaction, if the privacy commissioner gives him the green light.

Thompson won't say which companies being asked to divest land

Minister of Agriculture Bloyce Thompson says he wants Privacy Commissioner Denise Doiron to rule on whether he can release the IRAC report. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

Prince Edward Island Agriculture Minister Bloyce Thompson says he hopes to release a report on an investigation into a controversial corporate land transaction, if the privacy commissioner gives him the green light.

Earlier this week, Thompson said he'd received the report from IRAC, the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission.

The report involved a transfer of 2,200 acres of land in Summerside and North Bedeque.

Thompson said the report concluded that a company and two individuals had contravened the Lands Protection Act by having too much land.

Thompson said he asked the parties involved to divest of the extra land within four months. 

But the minister will not specify which individuals or companies are being asked to divest.

Confusion over report's release

He told CBC News Thursday that he's working out some confusion over who is allowed to release the report.

"I've given permission to IRAC to release it but they're under the understanding that it's my report so there's a confusion there. So if that's the case, I have to go to the privacy commissioner and ask her permission to release it and what can be released.

"So that will be done today or tomorrow, and then it'll [depend] on her decision when it will be released but I think it's at least a 20-day process."

The information and privacy commissioner is an independent officer of the P.E.I. Legislative Assembly who promotes public access to information and protection of privacy, according to the legislature's website. 

Denise N. Doiron started a five-year term in the post this past June. 

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