Mike Redmond, Leader of the New Democratic Party of Prince Edward Island, is saying that it is shameful that the Legislative Assembly is not bringing forward legislation to include municipalities and post- secondary institutions in PEI’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
“Municipalities and post –secondary institutions are funded by Islanders. Their operations should be open to public scrutiny through improved freedom of information legislation,” said Redmond.
In January 2013, Justice Minister Sherry indicated she saw reform coming for municipal government transparency due to land use consultation processes. Then in May 2013, Minister Sherry stated that the government was not proceeding with any updates on freedom of information legislation regarding both municipalities and post-secondary institutions.
“The government is playing cat and mouse on the freedom of information issues. But that is not surprising. This is a very dictatorial and secretive government. After almost seven years in power this government has much to hide,” added the NDP PEI Leader.
Among the Atlantic Canadian provinces only Prince Edward Island does not have freedom of information legislative provisions concerning municipalities. Yet Islanders need to know what is happening and how decisions are being made on issues that affect them. For example, Charlottetown is experiencing numerous environmental issues including water management, ditch infilling and cosmetic pesticides. The University of Prince Edward Island is cutting numerous jobs on campus while proceeding with a new engineering school.
“Everything concerning our municipalities and post-secondary institutions should be out in the open. But there is not a peep of concern from Tory Opposition MLAs. Not a word from the Liberal back bench. It is a shame on the whole Legislature. Only the NDP is standing up for the right of all Islanders to know what is going on in their publicly funded institutions,” concluded Redmond.
Leader, NDP PEI