Caucus will keep close eye on government’s ATIPPA implementation
NDP Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) says that while she is delighted government has seen the errors of its Bill 29 ways, the caucus will be watching closely to ensure it keeps its new promises.
“The committee reviewing the province’s Access to Information and Privacy Protection laws has done an exhaustive and thorough job investigating our legislation, and has made comprehensive recommendations both about the Act and about government practices,” Michael said today.
“I am pleased that Minister Kent confirmed government will do everything the committee has recommended, and I look forward to debating the new Act, as written by the committee, in the House this spring.”
One government practice addressed by the committee forces MHAs to go through ministerial staff to get help for their constituents. “This was something MHA Gerry Rogers spoke most forcefully about, both in her presentation to the committee and in media stories,” Michael said. “The committee said political staff had no right to constituents’ personal information. While Minister Kent did not mention this specifically, we will be watching to ensure this intrusive and unfair practice ceases immediately.”
She says the mistakes made with Bill 29 reflect what happens when a government moves without due consideration. Government, she says, should never try to change fundamental democratic rules without engaging in thought and consultation.
“In January, we saw an even more shameful process as government ministers and Liberal MHAs rewrote Bill 42, our Electoral Boundaries rules, in a few hours overnight. Will we be back in a couple of years recognizing the flaws in that process and changing that legislation back, too?”