Are ATIPP improvements on government’s cutting table?
NDP House Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) asked for clarification today regarding two conflicting messages coming from government. The premier and cabinet have been insistent that drastic cuts are necessary, says Michael, but the clear message regarding the Access to Information and Privacy Protection Act changes needed to reverse the worst damage caused by 2012’s Bill 29 is that more staff will be needed.
“The Premier says everything is on the table with the upcoming budget,” Michael said in the House this afternoon. “Yet today his deputy Premier spoke of new staff needed for implementing new ATIPP legislation.
“I ask the Premier, will he assure us upcoming budget cuts won’t undermine the Statutory Review Committee’s recommendations, which cost the province $1.1 million?”
She also caused the deputy premier to task for his flip-flop on the ATIPP legislation. “The minister says his new ATIPP legislation will be the best in the country, yet he praised Bill 29 with equal enthusiasm in 2012,” she said.
“I ask the minster, as I told him that very same day in 2012, why did he think he could fool people with legislation found to be as odious as we said it was?”
Michael also cautioned government about moving too hastily, and the potential problems that can cause. “The minister is signaling a sense of urgency to pass his new ATIPP legislation which we applaud,” she said.
“But I want him to assure us that this time they well get things right and the legislation will be able to implemented when proclaimed.”