Province moving wrong way on transparency rankings

NDP Justice Critic Gerry Rogers

For immediate release
Sept. 28, 2012

Province moving wrong way on transparency rankings

NDP Justice Critic Gerry Rogers (MHA, St. John’s Centre) says a report from the Centre for Law and Democracy is clear indication that Bill 29 was repressive and regressive legislation.

The CLD released its assessment of all the access to information laws in Canada today – International Right to Know Day. The Centre uses the RTI-Rating, an internationally renowned methodology for assessing the strength of right to information laws. Newfoundland and Labrador scored 91 out of 150; prior to the passage of Bill 29, the province’s score was 101

“This government has clearly established secrecy and withholding information as their basic communications strategy,” said Rogers. “The CMD has given this government a score of 91 out of a possible 150 – that is 61 per cent. If this government were a high school student, it would not be accepted to Memorial University.

“I really hope the Conservatives aren’t planning to brag about their third-place ranking,” says Rogers. “That one piece of legislation was responsible for our drop from first place. Another ten-point drop and we would be tied for tenth place. Are we in some kind of disgraceful race to the bottom?

“We should be going in the opposite direction – improving rather than devolving. This report reflects what the people of Newfoundland and Labrador are saying to us. The government has betrayed them – at a time when so many crucial decisions are being made about the province’s future.”

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