Kelvin Parsons, Opposition Justice Critic and MHA for the District of Burgeo-La
Poile, says he is dismayed that the Privacy Commissioner has been forced
into the unusual position of taking the government to court in an attempt to
ensure the mediaís right to public information is protected.
"It is truly
unfortunate that the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner has
been forced to take the Provincial Government to the Supreme Court in an
effort to have public opinion polls released under the Access to Information
Act," said Parsons. "This speaks volumes about this governmentís record of
secrecy. The government is trying to defeat the spirit of the legislation.
"The Liberal Government brought forward the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act in an effort to ensure a greater level of openness
and accountability within government and to provide the people of the
province another means to hold government accountable for its actions.
"I am pleased that the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner
is appealing the decision of Executive Council not to follow the
Commissionerís decision to make public the results of polls done for the
cabinet as requested by The Telegram. We are looking forward to the court
ordering the government to release these polls so the public can learn what
they are trying to hide. Other provinces have voluntarily released similar
information in the past and the government of Mr. Williams should be no
"This government fails to practice what it preaches in regards to
openness and transparency. Their failure to comply with the Commissioner's
decision illustrates how arrogant the Williams' government has become over
the past two years and reinforces the need for a strong opposition, a free
press and strong freedom of information legislation."