Monday, November 27, 2006

Where is Darce today?

Roseau, Dominica

from the Chronicle Herald
Nov. 5, 2006
Fardy to attend parliamentary association workshop on FOI

The head of Right to Know Nova Scotia has been invited to attend a freedom-of-information workshop organized by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

Darce Fardy, the province’s former review officer for the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, will head to Dominica later this month.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s mission is to advance parliamentary democracy in Commonwealth countries. The number of these countries adopting freedom-of-information legislation is growing every year.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Right to Know Coalition of Nova Scotia website was officially launched November 14, 2006 and with it this Blog.

We are pleased with the reaction we have received so far to our new, and first, website. Many of those who checked it out found it "clean", "informative" and "interesting".

If you have any comments on our site or the blog please let us know.

It is important to us to connect with as many people as possible to get our message out there.

Well the fall session of the legislature is over and although there was some hope the fees for using the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act might be addressed no action was taken.

The legislative process can be a complicated one. It appears though that the fees, which appear in the Regulations accompanying the Act, can be lowered without amending the Act. An amendment is required to remove the fees and that, of course, can only be done while the legislature is in session.

In the meantime I encourage everyone to show they want the fees reduced now by contacting their MLAs, the Premier and the Minister of Justice.

On their website, the Coalition has posted an excerpt of the Nov 22, 2006 Nova Scotia Legislative Hansard containing a record of questions asked by Liberal MLA Michel Samson about the status of the hiring of a new Review Officer and about any possible changes in the fees.

View Excerpt: Status of New Review Officer

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Government's delay in appointing a new Review Officer to oversee the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and in pursuing a Liberal opposition bill to lower fees, can only be interpreted as a lack of interest in the Act. When asked by the Liberals in the legislature this week when decisions would be made on these two matters the reply, according to a news report, was 'soon'. The Review Officer position was posted some months ago and interviews of candidates have already taken place. One would understand that the government's apparent lack of interest may persuade good candidates to withdraw from the competition. On behalf of the Coalition, I urge the Government to act on the fees bill during this session of the legislature and to make the appointment to the Review Office immediately. Those who share these same concerns should make it known to the Premier and the Government caucus through their MLAs.

Find your MLA