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The Right to Know Coalition of Nova Scotia is asking all party leaders in this election campaign to address our concerns with the administration of our Freedom of Information legislation.
It is a good Act in its purpose (requiring total accountability) and its reach (government, municipalities, school boards, hospitals, universities, and colleges) but it’s the coalition’s view that costs attached to using the Act and the waiting times for responses discourage applicants from taking advantage of their rights under the Act.
The coalition proposes the following:
That the application fee be lowered to $5.00, where it once stood;
That fees for processing be lowered to $5.00 a half hour from $15.00.
That wait times be reduced (applicants have been known to wait eighteen months or more for a final decision);
That the Freedom of Information Review Office, like other independent oversight offices, report to the legislature thus removing any perception that the Office reports to the Department of Justice;
That the list in the appendix include all publicly funded agencies.
The coalition would appreciate a response within one week. Yours and the responses of the other leaders will be posted on our website: http://www.nsrighttoknow.ca/ .
We believe these changes will lead to a better informed electorate and larger voter turnouts.
Founder and President of the Right to Know Coalition of Nova Scotia