Tuesday, March 08, 2011

A letter to Mr. Jamie Baillie (Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia) from the Right to Know Coalition of Nova Scotia

Mr. Jamie Baillie


Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia

Centennial Building

801-1660 Hollis Street

Halifax NS

B3L 1V7


Dear Mr. Baillie:

Congratulations on your election to the Nova Scotia Legislature and to the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party.

The Right to Know Coalition of Nova Scotia is encouraged by your statement at the recent Progressive Conservative Party meeting that "(t)he most important thing we can do is find ways to show people they are on top of the political pyramid, not on the bottom as too any people feel they are." I assume the discouraging failure of so many eligible voters to cast their ballots led to that statement.

The Right to Know Coalition of Nova Scotia believes one reason so many Nova Scotians do not vote is government's tendency towards secrecy. It may be an act of significant political courage to trust citizens with information that government holds, and that forms the basis for its decisions. We are convinced that courage will be rewarded by more engaged citizens - citizens who may not agree with decisions, but at least understand the rationale behind them; citizens who recognize the challenges of too many demands and too few resources that governments wrestle with; and citizens who understand that their votes and their voices count more than anything else in a democracy.

The Right to Know Coalition of Nova Scotia, during the last provincial election campaign, contacted all candidates asking for a commitment to freedom of information and open and accountable government, and therefore to serious recognition of the citizen on top of the pyramid. Though many of the candidates who replied pledged support for the Freedom of Information Act, that support did not translate into substantial action.

We are interested in hearing from you on how you intend to put Nova Scotians "on top of the pyramid". We will place your reply to this letter on our website.

Yours truly,


Darce Fardy


Right to Know Coalition of Nova Scotia