Friday, April 15, 2011

NS VLT Report Focus of FOI Issue -News release

Former Freedom of Information Review Officer Darce Fardy warned the government that precedent suggests they would lose a Court challenge on the release of a VLT gambling report. Fardy, who is now the President of Right to Know Coalition of Nova Scotia, urged the government to release the report, as recommended by FOI review officer Dulcie MacCallum.

"Over the years, we've seen that the courts in Nova Scotia have come down firmly on the side of openness and accountability, and, in most cases, have issued decisions that have expanded the requirement for openness," he said. "In fact, I think members of this Government may have been involved in some of these cases while in opposition."

The Review Officer recently reported that she did not accept the government's argument that the report should be protected as advice to Cabinet.

"Too often, applicants have been forced to use their own resources for a court action. And, we have to question whether restricting citizen access to publicly owned information is the best use of government resources. Why not save everyone's resources and release the document?" Fardy said.