Bill 29, a new bill just introduced, will make sweeping changes to Newfoundland and Labrador's access to information laws. News reports have raised concerns that this will put more power into the hands of cabinet ministers to give the public access to information or not.
"Proposed legislative changes will allow the provincial government to keep ministerial briefings secret, ignore requests for information that cabinet ministers deem to be 'frivolous,' and bar the auditor general from a wider array of records," CBC reports.
Interesting turn of events from a government whose campaign platform assured voters of openness and transparency.
The CBC article continues: "But since taking office, the Tories have worked to erode the act, filing lawsuits to restrict the powers of the watchdog tasked with investigating citizens’ complaints, and adopting narrow interpretations of the information that can be released to taxpayers."
Russell Wangersky's take in today's Telegram, "You'll know only what they want you to know."
And a great article from The Independent, "Six reasons why the new access to information laws are gonna be AWESOME."
Geoff Meeker weighs in "The End of Openess "
People should be voicing their discontent in a myriad of ways. Occupy NL has been participating in what might be a broader "Maple Spring movement," spiraling out from the momentum in Quebec right now, but this seems to be coalescing around a broad disapproval of the Harper government, namely omnibus bill C-38, as well as provincial concerns such as this.
WHAT YOU CAN DO...
Join with concerned citizens tomorrow night for another Casseroles Night in Canada at 8 PM (meet up at Harbourside Park) to oppose, on a federal level, the sweeping and draconian measures of bill C-38, and on a provincial level, the unacceptable limits being put on the public's access to information with Bill 29.
Join our protest at the Confederation Building this Saturday at 1pm.