Burton Winters story told through access to information: group

Andrew Robinson
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Gerard Noseworthy of the group Friends of Burton Winters speaks with Torngat Mountains MHA Randy Edmunds outside the Confederation Building on Wednesday. — Photo by Andrew Robinson/The Telegram

A group calling on the provincial government to hold an inquiry to examine the death of Burton Winters says access to information has played a significant role to inform the public about what happened in the lead up to the discovery of his body.

“There’s some irony perhaps that we’re here today ... talking about the issue of access to information, and that the prevailing attitude and prevailing approach of government is to make sure information is not gotten out to the public — it’s suppressed,” said Merv Wiseman, who spoke Wednesday afternoon outside the Confederation Building in St. John’s on behalf of the group Friends of Burton Winters.

Proposed ammendments introduced this week in the House of Assembly by the province will place new restrictions on what government information can be accessed by the public through an access to information request. A filibuster initiated by opposition parties has kept MHAs in debate-mode on the proposed ammendments for over 40 hours.

Burton, 14, was reported missing on Jan. 29, 2012. His body was recovered on sea ice near Makkovik on Feb. 1.

Wiseman, a retired search and rescue co-ordinator, said media stories offering new information obtained through access to information requests have played an important role in learning more about what took place during the search for Burton.

Friends of Burton Winters were planning to hold a protest outside the Confederation Building on Wednesday, but elected to postpone the event due to the fact Premier Kathy Dunderdale is traveling outside the province.

Organizations: Confederation Building

Geographic location: Makkovik

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Recent comments

  • Valleyhockey
    June 14, 2012 - 07:30

    It is astounding how some people have no objection to using a family tragedy for their own purposes. Let this family heal!!!!

  • George Noseworthy
    June 13, 2012 - 16:08

    With this new law, we the people of Newfoundland and Labrador are taking a significant step backwards. It is obvious that the Dunderdale Government does not understand that 'they work for the people' not the other way around. I guess we will have to collectively tell them on the next election day.

  • enough yet??
    June 13, 2012 - 15:46

    stunderdale and her dingbats have gone tooo far. i am a taxpayer and you tell me I have no right to information?? I have no right to know what my government is up to? this is total BS.

  • William Daniels
    June 13, 2012 - 13:35

    It's quite clear that this government has alot to hide. Once they lose the next election I think whoever takes over needs to get a 3rd party auditing firm in to look at the books. I think what will be discovered will be quite shocking and unprecedented.