A national audit has labelled Bill 29 as the year’s “biggest setback” to freedom of information in Canada.
Bill 29 encompasses a series of amendments to this province’s Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act which greatly expand the type of information that can be withheld from public scrutiny.
It was passed by the Progressive Conservatives in June, despite being slammed by access advocates and opposition politicians, who staged a four-day filibuster in protest.
“Newfoundland and Labrador tightened its grip on information with new amendments that will make records harder to obtain,” states the 2012 Newspapers Canada Freedom of Information (FOI) Audit.
The results of the seventh annual review are being released today. The Telegram will seek reaction for Tuesday’s edition.
The Telegram website offers only a sample of the stories our reporters, editors and photographers work hard to get to the public every day.
Monday’s print edition of The Telegram, on the other hand, contains much, much more, from news to opinion to our expanded sports section.
Inside Monday’s print edition
Albany Street in St. John’s seemed like every other neighborhood in St. John’s on Saturday, the sun was shining and people were outside enjoying the late summer warmth.
You’d never guess the whole area had been evacuated less than 12 hours earlier.
The RNC is investigating a possible clandestine drug lab in a house at the corner of Albany Street and Albany Place, and residents in nearby homes were asked to leave the area Friday afternoon.
They weren’t allowed back until about 3:30 a.m. on Saturday.
The whole experience was crazy, said Jennifer Parsons, who lives on Albany Street.
The lone organic landfill site on the island is situated in Sunnyside. If it were to close, Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Agriculture (NLFA) president Eugene Legge wonders what would happen to carcasses traditionally destined for the landfill.
As a way to potentially deal with this scenario should it play out, the NLFA has taken on a project to look at the feasibility of using a biodigester to break down organic waste and create an end-product that’s useful to farmers.
Anaerobic digestion utilizes organic material to produce a biogas and a liquid substance referred to as digestate. To reach the end-product stage, a series of processes take place to break down the organic waste.
The Sunnyside landfill was due to close two years ago, but Legge said it has been kept open for the time being.
Biogas can be used as an alternative energy resource, while digestate can be used as a fertilizer.
Memorial University’s women’s soccer team managed to grab its first win on the year, the men’s team got its first point, but it was the Sea-Hawks’ cross-country teams which enjoyed the most success in Atlantic University Sport varsity play in Nova Scotia over the weekend.
At the St. Francis Xavier Invitational cross-country meet Saturday in Antigonish, N.S., Memorial’s men’s and women’s teams both placed third overall in a field of seven universities.
The Atlantic Rock closed out its 2012 Canadian Rugby Championship season with a 40-16 spanking at the hands of the Ontario Blues Saturday, finishing the year at 2-3, but the team’s coaching staff is determined to stay the course with a youth movement it hopes will eventually lead to another national championship sooner rather than later.
“Absolutely. Bang on,” Rock head coach Simon Blanks replied when suggested the St. John’s-based Atlantic regional team is rugby’s answer to the Edmonton Oilers, a team taking its lumps as it stockpiles a wealth of young talent.
“But the thing is with us, we haven’t taken that many lumps. Yes, we were beaten by a better team (at the Swilers Complex Saturday). Ontario’s second-half performance was outstanding.
“However, we had two games (against the Blues in Ontario, and against the Prairie Wolf Pack in St. John’s) where we lost by only a score each game.
“We’re delighted with our progression so far.”
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