Information and Privacy Commissioner Ed Ring said Monday that the provincial government violated its own law when taking nearly seven months to fulfill an access to information request.
In May of last year, The Telegram filed an access request for documents regarding Chinese investment in the province, and documents dealing with government-sponsored trade missions to Asia.
The government is supposed to respond to access requests within 30 days, but in this case, the access request dragged on for more than six months. During that time, Ring found “over the next six months all contact was initiated by the Applicant and the records were not forthcoming.”
Apart from having a legal obligation to respond to requests within 30 days, government agencies are required by law to “make every reasonable effort to assist an applicant” during the information request process.
Ring found that the Department of Natural Resources violated both sections of the legislation.
In the final report that was done based on a Telegram complaint about the case, Ring said that this isn’t an isolated occurrence. He said this is part of “a worrying trend” of the government just not responding to access to information requests and “in applicants not being informed of the status of their requests in a timely manner.”