Details released at afternoon news conference
— Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram
Liberal leadership candidate Paul Antle has released a 10-point plan to re-vamp the province’s Access to Information and Privacy Protection legislation.
At a press conference in front of Confederation Building in St. John’s this afternoon — marked by what Liberal MP for Avalon Scott Andrews called the “winds of change” — Antle told reporters he would repeal Bill 29 and have the Information Commissioner develop new access legislation independent of government.
“Bill 29 is the most regressive piece of legislation to have been passed by the House of Assembly since Confederation,” Antle told reporters, flanked by fellow Liberals Andrews, Scott Simms, George Baker and George Furey, and amidst the loud, frantic flapping of flags overhead.
Antle said, as he has campaigned, he has been presented with case after case of people, organizations and municipal governments being unable to access information specifically as a result of the province’s current Access to Information legislation.
He would not provide any specific examples of access frustrations.
He did, however, make multiple references to the multi-billion-dollar Muskrat Falls project and contracting by Nalcor Energy as being hidden from the public.
Meanwhile, here is Paul Antle's 10 point commitment to drafting directions for the information commissioner:
1. Independence from ministers offices
2. Protect people's personal information
3.Timely responses to those requesting information
4. All government agencies and Crown corporations fall under and must comply
5. All major agreements with government open to members of the public
6. Cannot hide behind 'corporate sensitive information'
7. Cabinet has to make all orders in council public in a timely manner
8. Protect cabinet confidences but limit cabinet exceptions
9. Ensure that all ministers and their offices are open to access requests
10. All party committee to review legislation every three years
Liberal leadership hopeful Paul Antle will stand before the cameras to formally accept an endorsement from MP Scott Andrews this afternoon.
Antle’s shop has issued a statement saying he will be in front of the Confederation Building at 1 p.m. to accept the endorsement of the Liberal MP for Avalon.
He will also be releasing a “10 point commitment for an open government.”
Antle already holds an endorsement from his friend, and Liberal MP for Bonavista-Gander-Grand Falls-Windsor, Scott Simms.
The majority of endorsements from Liberal politicians in the province still sits with one of Antle’s challengers, Dwight Ball. Cathy Bennett, Jim Bennett and Danny Dumaresque are also in the running for the leadership.