Decision further restricts watchdog

Rob Antle
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Anything government calls legal advice now exempt from review

A Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador decision has further restricted the powers of the province's transparency watchdog.

The information and privacy commissioner is now prohibited from looking at anything the government considers legal advice.

Ed Ring

A Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador decision has further restricted the powers of the province's transparency watchdog.

The information and privacy commissioner is now prohibited from looking at anything the government considers legal advice.

In the past, the commissioner has been able to review such information to ensure the government is correctly withholding it under the law.

But in a decision released this week, Supreme Court Justice Valerie Marshall concluded that the watchdog has no right to do so.

"There was nothing in the legislation, nor in any evidence, to suggest that the purpose of the act is to grant unfettered powers to the commissioner," Marshall wrote in her decision.

The judge said she disagreed with the "sweeping assertion" by the watchdog that the government's position would result in court battles every time it cited legal advice to withhold documents.

"The fact remains that the language of the (law) has not granted the commissioner the power to verify claims of solicitor-client privilege," Marshall wrote in her decision.

The judge ruled that the government is not required to provide those records to the watchdog.

"While this finding is based on a restrictive interpretation, it is also consistent with the objects of the (open-records act)," Marshall wrote.

The Williams administration sued the information commissioner last year to block his access to the documents.

The specific case involved a private citizen seeking information in her own personnel file from the government. The government wouldn't provide it, citing solicitor-client privilege.

In a March 11, 2009, letter to the then-attorney general, information commissioner Ed Ring claimed that the government's interpretation of solicitor-client privilege would effectively neuter the public's right to access government records.

"Should your interpretation be accepted, it will become the norm for public bodies to obtain cursory legal advice on each review, thereby allowing the public body to ... evade independent verification of its assertions by my office," Ring wrote in the letter included with court filings.

"This is utterly incongruent with the purpose and intention of (the law). It would undermine the confidence of the public in my office and in the principles of openness, transparency and accountability."

This is the second Supreme Court case the government has won this month restricting the commissioner's powers.

Justice Robert Fowler denied the commissioner the right to look at a broad swath of records in a 10-point section of the act.

Fowler said the legislature should look at making changes to the law to clarify the watchdog's powers.

In opposition, the Tories made transparency a cornerstone of their approach to government, promising to throw open a wider array of records to public access.

But since taking power, the Williams administration has done a policy U-turn, arguing that many access-to-information requests are "frivolous," making legislative changes and filing court challenges to weaken oversight, and adopting more restrictive definitions of what documents are available under the law.

rantle@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Supreme Court

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • U.R.
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    Danny should have handled this in a better way. This U-turn is unacceptable, and I agree it's too much power and very much like dictatorship. Danny and Harper might even have a future together. The press is our guarantor of freedom in the west, I hope they start doing their jobs.

  • Taxpayer
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    Looks like the MHA's will now be filing legal opinions instead of expenses claims. Only a matter of time.

  • don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    The Williams Government must have many questionable dealings and other nefarious things to hide! Why else would it go to the courts to undermine the powers of their independent overseers? These court rulings only serve to undermine freedom and democracy. No Government should be immune from scrutiny by independent overseers acting to protect the public from abuse of power, corruption, incompetence, collusion, conspiracy and deceit. Danny Williams was elected to power partly because of his campaign promise to make Government more honest, open and transparent. Instead, Williams has steadily undertaken to do the exact opposite. The Williams administration is now setting the stage and moving forward with its agenda to become the most secretive and dictatorial government in the history of Newfoundland and Labrador. Considering what we suffered under another populist Premier named Joey Smallwood and his secretive and dictatorial regime, a return to that kind of dictatorship, or worse, should never be tolerated or permitted. The time has come for the opposition and media to encourage the people to remove Dictator Danny from office and replace him with someone who will open the Government to scrutiny and pass laws to ensure that Government can never be allowed to return to being run as a secretive, corrupt and deceitful dictatorship!

  • I. P. Freely
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    So a supreme court judge has said this is OK. That's good enough for me.

  • Rod
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    The article states;
    The specific case involved a private citizen seeking information in her own personnel file from the government. The government wouldn't provide it, citing solicitor-client privilege.
    I can't believe that ANY democratic government has the right to conceal information from me that is contained in a file about me.

  • Andrew
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    Whether you support PC or Liberal, Danny or Yvonne; anyone can see that LESS accountability/transparency for any democratic government is a bad, bad thing. A step back, no doubt. Wake up people.

  • roger
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    Talk about Canadian justice and partisan politics. Valerie Marshall is/was a very connected PC operative who has played significant roles in the PC Party election campaigns. In 2003 she was vice-chair of the provincial campaign. I am surprised she even heard this case. Sure she is now on the bench and not allowed to be partisan, but given her past connections, this is a little hard to swallow.

  • Frank
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    There are Pros and cons in this matter.
    It will protect the rich, and will throw the poor and innocent behind bars without justification and legal councelling. There has to be watch dogs, and good ones as we have seen too many people abusing the system which belongs to the people and not those tapping the mallet on the chrome and oak desks.

    There are perhaps many who have never been caught because the watchdogs have been kept at bay.There should be a privacy act where watchdogs can be very descreet in checking private matters and having respect for citizens.
    Just because someone is being investigated doesnt mean they are in the wrong. We do have honest people working in our governments, but watchdogs are a means of keeping everyone on their toes, keeping honest people honest. All public responsabilities have to be under good control, not sending out false alarms to the media.

    I think the media should be kept very far away from matters that are being reviewed and investigated by a Privacy Acts Board.

  • Eugene
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    I'm not sure that Danny Williams and Stephen Harper really had a difference of opinion or if it was just politicking. Stephen takes jabs at Newfoundland because that plays well up along and Danny takes jabs at Stephen/Ottawa because that plays well here. When you hear the criticisms of the premiere and the prime minister they sound pretty similar: admonishment of naysayers, more secrecy than ever before, indifference-cum-vindictiveness to the media. Sounds like Danny and Steve are playing from the same book and Valerie Marshall is along for the ride. I'm pretty sure that stupid Newfoundlanders (and to a lesser degree Labradorians) are going to ensure that the status quo and manipulative, secretive governance remains de rigeur for the foreseeable future.

  • Wayne
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    If you're looking to deride and cast blame, doubt and ridicule on someone for the current state of affairs with respect to access to information in this province, and you also think you're in the right to do so, well, then, by all means, why not just go right ahead and try Kelvin Parsons and the Grimes Liberals on for size? After all, they were the ones who, after much deliberation and consideration, knew exactly what they were doing when they very carefully crafted the particular language of the particular law in question (i.e. the ATIPP Act). They were the ones that set it up as it stands today, and made it possible for the judges to rule as they have in the recent court battles. And, not at all surprisingly, they are also the ones that you don't hear even as much as a peep coming from about any of it now. So, go right ahead, gather together in great throngs, beat the bushes, turn over the rocks, ferret them all out, and put your questions to them. But just don't be surprised, given the positions you've taken here, if you find that what they have to say about it is not particularly to your liking.

    Wayne Pittman

  • Stop the Racket
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    There is no room for openess honesty and transparency in this government Danny dosent want it that way. Accountable to no one thats the Williams way and he appointed the supreme court judges to make sure thats how it happens and Mr Ring is just playing the game and collection his pay cheque. If your so upset Mr Ring try doing the honourable thing and resign your position. After all it obvious Danny dosent want you to be able to do anything other than obey his commands like all the other people he surrounds himself with.

  • don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    This is a serious setback for freedom and democratic rights. Judges are appointed by Governments. There are political reasons why some people are appointed as Judges and others are not. It appears that the courts have been co-opted by ultra right wing Conservative Governments both at the Provincial and Federal level. Big brother has hijacked the courts which were supposed to defend the people from Government abuses. That is no longer the case in Newfoundland and Labrador. Our freedoms and rights are at stake and are steadily being eroded. Time to wake up people! Changes are needed in the manner in which Judges are selected and appointed. More safeguards are required to ensure that access to Government information is strengthened. As it now stands, Dictator Danny and his Government can collude, conspire, plan and execute any manner of misfeasance and malfeasance and get away with it! Secrets which can never be discovered ensures that rogue Governments can escape consequences for their malevolent actions. It appears that transparency, justice and fairness is finished in Newfoundland and Labrador. These are the actions of a dictatorship, pure and simple!

  • I. P. Freely
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    What is so funny is that this is the most transparent gov. that we have ever had. Never enough for the Liberals though. guess we will have to wait untill Mr. williams retires from politics to find out how the great liberals would do it. I'm sure they would just open it all up and let anyone look at everything. Gotta love dem Liberals b'y.

  • Disappointed
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Government's primary focus should be on the people who voted it in. This is the essence of government, and why it should never be run like a private business. Government must put the welfare of its citizens first and foremost. Solicitor-client privilege, when the client is government, therefore means the government is basically the viceroy of the people, and it should act accordingly. Anything else means it is acting on its own behalf and the people in those positions of power. This government has turned inward, and we have seen too much of what happens when those in power make decisions for themselves in secret. To not allow the Privacy Commissioner to do his/her job is criminal. The specific case involving a private citizen seeking information in her own personnel file from the government, with the government not providing it, reeks of corruption of abuse reminiscent of the KGB. How is anyone to trust any statement of privacy by any government office when this sort of thing is allowed to happen ? What else are they doing, hidden from the public, which the public should be allowed to know ?

  • Phoebe Tilley
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    l.P Freely you should change your name to l crap constantly. Could it be that you are Bones with a different name? You sound just like him. Worship on my friend. Life is good for the people who dwell in Danny Land and the cool aid changes almost on a daily basis now. Drink up. Cheers.

  • I. P. Freely
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Hey Jenny, hope you have a good day. Cheer up, everythings going to be OK.And no I wouldn't have. If a supreme court judge had ruled otherwise it would have raised genuine concerns. I fully understand why the Premier, and his government need to keep some things confidential right now. We are in some very important negotiations, with Quebec, and others. There is info that our enemies would love to get their hands on. I don't want them to have it. I trust Mr. Willaims, I think he has the interests of us, the people of NL, foremost in his mind. The bottom line is that nothing is secret for very long. Every single peice of info will eventually come out. Let's just wait untill it's time to do so.

  • Polly
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Freely, are you implying that when Williams retires , the PC government of NL.,will fall ? That statement speaks volumes about your regard for the bulk of the men and women that make up this government .Can you say BLIND LOYALTY ?

  • member of the 20%
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Fundamental and guiding principals of Tory governance at work; accountability to no-one, secrecy and behind door deals. Combined with political appointments to positions of control to ensure confidentiality; puppets, one and all. And, as a further slap in the face to the electorate, close the House at both levels so that there isn't even a democratic forum for questioning the actions of the ruling dictatorship.

  • Chris
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Solicitor-client privilege is not a tool to be used solely by government. It is available to every individual in our great country. The government has not done a policy U-turn as this ignorant reporter has indicated, they are merely exercising a very basic right that everybody in our Canadian society enjoys. If this was reversed and the government was seeking to obtain solicitor-client documents of an accused at trial for the purposes of securing a conviction there would be an outcry! Production of documents subject to solicitor-client privilege would completely eradicate any business advantage the government might enjoy at the bargaining table and make deals such as the $13B Hibernia South Extension agreement impossible. So unfortunately, as seems to be the case with Newfoundlanders, and especially the media, this is one of those 'You're darned if you do and you're darned if you don't' scenarios.

    The goal of increased transparacy should not come at the expense of our basic legal rights. What you'd be calling for is Orwell's 1984 in reverse.

  • Taxpayer
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Me taxes, me taxes. Sure all of Danny's free loaders are on this morning. Productivity in the Building must be at an all time low.

  • I. P. Freely
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Polly I have constantly said that I think the majority of PC members in this province are absolute boobs. The only saving grace is that Mr. Williams makes the important decisions, then tells which ever boob what to say. Thank God these imbeciels are not allowed to make decisions on their own. I mean just look at who we have in there and their backgrounds, not fit to run an outhouse. Most of them come from some little armpit cove, and are lucky if they finished high school. As I said here before, how many of these boobs do you think Mr. Williams would hire if this was a company, NOT ONE.

  • James
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    I was unaware that Quebec is the ''enemy.'' Is the press another enemy? How about those who aren't among the Danny worshippers? Talk about a siege mentality.

  • Jenny
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    Get off it, IP. If the Court had ruled the other way, you would be on your trademark rant of snivelling and bawling about the Danny-Haters and 80% this and Liberals that...

  • Polly
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    The popularity rating for this government is riding somewhere in the stratosphere. If one is to believe what one is reading, that our rights are being curtailed daily.Is it prudent then to ask, if there will come a time when citizens will no longer need to vote .Would we then be hearing that it is cost- effective to not have elections ?

  • Get A Life
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Reading these comments is like listening to a broken record. Get a life you people, stop complaining about the same things online everyday...it is not going to change anything!

  • james
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    more like russia every day

  • W
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    What do you mean, I. P. Freely? Isn't there the possibility that the judge might have gotten up on the wrong side of bed?

  • U.R.
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    Danny should have handled this in a better way. This U-turn is unacceptable, and I agree it's too much power and very much like dictatorship. Danny and Harper might even have a future together. The press is our guarantor of freedom in the west, I hope they start doing their jobs.

  • Taxpayer
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    Looks like the MHA's will now be filing legal opinions instead of expenses claims. Only a matter of time.

  • don
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    The Williams Government must have many questionable dealings and other nefarious things to hide! Why else would it go to the courts to undermine the powers of their independent overseers? These court rulings only serve to undermine freedom and democracy. No Government should be immune from scrutiny by independent overseers acting to protect the public from abuse of power, corruption, incompetence, collusion, conspiracy and deceit. Danny Williams was elected to power partly because of his campaign promise to make Government more honest, open and transparent. Instead, Williams has steadily undertaken to do the exact opposite. The Williams administration is now setting the stage and moving forward with its agenda to become the most secretive and dictatorial government in the history of Newfoundland and Labrador. Considering what we suffered under another populist Premier named Joey Smallwood and his secretive and dictatorial regime, a return to that kind of dictatorship, or worse, should never be tolerated or permitted. The time has come for the opposition and media to encourage the people to remove Dictator Danny from office and replace him with someone who will open the Government to scrutiny and pass laws to ensure that Government can never be allowed to return to being run as a secretive, corrupt and deceitful dictatorship!

  • I. P. Freely
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    So a supreme court judge has said this is OK. That's good enough for me.

  • Rod
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    The article states;
    The specific case involved a private citizen seeking information in her own personnel file from the government. The government wouldn't provide it, citing solicitor-client privilege.
    I can't believe that ANY democratic government has the right to conceal information from me that is contained in a file about me.

  • Andrew
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    Whether you support PC or Liberal, Danny or Yvonne; anyone can see that LESS accountability/transparency for any democratic government is a bad, bad thing. A step back, no doubt. Wake up people.

  • roger
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    Talk about Canadian justice and partisan politics. Valerie Marshall is/was a very connected PC operative who has played significant roles in the PC Party election campaigns. In 2003 she was vice-chair of the provincial campaign. I am surprised she even heard this case. Sure she is now on the bench and not allowed to be partisan, but given her past connections, this is a little hard to swallow.

  • Frank
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    There are Pros and cons in this matter.
    It will protect the rich, and will throw the poor and innocent behind bars without justification and legal councelling. There has to be watch dogs, and good ones as we have seen too many people abusing the system which belongs to the people and not those tapping the mallet on the chrome and oak desks.

    There are perhaps many who have never been caught because the watchdogs have been kept at bay.There should be a privacy act where watchdogs can be very descreet in checking private matters and having respect for citizens.
    Just because someone is being investigated doesnt mean they are in the wrong. We do have honest people working in our governments, but watchdogs are a means of keeping everyone on their toes, keeping honest people honest. All public responsabilities have to be under good control, not sending out false alarms to the media.

    I think the media should be kept very far away from matters that are being reviewed and investigated by a Privacy Acts Board.

  • Eugene
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    I'm not sure that Danny Williams and Stephen Harper really had a difference of opinion or if it was just politicking. Stephen takes jabs at Newfoundland because that plays well up along and Danny takes jabs at Stephen/Ottawa because that plays well here. When you hear the criticisms of the premiere and the prime minister they sound pretty similar: admonishment of naysayers, more secrecy than ever before, indifference-cum-vindictiveness to the media. Sounds like Danny and Steve are playing from the same book and Valerie Marshall is along for the ride. I'm pretty sure that stupid Newfoundlanders (and to a lesser degree Labradorians) are going to ensure that the status quo and manipulative, secretive governance remains de rigeur for the foreseeable future.

  • Wayne
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    If you're looking to deride and cast blame, doubt and ridicule on someone for the current state of affairs with respect to access to information in this province, and you also think you're in the right to do so, well, then, by all means, why not just go right ahead and try Kelvin Parsons and the Grimes Liberals on for size? After all, they were the ones who, after much deliberation and consideration, knew exactly what they were doing when they very carefully crafted the particular language of the particular law in question (i.e. the ATIPP Act). They were the ones that set it up as it stands today, and made it possible for the judges to rule as they have in the recent court battles. And, not at all surprisingly, they are also the ones that you don't hear even as much as a peep coming from about any of it now. So, go right ahead, gather together in great throngs, beat the bushes, turn over the rocks, ferret them all out, and put your questions to them. But just don't be surprised, given the positions you've taken here, if you find that what they have to say about it is not particularly to your liking.

    Wayne Pittman

  • Stop the Racket
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    There is no room for openess honesty and transparency in this government Danny dosent want it that way. Accountable to no one thats the Williams way and he appointed the supreme court judges to make sure thats how it happens and Mr Ring is just playing the game and collection his pay cheque. If your so upset Mr Ring try doing the honourable thing and resign your position. After all it obvious Danny dosent want you to be able to do anything other than obey his commands like all the other people he surrounds himself with.

  • don
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    This is a serious setback for freedom and democratic rights. Judges are appointed by Governments. There are political reasons why some people are appointed as Judges and others are not. It appears that the courts have been co-opted by ultra right wing Conservative Governments both at the Provincial and Federal level. Big brother has hijacked the courts which were supposed to defend the people from Government abuses. That is no longer the case in Newfoundland and Labrador. Our freedoms and rights are at stake and are steadily being eroded. Time to wake up people! Changes are needed in the manner in which Judges are selected and appointed. More safeguards are required to ensure that access to Government information is strengthened. As it now stands, Dictator Danny and his Government can collude, conspire, plan and execute any manner of misfeasance and malfeasance and get away with it! Secrets which can never be discovered ensures that rogue Governments can escape consequences for their malevolent actions. It appears that transparency, justice and fairness is finished in Newfoundland and Labrador. These are the actions of a dictatorship, pure and simple!

  • I. P. Freely
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    What is so funny is that this is the most transparent gov. that we have ever had. Never enough for the Liberals though. guess we will have to wait untill Mr. williams retires from politics to find out how the great liberals would do it. I'm sure they would just open it all up and let anyone look at everything. Gotta love dem Liberals b'y.

  • Disappointed
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    Government's primary focus should be on the people who voted it in. This is the essence of government, and why it should never be run like a private business. Government must put the welfare of its citizens first and foremost. Solicitor-client privilege, when the client is government, therefore means the government is basically the viceroy of the people, and it should act accordingly. Anything else means it is acting on its own behalf and the people in those positions of power. This government has turned inward, and we have seen too much of what happens when those in power make decisions for themselves in secret. To not allow the Privacy Commissioner to do his/her job is criminal. The specific case involving a private citizen seeking information in her own personnel file from the government, with the government not providing it, reeks of corruption of abuse reminiscent of the KGB. How is anyone to trust any statement of privacy by any government office when this sort of thing is allowed to happen ? What else are they doing, hidden from the public, which the public should be allowed to know ?

  • Phoebe Tilley
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    l.P Freely you should change your name to l crap constantly. Could it be that you are Bones with a different name? You sound just like him. Worship on my friend. Life is good for the people who dwell in Danny Land and the cool aid changes almost on a daily basis now. Drink up. Cheers.

  • I. P. Freely
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    Hey Jenny, hope you have a good day. Cheer up, everythings going to be OK.And no I wouldn't have. If a supreme court judge had ruled otherwise it would have raised genuine concerns. I fully understand why the Premier, and his government need to keep some things confidential right now. We are in some very important negotiations, with Quebec, and others. There is info that our enemies would love to get their hands on. I don't want them to have it. I trust Mr. Willaims, I think he has the interests of us, the people of NL, foremost in his mind. The bottom line is that nothing is secret for very long. Every single peice of info will eventually come out. Let's just wait untill it's time to do so.

  • Polly
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    Freely, are you implying that when Williams retires , the PC government of NL.,will fall ? That statement speaks volumes about your regard for the bulk of the men and women that make up this government .Can you say BLIND LOYALTY ?

  • member of the 20%
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    Fundamental and guiding principals of Tory governance at work; accountability to no-one, secrecy and behind door deals. Combined with political appointments to positions of control to ensure confidentiality; puppets, one and all. And, as a further slap in the face to the electorate, close the House at both levels so that there isn't even a democratic forum for questioning the actions of the ruling dictatorship.

  • Chris
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    Solicitor-client privilege is not a tool to be used solely by government. It is available to every individual in our great country. The government has not done a policy U-turn as this ignorant reporter has indicated, they are merely exercising a very basic right that everybody in our Canadian society enjoys. If this was reversed and the government was seeking to obtain solicitor-client documents of an accused at trial for the purposes of securing a conviction there would be an outcry! Production of documents subject to solicitor-client privilege would completely eradicate any business advantage the government might enjoy at the bargaining table and make deals such as the $13B Hibernia South Extension agreement impossible. So unfortunately, as seems to be the case with Newfoundlanders, and especially the media, this is one of those 'You're darned if you do and you're darned if you don't' scenarios.

    The goal of increased transparacy should not come at the expense of our basic legal rights. What you'd be calling for is Orwell's 1984 in reverse.

  • Taxpayer
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    Me taxes, me taxes. Sure all of Danny's free loaders are on this morning. Productivity in the Building must be at an all time low.

  • I. P. Freely
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    Polly I have constantly said that I think the majority of PC members in this province are absolute boobs. The only saving grace is that Mr. Williams makes the important decisions, then tells which ever boob what to say. Thank God these imbeciels are not allowed to make decisions on their own. I mean just look at who we have in there and their backgrounds, not fit to run an outhouse. Most of them come from some little armpit cove, and are lucky if they finished high school. As I said here before, how many of these boobs do you think Mr. Williams would hire if this was a company, NOT ONE.

  • James
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    I was unaware that Quebec is the ''enemy.'' Is the press another enemy? How about those who aren't among the Danny worshippers? Talk about a siege mentality.

  • Jenny
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    Get off it, IP. If the Court had ruled the other way, you would be on your trademark rant of snivelling and bawling about the Danny-Haters and 80% this and Liberals that...

  • Polly
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    The popularity rating for this government is riding somewhere in the stratosphere. If one is to believe what one is reading, that our rights are being curtailed daily.Is it prudent then to ask, if there will come a time when citizens will no longer need to vote .Would we then be hearing that it is cost- effective to not have elections ?

  • Get A Life
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    Reading these comments is like listening to a broken record. Get a life you people, stop complaining about the same things online everyday...it is not going to change anything!

  • james
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    more like russia every day

  • W
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    What do you mean, I. P. Freely? Isn't there the possibility that the judge might have gotten up on the wrong side of bed?