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Government ignoring expertise of Privacy Commissioner on new legislation

Updated: Nov 27, 2018

The NDP Caucus is concerned that government is ignoring the expertise of the Privacy Commissioner and is calling on government to address the Commissioner’s serious concerns about transparency and accountability in a new piece of legislation.

Leader Gerry Rogers (MHA, St. John’s Centre) says the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner was given less than one working day to review the new legislation for Bill 26 to establish the Innovation and Business Investment Corporation.

Rogers says they raised serious concerns regarding section 21, addressing so-called commercially sensitive information, saying the section can “rarely if ever be justified.”

“I ask the Minister, why is he ignoring the expertise of the Privacy Commissioner who says section 21 is ‘an unnecessary encroachment on transparency and accountability’ and given this commercially sensitive information is already protected by the ATIPP Act?” Rogers said.

The Privacy Commissioner says the new corporation must be transparent in its operations and expenditures particularly concerning the spending of taxpayer’s dollars, says Rogers.

Lorraine Michael (MHA, St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi) says the Minister has had more than ample time to prepare this bill. She asked why the Minister gave the OIPC, our experts, less than one working day to review his legislation.

“I ask the Minister, is he ignoring expert advice and including section 21 in the Act so he can keep his actions completely secret?” Michael said.

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