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September 26, 2008
For immediate release
Attorney General Proclaims Right to Know Week
Office of the Attorney General
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“Islanders expect their provincial government to operate in a manner that is both transparent and accessible,” said Attorney General Greenan. “Since 2002, Prince Edward Island has had a Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. This legislation is designed to make our government open and accountable. I sincerely hope this declaration of Right to Know Week will help raise public awareness of this legislation and everyone’s right to access information.”
Minister Greenan said in the past year, from November 2007 to September 2008, provincial government departments have received 70 requests for information. He also thanked Judy Haldemann, Acting Information and Privacy Commissioner, and the local Right to Know steering committee for organizing local activities in recognition of Right to Know Week.
“This year we have arranged for Canada’s Assistant Information Commissioner, Andrea Neill, to visit the Island. She will be speaking at UPEI on Friday, October 3, at 12:15 p.m. in Room 246, MacDougall Hall,” said Ms. Haldemann. “In addition, we are sponsoring an essay writing contest at the university and the winner will receive a $400 credit at the UPEI bookstore. ”
International Right to Know Day is recognized worldwide as an opportunity to raise awareness about the right of individuals to access information held by public bodies. More than 60 countries have legislation promoting access to information, and more countries are in the process of developing such laws.
The Prince Edward Island Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act was proclaimed on November 1, 2002 to make government more open and accountable, and insure that Islanders’ personal information held by government is protected. The Act covers the records of provincial government departments, agencies, boards, commissions and crown corporations. School Boards were added under the Act in November, 2003.
Right to Know Canada - www.righttoknow.ca
PEI FOIPP page - www.gov.pe.ca/foipp
PEI Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner - www.oipc.pe.ca
RIGHT TO KNOW WEEK 2008
WHEREAS September 28th is celebrated world wide as International Right to Know Day;
WHEREAS Right to Know celebrations mark the right of individuals to access information held by public bodies and highlights the benefits of transparent, accessible government;
WHEREAS active participants in Right to Know Week include citizen groups dedicated to democratic principles, students, media, academics, policy makers and governments;
WHEREAS activities taking place throughout Prince Edward Island from September 28th to October 4th will include an essay writing contest and public information forums;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that I, Gerard Greenan, Attorney General, proclaim September 28 - October 4, 2008 as Right to Know Week in Prince Edward Island.
Signed: Honourable Gerard Greenan
Attorney General, Prince Edward Island