N.L. access-to-info review released, no legislative changes planned this session

·1 min read
Justice Minister John Hogan speaks with reporters at Confederation Building in St. John's on Wednesday afternoon. (Mark Quinn/CBC - image credit)
Justice Minister John Hogan speaks with reporters at Confederation Building in St. John's on Wednesday afternoon. (Mark Quinn/CBC - image credit)

A review of Newfoundland and Labrador's open-records laws is now in the hands of the provincial government, but officials say it's too soon to know what recommendations will be enacted.

"This report was delivered slightly earlier than we expected," Justice Minister John Hogan told reporters at Confederation Building on Wednesday afternoon.

"The House is open now and obviously we're in there debating the budget and some money bills and things like that. So any legislative proposals are not going to get in the House for this session. So we do have some time to look at it."

The report by former chief justice David Orsborn was released earlier in the day.

It runs nearly 600 pages.

Hogan said the number of access-to-information requests has increased "exponentially" in recent years, to more than 3,000 annually.

He said there needs to be "balance" and a streamlining of the process.

"People have the right and should have the right to access this information, but we want to do it in an efficient way as possible," Hogan said.

"We're debating the budget now. There's financial considerations going into every department and everything we do here in government. And this has to be one of them."

The act is reviewed every five years.

The Centre for Law and Democracy has described the current provincial law as "by far the strongest right-to-information legislation in Canada."

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