FREDERICTON – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy came out against the possibility that the Liberal government might re-introduce fees for Right to Information requests from the general public, saying such a move would effectively limit access to information to the wealthy.
“Brian Gallant and his Liberals talked about the need for greater transparency and public empowerment in our politics, and yet they are exploring the idea of bringing back charges for citizens to access information about their government that were abolished in 2011,” Cardy said. “To charge citizens for this information is to erect another barrier between the government and the people they are supposed to serve. It is another way to make more New Brunswickers feel disenfranchised and cut off from participating in an informed debate. An NDP government would work to promote greater transparency, not put up fees to restrict it.”
Cardy added that the concern raised by the Liberals that the heavier volume of information requests requires charges to cope speaks to the need for greater transparency all around.
“The amount of information that is available online to citizens in many other jurisdictions about their government is much greater than in New Brunswick. Ensuring that more of this information is accessible without having to resort to submitting Right to Information requests is the best way to reduce the volume of requests, as opposed to pricing such requests beyond the means of many people.”