Debate shuts down on access to information law in Newfoundland and Labrador - InfoNews

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Debate shuts down on access to information law in Newfoundland and Labrador

June 15, 2012 - 7:17 AM

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Four days of gruelling debate ended early today in the Newfoundland and Labrador legislature as the government passed a law amending the province's access to information law.

Politicians have debated amendments in a continuous session that lasted more than 60 hours.

An NDP caucus news release says that the Conservative house leader invoked closure at 1 a.m. today.

The bill blocks release of ministerial briefings and allows cabinet ministers to reject information requests as "frivolous'' or "vexatious.''

The government says that the legislation respects the need for transparency while clarifying the right to information and protecting personal details.

NDP leader Lorraine Michael says that she's proud that opposition members filibustered the bill.

She says that Bill 29 "serves up secrecy on a silver platter for government."

"This is a dark moment in our province's history."

The government says there are many positive changes in the bill, such as the extension of free research and processing time from two hours to four hours.

A news release from the province says the changes allowing rejection of frivolous or vexatious requests are justified.

"These are requests which have no purpose or are highly repetitious," says the release.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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