NDP Leader Lorraine Michael is deeply concerned that the decision to allow the Muskrat Falls Public Inquiry to be exempt from ATIPPA could allow key documents to remain secret. The decision comes following a request from the Commission of Inquiry for an Exemption to the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
The exemption was granted following a vote by the House of Assembly Management Commission with the NDP voting against the exemption.
“There are unanswered questions. Will access through ATIPPA to all documents included in the Inquiry, once put into the hands of the Department of Justice at the end of the Commission’s work, supersede Nalcor’s protections under the Energy Corporation Act?” Michael said.
“Why did this government not deal with the concerns posed by Commissioner LeBlanc before putting the Inquiry in place?” Michael said. “The concerns he raised should have been taken care of by the government, and not become the problem of the Commission.”
Michael says this is a very special inquiry with immense responsibility to the interests of the public.
“One of the issues that has come up over and over again is the lack of transparency and openness throughout the entire Muskrat Falls project,” Michael said.
“The public expect – and deserve – to get full information into everything that led us to this point, and to access that information in a timely manner,” she continued. “This can no longer happen with this exemption.”
Michael says this inquiry is only happening, finally, after being forced by persistent public and Opposition pressure. She says the result of this exemption could continue the secrecy under which Nalcor operates.