One can not help but wonder about the caliber of the government backbenches when you consider recent comments made by folks like PC M.H.A Calvin Peach.
The Conservative trained seal was at his Pavlovian best last night displaying his ignorance of legislation, issues and the English language.
While offering his undying allegiance to his regent, Queen Kathy last night on VOCM Nightline, he showed an alarming ignorance of the evolution of our province's Access to Information Legislation.
Peach declared that Bill 29 was really Liberal Legislation, left enacted by the previous Grimes’ Administration that the tories had to pass, there hands were tied. Now he is either uninformed, seriously stunned or is a coward looking for excuses to defend his voting record in the House of Assembly.
You decide, but based on the administrations record of calculated misinformation, I am cynical.
Just in case he is misinformed, let me attempt to clear the air a little.
The infamous Bill 29 amended the Liberal 2002 Access To Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Unlike the original bill which was the result of wide consultations and full debate, the new legislation was rammed through the legislature through the heavy handed use of closure. Closure and Bill 29 were supported by Calvin Peach, at every juncture!
The amended legislation expanded the scope of cabinet secrecy, eroding the public's access to information so much that he Centre for Law and Democracy stated that the changes were "breathtaking,” and reduced the 2002 ATIPP laws to a ranking below those found in non-democratic Third World countries!
Fred Vallance-Jones, a journalism professor at the University of King’s College in Halifax and the lead of the Canadian Newspaper Association’s Freedom of Information Audit declared ““I think it is the biggest step backward in access in Canada in recent memory,”
After a record breaking 3 day filibuster , Peach supported his government in invoking closure to end the transparent debate in the people’s house so his party’s majority could pass the bill.
The province went from having some of the most progressive, transparent freedom of information legislation in the country to scorn and ridicule. Bill 29 allows the government and other public bodies to refuse to process requests deemed by them to “trivial,” frivolous or vexatious.” Or mad e in “bad faith”. So much for accountability, transparency and democracy.
Make no mistake, Bill 29 was created, supported and rammed through the legislature by bleacher creatures like Peach 10 years after Roger Grimes was defeated.
A simple review of Hansard for the three days leading up to June 14, 2012 tells the tale.
I cannot help but wonder about the disingenuous nature of P.C. politicians from the boot? I can hardly wait to see them run on their real records in the next election.