CBC appealing to PEI Supreme Court regarding Privacy Commissioner’s ruling

 Privacy Commissioner’s ruling will be challenged in court

CBC is taking the recent ruling of the Acting Privacy Commissioner for PEI to the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island.

A judicial review is the next step in the process under PEI’s oddly named Freedom of Information and Privacy Act or FOIP.  The FOIP website shows two previous judicial reviews, which were split 50/50 for and against the Commissioner.
The ruling appeared to us and the public to be pure PEI politics. Twice before the same Acting Commissioner had released loan and grant information despite protests from the business it would impact their reputation. This ruling does not appear to be consistent with those previous decisions. See PEI ordered to release information on Island business loans and PEI Lending Agency ordered to release details of loans and grants.

Of course, no one can predict the outcome of any case that goes to court. Nor can the public expect CBC to print the disclose the list completely if they win. Producer Donna Allen merely said “We certainly would like to see if anybody possibly exercised undue influence in getting the monies. That could be triggered by whatever names might come up.”

Whatever the outcome, Premier Ghiz is betting his delay in coming clean with Islanders will get him a sure re-election in 2011 or at least time will make it difficult to recover any ill-gotten-gains.

 – The CBC is asking the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island to review a recent ruling by P.E.I.’s privacy commissioner on the controversial provincial nominee program for immigration.
The commissioner ruled in early June that the names of participants in PNP should remain private, along with how much money each company or individual received.
PNP enabled foreign investors to expedite their applications for Canadian immigration in exchange for money, some of which was invested in Island companies.
“We certainly would like to see if anybody possibly exercised undue influence in getting the monies,” said Donna Allen, executive producer of CBC Prince Edward Island. “That could be triggered by whatever names might come up.”
Many of the businesses involved in the program argued against the release of information, claiming they would lose business if they were identified as having been involved in PNP.
The CBC intends to argue, among other things, there is no evidence that any harm has come to the reputation of businesses already known to have received PNP money.

Click HERE to read more columns by Stephan Pate.

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