PC Leader says taxpayers have a right to know
HALIFAX, NS – Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie wants the Liberal government to stop stonewalling basic requests for information about the Yarmouth ferry.
“Nova Scotians have a right to know what’s going on,” says Baillie. “The Premier has been quite content to let his government hide the details, but he is at the helm of this bad deal and it’s time for him to come clean.”
Baillie is calling on the Premier to release the full contract the government signed with Mark MacDonald and Bay Ferries.
“The Liberals signed away $100,000 million of taxpayers’ money,” says Baillie. “Stephen McNeil doesn’t just get to dodge accountability after spending that kind of money.”
The Liberals have repeatedly denied requests to release the details of the deal. After receiving a heavily redacted FOIPOP, the PCs launched a formal appeal to the privacy commissioner.
“We will continue to use every tool we have to make this information available to Nova Scotians,” says Baillie. “Stephen McNeil may have chosen to protect the interests of a private ferry company, but we will continue to protect the interests of the taxpayers.”
Baillie says the privacy commissioner’s recent report highlights the need for transparent spending.
In her spring report, Catherine Tully noted that the FOIPOP office’s “casework resulted in two important developments in citizens’ rights to access government information this year.”
Tully noted that a number of “public bodies agreed to disclose contract and funding agreement information following intervention by the office.
“This type of information is very important for ensuring that taxpayers know how their money is being spent. It is a hallmark of accountability and transparency that this type of financial information is made available to citizens,” Tully concluded.
Baillie says it is in this spirit that the PC caucus launched the official appeal of the redacted FOIPOP.