Freedom of Information

CBRM Proclaims ‘Right to Know Week’ With Straight Face

CBRM Proclaims ‘Right to Know Week’ With Straight Face

September 20, 2017 at 12:04 pm

The agenda for Tuesday night’s Cape Breton Regional Council meeting included the proclamation, sponsored by Deputy Mayor Eldon MacDonald, of September 25-October 1 as Right to Know Week, the purpose of which is to “raise awareness of an individual’s right to access government information, while promoting freedom of information asRead...

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

September 1, 2017 at 10:31 am

Lease released The first rule of accessing information from public bodies is “just ask for it,” and sometimes — hallelujah! — just asking is all it takes. For instance, I asked the CBRM for a copy of the lease signed between the municipality and Danny Ellis’s company, the catchily namedRead More

‘Visioning for what exactly?’

‘Visioning for what exactly?’

August 23, 2017 at 11:53 am

I have been wading through pages of documents related to the CBRM and Business Cape Breton (BCB) and the provincial Department of Municipal Affairs (DMA) searching for answers to questions about economic development funding and Glace Bay revitalization and the role of our economic development “entity.” While I still haveRead More

Civic Centre, CBRM

Economic Development: Who’s In Charge Here?

August 23, 2017 at 11:51 am

Why am I so interested in Business Cape Breton, the CBRM’s economic development “entity?” Because I just can’t get a grip on what it’s supposed to be — it’s neither flesh, nor fowl nor good, publicly accountable municipal body. It’s a non-profit society with a board made up of localRead More

Should BCB Directors Ink Quiet Deals with CBRM?

Should BCB Directors Ink Quiet Deals with CBRM?

August 16, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Danny Ellis, who has signed a deal with the CBRM to rent property on the Sydney waterfront for a seasonal food and drink establishment, is a director of Business Cape Breton — the municipality’s designated economic development “entity.” According to his LinkedIn account, Ellis has been on the BCB boardRead More

WIPSI Revisited: New Totals, New Names

WIPSI Revisited: New Totals, New Names

August 16, 2017 at 11:45 am

Remember WIPSI? I know it sounds like a toy from the ’70s — a plastic lemon you’d tether to your ankle and skip over, maybe — but it’s actually Nova Scotia’s Workplace Innovation and Productivity Skills Incentive program. I wrote about it way back in June after stumbling upon aRead More

CBRM Says Enviro Report on Nickerson Land Is None of Our Business

CBRM Says Enviro Report on Nickerson Land Is None of Our Business

August 16, 2017 at 11:30 am

The CBRM has an environmental assessment of a property owned by local businessman Jerry Nickerson on which it hopes to construct a second cruise ship berth. We know the assessment exists, as Nancy King points out in the Cape Breton Post, because Mayor Cecil Clarke has referred to it, asRead More

My $3,000 FOIPOP or Why This System Doesn’t Work

My $3,000 FOIPOP or Why This System Doesn’t Work

July 5, 2017 at 12:20 pm

In the world of the start-up digital publications, $3,000 is a lot of money. Had I $3,000 burning a hole in my pocket, I could walk into Connors Basics on Charlotte Street and come out with a new desk, a new office chair, a lifetime supply of roller ball pens,Read More

Cover illustration from "Accountability for the Digital Age," the report of the NS Information and Privacy Commissioner. Apparently, the government can now directly access our brains.

Privacy Commissioner Tries to Nudge NS into 21st Century

June 28, 2017 at 12:12 pm

I think I made the Annual Report of the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) of Nova Scotia for 2016-2017. I can’t say for sure, but one of the cases described by the commissioner, Catherine Tully, sounds like an entry from my 2016 diary: I think the publicRead More

BCB Will Not Be Responding to Your Questions

BCB Will Not Be Responding to Your Questions

June 28, 2017 at 12:00 pm

I really didn’t think I’d be able to FOIPOP Business Cape Breton (BCB). Although the organization runs entirely on public money, I’d already been told by the office of the Privacy Commissioner that it doesn’t fit the definition of a public body under Nova Scotia’s Freedom of Information/Protection of PrivacyRead More