Integrity Commissioner upholds public right to know rental rate for new tourism welcome centre

Fredericton – On January 16th, Integrity Commissioner Deschênes issued a report of findings regarding a request for information filed by David Coon, leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick on February 2, 2017.

“Last year I filed for access to information regarding a lease agreement between the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure and Irving Oil for the new visitor information centre in St. Stephen,” said Coon.

The Department originally withheld the square footage, the length of the lease, and the amount of rent paid. Through informal processes with the Commissioner they released some of this information in December of 2017. They continued to withhold the annual rental rate, which the Commissioner has advised they should release.

“My request to DTI should have been straightforward and instead it has been a year of fighting for information that should already be public,” said Coon. “The government secrecy around how it is spending public money has to end.”

Coon is currently in court pursuing financial details of contracts governing P3 nursing homes across the province associated with another access to information request that was denied by the Department of Social Development.