Transparency is the foundation of democracy

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Editor:

Thank you very much for your February 14th editorial in which you discuss the City of Charlottetown’s poor ranking on financial transparency in the recent report of the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

The brutal reality of our provincial capital city coming in at 95th out of 100 cities is a concern to all who seek to serve the people of Charlottetown and should be an alarm bell for the seven Liberal MLAs currently representing City districts. As you point out, Halifax ranks 14th. This is a sharp point of contrast for workers and business seeking to locate to a Maritime urban centre, and a poor message to the young people we wish to retain in our community.

My position on municipal transparency is well established. As your editorial justifiably argues, we need freedom of information legislation to include municipalities. I have also clearly stated that the provincial government has too much power and that some of the provincial funding cuts to municipalities must be restored.

Both go hand and hand. Municipalities should have more power and resources and all information about all levels of government should be out in the open.

Liberals and Conservatives have let day after day of legislative sessions go past without acting on this problem. Political parties disagree on many things, but, surely we must agree that all citizens deserve maximum information on public finances. Everything must be done democratically. MLAs who do not believe this should be removed by voters in the next election. And hopefully they will be.

Freedom of information legislation covering municipal government should be passed in the Legislative Assembly this spring.

Mike Redmond,

Leader, NDP P.E.I.

Organizations: Frontier Centre for Public Policy.The, Legislative Assembly

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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