If the public is "to participate more [in government] than just via the ballot box, then they need proper access to information"

-- Joanne Caddy, (Nov 2001), "Why citizens are central to good governance", OECD Observer

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Make Your Contribution to Our 'Heritage of Freedom' Today - Get Out and Vote!

I am a Canadian,
a free Canadian,
free to speak without fear,
free to worship God in my own way,
free to stand for what I think right,
free to oppose what I believe wrong,
or free to choose those who shall govern my country.

This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.

John G. Diefenbaker House of Common Debates, July 1, 1960

Right, left, or centre; green, blue, red, or orange;
the Right to Know Coalition of Nova Scotia wants you to get out and vote!

Find out more at Elections Canada

Monday, October 6, 2008

Belinda States-Bezanson - Halifax Regional School Board - School District 2

Belinda States

Darce Fardy

Sent: Monday, October 06, 2008 8:36 AM

Subject: Re: Right to Know

Hello Darce

Sorry for the delay I was out of town

I Belinda States-Bezanson am running for District 2, Halifax Regional School Board, Elected Board Member. If elected the following are my values and criteria that I will use to help guide me when a decisions need to be made:

I am very keen on government openness, and as a citizen I strive towards it.

I believe the school board should be transparent so that all decisions are made with all students in mind and accountable to voters. I value diversity and I feel that diversity should be valued across the board. We live in a multicultural society and the board should look more like the communities we serve and value the importance of culture in our schools. Transparency prevents special interests from monopolizing resources. As a Board member I would requires all position to come to the board for approval

I want to raise the level of integrity of the Halifax Regional School board starting with the elected board. Instead of back room dealings, decisions should be made in the best interest of all students.

As a board member I will stand for the quality of education and equal access to education. We need to insure that no student is left behind. We need programs and policies in place to prevent dropouts and have all feel welcome in our school system. I believe that there are enough resources within our current school system to have our literacy rate higher than it currently is.

I also feel that no matter what District you're voted in for, you should do what right for all districts. The board will have to work together to make the right decisions for all schools. We cannot allow personalities or personal agendas to get in the way. It should always be remembered that it is students first. I will advocate for my district but will do what is right for all students no matter what district they are from.

I feel that board member should make sure that the interest of students should come first. The money the board spends on legal fee and defending themselves in Human Rights complaints can be monies spend on putting paper in the schools for the students

The money spent to send 13 principles and the supernatant to China is money that should have been spent on EPA's for our special need student.

These are just a few examples of money being spent with out our students in mind. We have to always remind ourselves about the Boards Motto " Student First "

I believe that no student should be left behind…

Belinda States


Peter Stoffer - New Democratic Party of Canada - NDP - Member of Parliament - Sackville-Eastern Shore

" I completely support government openness and freedom of information legislation."

  • Peter Stoffer (as quoted from a phone conversation with Darce Fardy)



Bill Swan - Halifax Regional School Board - School District 6

From: "Bill Swan" <swanb@mac.com>

To: "Darce Fardy" <darce@eastlink.ca>

Sent: Sunday, October 05, 2008 9:23 PM

Subject: Response to Openness and Accountability Request



Dear Darce,


Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your request. Please

accept my apologies for the delay, your original message must have

been caught in my spam filters.


I understand and agree wholeheartedly with the ideals of openness and

accountability (with some conditions).


First and foremost, any disciplinary issues with students have to be

subject to strict confidentiality. Clearly these items cannot and

should not be subject to the same level of access to information as

other aspects of school board business.


Secondly, I do accept that there may be circumstances where meetings

may need to be held in-camera for issues unrelated to student

discipline, but a high bar should be set  to keep these in-camera

meetings to an absolute minimum. In any case, the outcomes of meetings

(so long as they are unrelated to student discipline) should be made



I believe that as a school board we have an obligation to maximize the

amount openness by clearly pre-defining (in an open session) any

exceptions to that policy and likewise we  have an additional

obligation to make those exceptions well known so that the public is

aware of how their school board operates.




Bill Swan




Thursday, October 2, 2008

David Finlayson - Halifax Regional School Board - School District 7



Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2008 10:03 PM

Subject: RE: Right to Know

I strongly believe in having an open, honest and transparent school board. To be truly accountable to the voters, we need to share the information which helps the HRSB to make any decisions. This will hopefully lead to a better understanding of the thought process behind any significant strategy decisions and a better relationship with stakeholders in the schools and at homes.

I think the informed voter should be able to access this information as it will demonstrate some of the process behind decisions.

David Finlayson - District 7




Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cameron Ells - Municipal - District 12 Downtown Halifax

From: <halifax@excells.ca>

To: "Darce Fardy" <darce@eastlink.ca>

Sent: Monday, September 29, 2008 9:05 PM
Subject: Halifax ExCELLS (Cameron Ells): Right to Know

Darce Fardy,

Thank you for your email of September 18, 2008 on behalf of the Right to Know Coalition of Nova Scotia.

I have made successful use of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPOP) Act with respect to information associated with the provincial level of government. Until your email, I had not considered its potential application to information associated with the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM). Since receiving your email, I have also looked at Section 20 of the Municipal Government Act, and appreciated the opportunity to clarify some of your interests and concerns in a telephone conversation.

The scope of application appears to be very broad and include municipal committees, community committees or citizen advisory committees, planning advisory committees, and in the case of HRM, community councils. Section 481 regarding information provided to HRM from third parties such as the private sector answered some of the questions I raised with you.

I am not sure, but there may be some ambiguity with respect to the status of "draft information" or "part of the process" communications versus the final version of documents being released to the public. For practical considerations, I think it is desirable during a process for an atmosphere to exist where HRM staff can provide their opinions internally in confidence. As Councillor, I would be happy to provide support with respect to the release of final versions of documents, but not early draft versions or supporting communications. As Councillor, I would be happy to provide support with respect to seeking from HRM staff a statement on the reasons for a particular decision, but not to make public a copy each and every email exchanged during the development of an HRM document. As Councillor, I would be happy to support efforts at asking "the right question" to "the right person."

As Councillor, I would welcome suggestions from your members regarding the human, material, and financial resources available to the applicable HRM "Responsible Officer" for FOIPOP purposes. I believe in the general long term usefulness to our community of open and accountable government, and in the general merits of Freedom of Information legislation. I also believe that a reasonable fee for FOIPOP responses, prioritizes the use of "Responsible Officer" resources in a useful way (ie. Placing a cost on "fishing expeditions").

- Cameron Ells
HRM Regional COuncil Candidate for Downtown Halifax (District 12)

Halifax ExCELLS
with Cameron Ells



Monday, September 29, 2008

Ross McLaren - Municipal - District 14 Connaught - Quinpool

Ross McLaren

Darce Fardy

Sent: Monday, September 29, 2008 9:30 AM

Subject: Re: Right to Know - Ross McLaren response


If elected, I will support measures to make government more accountable and transparent. I believe that we need to encourage a culture of openness in government while protecting the privacy of individuals.

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy legislation is an important piece of the democratic puzzle.

Ross McLaren

For Councillor, District 14, Connaught - Quinpool



Michael Munday - Green Party of Canada - Halifax West

GPC Halifax West


Sent: Sunday, September 28, 2008 9:46 AM

Subject: RE: Right to Know

Dear Mr. Fardy,

Thank you for your email, and for raising these questions with Nova Scotia candidates.

The Green Party platform, "Vision Green", addresses government accountability and freedom of information in section 6: Good Government. In brief, the Green Party believes in the decentralization of decision-making powers and in open, honest government. There is a list of fourteen initiatives designed to increase government accountability and ethical conduct, including amending the Accountability Act to ensure that all those who monitor government are selected at arms' length from those they monitor, to eliminate the blanket exemptions on public release of government documents and to guarantee transparency and openness for all government activities.

Best regards,

Michael Munday

Green Party of Canada, Halifax West


(902) 852-2582


David Cameron - Halifax Regional School Board - School District 5

From: <cameronm@ns.sympatico.ca>

To: "Darce Fardy" <darce@eastlink.ca>

Sent: Saturday, September 27, 2008 2:17 PM

Subject: RE: Right to Know

I believe very strongly in open discussion and debate within school board

meetings. There must, of course, be some exceptions, such as when contract

or other negotiations are in progress. But once decisions are made, the

outcome should be public information. In all other cases, such as in the

development of policy, all discussions should be open. As to accountability,

elections provide the surest form of accountability, since the choice of who

is elected is entirely in the hands of the voters. Between elections, it

must be the responsibility of those in office to provide information as to

what they are doing. It is, of course, also the responsibility of citizens

to ask questions that will provide the answers they are interested in.

David Cameron



Pam Sullivan - Halifax Regional School Board - School District 4

From: "Pam" <sullyrock@hfx.eastlink.ca>

To: <darce@eastlink.ca>

Sent: Saturday, September 27, 2008 6:32 PM

Subject: response to your letter

Hello, I received your letter and am happy to respond through this email. I am certainly in favour of full openness and disclosure as well as accountability. It's certainly a song I've been singing my whole life (rants in the kitchen while listening to yet another CBC story about a crooked politician) so it would be more than just a little hypocritical of me at this point to say otherwise. I believe fully and completely that people in elected positions have a responsibility to the people who put them there to be as forthcoming and honest as they possibly can. The arrogance of certain politicians (who shall remain nameless) in this regard is something which never ceases to amaze me. For me, my reasons for wanting to run for the School Board are purely around the kids - not just my two, but all kids. Anything which will better inform parents and help them to better understand the system as well as the part they play in the process is obviously the right way to go. Hope this was what you were looking for.

Pam Sullivan



Friday, September 26, 2008

Beverly Miller - Municipal - District 13 Northwest Arm - South End

From: "beverly miller" <hfxpeninsula@hotmail.com>

To: "Darce Fardy" <darce@eastlink.ca>

Sent: Friday, September 26, 2008 10:09 AM

Subject: RE: Replies on website

Thanks Darce for clarifying this.

I think that access to information is essential. As a long-time community activist I appreciate how important is is to be able to et information. As a Councillor, there is no doubt that I will do whatever I can to ensure that people have access to the information they need, and not have to pay more than a token amount for it.

Beverly Miller

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Glenn Dodge - Municipal - District 14 - Connaught - Quinpool

From: Glenn Dodge

To: Darce Fardy

Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2008 5:36 PM

Subject: Re: Right to Know Coalition questions

Darce, I agree completely with your organizations desire to make our City Council more open and accountable …

Glenn Dodge
444-4544 (headquarters)

Katie Campbell - Municipal - District 14 Connaught - Quinpool

From: katie HRM

To: Darce Fardy

Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2008 10:07 AM

Subject: Re: Right to Know

Dear Mr. Fardy,

I have worked in technology, with particular focus on access to information - coming and going. I believe that individuals have the right to expect privacy, no question. I also believe that citizens have the right to access information from their government, with very, very, few exceptions. No question.

The only way to come to an understanding of where we are, as a individual, neighbourhood, city, country, is by having access to true, relevant and current information.

Anything less is a betrayal of our system and ourselves.


Katie Campbell

website - http://katieforcouncillor.blogspot.com/

cell - 219-0866

Chris Poole - Halifax Regional School Board - School District 4

From: Chris Poole

To: Darce Fardy

Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2008 8:10 AM

Subject: Re: Right to Know

Hi Darce

I agree that people need to be informed in order to make the best decision for their families, though I also believe in protecting personal information that may identify and potentially harm a child, or their families.

As a school board member, I would be encouraging parents, communities, and teachers to participate and contribute ideas, in order for the best decisions to be made by the Halifax Regional School Board. The public and media would be welcome to attend school board meetings.

If elected to the Halifax Regional School Board - District 4, I will do my best to keep the public informed of activities and decisions affecting children's education.

Chris Poole




Stephen Adams - Municipal - District 18 - Spryfield - Herring Cove - Incumbent

From: "Adams, Stephen" <adams.sd@pg.com>

To: "Darce Fardy" <darce@eastlink.ca>

Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2008 10:39 PM

Subject: RE: RE:


My position is simple. Any information should be made available, unless it is of a personal nature or may be a security breach. And, those seeking it shouldn't be made to be precise in what they are requesting. Intent should be the determining factor.




Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Deborah Brunt - Municipal - District 23 Hammonds Plains - St. Margarets

From: Deb Brunt

To: Darce Fardy

Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2008 2:17 PM

Subject: Re:

Mr. Fardy;

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy legislation is the law and I commit myself to following it just as I do any Federal, Provincial and Municipal laws and I expect Council as a whole or separate to do the same.

Deborah Brunt
HRM Council Candidate - District 23

Vote Online October 4th, 5th or 6th
Vote at the Advanced Polls October 11th or 14th
or the Regular Polls October 18th

John Stoddard - Municipal - District 22 Timberlea - Prospect

From: The Stoddards

To: Darce Fardy

Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2008 10:53 PM

Subject: Re: Replies on website

Hi Mr. Fardy,

... I am against the secrecy and I am all for a more open and accountable council. I want nothing less than to restore the people's faith in democracy. I want to change the very culture of city hall. When you have secrecy, it gains power over the very people who created it. I thank you for your interest.


John Stoddard.


Tara Ibrahim - Halifax Regional School Board - School District 4

From: "Tara" <taradavid@eastlink.ca>

To: "Darce Fardy" <darce@eastlink.ca>

Sent: Sunday, September 21, 2008 11:19 PM

Subject: Re: Right to Know - Tara Ibrahim District 4 HRSB Candidate

Mr. Fardy,

Thank you for your interest.

I believe that openness and accountability in public office is important and necessary and it is for these issues being part of the reason why I chose to run as the District 4 Candidate. I will do my very best, if given the chance to serve on the HRSB, to support the Right to Know Coalition of Nova Scotia and ensure the Board is accountable to its electorate.


Tara Ibrahim

District 4 HRSB Candidate



Tracey Mohr - Halifax Regional School Board - School District 3

From: Tracey Mohr

To: Darce Fardy

Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2008 8:29 PM

Subject: Re: Right to Know

Good Day Darce,

I am very impressed that you have contacted me for my input on this important subject.

We are celebrating Democracy 250, and with that comes a pride in knowing what a great country we live in to have such freedom. Government, no matter what level, should be held accountable for what goes on. The public has voted it's representatives in and therefore should be kept informed of what they are doing. The HRSB is no different. If a candidate has committed themselves to represent the people of their community, they should have no reason at all not to be accountable and open with them.

I take great pride in the hard work I do, so why wouldn't I want everyone to know about it. We are working on issues that should be the priority of our public, so what reason could we possibly have for hiding anything from them.

Thanking you for this opportunity,

Tracey Mohr

"MOHR for Our Children"



Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Barry Dalrymple - Municipal - District 2 Waverley - Fall River - Beaver Bank

From: <barry@barrydal.com>

To: "Darce Fardy" <darce@eastlink.ca>

Sent: Friday, September 19, 2008 9:35 AM

Subject: Re:

Good morning Darce - thank you for the opportunity to give you my

position on this very important part of government. I will keep this very

short but let me say that I am disgusted with the amount of secrecy I have

seen in the running of HRM Council in the past few years. The entire

Games bid & the wall of secrecy surrounding the building of the now

$15,000,000 Fall River Rec Centre (paid for by an area rate) are a few


On a smaller scale I am the Executive Director and Treasurer of a Minor

Baseball Association for 400 kids, I post in plain sight every year our

entire financial statement on our website for everyone to see, the last

5 years are there (www.eteamz.com/lwf). As the Secretary of the LWF

Fire/Community Hall I introduced the motion to post all Meeting Minutes

on the Hall wall after every meeting. These are just examples but I

absolutely believe in the citizens right to know. Its our money and

our country!

Thanks, Barry Dalrymple

Candidate for District 2 Councillor



Gina Conrod - Halifax Regional School Board - School District 2



Sent: Saturday, September 20, 2008 5:54 PM

Subject: Response to your request.

I am a candidate for School Board in upcoming election for District 2. I believe my job if elected will be to be the voice of my district and advocate for what they want and need. I will be a public servant and believe I have the skill set to perform well for my district on the Board. If elected I would advocate for open communication on all matters relating to public policy. I believe that all levels of government should be held accountable for decisions made on the constituents behalf. The voter puts their trust in elected officials and therefore should be privy to what goes on behind closed doors.

I am unsure what you were asking of me , but hope this lets you know my stand on your cause and would appreciate support in District 2 as I am excited to be elected to School Board. I have 2 girls who will benefit from their education in HRM and I myself attended schools in HRM. My vested interest along with volunteering and seeing first hand what is happening in the schools gives me insight and credibility.

Thank you for your interest,

Gina Conrod

School Board Candidate, District 2



Malcolm Mackay - Halifax Regional School Board - School District 4

From: <jomal@ns.sympatico.ca>

To: <darce@eastlink.ca>

Sent: Monday, September 22, 2008 3:55 PM

Subject: School board candidate reply Re; Right to know.

Thank-you for your e-mail re-Openess and accountability in public office. My views on this issue are well documented throughout my political career. I have always spoke against in camera sessions and will continue to do so.


Malcolm Mackay Candidate District 4




Monday, September 22, 2008

Lloyd Jackson - Halifax Regional School Board - School District 3

From: <Jackson.LG@forces.gc.ca>

To: <darce@eastlink.ca>

Sent: Monday, September 22, 2008 8:50 AM

Subject: Reply from Lloyd Jackson

Good Morning;

Thank you for the opportunity to comment. It my press release

and on other sites i.e. Halifax Chamber of Commerce, I have clearly

stated " Moreover, the board must listen to the advice of school

advisory committees as well as individuals and other important

stakeholder groups. "The past practice of playing "hide and seek"

through the guise of in camera sessions and unrecorded votes must come

to end." I think we all agree that the time for games and evasion must

come to an end. Our children deserve better."

Again thank you.

Lloyd Jackson



Troy Meyers - Halifax Regional School Board - School District 3

troy myers

Darce Fardy

Sent: Sunday, September 21, 2008 4:55 PM

Subject: Re:


Thanks for the note.

As a public librarian with over fifteen years of dedicated service, I am deeply committed to the promotion of intellectual freedom and access to information for all citizens.

While we must also protect people's privacy, access to public information is a fundamental pillar of democracy which must be upheld.


Troy Myers, Candidate HRSB District 3



David Bentley - Halifax Regional School Board - School District 5 Dartmouth Centre

From: "David Bentley" <davidbentley@eastlink.ca>

To: <darce@eastlink.ca>

Sent: Saturday, September 20, 2008 11:58 PM

Subject: yes

Hi: Sounds fine with me. D



Rob Clark - Halifax Regional School Board - School District 7

Rob Clark

Darce Fardy

Sent: Sunday, September 21, 2008 7:41 PM

Subject: Re: Right to Know

I too am very keen on government openness, and as a citizen I strive toward it. I have sent a few emails at the behest of the Electronic Freedom Foundation over the years to federal ministers, for example. The latest, for example, was a protest of the proposed Canadian Copyright Act, to Minister Jim Prentice.

Thus, I fully support your mission. I do understand, however, that there may be occasion where secrecy is expected - staffing issues, etc. In addition, there may be bylaws of the board that force inappropriate secrecy - I pledge to do my best to rationalize those bylaws. Additionally, I'm not fully informed yet, but as a strong believer in accountability and transparency, I will strive to 'adjust the tone' to the appropriate level.

I also appreciate that lack of public engagement is linked to levels of secrecy. Only an informed public can truly be engaged, and we need more engagement. I applaud your mission, as it is also my own…

Rob Clark




Paul Russell - Halifax Regional School Board - School District 8

Paul Russell

Darce Fardy

Sent: Sunday, September 21, 2008 5:05 PM

Subject: Re: Right to Know

Hi Darce

I'd like to see a few things, related to the Board, demonstrate a lot more accountability.

First and foremost among this is something that can't be made public: teacher evaluations. I'd like to know, as a Board, how our individual teachers are doing. I'd like there to be a broad comprehensive standard that they are measured by. The results of this would be used to identify those teachers that need more help in one or more areas; or perhaps to recognize that we need to help them find a new line of work.

Our teachers have a very hard job. They have to manage extremely large class sizes, curriculum demands from the Province and from their principal, they are responsible to each of the parents of each of their children, and there are always budget issues. With all of that, teachers are the people who spend the most time most days with our kids.

A single teacher who is really good or really bad can make a students entire school experience also really good or really bad. This isn't limited to the single year that the student has that teacher. If the influence is profound enough then it follows them through the rest of their schooling.

I recognize that what I'm hoping for will take time and a lot of effort, but the rewards are worth it.

As far as openness: Most HR issues and issues around children have to be kept secret. If a student or teacher is suspected of committing a heinous act then the Board does not have the right to release information about that person to the public, only to the police. If a teacher is particularly bad at one thing or another then it's a HR issue and should be kept private. Public input will be helpful in remedying the situation, but that doesn't mean that we release the results to the public. Other than HR and student issues, however, I don't believe that there needs to be any secrecy. We shouldn't have backroom dealings with some companies in response for particular cost or technology benefits, for example.

If you have any further questions or comments please don't hesitate to get in touch.




Bruce Cooke - Halifax Regional School Board - School District 6

The Cookes

'Darce Fardy'

Sent: Sunday, September 21, 2008 4:20 PM

Subject: RE: Right to Know

Dear Darce,

My name is Bruce Cooke; I am a candidate for the Halifax Regional School Board in District 6. Thank you for your e-mail. I was not aware of your organization "The Right to Know Nova Scotia Coalition".

I guess you in essence want to know if I support the principals contained in the Freedom of Information Act, the answer to that question is yes I do fully support access to government information at a charge that does not prohibit in any way obtaining the information requested.

I must say that I personally do not believe that secrecy in government is one of the major reasons for low voter turn out on Election Day. It is just my opinion but I think that it has more to do with the fact people have forgotten that hundreds of thousands of Canadian's fought and many died for our privilege to cast a vote in an election and choose our own government. I chalk the low voter turn out to voter apathy and sheer laziness.


Bruce Cooke



Matthew A. Christie - Municipal - District 21- Bedford


Darce Fardy

Sent: Saturday, September 20, 2008 3:05 PM

Subject: Right to Know Coalition of Nova Scotia

Dear Mr. Fardy:

Thank you for your email sent on September 18, 2008, on behalf of the Right to Know Coalition of Nova Scotia.

I acknowledge the importance of transparency in government and believe that your organization is doing an important job for the citizens of Nova Scotia.

If I am elected Councillor of Bedford (District 21), I intend to establish and re-establish citizens advisory groups such as the Immigration Advisory Council and the Senior's Advisory Council. By involving the citizens of Bedford in the planning process and keeping them informed, I hope to create an atmosphere of transparency and an environment where citizens are engaged in the democratic process. I confirm my commitment to comply with the Municipal Government Act and to be accountable to the citizens of Bedford.


Matthew A. Christie


Linda Mosher - Municipal - District 17 - Purcell's Cove - Armdale - incumbent

Linda Mosher

Darce Fardy

Sent: Friday, September 19, 2008 8:05 AM

Subject: Re:

If elected, I absolutely will continue to ensure that the Halifax Regional Municipality is fully accoutable to the public as required under the Municipal Government Act. It is imperative that our government is open and transparent to members of the public and that there are no unnecessary barriers to freedom on informtion requests. In the last eight years on Regional Council I have demonstrated, through action and support, these important public rights.


David Sampson - Municipal - District 18 - Spryfield - Herring Cove

David Sampson

Darce Fardy

Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2008 8:18 PM

Subject: Re:

Dear Mr. Fardy,

I am absolutly in favour of completely open access to information that does not legally have to be kept private. In fact I sometimes think that the act is actually used as a door to hide behind to delay the public. I do not believe that the public should have to pay for information that belongs to them and I will whenever possible make available information that is not protected as private to my constituents for the asking. Lack of openess and information needed for people to make informed decisions has been a problem in my district for a long time and I will not continue on this path.

David Sampson

Candidate for Councillor District 18


Bruce DeVenne - Municipal - District 20 - Lower Sackville

Bruce DeVenne


Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2008 4:17 PM

Subject: Candidate Bruce DeVenne



You're right. Low voter turnout can be connected to secrecy. Mayor Peter Kelly ranted and raved against secrecy when he was a councillor now City Council makes Howard Hughes look like an exhibitionist.

As well throughout the system secrecy is rampant. Look at the Commonwealth games. Also the tax payer paid for feasibility study that Fred MacGillivary had done with respect to the games. It took over a year to see it and with good reason as far as Mr. MacGillivary was concerned. His own study said that a football stadium, even with a CFL franchise would be a financial burden on the tax payer. They are spending public funds and working for the public. The public, as their employer, has a right to know what they are doing, who is doing it and where public funds are being spent. Every dime every day. As well all votes in council should be recorded and made public within 24 hours. We have a right to know who is backing which economic nightmare like the Bedford Halifax high speed ferry.


Bruce DeVenne

Candidate district 20

Lr. Sackville


Ph.# 23 ELECT

Dawn Marie Sloane - Municipal - District 12 - Halifax Downtown - incumbent

From: "Dawn Marie Sloane" <dmsloane@ns.sympatico.ca>

To: "Darce Fardy" <darce@eastlink.ca>

Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2008 9:29 PM

Subject: Re: Right to Know


When sworn into office, you are asked to take an Oath. I take this Oath seriously and have also taken a course on public consultation and citizen engagement. I agree that there must be more transparency. When the public thinks something is a done deal before it is even brought to Council, demonstrates that the process is not working properly. As the first words in the course I took said " if it is going too fast, it isn't democracy!"





Andrea Hilchie-Pye - District 14 Connaught - Quinpool

Monday, September 15, 2008

Subject: Candidates and FOI

Good Evening Darce:

Thank-you so much for sharing your op-ed and the web site . Thank you for championing The Right To Know.

One of my values is being transparent and I strongly feel government should not expend its energy on preventing people from having access to information and instead educate the public about how to analyze information and ask questions.

If we as elected officials remain true to our values even if people may disagree, why do we need to hide our positions or actions. I do understand there are times when information cannot be shared (when it does harm to people – ie when a family's name is protected from publication to protect a child who is testifying in a sexual assault case) but the public understands this sensitivity.

Elected officials are human and are prone to making mistakes. Being open about these mistakes and addressing our actions to resolve them is better than trying to cover them up.

I feel it is important to active people in the electoral process. As I have been campaigning I have suggested to undecided voters to look at all of our pamphlets and choose question(s)to pose to all of us. This way our answers allow people to make an informed and unbiased decision.

I look forward to continued discussions with you on this issue.

Have a wonderful evening.



Jennifer Watts - District 14 Connaught - Quinpool

From: Jennifer Watts

Sent: Monday, September 15, 2008 1:49 PM

Subject: RE: Right to Know

Thanks, Darce, for the information and the link to your website. It is good to know that a group exists to pursue this issue in our society and to provide background material and information on this important component of democracy.

I have heard concerns about accessing information from one group in particular – the ability of environmental groups to get necessary information through the freedom of Information act and the deadline for submitting an appeal to the provincial government – both with 30 day windows. Very difficult for community groups to find information in a timely manner and meet this deadline. As well, many people are upset with the process that took place with the Commonwealth Games.

I look forward to hearing from you again – I fully support transparency in public decision making and welcome the challenge of groups such as Right to Know to be accountable to this openness in our decision-making process.

It was good to meet you as well on the doorstep.

Thanks again for taking the time to send this to me.