Accessing Information In Amherstburg

Commentary by Linda Saxon

The purpose of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 1991, is:

a) To provide a right of access to information under the control of government organizations in accordance with the following principles:

information should be available to the public;

exemptions to the right of access should be limited and specific;

decisions on the disclosure of government information may be reviewed by the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

b) To protect personal information held by government organizations and to provide individuals with a right of access to their own personal information.

Given the number of appeals and breaches of information I have endured, I would like to hear from other residents.

How open is government in Amherstburg? How are informal requests for information handled? What about Freedom of Information requests – are they routinely denied?

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UCCU complex accessibility question

on october 11, 2011, i emailed brenda percy, town clerk and requested documentation to support the claim that the UCCU is a fully accessible facility; she initially did not address my request, but then advised, “With regard to documentation to support the claim – I do not have that type of information but will inquire.”

on october 31, 2011, i emailed to inquire about the status of her inquiries; she replied, “Your question has been relayed to the appropriate manager and it is my understanding correspondence is being drafted.”

on november 7, 2011, brenda percy emailed me a copy of letter dated november 7, 2011 from Cindy Burkhour, MA, CTRS, CPRP, Access to Recreation, Jenison, Michigan, the consultant used in UCCU Centre regarding accessibility of the complex.

on november 8, 2011, i requested brenda percy to make further inquiries for documentation, including reports, correspondence, accessibility audits, council minutes, committee minutes, departmental minutes and reports, etc.,  that correspond with any earlier claims that the UCCU complex is accessible.

about two hours later, brenda percy replied, “the correspondence provided should satisfy your request. For any additional information, please feel free to search the public archives available on the Town website at www.amherstburg.ca

i subsequently requested that my request and emails be placed on council’s agenda for the next meeting and the response was, “will do.”