POLITICS

Saskatchewan privacy commissioner makes 35 recommendations in his first report

06/22/2015 11:30 EDT | Updated 06/22/2016 05:59 EDT
REGINA - Saskatchewan's new privacy commissioner says it's time to update the province's freedom of information and privacy laws.

Ronald Kruzeniski delivered his first annual report as commissioner on Monday, and made 35 recommendations to bring Saskatchewan's legislation in line with other provinces like Alberta and Ontario.

They include making sure everyone is notified in a timely manner when their privacy is breached, and including police departments in access laws.

Kruzeniski also recommends merging the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act into one act to reduce confusion.

The report says the Ministry of Health failed to respond to five reports from the privacy commissioner within the required 30 days and that 25 per cent of the time, public bodies gave no response to recommendations within the required time.

Justice Minister Gord Wyant blames delays to an almost fourfold increase in the number of requests for information.

Wyant says the government will be talking to police departments to find the best strategy for dealing with the recommendation that they be included as local authorities under the freedom of information law.

Kruzeniski says he's received assurances that the slow responses in the health ministry are being worked on.

NDP justice critic John Nilson says the reports shows the government lacks transparency, noting a government committed to transparency would make information accessible and be more proactive about releasing it.

The NDP would like to see Creative Saskatchewan, a new Crown corporation, included in access laws as well.

The CEO of Creative Saskatchewan, John-Paul Ellson, was under fire early this year after he attended a pre-Oscar party and hosted an after-party at the Canadian Screen Awards.

(CJME, CKRM)