Bell phone contract, internet agreement to be released

The province can now release the full, unabridged 2008 phone services contract and high-speed internet development agreement with Bell Aliant.

Government had intended to release the records from the beginning. However, the planned release was delayed because Bell exercised its right under the FOIPP Act to ask for an independent review of the province’s decision.

“One of our highest priorities is to improve transparency and accountability, and to provide Islanders with information about how this government operates,” Economic Development and Tourism Minister Heath MacDonald said. “The release of this contract will allow the province to move forward, and work with internet service and telecommunication providers to help ensure Islanders receive the best and most reliable service possible.

“It’s unfortunate it took this long, but we are very pleased with the decision of the information and privacy commissioner and we look forward to sharing this information with Islanders,” Minister MacDonald said.

Decisions of the commissioner are subject to judicial review, and the deadline to request such a review will conclude on Monday, January 23. The contract will be made public that day if no judicial review is pursued.

Bell Aliant provided the Standing Committee on Education and Economic Development a redacted version of the contract that had pricing information removed. On December 21, 2016 the information and privacy commissioner ordered that the full contract did not meet the requirements for protection under the FOIPP Act and confirmed the department’s decision to disclose.

Media contact:
Andrew Sprague
Department of Economic Development and Tourism

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