Statement from Minister Bloyce Thompson – IRAC Investigation Report into the Red Fox Acres Limited land acquisition
Hon. Bloyce Thompson, Minister of Agriculture and Land issued the following statement after receiving advice and recommendations from the Information and Privacy Commissioner on the release of the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission (IRAC) Investigation Report into the Red Fox Acres Limited land acquisition:
On January 5, 2021 Prince Edward Island’s Information and Privacy Commissioner provided me with advice and recommendations about the possible release of the IRAC report on a recent land transaction. This IRAC report examined the acquisition of land by Red Fox Acres Limited, which IRAC determined put certain parties above our Island’s legislated limits on land ownership.
When I asked IRAC to carry out its investigation, I made a commitment to Islanders that I would publicly release its findings.
In October 2020, I wrote to Prince Edward Island’s Information and Privacy Commissioner to ask for her advice and recommendations on publicly releasing the IRAC report.
Because of the information contained in this IRAC report, I wanted guidance on how its release should be handled in accordance with our Province’s information and privacy legislation.
In her advice and recommendations, the Information and Privacy Commissioner recommends that any disclosure of this IRAC report be dealt with under the access to information process pursuant to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. We will allow this process to proceed, and will not release the IRAC report except in accordance with this statutory process.
Although it was frustrating that we couldn’t release the IRAC report immediately, our Government will follow due process and observe Prince Edward Island’s information and privacy laws.
Parties named in the IRAC report have applied for a judicial review of my decision to enforce the Lands Protection Act based on the IRAC report I received. As a result, I will not comment further on this matter while it is before the courts.
Our Government is committed to upholding and modernizing land legislation on Prince Edward Island. I encourage anyone concerned about land use, protection and policy to follow and take part in the review now happening through the Land Matters consultation process.
Department of Agriculture and Land