City of Iqaluit misses target of falling under access to information law
Acting chief administrative officer says city waiting on GN for training requirements
The City of Iqaluit has missed its goal of bringing itself under the territorial Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and is passing the responsibility on to the Government of Nunavut.
Since councillors voted to work toward bringing the city under the act a year and a half ago, the city has been in consultation with the government.
However, acting chief administrative officer Rod Mugford said the city hasn’t started training staff and he doesn’t know where it will get more funding to administrate requests for access to information.
“We’re looking to the GN to identify and outline the training requirements,” Mugford wrote in an email to Nunatsiaq News.
Currently, the territory’s access to information act gives residents the right to access territorial government documents. The act also outlines the rights Nunavummiut have to privacy.
Municipalities don’t fall under the act, but they can join by asking the Nunavut government.
Iqaluit city council passed a motion in November 2021 to have the city work with the Nunavut government “with the goal of coming under [ATIPP] by January 2023.”
Mugford said that wasn’t a deadline.
“The motion states ‘with the goal,’ not ‘shall’ or ‘must’ be completed by January 2023,” Mugford said in an email.
Nunatsiaq News reached out to the Department of Community and Government Services but did not get a response.
Councillors made the motion in support of bringing the city under ATIPP following a presentation from Nunavut’s information and privacy commissioner, Graham Steele.
Steele said the benefits of operating under the act include gaining trust from residents, even though there would be some challenges such as staff time spent handling requests.
He said he would advocate for the city to receive government funding for staffing positions and resource management.