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News Releases

REF NO.: 24

SUBJECT: Right to Know Week taking place at Memorial University
DATE: Sept. 29, 2009

Memorial University is doing its part to promote access to information as a fundamental human right.

Right to Know (RTK) Week takes place Sept. 28-Oct. 2. To help raise awareness about people’s right to access government information, there will be an information booth at the University Centre, second floor, on Memorial’s St. John’s campus Sept. 29 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

This year marks the fourth year that Canadians have celebrated RTK Week, and there are a great number of events planned coast to coast. Memorial is pleased to contribute to educating the public about their right to know.

“Memorial University’s IAPP Office is delighted to participate in Right to Know Week,” said Rosemary Smith, Information Access and Privacy Protection Co-ordinator. “Over the past few weeks, we have worked with the College of the North Atlantic, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner and a number of other organizations in this province to recognize the importance of freedom of information to good governance and the democratic process.”

Internationally, RTK Day began on Sept. 28, 2002, in Sofia, Bulgaria at an international meeting of access to information advocates who proposed that a day be dedicated to the promotion of freedom of information worldwide. It is now celebrated globally and continues to grow and expand each year, both internationally and within Canada, with more participants and new exciting events being added.

The goal of RTK Day is to raise global awareness of individuals’ right to access government information and to promote access to information as a fundamental human right. The core principles of Right to Know as expressed by the Open Society Justice Initiative are:

 

•           Access to information is a right of everyone.

•           Access is the rule; secrecy is the exception!

•           The right applies to all public bodies.

•           Making requests should be simple, speedy and free.

•           Officials have a duty to assist requestors.

•           Refusals must be justified.

•           The public interest takes precedence over secrecy.

•           Everyone has the right to appeal an adverse decision.

•           Public bodies should proactively publish core information.

•           The right should be guaranteed by an independent body.

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