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Nova Scotia names lawyer as privacy and freedom of information watchdog

Tricia Ralph, the new freedom of information officer of Nova Scotia, poses in this undated handout photo. Nova Scotia has appointed a lawyer as the province's new freedom of information and protection of privacy watchdog. Tricia Ralph's appointment as the review officer for access to information takes effect on March 1. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Nova Scotia Department of Justice

Nova Scotia has appointed a lawyer from northern Canada as the province’s new freedom of information and protection of privacy watchdog.

Tricia Ralph’s appointment as the review officer for access to information takes effect on March 1.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia ministers, officials still using personal email accounts despite warning

She is currently legal counsel for the information and privacy commissioner of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.

The review officer has an independent oversight role and is appointed by cabinet for a term of five to seven years.

In his announcement, Justice Minister Mark Furey says Ralph’s role is key to ensuring a balance between the protection of information and the public right to access government information.

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READ MORE: After more than 650 days, province says Nova Scotians will be able to file FOI requests online again

Ralph’s predecessor, Catherine Tully, criticized the province for often refusing to follow her findings to release information, and called on the Liberal government to bring the province’s access laws “into the 21st Century.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 5, 2020.

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