Mayor David Kogon, on behalf of Amherst town council, has proclaimed Sept. 27, 2021, to Oct. 3, 2021, as Right to Know Week in the Town of Amherst.
“Access to information is critical to democracies around the world because having that access enables citizens to actively engage in a meaningful way in the democratic process,” Kogon said, as he signed the proclamation on Sept. 24, 2021.
“The principles of openness, transparency and accountability have been one of the main philosophies by which the town operates, not only for the current council but for many previous councils as well. It will be a driving factor for how this municipality operates well into the future.”
The proclamation notes the Municipal Government Act of Nova Scotia gives citizens the right to access information that is in the custody or under the control of the Town of Amherst and that right of access facilitates informed public participation in policy formulation, ensures fairness in government decision making and permits the airing and reconciliation of divergent views.
It also notes Amherst is joining many other Canadian jurisdictions and democracies worldwide in acknowledging International Right to Know Week, which according to a Nova Scotia Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner webpage had its start 19 years ago when a meeting of international access advocates in Sofia, Bulgaria, proposed that Sept. 28 be declared International Right to Know Day as a way to promote access to information worldwide.
The goal of Right to Know Day, the site added, is to raise global awareness of individuals’ right to access government information and to promote access to information as a fundamental right.
The site states Right to Know Day is celebrated in more than 40 nations and more than 80 countries have adopted access to information legislation.
This is the 16th year Canadians have celebrated International Right to Know Week, the website said.