FREDERICTON – A judge in Fredericton has ordered the New Brunswick government to release the contracts of consultants it hired to evaluate shale gas royalties.
David Coon, the leader of the province’s Green party, filed an access-to-information request in February 2013 asking for the documents.
But Finance Minister Blaine Higgs rejected the request for several reasons including that the government considered them confidential.
Coon appealed to New Brunswick’s access-to-information commissioner, who said the government should hand over the documents with some exemptions.
But the government refused and Coon filed an appeal with the Court of Queen’s Bench, which has ordered the contracts be released with the exception of information that could identify the consultants and what they were paid in per diems.
Coon says he is pleased with Judge Judy Clendening’s ruling because he believes it is in the public’s interest.