Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Elmer Buchanan, in his role as trustee for the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers Marketing Board, has cancelled a Freedom-of-Information request filed by the board he has replaced.

The board of directors’ request was for all correspondence among the marketing board, the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the association representing vegetable-processing companies.

The board was obviously trying to figure out who was calling the shots when the commission made a proposal to strip the board of its price-negotiating powers.

That ended up happening, but in between Ontario Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal intervened to call for a round of consultations.

Buchanan said in a brief interview that he cancelled the request for the correspondence because the Freedom-of-Information office set a high price.

He would not say now much, other than “in the thousands.”

Dave Epp, a former board director, said Buchanan told him that pursuing the request for the correspondence “did not serve any purpose.”

It is normal procedure for the Freedom of Information office to provide an estimate of the costs involved in complying with a request for information.

It’s then up to the person, or entity, that filed the request to decide whether to proceed.