University Professor Successfully Obtains Documents After Two-Year Battle Getting Them

Two University professors are celebrating the end of a Freedom of Information court process.

This was in reference to the Husky Energy pipeline spill clean up. Dr. Patricia Elliott was pursuing research on the matter, and submitted an information request in November of 2017. She has now received several documents after two years of information being withheld by the ministry of environment.

Elliott said this win is a good first step.

“I think this really helps, I think the government has watched the discussion on this in the media and on social media and they’re paying attention to that,” Elliott said.

Elliott dropped her case against the ministry of environment after receiving documents, some of which redacted, that she needed for her research.

She said she now has over 4,000 pages of documents to look through for her research.

“I’m just looking just to see what the conversations are around the clean-up of an oil spill,” Elliott said. “My interest is in studying oilfield regulation, so I would just like to see the back-and-forth and the communications between the ministries, and it helps us establish a timeline.”

However, Dr. Emily Eaton is still seeking information on energy research funding from the University of Regina, and is undertaking a lengthy court process to do so. She said the U of R is sending a poor message by continuing to fight this in the courts.

“As academics, we have a tradition of pursuing the truth through our research with full disclosure of our research funders, so I think they’re really going against academic traditions,” Eaton said. “I think it’s appearing like they have something serious to hide, and that’s never a good thing.”

Eaton adds her legal fees will be in the $12,000 range. Her go-fund-me page continues to gain traction as she is set to return to court in February.


More from GX94 Radio