Cannonier ‘incredibly sorry’ for PATI slip
The “inadvertent” naming of a person conducting a Public Access to Information query remains under investigation, but Public Works Minister Craig Cannonier has apologised to the House of Assembly, calling it “an honest mistake”.
Saying he was “incredibly sorry”, Mr Cannonier told MPs he had erred during the May 15 debate on the taking of Bermuda stone from a construction site at Black Watch Pass. During that debate, Mr Cannonier told the House that Walton Brown, the Shadow Minister for Immigration and External Affairs, had made a PATI request — but making that revelation violated the rules of PATI, which protect the identity of persons making inquiries.
Progressive Labour Party MP Derrick Burgess questioned whether it was appropriate for the minister to speak on a matter that was under investigation, as was announced on Monday by Gitanjali Gutierrez, the Information Commissioner.
However, Randy Horton, the Speaker of the House, said that it was acceptable for Mr Cannonier to finish his remarks as a personal explanation.
Mr Cannonier said he prided himself on performing his duties to the best of his abilities, but like everyone he sometimes erred.
He added that he had intended to show that he was “working on investigating the issue at hand, so that everyone could be comfortable with the steps we were taking”. He had then let slip the identity of “the individual who was doing his best to do his job within the letter of the law, and in no way deserved to have his privacy violated”. The minister gave his apologies to the Speaker and to fellow MPs.