As some of you may be aware, I’ve been attempting to convince IRAC to tear away the veil of secrecy on its Land Databank so Islanders can easily and quickly find out how many parcels of PEI land a given person or corporation has applied to purchase.
Last Monday, the day before the NFU Forum on the Land for PC Leadership candidates, I called the CEO of IRAC, Scott MacKenzie, to ask if my request to have an additional search field added to the online portal to the databank would ever be acted upon. I told him straight-up that I was calling so I could relay his response to the attending crowd and general public at the NFU Forum the following evening.
We actually had a very relaxed discussion, which soon came to the point of my call and the following exchange:
KEVIN: “I’ve checked and it’s [IRAC’s Land Databank] not been changed, and I’m just wondering what the rationale is for not adding some different search features.”
SCOTT: “Well, it hasn’t been changed yet, but it’s in the works. Our IT fellow is looking at doing that…I talked to him a couple of weeks ago and said we want to get this done. And Kevin, we’ll give you credit for it. I’m kinda hoping that this week, we’ll be able to get that done.”
I asked him if “kinda hoping” might turn into another year of waiting and he assured me the new search field would be in place by the end of the month.
So I woke up this morning thinking: “Well, it’s the end of the month….” and bingo, just like that, I got an email from Scott MacKenzie:
The change has been made to our database search features on our website. Searches by name may now be done. See link below:
With giddy excitement, I nervously clicked on the link, and the following page appeared:
I quickly typed “Irving” into the virgin search field, and in less than a second, voila! – I was scrolling through a list of every application for a parcel of land which Irvings had applied to purchase in Prince Edward Island since 1993. Amazing!