EDMONTON. AB: Documents obtained by the CBC are just the latest example of political interference and a culture of secrecy that is quickly becoming deeply embedded within the NDP government, the Wildrose Official Opposition said.
The documents show senior civil servants within the bureaucracy ordering junior FOIP officers to release to the minister’s office a copy of all records requested by journalists and opposition parties. The NDP government recently obscured an investigation by the Privacy Commissionerby redacting or blacking out nearly 800 pages of government documents.
“Secrecy and interference in freedom of information are rapidly becoming hallmarks of Alberta’s first NDP government and Albertans are already getting tired of it,” Wildrose Shadow Democracy & Accountability Minister Nathan Cooper said. “The NDP government is now unabashed in defending these same type actions they used to decry while in opposition.”
Cooper said instead of delaying and interfering in the release of these documents, the government should prioritize making them public.
Recently, Wildrose released a memo that shows heavy interference from Alberta Justice and legal counsel from the moment a FOIP request is received to how each request is dealt with.
The Justice department had previously asked to reject a FOIP request because Wildrose was “utilizing the system, without any accountability.”
Wildrose recently released a report to begin fixing Alberta’s broken FOIP system. Wildrose Shadow Service Alberta Minister Scott Cyr said it’s time for the NDP to adopt the report’s recommendations.
“Rewarding government staff for obscuring and delaying information is not open and accountable government,” Cyr said. “Greater information sharing is critical.”