EDMONTON, AB: Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley must immediately explain how she plans on correcting the way her department thumbs its nose at the freedom of information (FOIP) process, the Wildrose Official Opposition said.
Alberta Justice has been at the centre of many FOIP controversies recently. Now the department is being chastised publicly by national legal experts who’ve labelled its practices as “contemptuous” and “cavalier.”
“The NDP’s attitude towards the freedom of information process has become an embarrassment,” Wildrose Shadow Justice Minister Scott Cyr said. “Independent experts from across the country are looking at our province in disbelief. Minister Ganley needs to explain how she will correct the secretive, obstructive behaviours that have gone from bad to worse under the NDP government’s watch.”
Among the practices Alberta Justice undertakes is redacting critical information, ignoring set deadlines and failing to provide promised documents.
Last month, Information and Privacy Commissioner Jill Clayton said “access delayed is access denied,” over FOIP issues at Alberta Justice.
Wildrose Shadow Minister for Democracy & Accountability Jason Nixon said the NDP’s FOIP challenges can no longer be blamed on the previous government.
“The NDP promised to do things differently, but what we’re seeing is a government that has taken the bad practices of the past to new lows,” Nixon said. “The experts have placed the blame for this bad behaviour squarely on the shoulders of the NDP government. With our province being openly reprimanded, I’d be very interested to hear what the NDP and the minister’s department have to say.”
Wildrose has submitted 24 FOIP requests to Alberta Justice over the past 19 months; so far, only three have been fully responded to.