Gateway Gazette

NDP Caps Off a Week of Bad Behaviour and New Lows in Government Transparency: Wildrose

EDMONTON, AB: The NDP government has overseen a week of new lows in government ethics, and shown its true colours as a secretive and unaccountable administration, the Wildrose Official Opposition said.

This week, the NDP government was condemned by Information and Privacy Commissioner Jill Clayton for its “lack of respect” towards the freedom of information system, attempted to shut out a Wildrose MLA from attending a coal phase-out consultation in his own riding and blocked Official Opposition MLAs from a technical briefing on changes to compensation rules for agencies, boards and commissions (ABCs).

On Thursday, it was revealed that under the NDP government’s watch, a complete “lack of respect” towards the freedom of information (FOIP) system has spread throughout much of the Government of Alberta. In two cases, senior bureaucrats specifically blocked requests from the Official Opposition without cause. In another case, a senior official flagged information that would be good for the NDP government to use to “shame the Wildrose Party.”

“This kind of extreme NDP politicization of our FOIP process isn’t just unethical, it’s an abuse of power that Albertans will not tolerate,” Wildrose Shadow Service Alberta Minister Scott Cyr said. “The NDP has given these offices the green-light to obstruct and block legitimate requests for public information. These are public offices paid for with public dollars to uphold our laws and democracy. The NDP’s actions are turning our FOIP system into an embarrassment.”

On Wednesday, NDP government officials attempted to block Drumheller-Stettler MLA Rick Strankman from attending a coal phase-out meeting in his own riding.

“Hanna is one of many Alberta communities facing economic devastation as a result of the NDP’s plan to phase-out coal, and if the government is going to come to the community, it should be open to hearing from local voices and representatives,” Strankman said. “Instead, it’s going far out of its way to block local officials who could have views that go against its agenda. This kind of heavy-handed, tone-deaf approach to consultation is becoming par for the course with this NDP government.”

Today, the NDP government blocked the Official Opposition from attending an update to changes to compensation rules for ABCs.

“I can’t remember the Official Opposition ever being blocked from an important government update like this,” Wildrose Shadow Democracy & Accountability Minister Nathan Cooper said. “The NDP really capped off this week of bad behaviour with a stunning show of heavy-handedness.”

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