Scott Cyr’s Message: September 8th, 2016

Press Release from the Official Opposition Alberta’s Wildrose

With the Alberta Justice department becoming even more obstructive under the NDP than it was under the previous PC government, today the Wildrose Official Opposition called for significant changes within how the ministry conducts its business.

Since the last election, Wildrose has submitted 24 FOIP requests to the Department of Justice. They have only answered five requests and two of those were because there were no responsive records. In an attempt to receive the information the department is legally required to release, the Wildrose Official Opposition recently filed 14 appeals with the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s office.

“Open and transparent government was a plank that the NDP government ran on, but they are no better than the previous government when it comes to releasing information in a timely manner,” Wildrose Shadow Justice Minister Scott Cyr said. “In the interest of accountability, I urge the NDP government to release publicly disclosed timelines on FOIP requests in all of their departments, so Albertans can judge for themselves whether the job they are doing stands up to the highest standards of transparency and accountability.”

While in opposition, former NDP Leader and current NDP House Leader Brian Mason said about FOIP, “Mr. Speaker, this legislation is just the most recent example in a long trend towards secrecy for this government. No other government in Canada is so careful and so calculating in its management of information. The watchword of this government seems to be: what they don’t know can’t hurt us.”

Wildrose routinely sends FOIP requests to government departments as part of its mandate as the Official Opposition. The information derived from these FOIPs is used to hold the government to account and to promote transparency and accountability.

Key Metrics on Wildrose FOIP requests to other Alberta Government Departments:

Infrastructure – 39 requests since election, 35 received.
Finance – 35 since election, 29 received.
Health – 50 since election, 45 received.
Education – 29 since election, 23 received.
Justice –– 24 requests since election, 5 received. One FOIP request has remained un-responded to for 444 days. We recently received a Tobaccogate FOIP which took 954 days to complete.