Bonnyville-Cold Lake MLA and Wildrose Shadow Justice Minister Scott Cyr has released a statement today expressing disappointment with the Provincial Department of Justice’s lack of compliance in Freedom of Information requests his party has made.
“The Department of Justice and Solicitor General has for several years been consistently obstructive in providing information to the opposition and Albertans in a timely manner,” the statement reads. “In the last 18 months we have only had three of our 24 FOIP requests answered. This is by far the worst performing government department on FOIP issues.
“We were hoping this pattern of behaviour established by the previous PC government would have stopped after the election last May. Instead it has become an entrenched practice within the ministry to consistently avoid its obligations under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. In the last month, the Wildrose Official Opposition filed 14 new appeals about Alberta Justice FOIPs with the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s office.
“Wildrose requests for information regarding Tobaccogate, Fentanyl, sole source contracts and ministerial orders are among those being held up. Taxpayers have a right to this information and delaying access only serves to further suspicions of questionable behavior within the government.
“Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley cannot blame this on the previous PC government. She should immediately explain to Albertans why this practice persists across her department and what the NDP government will do to fix it.”
In another press release, the Wildrose highlighted the lack of requests granted in the justice department in comparison with much more compliant 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.”