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NDP must end stonewalling in PC FOIP interference investigation: Nixon

EDMONTON, AB (August 17, 2015): Following a CBC Investigation into political interference in freedom of information requests in Alberta, Wildrose Accountability Shadow Minister Jason Nixon is calling on the NDP to fully participate in the investigation and to hand over the documents requested.

In 2014, Alberta’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Jill Clayton issued formal orders to 13 government ministries to produce documents related to an investigation into illegal political interference in active Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act requests.  Rather than complying with Commissioner Clayton, former PC Justice Minister Jonathan Denis instead used the courts to stonewall the process and prevented what should have been an open and transparent investigation from moving forward.

“A relationship between the government and the Information and Privacy Commissioner that worked well for 18 years crumbled in 2014,” Nixon said. “It’s disturbing that this legacy lives on, and that now it is the NDP who are preventing Commissioner Clayton from receiving the information she requires to complete her investigation into PC misconduct.”

Premier Rachel Notley’s government has done nothing to assist the Information and Privacy Commissioner to receive the necessary documents and has continued legal action.

According to the CBC, chief NDP government spokespeople did not return calls on the issue.

“The NDP ran on a platform of cleaning up a broken system, and to bring openness and transparency to the dark corners of government,” Nixon said. “Sadly, their unwillingness to cooperate with Commissioner Clayton in this investigation goes to show that Wildrose is the only party that is truly committed to cleaning up Alberta’s political system.”

The Information and Privacy Commissioner is an independent officer of the Legislative Assembly charged with the oversight of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FOIP Act”), the Health Information Act (“HIA”), and the Personal Information Protection Act (“PIPA”). The Information and Privacy Commissioner reports annually to the Legislative Assembly.