NDP denying access to public information - Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba

Government ignoring the spirit and the letter of the law: Pallister

The NDP is ignoring legal requirements for transparency under provincial legislation. The apparent breach of the legislation raises serious questions about why information on the severance issue is being covered up.

“We are giving them one more chance to come clean and provide the information we are asking for on the outrageous severance to former staffers, before we are forced to request yet another review by the Ombudsman,” said Opposition Leader Brian Pallister. “The legislation says we have a right to this information and the NDP are ignoring the law.”

The government has repeatedly denied requests, citing selected sections of the Act they say allow them to refuse to disclose specifics on who received severance and why, as it would be “an unreasonable invasion of an individual’s privacy.”

What they fail to even mention in their denials is there is a section of the Act that outlines what is not sufficient reason for withholding information. Section 17(4)(g) describes when disclosure is not unreasonable, and clearly defines the rationale (see Backgrounder).

Numerous FIPPA (Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act) requests from PC researchers have gone unanswered using these selective and incomplete citations as excuses to hide the truth from Manitobans.

“Why not spare the taxpayers the needless expense of another investigation and simply follow the law?” Pallister said.