Sask. gov’t accused of breaking access to info laws
REGINA – The Saskatchewan Party government has refused to turn over nearly two dozen records applied for under access-to-information laws, according to the Opposition NDP.
Of 23 cases, 17 are under investigation by the province’s privacy commissioner. In six others, the commissioner’s office found information was released too slowly or was inappropriately withheld.
This follows an alleged privacy breach against a Saskatoon health care worker, Peter Bowden, who has said the government leaked information from his personnel file. He was suspended with pay from his job as a care aide for incidents related to patient care and harassment, according to the government.
“But when there are questions really about the public interest, like the $1.5 billion of school needs for buildings, they say ‘No, can’t share that information, cabinet secret,’ ” said NDP leader Cam Broten, suggesting the government only provides information when it’s “politically convenient.”
“I don’t agree there’s a parallel here and I don’t agree that the government hasn’t been forthcoming with respect to infrastructure needs in the province,” Premier Brad Wall said in response.
More talk of privacy law allowing releasing info in “public interest”. A lawyer told me language is vague and up to interpretation. #skpoli
— Mike McKinnon (@mikemckinnon) April 27, 2015
Wall remained adamant that disciplinary action taken against Bowden was of public interest to ensure health workers know the discipline wasn’t related to Bowden’s efforts as a whistleblower.
Six of eight complaints against Bowden appear to have come after he went public with issues about understaffing in Saskatchewan seniors homes.Follow @mikemckinnon
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