Posted on Sep 16, 2020
OPPOSITION FILES COMPLAINT WITH OIPC TO SEEK RELEASE OF LAGRANGE’S HIDDEN SCHOOL RE-ENTRY DOCUMENTS
EDMONTON - Alberta’s NDP Official Opposition has formally asked Alberta’s Information and Privacy Commissioner to direct the Minister of Education to release hidden documents related to school re-entry.
“Yesterday I asked the Minister to release these documents herself and she has not,” said Sarah Hoffman, NDP Official Opposition Critic for Education. “So today I have asked the commissioner to review the Minister’s absurd claims that no documents exist.”
The Opposition made three requests under the Freedom of Information Act for documents that include correspondence with teachers, superintendents and school districts about school re-entry planning, as well as internal discussion about these messages and prominent media coverage of education issues.
The Minister’s Office claims that none of these records exist.
“In the absence of timely government reporting, volunteer groups believe there are 65 Alberta schools with a COVID case in their student body, and 10 schools have multiple cases,” Hoffman said. “Albertans deserve and demand the highest level of transparency from the Minister of Education in these stressful times. It’s unacceptable for her to conceal school re-entry planning documents from the public.”
In her letter to Commissioner Jill Clayton, Hoffman wrote “I emphasize that the Minister’s Office has not withheld or redacted records using the exemptions provided in the Act, but has claimed that these records do not exist at all. I believe this claim is false, and is a violation of the Act.”