Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection Act (FIPPA) obstruction to getting to the bottom of Manitoba’s growing debt-crisis
If I’ve learned anything studying politics and public relations, is that full-disclosure will spare you from embarrassment and scandal. It is precisely this lack of disclosure that could ultimately hurt Selinger’s NDP.
The PCs have long-argued that the NDP’s been cooking the province’s financial books. As Bruce Owen detailed in his blog on the Winnipeg Free Press’ website, it would appear as though there is some credence to their claim. (I’ll spare you the financial mumbo-jumbo, but refer to his blog for a detailed explanation).
As Tom Brodbeck noted in his article in the Winnipeg Sun, the true nature of the debt is unknown and the Selinger government is hiding behind FIPPA to prevent anybody from performing more in-depth analyses.
The NDP is refusing to disclose documents related to the new Winnipeg Blue Bombers stadium at the University of Manitoba. Government spokesman John Thorpe was quoted as saying ““As these documents have some details that will likely be protected under law, your best method to obtain as much information as possible is to file a request under FIPPA.”
It seems rather disingenuous to hide behind FIPPA. Far too often it seems to be used as a tool to prevent journalists from getting to the bottom of a story, rather than protecting sensitive information.
If the NDP wishes to dismiss claims that it has cooked the books, the only way to do it is to go public with the information.