Monday, July 11, 2011

Eyes wide open

I admit I was shocked when reading the allegations of Privacy Commissioner Dickson against the City of Saskatoon (SP July 11/11.) Then I was astounded by City Clerk Janice Mann's retort that the Commissioner was targeting the city because of past disputes and her statement "we'd like a better way of doing things." This seems rather odd when every other municipality in the province abides by the existing disclosure rules, seemingly without conflict with the Privacy Commissioner.

The most contentious seems to be a harassment complaint made by a Saskatoon Police Service employee, which was turned over to the police, presumably for investigation and action. Is this a classic case of the fox guarding the hen house?

On one hand I understand that personnel issues should be confidential - but I expect that the Privacy Commissioner would do just that while at the same time verifying whether or not proper action was being taken. And wasn't the harassment complaint by a past police service employee against former Chief Russ Sabo a public issue? How will we, the public, know whether this is properly dealt with if no one from outside the system is allowed to check up on these matters. Who better than the Privacy Commissioner can assure us that in fact this employee is getting his/her concerns adjudicated?

And what is so confidential about project development records that the prying eyes of the provincial Privacy Commissioner can't take at peek and decide whether or not the reports, or any portion of them, should be made public?

What is the point of the Freedom of Information Act if the entities that it was created to oversee refuse to comply with the legislation or work with a Privacy Commissioner?

In short, what is the city doing that it doesn't want its citizens to know about?


  1. Is this arrogance from city hall surprising? I don't think the current admin wants the books opened right now, especially as they begin the budget cuts.

    Its gonna be interesting how Huey deal with the crumbling roads report, I'm almost hoping for a couple blizzards so we can get reminded of the incompetence of this council once more before the next election.

  2. City Council doesn't want to open their books and arrogant doesn't begin to describe City Council. I worked downtown during the snowstorm. I saw that City Hall was one of the 1st to have the snow ploughed. After that was done, the front shovel went up and the snow plough continued on its way. It took a week for 3rd ave. to be cleared. I had to walk to work for a week cause the snow route on which I lived didn't get ploughed.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.