April 12th, 2024

Letter: Mostly-redacted ‘public’ report the kind of secrecy meant for dictatorships

By Letter to the Editor on April 2, 2024.

Dear editor,

There simply isn’t a democratic norm, policy or procedure which Medicine Hat councillors and staff won’t break to fit their own purposes.

Councillors voted to receive the Kingsgate Legal report for the public record and in doing so, verbally named Coun. Shiila Sharps and Mayor Linnsie Clark as the complainant and respondent respectively.

Instead of releasing this public report as accepted, they retroactively redacted it including information identifying Coun. Sharps and Mayor Clark as the complainant and respondent.

Such actions are more consistent with tin-pot dictatorships than a parliamentary democracy.

Hatters need not imagine a world in which a report received by Parliament finding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau guilty of ethics breaches or a report accepted by the Alberta Legislature raising concerns about deaths of children in care can be retroactively redacted.

In Medicine Hat, retroactive redactions of public documents is allowable and our reality.

Alex McCuaig

Medicine Hat

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