Canadian Association of Journalists names Klein government as Canada’s “most secretive”

CALGARY – Premier Ralph Klein’s government has been named the “most secretive government body in Canada” by the country’s leading journalism association.

At its annual awards ceremony this past weekend, the Canadian Association of Journalism voted the Government of Alberta the winner of its Code of Silence Award, for its handling of a Freedom of Information request on the use of the government’s private jet.

The association said the Alberta government won out over other deserving candidates for withholding public records from the Edmonton Journal and opposition parties for six months, until two days after the provincial election.

“The Alberta government squeaked by with an astonishingly brazen performance by Premier Ralph Klein and his supporting cast, ” said Paul Schneidereit, president of the CAJ, in a new release.
“Ralph, the Code of Silence, has landed.”

The information that was eventually released was used by the Edmonton Journal in a four-part series which showed the air transportation service was used “like a private taxi by Klein and his ministers.”

A Freedom of Information commissioner has since ordered a public hearing into how the government processed the newspaper’s request.

The Code of Silence Award last year went to Health Canada for “denying meaningful access to a database of prescription drugs that could harm or even kill Canadians.”

Source: CBC News
May 16 2005