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LETTER: Municipality compelled to disclose information under provincial order

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Thank you Karen Kirkwood-Whyte for reaching out to Judy Smith regarding our request for CK administration to disclose information as ordered by the province. Our request was initially sent to all councillors but since they appear to have ignored our request, we asked our Ward 6 council members to respond. They haven’t.

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Although you connected with municipal clerk Judy Smith, your request should have also been directed to the CAO. In fairness to Judy, as Freedom of Information co-ordinator she is entrusted to reach out to municipal departments to gather the requested material and then co-ordinate, compilation and disseminate to the requester. But she does not have authority to enforce disclosure.

Although our request has gone through the Information and Privacy route, having the IPC order CK to comply, the requested information was never received. We have received a truckload of information not relevant to the request and not relevant to the provincial order as legislatively required.

Our request to council for assistance is all the more imperative since council has in its future serious decisions which ultimately impact the welfare of our community. Council’s decisions must be based on a sound factual footing and not guesswork or hypothesis. That’s why our office is again asking for proof from the municipality by providing the subordinate costing figures used to achieve the grand total figures presented to council and the taxpayer for proposals “A” B” “C” Fire/Ambulance amalgamation.

It’s not rocket science to understand grand total figures, for anything cannot exist absent of supporting costing figures. The latter is all we are requesting. But administration is refusing to disclose supporting costing figures and figures deemed by the IPC to not be exempt under the act.

Council should also be asking why administration has devoted six years to this matter when they could have provided the costing done for the “A” “B” “C” project. This cost to taxpayers should not of have happened. Additionally, having two FOI departments is redundant.

I expect my ward 6 council members to act responsibly and request the subject information be disclosed.

If administration does not have the requested information that administration has so vehemently defended not to disclose, then that is a greater matter and must be dealt with accordingly.

John Cryderman

Chatham

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