A Freedom of Information Request for emails between Premier Jason Kenney’s government and members of the Fair Deal panel came back with 138 blacked out pages. The redacted pages came in response to a formal request from independence activist C.W. Alexander.
While the request came back with email template thank-you letters from Premier Kenney to panel members, other, more in-depth pages were completely blacked out. The government cited “cabinet confidentiality” as its grounds for the mass redaction.
One of the pages not entirely redacted in the FOIP request Alexander requested “all emails, letters, notes and/or memorandum to or from the Premier of Alberta, and the Deputy Ministers of Executive Council to and from the members of the Alberta Fair Deal Panel from Nov. 1, 2019 to June 14, 2020.”
Government FOIP Coordinator Suzanne Sutherland replied: “Executive Council has decided to grant you access to part of the records you requested. The records contain some information that was withheld from disclosure in accordance with proper FOIP procedures.”
The released papers only include a letter from panel chair Oryssia Lennie to Kenney on May 5, informing him the panel’s report was finished, and thank-you letters.
But more than 138 other pages were blacked out entirely.
The Fair Deal Panel was established and commissioned by Premier Jason Kenney in November 2019 to look at ways Alberta could get a better deal within confederation.
The panel conducted the bulk of its public hearings and received the most input from experts and interest groups during the months of December, January and early February.