Whitehorse Daily Star

NDP wants apology for premier’s ATIPP remark

Yukon NDP Leader Liz Hanson is calling on Premier Sandy Silver to explain and apologize for a comment he made in the legislature

By Taylor Blewett on March 8, 2018

Yukon NDP Leader Liz Hanson is calling on Premier Sandy Silver to explain and apologize for a comment he made in the legislature that she says implies a breach of privacy related to Access to Information and Protection of Privacy (ATIPP) requests.

The premier denies any such breach occurred.

On Tuesday, Silver was fielding questions from Hanson about the government’s commitment to electoral reform.

The premier said, “We made this commitment regarding electoral reform and setting fixed election dates, and there have been access to information requests on that issue from the opposition.”

“We were just so shocked,” Hanson told the Star Wednesday.

“You put a real chill out there if you say that ministers, or the premier, has any information about people filing ATIPPs. Holy cow.”

Hanson said as far as she’s aware, the NDP didn’t actually file an ATIPP request on the subject.

Sometimes the government will make “flippant” remarks to throw the opposition off, she said, and that’s fine – “when you’re not dealing with subject matter like privacy.”

In an emailed statement to the Star this morning, the premier said: “I should have included the word “assume” in my statements about ATIPP requests.”

“It is my assumption they came from the Opposition, but as per the rules, I am never made aware of who initiates requests.”

Gwen Rempel, the ATIPP Act co-ordinator, explained that a submitted ATIPP request has to include the applicant’s name and contact information.

“That’s the information we have on the applicant. And that goes into a case file here, and is kept here.”

If the applicant is requesting information about government programs or projects, that request would be forwarded to the appropriate department, and the applicant’s personal information would be withheld.

“There’s no reason why the department would need to know who the applicant was.”

Hanson said she knows how seriously Yukon government employees who work on ATIPP requests take their jobs.

“This actually reflects so badly on those people because it calls into question that somehow, they may have leaked that kind of information.

“It’s unacceptable on so many different levels.”

In a motion submitted Wednesday, Hanson urges the premier to explain his comment, confirm whether his government “respects the privacy provisions of the ATIPP Act” and “apologize to the staff of the ATIPP office for implying that they have breached the privacy of individuals filing ATIPP requests.”

Comments (10)

Up 4 Down 0

martin on Mar 13, 2018 at 5:21 pm

No wonder why Liz lost so much as a politician.

Up 4 Down 0

Simon on Mar 12, 2018 at 5:46 pm

Groucho d'North - ATIPP actually posts their information requests online at http://www.atipp.gov.yk.ca/ati-requests.html

Up 5 Down 0

Werner Rhein on Mar 10, 2018 at 1:10 pm

Are there really no more important thing to discuss than who is asking what via ATIPP?
What about tabling a the emergency preparedness plan?
Or what the next step in moving away from fossil fuels will be.
But that would first need some real work, not just from the politicians but merely from their pet bureaucrates.

Up 5 Down 0

ProScience Greenie on Mar 10, 2018 at 12:44 pm

The rich are getting richer and the poor poorer, an economy based on nothing but TFWs, big box stores and fast food joints and a billion plus a year welfare payment from Ottawa, a real estate and development market run by too many Soapy Smith wannabes and a crack / opioid crisis and this is what the leader of the NDP is worried about? Talk about out of touch.

Up 7 Down 0

Groucho d'North on Mar 10, 2018 at 9:44 am

I suspect ATTIP requests most commonly would be filed by media reporters and other politicians. What's the big deal Liz? This is much ado about nothing.

Up 3 Down 1

Juniper Jackson on Mar 9, 2018 at 11:46 pm

Personally, I am not a Liz fan, and agree that she should have resigned.. however.. Liz asks a valid question.. If Liberal MLAs are being made cognizant of privileged information...how does anyone know that information is limited to election reform? How do I know Frost is not accessing health records? Who does have AIDS huh? How do I know Dendys is not asking for all records of people to have requested information on money paid to the Bands? Everyone has something... if this is let to slide.. it will all slide.. Personally..I don't think there is any such thing anymore as privacy... All Silver has to say is.. I did NOT receive any information from the ATIPP office.. but he hasn't said that.

Up 4 Down 1

Allan Foster on Mar 9, 2018 at 2:58 pm

and even more sniveling from "Corvette" Liz .......

She really should have resigned after the last election
at least Darryl Drugstore did the honorable thing

Up 2 Down 7

BB on Mar 8, 2018 at 10:25 pm

What a sleazy thing to say. It's like saying, "We know who is making access to information requests."

The insinuation or flat out message is that the staff let the premier or his buddies know who is asking what. So either that's true and someone should be fired, or the premier was lying and 'just' wanted to threaten the NDP by saying, 'I know things you don't know I know', or as the premier said, 'he should have put assume in front of what he said' - which sounds like an after the fact damage control statement.

This is the kind of corruption we do not need in government. Liz is correct that Sandy owes an apology to someone. The staff at ATIPP, the NDP who he tried to rattle and threaten inappropriately, and/ or the Yukon public for saying something so stupid if that's all it was.

Up 4 Down 2

NDP are making flip flop I have ever seen in the Yukon on Mar 8, 2018 at 8:04 pm

LIz You like to control ever thing.
Did you do that in land claims? As you were no friends of First Nation s during that period.
I knew Tony P as we had some east coast connections.
Our Premier is doing the best that he can but you don't get it.
I have challenged him on his actions and decisions but he did the best he could on the budget.
I gave him a B+ on his budget.
Tell Yukoners about your years in Management of the Federal Government offices in the Yukon.
Explain please.

Wilf Carter

Up 7 Down 1

Anton on Mar 8, 2018 at 5:46 pm

I'm astonished at Mse. Hanson's pettiness and penchant for innuendo. Some implied, implication was wrongfully implied; withdrawn; redacted; move on. A committee is not required to have an inquiry for this simple oversight.

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