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Advocate’s FOIP request into Red Deer city council’s conduct investigation from 2021 delayed again

The matter should be deat with by October 2024: Office of Information and Privacy
(Advocate file photo).

A Freedom of Information request made by the Advocate over a 2021 Council Conduct Code investigation that cost taxpayers $107,000 but was never released to the public or accepted by council, has been delayed for up to another year.

A letter received this week from the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta states that an inquiry that was supposed to wrap up this fall will now be held sometime before Oct. 24, 2024.

While no reason for the delay was given in the letter, a registrar with the office had earlier explained it was due to a backlog of cases.

The Advocate first filed the FOIP request on Nov. 4, 2021, after some taxpayers objected to not learning what was in a report that they paid for, but was never released publicly by city council.

An independent consultant was hired by the City of Red Deer in 2021 to investigate a complaint made against someone who sat on the last city council (the complaint was made before the last municipal election).

This council member, who was never publicly identified, was alleged to have broken rules under the city’s Council Code of Conduct Bylaw. No specifics were revealed.

After the independent investigation into the complaint wrapped up, a final report was released to city council in October 2021.

City councillors discussed the report’s contents in a closed-door meeting. Because the majority on council decided not to accept the report’s findings in a vote taken that month, the report was never released to the public — and no action was taken against the person accused of unacceptable conduct.

Since details were to remain confidential under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP), the Advocate launched a request-for-information process believing it’s in the public interest to reveal the results of an independent report that cost taxpayers $107,000, but which was ultimately rejected by council.

We are being given an opportunity to participate in an inquiry and make submissions.

Lana Michelin

About the Author: Lana Michelin

Lana Michelin has been a reporter for the Red Deer Advocate since moving to the city in 1991.
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