|Redford after winning the 2012 AB Election|
The Alberta government redistributes Alberta tax dollars. The importance of financial transparency is to prevent and identify corruption, and encourage fiscal change if need be.
The Redford PC government ran in the 2012 Alberta Election partly on transparency and accountability.
Alberta government slammed for keeping financial details secret
By Karen Kleiss, Edmonton Journal
EDMONTON - Transparency and accountability advocates lambasted the Redford government Thursday for severely restricting Albertans’ access to information about the troubled state of the province’s finances.
Finance Minister Doug Horner released a first-quarter fiscal update Thursday that makes no financial projections, omits capital planning and financial assets, and dramatically reduces the number of raw figures available for public scrutiny.
The government also revoked journalists’ access to finance officials, who have for decades been available at technical briefings to explain the most complicated aspects of the province’s financial situation. Reporters rely on these briefings to prepare informed questions for political leaders.
Advocates said keeping financial details hidden from the public robs the electorate of its ability to understand what government is doing and strips Albertans of their democratic rights. Horner said the changes were designed to make the information easier for Albertans to understand.
“We didn’t do a technical briefing, because the reality is if we have to do a technical briefing for (journalists), how do we expect that Albertans are going to understand what I am telling them?
“I want Albertans to understand (that) the first-quarter results are based on actual-to-budget, just the way they would do at home or in their businesses, and that’s the way we are going to report.”
He said the Redford government is not going to rewrite the budget four times a year. “We are not going to make decisions for the rest of the year based on what happened three months ago.”
Premier Alison Redford campaigned on promises of transparency and accountability, but advocates say her government has restricted access to the most basic financial information....
Evidence of Redford Operating in Another World