AFL wins right to information in Court

[Edmonton] The Alberta Federation of Labour has won the first round in its efforts to force the Alberta Labour Relations Board to release all pertinent documents surrounding Board involvement in writing labour regulations.

The Court of Queen's Bench decided late yesterday that the AFL had the right to retain the Board documents forwarded to them by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commission. These documents, which the Board tried to suppress, strongly support the AFL's argument that the Board acted improperly during the drafting and implementation of Bill 27 - one of the worst pieces of labour legislation in Alberta's history.

"This is a clear victory for common sense," says AFL President Gil McGowan. "We had received those documents properly and distributed them to our members. The documents had been reprinted in the media. Trying to suppress them at this point was entirely unreasonable."

"We are now calling upon the Board to release all of the other hundreds of documents relating to Bill 27 which they are still trying to suppress," says McGowan. "The Board keeps claiming it has done nothing wrong - but why then are they still trying to withhold information?"

McGowan insists that the public has a right to know all of the information about actions taken by the Board around Bill 27. "Many thousands of Albertans were hurt by Bill 27", says McGowan. "If the Board that is supposed to be the impartial referee acted wrongly, Albertans not only need to know - they need to see the wrongs redressed."

The AFL has called upon the Premier to institute a full public inquiry into the matter. "We have asked for a full public inquiry headed by an expert from out-of-province with full powers to subpoena documents and compel witness" says McGowan. "It is the only way we can be sure justice will be done."


For more information contact:
Gil McGowan, AFL President at 780.915-4599 (cell)  or  780.483-3021 (wk)

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