Late last week, members of the Official Opposition became aware that government is now forcing all MHA constituent inquiries to be routed through political staff. This is a marked change in government policy and smacks of an increased obsession with control of information by the Dunderdale Tories.
Work on behalf of our constituents is not political and in no way should it be routed through the political aide of a minister. It is another example of this government’s clamp down on information since the introduction of the draconian changes to access to information (Bill 29).
Government members were quick to defend this ridiculous policy by insisting that it has always been the case and is nothing new. However, that is simply not true. As a former executive assistant to two premiers, and as an elected MHA for 10 years, this is the first I have ever heard of this policy.
How backwards for the government to create a whole new level of bureaucracy and politicize simple requests to the public service on behalf of constituents. This will cause delays in people getting the services they require, resulting in undue stress and suffering to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, all so the government can control information.
This policy is new, unjust and backwards. It clearly shows how this government is stepping up its efforts to control all information, and is indeed something we should all be worried about.
Eddie Joyce, MHA
Bay of Islands