A few months back you helped me crowd fund the cost of a freedom of information request.
We were asking the Notley government for “copies of emails, memos, reports, media lines, Q&As, text or instant messages, Blackberry messages, RFPs (requests for proposals), briefing notes, regarding the contracting, purchase, renting, or hiring of water aircraft between January 1 2016 to May 17 2016.”
We didn’t get the documents back immediately. Instead we were handed a bill for nearly $4,000. It was a government pay wall designed to stop us from looking.
But Notley’s bill didn’t stop us. We raised the money, thanks to our viewers, and we just received the documents.
After seeing them, it’s now shockingly clear why Rachel Notley didn’t want us to have these records. They are devastating.
I’ll take you through some of the emails. Watch my video to see how the ministry bungled water bomber contracts so badly that they worried companies would walk away from their contracts altogether.
We can see where contracts were never posted as open for tender, where contracts had no expectation of work, where the government thought wildfire fighting was a winter priority - not a spring/summer one - and when the government became worried that companies would go public with the whole mess.
It got so bad, so screwed up, that Agriculture and Forestry had to cancel all the contracts - just ten days before the Wood Buffalo Wildfire.
The ministry was in complete and utter chaos and it was caused by Rachel Notley's cuts.
Photo Credit: facebook.com/coulsonflyingtankers