Whitewash’ report reignites call for inquiry

Whitewash’ report reignites call for inquiry by Katherine Harding, September 18, 2007, Globe and Mail
A report meant to be the final word on a spying scandal involving Alberta’s energy regulator has fuelled more calls from the public and opposition parties for Premier Ed Stelmach to order a public inquiry into the affair. “If the Premier doesn’t deal with this in a decisive way, he may be the next one that’s let go by the public,” Alberta Liberal energy critic Hugh MacDonald told reporters after the government released its independent report probing allegations that the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) hired private investigators to spy on people opposed to a proposed power line. … Last Thursday, Alberta’s privacy commissioner released a report into the matter that found the EUB had breached the privacy act when it hired investigators to spy on landowners. Frank Work later told reporters the regulator’s actions could negatively “chill” opposition from groups “that have legitimate concerns or complaints in the future.” … Landowner Joe Anglin, who is part of the Lavesta Area Group that opposes the power line, called the report a “whitewash orchestrated by Mel Knight” who gave Mr. Perras a narrow mandate and a quick turnaround time. “We need a full, complete public inquiry,” Mr. Anglin said. “Mel Knight has to take responsibility … Mel Knight should step down. The board should be fired. These are the people who are entrusted with the public trust and they violated it and there’s no excuse for it.”

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