SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – The city of Sault Ste. Marie is forcing journalists to file Freedom of Information Act (FOI) requests for inquiries into the spending of tax dollars.
Last Tuesday, Sault Online reached out to city hall to obtain records on where the city spends advertising dollars. We decided to make this request because of the council meeting on Sept 14. The mayor suggested more advertising should be posted to another online news source and a newspaper. Other news media in our city were not mentioned in the council meeting.
In an email and phone exchange with the Communications Director for the city, we explained what we were looking for: the amount of advertising money spent with news media companies in the city from 2015 onward.
We were told to file an FOI request with the city in order to obtain this information because it has to be collected from the individual departments. We were also told because it dealt with the city’s dealing with the other media in town. When we attempted to send the FOI down via email to the city, we were redirected to having to take it in person to the legal department.
The standard five dollars to file the FOI is also being required.
This story will be updated as the information which should be publicly available is hopefully made available via our Freedom of Information Act request.
Why is the city so scared to tell the public where they spend their tax dollars?
Could it be that the City of Sault Ste. Marie favours certain news media?
By: Dan Gray