About Us

The BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (FIPA) is a non-partisan, non-profit society that was established in 1991 to promote and defend freedom of information and privacy rights in Canada. Our goal is to empower citizens by increasing their access to information and their control over their own personal information. We serve a wide variety of individuals and organizations through programs of public education, public assistance, research, and law reform. We are one of very few public interest groups in Canada devoted solely to the advancement of freedom of information (FOI) and privacy rights.


Yes! I want to become a member of FIPA

From the very beginning, FIPA has drawn on community support to protect citizen rights. As we look forward to another twenty years of service, we hope that you’ll consider joining that community!

By joining FIPA, you will become a member of the only group in Canada exclusively devoted to advancing freedom of information and privacy rights.

You will enjoy benefits like our regular bulletin, updating you on important news about the fight to preserve and improve FOI and privacy. You will get notice of upcoming important events in the world of information rights, and you will have a voice in how this Association goes about its business.

Organization members also receive special discounts on FIPA conferences and workshops. Most of all, you’ll be part of a growing network of people committed to protecting information rights in Canada. So join us, and help us fight for your access and privacy rights!

Click here for our secure online membership form »

To create your membership, please create a new account (click the link in “Don’t have an account? Create one”) and follow the instructions.
If you are already a member, this form can be used to renew your annual membership.

Your privacy is important to us, and our website will guide you through a secure process.

Want to send a cheque instead? Download the membership form and send it to us at: #103 – 1093 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC, V6H 1E2

Have questions? Contact us.

FOI Workshops

We offer Freedom of Information (FOI) workshops to anyone interested in learning the practical skills needed to start accessing information held by government bodies and exercising their right to know.

There are two workshop formats: FOI 101 and FOI 201. The 101 is an introductory course that outlines the steps to crafting an effective request and successfully following it through. The 201 is a more advanced course for those already familiar with the FOI process.

View the FOI 101 handout

Watch FOI 101 Webinar on Vimeo from the Courthouse Library

Watch FOI 201 Webinar on Vimeo from the Courthouse Library

If you’re interested in organizing or participating in an FOI workshop, send us a message at fipa@fipa.bc.ca for more details. Workshops are entirely free thanks to our generous funding through the Law Foundation of BC.


FIPA is telling stories related to freedom of information and privacy in a new way. Data Subjects is a podcast that explores the challenges and successes of being a digital citizen.

You can listen to Data Subjects through the plugin below or you can find the show in Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and Stitcher. Be sure to subscribe in order to keep up to date with the latest episodes. And if you like what you’re hearing, please give the show a rating!

Information Laundering

As we learned in the first episode of the podcast, BC’s Freedom of Information laws were created in order to ensure that public records belong to the public, which is a fundamental principle to our democracy.

Citizens in a democratic nation must have a right of access to information about their government in order to make informed choices. But prior to 1992, we didn’t have these rights in BC. And now, we’re at risk of losing them again due to something called information laundering.

The History

The first two episodes of Data Subjects looks at the history of BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. In the nearly 30 years since the Act was passed, much has changed in the information and privacy landscape.

You’ll hear from FIPA’s co-founder and first executive director, Darrell Evans; co-founder and second Information and Privacy Commissioner, David Loukidelis; Colin Gableman, the Attorney General that introduced the legislation; Barry Jones, the MLA who pushed for the Act in the legislature; Rob Botterell, the chief bureaucrat drafting the legislation; Murray Rankin, the special adviser to the Attorney General; Vaughn Palmer, the Vancouver Sun’s political columnist; Michael McEvoy, the current Information and Privacy Commissioner; Glen Clark, former BC Premier; Alexandra Wieland, information and privacy archivist at SFU; and more.

Policing Info World

In this special edition episode of our Data Subjects podcast, we revisit our Policing Info World conference. On May 23, 2019, we co-hosted a conference that explored the data behind crime, law enforcement, and surveillance. Along with department of criminology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and the BC Civil Liberties Association, we heard from experts in law enforcement, academia, and the legal profession. As this was a full-day conference, this episode is very long. This conference wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our sponsors: CUPE BC, News Media Canada, and Web exPress.

Show Notes

00:02:15 Opening Remarks
00:07:49 Panel 1: Data and New
Surveillance Modes and
00:08:17 Moderator: Mike Larsen
(Professor and Co-Chair,
Department of Criminology,
Kwantlen Polytechnic
University, FIPA
00:10:00 Michelle Davey
Investigative Support Services,
Vancouver Department)
00:28:00 Dr. Wade Deisman (Associate
Dean, Faculty of Arts, Kwantlen
Polytechnic University)
00:50:10 Josh Paterson (Executive Director, BC Civil Liberties Association)
01:08:38 Questions
01:46:00 Panel 2: Data and Predictive
01:46:30 Moderator: Dr. Carroll Boydell
(Instructor,Department of
Criminology, Kwantlen
Polytechnic University)
01:48:02 Ryan Prox (S/Constable, Crime
Analytics Advisory &
Development Unit, Vancouver
Police Department)
01:48:27 Mike Larsen (Professor,
Department of Criminology,
Kwantlen Polytechnic
02:13:00 Panel 3: Data and Bias-Free
02:13:16 Moderator: Sara Neuert
(Executive Director, BC Freedom
of Information and Privacy
02:14:43 Dylan Mazur (Community Lawyer,
BC Civil Liberties Association)
02:31:36 Michelle A. Cameron (Advisor /
Investigator, the University of
British Columbia)
02:40:01 Questions
03:27:09 Panel 4: Data and the Border
03:27:24 Moderator: Mark Hosak (Director
of Community Engagement, BC
Civil Association)
03:29:19 Peter Edelmann (Immigration
Lawyer, Edelmann and Company
Law Offices)
03:58:41 Meghan McDermott (Staff
Counsel, BC Civil Liberties
04:27:26 Questions


Transparency, Privacy, and the Federal Election

It is election season, and the leaders of Canada’s political parties are making promises, presenting platforms, and answering questions about plans and policies. The next Government of Canada will have to take positions on transparency reform, privacy in a digital age, democracy and Big Data, and the regulation of increasingly-intrusive surveillance practices. We want to …

Commissioner’s Order protects privacy while promoting democratic values

Vancouver, August 30, 2019 – Yesterday, the Information and Privacy Commissioner for BC, Michael McEvoy, issued an Order stating that BC’s privacy laws apply to the electoral district associations of federal political parties, despite their contestations. The Order affirms that all organizations in BC, including those created by federal political parties, must be held to …