Digital Transformation submission and Whistleblower Report



Over the past few months, Dr. Carroll Boydell has been working on a BC FIPA research project comparing provincial and federal whistleblower legislation to international best practices. During the course of her research, she uncovered several best practices that are absent from existing legislation that would better protect whistleblowers and their families.

“Though protections exist for whistleblowers in Canada and the new BC legislation includes a number of best practice guidelines, the report uncovers several things that are overlooked by the patchwork of legislation that exists to protect whistleblowers today,” says Dr. Boydell. “It would be nice to see some of the best practices put forward in this paper be adopted by legislators, and for procedures currently being developed as a result of the BC legislation to incorporate any best practices not explicitly addressed in the legislation.”

The resulting paper from that research project will soon be published and available on our website.

In addition, Canada’s department for Innovation, Science, and Economic Development solicited feedback on their national digital and data strategy through roundtable discussions over the last few months. Although FIPA was not formally invited to participate in the roundtables, which were purported to be inclusive of civil society groups, we were able to make a submission during the consultation process.

Prepared by Samantha Delechantos, the submission compares data protection regulations in the European Union, through the General Data Protection Regulations, to Canada’s current data privacy framework. From this analysis, the author is able to make several recommendations on behalf of FIPA that will act to better protect the privacy of Canadians.

That submission will also soon be available on our website.

Info Summit 2018: Changing Perceptions of FOI and Privacy

On Thursday, September 27th, FIPA hosted the 2018 BC Information Summit at UBC Robson Square in Vancouver. This year’s theme explored how changing perceptions around the right to know and the right to one’s privacy are being shaped.

The conference assembled a range of experts from varying backgrounds to look at these developments and discuss what they might mean for information and privacy rights.

In the morning, Sean Holman, Associate Professor of Journalism at Mount Royal University, gave a keynote entitled, The Falling Currency of Democracy: Information as an Instrument of Control and Certainty in the Postwar and Post-truth Eras.

Professor Holman wondered if, in this new age of digital information, our emotional demand for certainty has overpowered our cognitive need for truth.
The morning keynote was followed by panels that discussed the latest developments in FOI and ATI reform and considered how whistleblower laws, like BC’s new PIDA, compare domestically and internationally.

After lunch, BC’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, Michael McEvoy, gave the second keynote of the day about the latest developments in FOI and Privacy.






Commissioner McEvoy addresses the audience at the 2018 BC Information Summit during the afternoon keynote

“There’s no conflict between privacy and access to information,” said Commissioner McEvoy. “They’re united by accountability.”

The afternoon panels discussed personal information, privacy, and political parties and tensions between privacy and the right to know.

FIPA would like to extend a special thank you to the sponsors who made the event possible: CUPE BC, BCGEU, Vancity, Canadian Taxpayers Federation, the OIPC BC, News Media Canada, and Picatic.

A video of the conference will be available to members in the near future.




Reform of Freedom of Information and Privacy Legislation

During this year’s Right to Know Week, FIPA sent a joint letter to Premiere John Horgan and Minister Jinny Sims calling for immediate action to reform and update BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).

Citing various studies, including a report issued by the Special Legislative Committee, FIPA asked for the creation of a ‘duty to document,’ tightening of exceptions to disclose through sections 12 and 13, bringing subsidiaries of public bodies under the scope of FIPPA, and creating penalties for those who interfere freedom of information rights.

The open letter was co-signed by the BC Civil Liberties Association, the Canadian Institute for Information and Privacy Studies, the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, EcoJustice, News Media Canada, Wilderness Committee, the Centre for Law and Democracy, the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, Open Media, and independent journalists and privacy experts.

You can read the full letter here.