Three BC watchdog groups are commending the BC government for increasing transparency by bringing the BC Ferries corporation back under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPP Act).
BC Ferries was removed from the provincial freedom of information law in 2003 by the Liberal government as part of a massive re-organization of the company.
The BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (FIPA), BC Civil Liberties Association and Canadian Taxpayers Federation sent a letter to Premier Gordon Campbell last year calling for the return of BC Ferries to coverage by the FOIPP Act.
A report released by the province’s Comptroller General on November 6, 2009 revealed a culture of secrecy and entitlement at the provincially-owned but privately-run company. One of the report’s recommendations was to “Make BC Ferry Services and the BC Ferry Authority subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.”
“We rarely have reason to thank this government for increasing transparency,” said FIPA Executive Director Darrell Evans, “so it’s important to recognize the Premier and his government for this move.”
“The Ferry Authority and Board are not accountable to anyone,” said Maureen Bader, BC Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “Putting BC Ferries back under the FOI act is a great step in increasing accountability and transparency among organizations receiving tax dollars.”
“Clearly the government made a mistake in removing BC Ferries from scrutiny by the public, and they deserve credit for correcting that error,” said Micheal Vonn, policy director of the BC Civil Liberties Association.
Read the joint letter urging Premier Campbell to restore FOI coverage to BC Ferries.