BC Throne Speech has none of needed reforms for FOI and privacy

BC Throne Speech has none of needed reforms for FOI and privacy

The Speech from the Throne kicked off the last legislative session before the May 9 provincial election, but the ruling BC Liberals took a pass on even mentioning FOI and privacy.

The week before, Premier Christy Clark raised the issue of mandatory breach notification in an unusual way – by leaving personal information up on the BC Liberal Party website, then spending the entire week making various claims of being hacked by the NDP or other unknown political enemies. She ended the week by apologizing after Independent MLA Vicki Huntington said it was her office that had noticed the information in plain sight, and alerted Mike Smyth at the Province newspaper.

Ironically, two years earlier, the Special Legislative Committee reviewing the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) made a number of recommendations, not least of which was that mandatory breach notification be put in the law. Despite the passage of time, the BC government has done nothing about this or any other recommendations.

In May 2016, another Special Legislative Committee examining the public sector law (FIPPA) also recommended the law include mandatory breach notification, but once again, nothing has been done by the BC Liberal government.

Not only that, but the Speech from the Throne shows they have no intention of implementing any of the recommendations of either of these committees, at least not before the election.

That includes the creation of a duty to document, which a poll commissioned by FIPA last year showed enjoyed massive public support in the wake of the Triple Delete scandal.

Apparently recommendations from organizations like FIPA, the Commissioner, Special Legislative Committees plus massive support from the people of this province are not enough to get the government to act on these issues.