B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner David Loukidelis has begun a preliminary investigation into whether the health ministry “abused” provincial Freedom of information legislation.
On February 9, Loukidelis wrote to the ministry’s director of corporate information, privacy and records, asking for an uncensored copy of a resignation letter written by former Fraser Health Authority chairman Keith Purchase.
A version of Purchase’s letter was released to the media this week with a number of passages severed that were highly critical of government.
The commissioner’s office asked to see the full resignation letter by Feb. 12. A
representative of the office said Loukidelis is still determining whether to
conduct a full investigation under Section 42 of the Freedom of Information and
Protection of Privacy Act or to instead make a formal request for review of the
Loukidelis was responding to a complaint lodged by NDP health critic Adrian Dix,
who objected to the fact the ministry cut portions of the letter that criticized
government’s funding and oversight of the health region.
“I have decided to investigate Mr. Dix’s complaint,” Loukidelis wrote.
Purchase resigned as Fraser Health Authority chairman through his letter of Jan.
25 to Health Minister George Abbott.
The uncensored version of the letter obtained later by The Vancouver Sun revealed that Purchase described the Fraser authority as being in a “crisis situation” and also said that government funding levels next year would mean “bed closures and service cuts would be inevitable.”
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