According to Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, what’s good for
the City isn’t good for the city’s police department when it comes
to freedom of information policy.
Vancouver Police Department will continue posting records obtained through FOI simultaneously to the requester and the VPD website, even though Mayor Gregor Robertson and Vancouver City Council voted to end the controversial practice there.
A report from the Vancouver Police Board’s Freedom of Information
Committee recommended that the VPD continue the practice, in
spite of the fact that BC’s Information and Privacy Commissioner
found it “Frustrates the purposes of the Freedom of Information
and Protection of Privacy Act.”
Robertson voted in favour of the Vancouver Police Department’s
simultaneously posting FOI records, even though he voted against
it seven months ago along with the entire Vancouver city council.
He tried to explain away the contradiction by saying the police
department was different from the city, and that public safety
was an issue.
The mayor did not elaborate on how it could be that information
obtained from the VPD through FOI (a process which usually takes
months or years) suddenly becomes of such immediate importance
to public safety that it must be posted on the VPD website
immediately upon release — sometimes even before the person
requesting it gets their copy.
Read FIPA’s news release here.
Click here for the VPD policy unanimously approved by the Police Board.
Click here for media coverage.