Law Foundation and VanCity Savings sponsor privacy training for non-profit groups

As part of their commitment to the viability of non-profit organizations in BC, VanCity Credit Union and the Law Foundation of British Columbia have joined forces to fund a new privacy training project. Four workshops, to be delivered by FIPA, will provide 160 staff members of non-profit groups with low-cost training on how to implement a new privacy law that comes into effect in BC on January 1, 2003.

The federal government has passed the Protection of Personal Information and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). This act sets out rules that protect the privacy of personal information that is collected, used, and disclosed in the private sector. All provincially regulated businesses and non-profit organizations are required to comply with the key principles contained in the PIPEDA by January 1, 2004. The BC government has introduced a parallel law called the Personal Information Protection Act to adapt these principles to our own province.

These privacy principles will have a major impact on non-profit organizations. Among other critical requirements, they will require non-profits to conduct an audit of personal information practices, appoint and train a Privacy Officer, and develop and implement privacy policies and procedures.

VanCity and the Law Foundation recognise that training staff in the requirements of the new laws will be difficult for many members of the non-profit community. Accordingly, they have awarded grants to the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (FIPA) to fund the delivery of four full-day educational workshops entitled “Implementing Privacy Laws – a Workshop For Non Profit Organizations.”

FIPA is Canada’s leading education and advocacy group on privacy and freedom of information and has consulted extensively with the federal and provincial governments on the development of privacy laws.

There are a few spaces left in the remaining workshops, which will take place in October and November 2003. If you are interested in applying to attend, please dowload the application form, complete it and send it to FIPA immediately. You may email it to, fax it to (604) 739-9148, or post it to 103-1093 W. Broadway, Vancouver BC V6H 1E2.

Please note that workshop capacity is limited and FIPA will select participants based on the extent of their resources and their need for training in order to deliver services to the public.

Download the workshop information

Toolkit for Access to Personal Records

We have put together model letters to help citizens access and correct the personal information held by the Federal and BC governments.


Personal Information:

Request for Personal Information from BC Gov’t

Request for Personal Information from Federal Gov’t



Request for Correction of Personal Information Held by BC Gov’t

Request for Correction of Personal Info Held by Federal Gov’t


Reviewing (Appealing) if not satisfied with the response to your request:

Request for Review (Appeal) of a Request for Personal Information from the BC Gov’t

Request for Review (Appeal) of a Request for Personal Info from the Federal Gov’t

Speech to the BC Library Association on Bill 38 – Personal Information Protection Act – May 30, 2003

Darrel Evans, executive director of BC FIPA, was in Victoria today to deliver a speech at the BC Library Association Annual Conference on Bill 38, BC’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA).

After extensive consultation and input from organizations like BC FIPA, Bill 38 has turned into a real privacy bill what BC FIPA describes as an “enormous leap for privacy rights.”

However, there are still concerns, especially with regards to the drastic cuts made to the budget of the Information and Privacy Commissioner who will oversee PIPA.

There are also areas that could be improved such as issues like grandfathering, exceptions to consent, reduced rights of employees, limits to access and correction provisions, and the broad exception for the loosely defined “investigative purposes”.

On the whole, BC FIPA believes the legislation to be a very good one. Hopefully, the government will use this constructive criticism to make the bill even better.

Read the full text of the speech (pdf)