NEWS RELEASE: Civil society groups unite for FIPPA reform


NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SEPTEMBER 26, 2018

Civil Society Groups Unite to Push for Action to Reform Freedom of Information and Privacy Legislation

Groups across Canada kick-off Right to Know Week by calling for immediate action to reform and update BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).

VANCOUVER, September 24, 2018 – The BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (FIPA) and other interest groups have kicked off the 2018 Right to Know Week by writing the Honourable John Horgan and Minister Jinny Sims to remind them of their commitment to improve BC’s freedom of information system.

The BC government made a number of commitments about improving information and privacy laws during the last election campaign, and have taken steps to consult the public and FOI community, but we have yet to see the introduction of legislation to reform the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) or any other concrete action.

In a previous joint letter sent to the Premier earlier this year, we outlined at least one initiative that the NDP has strongly supported during the campaign, which is to stop posting FOI requests before any information has been released. This could be eliminated without the need for legislation.

A poll conducted in January by Ipsos Canada for FIPA showed British Columbians are extremely supportive of a number of measures including creating a duty to document, penalties for violation of the law, and closing loopholes for education subsidiaries. We also note that 84% of respondents believe that FOI reforms should be put into law before the next provincial election.

“There is both a pressing need for change and a clear public mandate,” said FIPA Executive Director Sara Neuert. “We hope that you will mark this Right to Know Week by announcing – and committing to – a timetable for the introduction of a FIPPA reform bill.”

A copy of the joint letter to the Premier and Minister can be found here.

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Contact:

Sara Neuert, Executive Director
BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association
sara@fipa.bc.ca | 604-739-9788