As we learned in the first episode of Data Subjects, BC’s Freedom of Information laws were created in order to ensure that public records belong to the public, which is a fundamental principle to our democracy.
Citizens in a democratic nation must have a right of access to information about their government in order to make informed choices. But prior to 1992, we didn’t have these rights in BC. And now, we’re at risk of losing them again due to something called information laundering.
This episode is about a loophole in BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act that allows public bodies to create subsidiary companies that are not subject to BC’s Freedom of Information laws.
First, we learn about how BC Ferries and BC Hydro used subsidiary companies with disastrous consequences in the 1990s during the ‘Fast Ferries’ and ‘Hydrogate’ scandals. Then, we hear from Larry Kuehn, of the BC Teachers’ Federation, and find out how BC school boards have misused subsidiary companies.
And finally, we hear from Stanley Tromp, independent journalist, and learn about his experience requesting information about one of UBC’s subsidiary companies, the UBC Properties Trust, and its consequences for health and safety on campus.
If you’d like to see information laundering as a thing of the past, please sign our petition and encourage the BC government to keep their campaign promise of protecting information and privacy rights in BC.
In this special edition episode of our Data Subjects podcast, we revisit our Policing Info World conference. On May 23, 2019, we co-hosted a conference that explored the data behind crime, law enforcement, and surveillance. Along with department of criminology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and the BC Civil Liberties Association, we heard from experts in law enforcement, academia, and the legal profession.
As this was a full-day conference, this episode is very long. Please see the show notes below to find the time codes and descriptions for specific panels and panelists.
This conference wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our sponsors: CUPE BC, News Media Canada, and Web exPress.
Panel 1: Data and New Surveillance Modes and Capacities
Moderator: Mike Larsen (Professor and Co-Chair, Department of Criminology, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, FIPA President)
Michelle Davey (Superintendent, Investigative Support Services, Vancouver Department)
Dr. Wade Deisman (Associate Dean, Faculty of Arts, Kwantlen Polytechnic University)
Josh Paterson (Executive Director, BC Civil Liberties Association)
Panel 2: Data and Predictive Policing
Moderator: Dr. Carroll Boydell (Instructor,Department of Criminology, Kwantlen Polytechnic University)
Ryan Prox (S/Constable, Crime Analytics Advisory & Development Unit, Vancouver Police Department)
Mike Larsen (Professor, Department of Criminology, Kwantlen Polytechnic University)
Panel 3: Data and Bias-Free Policing
Moderator: Sara Neuert (Executive Director, BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association)
Dylan Mazur (Community Lawyer, BC Civil Liberties Association)
Michelle A. Cameron (Advisor / Investigator, the University of British Columbia)
Panel 4: Data and the Border
Moderator: Mark Hosak (Director of Community Engagement, BC Civil Association)
Peter Edelmann (Immigration Lawyer, Edelmann and Company Law Offices)
Meghan McDermott (Staff Counsel, BC Civil Liberties Association)
This episode continues our story on the history of BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act by exploring what’s gone wrong since the Act was passed.
We begin in the year 1996, when a new NDP government under Premier Glen Clark is taking office in BC. You’ll hear about why former Premier Clark limited the budget for the administration of the Act and how court decisions weakened the Act’s original spirit and intent.
Then, we’ll take a look at some legislative amendments that could help realign the Act with its original spirit and intent. This episode features more interviews with all of the experts featured in the first episode, including FIPA co-founders, former and current BC Information and Privacy Commissioners, and many more.
Data Subjects is a new podcast dedicated to issues surrounding privacy and freedom of information rights in Canada.
The show marks FIPA’s first foray into the world of podcasts. Episodes will tackle a wide variety of topics, from the history of FOI in Canada, to the pitfalls of our modern privacy rights, and many more. Each episode will feature interviews with some of Canada’s most renowned figures from both the privacy and FOI landscapes, as well as stories from within FIPA.
Data Subjects will launch this spring and will be available on your favourite podcast provider like Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, and on our website.