On the podcast: The History of FIPPA

On this episode of the show, we go back to a time before British Columbia had freedom of information or privacy laws—to the year 1990—and find out what it was like to request information from government.

Then, we find out how a small group of dedicated individuals were able to advocate, draft, and ultimately bring about B.C.’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, bringing this province one step closer to the ideal of open government.

We’ll hear about how the new legislation offered the promise of greater government transparency and accountability, and about what’s transpired in the nearly thirty years since the Act was passed.

Guests on this episode include: FIPA co-founder Darrell Evans, FIPA co-founder and former Information and Privacy Commissioner David Loukidelis, current Information and Privacy Commissioner Michael McEvoy, former Attorney General Colin Gableman, former MLA Barry Jones, current MP Murray Rankin, and the Vancouver Sun’s legislative reporter Vaughn Palmer.

Access in the Academy: Bringing FOI and ATI to Academic Research

AccessAcademy_CoverAccess in the Academy, developed by the Freedom of Information and Privacy Association and Mike Larsen of Kwantlen Polytechnic University (Instructor, Dept. of Criminology), and generously funded by the Law Foundation of British Columbia, is a brand new educational resource that provides a unique and practical look at how researchers, students, and others in the higher education can make the most of FOI and ATI practices.

Although they shed valuable light on just how public records are produced, managed, and distributed (or withheld), FOI and ATI remain a rarity in the university classroom. This resource hopes to change that. By outlining the general contours of our federal and provincial access regimes and by providing strategies for how to incorporate both into your research designs, Access in the Academy makes a much-needed and highly accessible contribution to the Canadian legal research landscape.

Written by one of Canada’s leading FOI and ATI researchers, produced by Canada’s only non-profit organization solely dedicated to protecting and advancing the information rights of citizens, and extensively reviewed by a diverse team of information experts, librarians, advocates, educators, and students, Access in the Academy is a valuable addition to any research syllabus.

For more than twenty years, the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association has relied on the support of our community to provide resources, educational programming, and one-on-one advice. By making a contribution to the Association in exchange for this resource, you’re helping us provide another two decades of service to Canadians and supporting more publications like this in the future. There is no minimum donation amount. Every bit helps.

Click here to make a donation. We hope you consider supporting the Association, but more importantly, we hope you find Access in the Academy a valuable and practical addition to your research activities!

Download the resource.

About the Author: Mike Larsen is a Professor of Criminology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. He is also Co-Managing Editor of the Journal of Prisoners on Prisons (jpp.org), a prisoner-authored and peer-reveiwed journal dedicated to experiential narratives and analysis related to spaces and practices of incarceration. His current research draws on a case study analysis of the Canadian security certificate regime to explore issues at the intersection of national security politics and contestations around access to information and secrecy. Mike has recently compiled an edited volume (with Kevil Walby) called Brokering Access: Politics, Power and Freedom of Information in Canada (UBC Press, 2012). Other forthcoming works discuss systemic access to information requests as a research technique for critical social science and questions of accountability and transparency related to collaborative security practices.

Let us know what you think: If you have comments, questions, or concerns about Access in the Academy, please send them to FIPA at fipa@vcn.bc.ca.

BC FIPA grades the performance of the BC Government on FOI, 2001-2004

In their 2001 “New Era” platform, the BC Liberals promised to bring in “the most open, accountable and democratic government in Canada.”

Research by FIPA shows that the Liberal government has done much more to erode open government during their four years in office than they have done to enhance it. In fact, they have accelerated actions begun under the NDP to undermine the freedom of information act and re-assert strict government control over access to information.

Read the whole report.