August 30, 2009
Sorry to take so long getting back to you.
Regarding your complaint over FIPA’s ‘continued silence’ over the clause in Bill 21 that overrides normal rights of access to information about abortions:
This legislative override or ‘notwithstanding clause’ is one of several that were passed that are of continuing concern to FIPA. We wrote several letters to successive governments protesting these overrides and asking that they be reviewed. One of the many ministers of the revolving-door ministries that have been responsible for the FOI act even promised that such a review would take place, but nothing happened.
We will continue raising the issue of overrides that limit citizens’ access to information, but this is only one of the ‘exceptions’ to access in the act that are causing huge problems. Sad to say, but the entire system of access is pretty much dysfunctional, and reform of both the act and the way it is administered are badly needed.
This is not an easy fight!
The third review of the FOIPP Act will begin this fall, and I urge you to muster your forces and prepare to make a strong presentation to the special committee that (we hope) will soon be struck to review the act.
We will once again be asking that all legislative overrides be rescinded.
BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association
#103 – 1093 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC V6H 1E2
Tel: (604) 739-9788
Fax: (604) 739-9148