Coming Up

FIPPA Special Committee

After the government turned its back on transparency with the amendments in Bill 22, the Legislative Assembly has resumed its scheduled review of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). Those interested in making a presentation have until 3:00 p.m. (PST), February 7, 2022 to complete the online registration form. Stay tuned for more information on the key findings and recommendations we will be making during our presentation.

Sign Up to Present Here.


Environmental FOI 101

Take your environmental research to the next level. Learn how to get the information you need from public bodies through freedom of information (FOI). Join facilitators Mike Larsen, Professor of Criminology, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and Sean Holman, Professor of Environmental and Climate Journalism, University of Victoria, for FIPA’s latest FOI 101 seminar on Wednesday, February 23, 2022, at noon (PST) via Microsoft Teams.

Learn More and Sign Up Here


Access to information from public bodies has been and continues to be a critical component in the search for justice and equality. Black History Month, and the efforts to address racial inequality, are important current and historic examples. We want to take this opportunity to highlight some of the work being done in this space.

This 22-year-old is out to give Black stories 'more light' with launch of history database in Hamilton 

BC Black History Awareness Society

UBC BLSA and the Centre for Feminist Legal Studies host a conversation with Celina Caesar-Chavannes on February 7. To register, please send an email to cfls@allard.ubc.ca

UBC Black Law Students' Association and the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers is hosting a conversation with Dr. Lisa Gunderson on self-care as a Black professional and strategies for handling racism and demanding equity in the workplace February 23rd.

Request for Investigation

The BC Government consistently fails to meet its legal obligations under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). Minister Lisa Beare is just the latest to disregard Section 68 under FIPPA . Following the appropriate process, we sent a request for investigation to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner on November 26th, 2021. The OIPC has acknowledged with confirmation that this Government has an obligation that is not currently being met under the Act. The unfortunate impact is the Cabinet continues to undermine its credibility by being derelict in its compliance requirements as set out in legislation.

Learn More Here


Peter Bryce Nomination

FIPA is proud to support the BC Campaign for a new Student Press Freedom Act (SPFA) and have nominated Spencer Izen and Jessica Kim from the SPFA for the Peter Bryce Prize for Whistleblowing. This annual award by the Centre for Free Expression honours individuals who serve the greater good by courageously speaking up about wrongdoing and abuses of public trust.

Our Peter Bryce Nomination


Our Code of Silence Nominees

FIPA nominated the Government of British Columbia, and particularly Premier John Horgan and Minister of Citizens’ Services, Lisa Beare, for the Code of Silence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy. This national recognition is designed to call public attention to governments, government departments, and agencies that distinguish themselves by denying public access to government information to which the public has a right under access-to-information legislation. While it was a late submission to the awards, we can’t think of a better nominee than a Minister and department that introduces a fee with the express intent of deterring the public from requesting information.

Our Code of Silence Nominees


K-12 Under Surveillance

Working with our partners at the British Columbia Teachers Federation (BCTF), we raised concerns to government ministries about the allocation of Safe Return to Class Funds to install overt video surveillance on school buses. We wrote the letter in September 2021 and we have yet to receive a response. And now with the recent passage of Bill 22, we now must pay the new transparency tax to access the information the government refuses to release on this matter.

View the Letter


Looking Back

Bill 22

Bill 22 was a shocking development last fall. Minister Lisa Beare took the unprecedented step of abandoning her election and mandate letter commitments, rolling back government accountability by undermining freedom of information and creating new barriers to access government records. The legislation passed into law on November 25, 2021, with only a fraction of the clauses debated and an even smaller number of amendments made to the final Bill.

Our Bill 22 Backgrounder


Public Opinion

Our view of the Ministry of Citizens’ Services' leading questions and false equivalencies to create the illusion of consultation as a public engagement is well documented here. When the government's public engagement was later used to justify legislative amendments, our response was to contract IPSOS to create a more objective survey of public opinion on proposed changes in Bill 22. The public trusts this government, however, it is clearly offside with public opinion by introducing a new fee to file a freedom of information request and trying to remove the Premier’s office from scrutiny.

Our IPSOS Survey


Public Engagement

FIPA worked to ensure that the public was well informed and engaged in the debate of Bill 22. This included a new portion of our website focused on freedom of information. Government ministers and spin doctors like to frame this as an issue that only affects the media. To help correct that misconception, and connect the dots, we’ve created Transparency Matters so that when you are asked “Why should I care about access to information?” you are able to answer. “Transparency matters to all of us.”

Transparency Matters


Federal Commitments

Working with our partners in the Right to Information Alliance of Canada, we sent a letter to each major political party during the last federal election to determine what their commitment is to greater government transparency. Follow the link below to view their responses and an analysis by Dean Beeby.

View the Details


Ontario White Paper Submission

Our repeatable research means we are more readily able to review and compare documents as opportunities arise. With Ontario undertaking public consultation to modernize privacy in their province, our researcher, Evan Brander, was able to draft a FIPA submission.

  Read Our Submission


National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

As part of our efforts to recognize the importance of the events and actions past and present that surround this date, FIPA wishes to highlight work being done in the area.

Our NDTR Highlights


Comissioner Presentation 

Delivered one week prior to the introduction of Bill 22, Commissioner Michael McEvoy of B.C.’s Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) gave a provincial update.

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