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Information rights undermined in B.C.: report

Darpan News Desk The Canadian Press, 02 Sep, 2020
  • Information rights undermined in B.C.: report

A report says the British Columbia government is routinely undermining its own citizens' rights by delaying requests for information.

Information and privacy commissioner Michael McEvoy says the government often extends the timelines for its response to access to information requests without legal authority.

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act sets 30 days for the government to respond to information requests, which can be extended another 30 days but extensions past that need approval from the commissioner.

McEvoy says in a statement that his office reviewed 4,000 cases where the government "essentially took it upon itself to extend the time for response without the legal right to do so."

The commissioner says that represents a "blight" on B.C.'s access system and damages the integrity of the access to information law.

The report examined government's timeliness on access requests from April 2017 to March 2020, and found improvement in response times since September 2017.

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