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Taxpayers Federation claims credit for BC Ferries FOI move

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is claiming credit for the British Columbia government bringing B.C. Ferry Services Inc. back under freedom of information legislation, even though it's something many groups have called for since 2003.

“CTF wins greater transparency at BC Ferries,” reads the title of a blog post by B.C. director Maureen Bader.

“The Canadian Taxpayers Federation, together with the Freedom of Information and Privacy Association and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association wrote a letter to Premier Gordon Campbell November 13, 2009 calling for B.C. Ferries to be subject, once again, to the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act,” said Bader's post. “This has now been done.”

The CTF's call, however, followed a similar one by the finance ministry's comptroller general, Cheryl Wenezenki-Yolland in an October report on B.C. Ferries and Translink. She recommended, “Consider making BCFS and the BC Ferry Authority, including the compensation they pay, subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.”

And NDP ferries critic Gary Coons has repeatedly called for B.C. Ferries to be brought back under FIPPA, as has the group Save Our Ferries. In 2003, when the government was creating the publicly-owned company out of a Crown corporation that had been covered by FIPPA, NDP critic Joy MacPhail read a letter in the legislature from then information and privacy commissioner David Loukidelis saying it was “extremely important” that the ferry authority be covered by the province's FOI laws.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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