|Minister of Citizen's Services Lisa Beare|
introducing new FOI measures in the Legislature on Monday
An announcement Monday from the NDP government of plans to start charging British Columbians for their Freedom of Information requests, is raising alarms that it will serve to put another roadblock in the way when it comes to seeking information from government officials and government agencies.
Minister of Citizens' Services Lisa Beare attempted to put a COVID spin on the move as a way of protecting privacy in her statement upon the notice of the amendments.
“The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we live, work, connect with loved ones and access the services we need. Today, people can safely talk to their doctor via Zoom, learn online and do business faster.
These amendments help people continue to access the services they need faster, while ensuring their privacy is protected. We’re making changes today to keep pace with advancements in technology and provide the level of service that people expect in the digital era.”
Noting of the input that the government received from a range of British Columbians the statement from Monday outlined the four key elements of the amendments:
The one catching the most notice almost immediately yesterday was number three and the plans for a fee towards further FOI request."introducing a modest application fee for non-personal freedom of information (FOI) requests"