Ian Mulgrew: FOI a sham when it comes to anti-drunk-driving law
Freedom of Information in this province is becoming a farce when a request for material on anti-impaired driving measures produces little more than “Good morning” salutations.
About a year ago the B.C. government introduced changes to the controversial Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme that allows the superintendent of motor vehicles to rely on its own “technical materials” in dismissing a motorist’s defence.
The superintendent’s office now can prepare evidence and use it to reject submissions from drivers appealing the tough penalties handed out by police.
The law allows the “independent” adjudicators, who work for the government, to rely on “technical, medical or scientific evidence or information that includes … summaries of technical, medical or scientific evidence or information that are prepared by the superintendent ….”
Vancouver lawyers at Acumen Law Corp. filed an FOI for a copy of any correspondence related to the technical materials, including the materials themselves.
This week they received 229 mostly empty pages — even examples of what the materials might be were blanked out.
“Open and transparent government indeed,” quipped Kyla Lee, one of the leading critics of the legislation, in an interview.