Tuesday, March 19, 2013

More Real Pushback Against The 'Both Sides Did It' Wurlitzering Of The Wizards.


Yesterday I noted that the VSun's Craig McInness pushed back, hard, against the false notion that the BC Liberal's Multiethnic Voter Information Manipulation Strategy and the NDP's pooling of constituency funds were in any way equivalent.

And in his column this morning, which was foreshadowed by his comments on the Twittmachine late yesterday, the VSun's Vaughn Palmer makes it very clear how significant the Privacy and Information Commissioner's decision to investigate the BC Liberal Party government's use of private Email is:

...Neither their terms of reference from the premier, nor their powers as deputies permitted them (eg. Mr. Dyble et al.) to do more than raise an eyebrow about the ultimate destination of all those lists of names and other confidential and personal information material (that was being collected as part of 'Quick Wins' project).

In particular, the scope of their review did not include “external partisan activities,” meaning, first and foremost, the involvement of the Liberal party or its operatives.

(Privacy and Information Commissioner Elizabeth) Denham and her staffers operate under no such constraints, as her press release made clear.

“We will review all relevant records and meet with parties involved in order to determine whether a formal investigation is required under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Personal Information Protection Act, which applies to political parties.”

That last bit puts the governing party itself on notice that its days of avoiding scrutiny on this file are coming to an end.

Denham is also taking her lead from the evidence that government has been mocking the principle of freedom of information legislation by communicating with itself through personal email accounts, then responding to requests for access by claiming there are no records in the official files.

“My office is doing additional fact-checking in relation to my recent investigation report on ‘no responsive records’ replies by the B.C. government to general access to information requests,” she announced. “Staff will also do follow-up work regarding the use of personal email accounts in relation to freedom of information requests canvassed in that report.”...
(stuff in brackets above mine, for context that is contained in other aspects of Mr. Palmer's column)

Here's hoping that this renewed sense of rigour over there at the VSun is not just a temporary thing.



Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

Don't worry. They are just getting warmed up should government change this spring.

North Van's Grumps said...

It's no longer an "IF".... with Denham digging into the lack of responses for FOI applications from the BC Liberals, especially since she has already stated that Private Email Accounts containing Government information is to be accessible by the Public.... Do you think that once the dust settles... that the Budget for the staff that are manning the posts on FOI applications.... will have to go back and dig, and dig and dig all over again. .... at no additional cost to those that have already paid for the service.... you know... like the lowest sticker price.

RossK said...

Awww geez, Beer.

I hope you're wrong.

But I fear you may be right.



Let me think about that for a second....




And I have a question for myself on this one...

What the heckfire is a 'sense of rigour' anyway?