More safety disclosure urged for B.C.

Duty to report in B.C. law for 20 years, but only used by police for release of dangerous offenders from custody

One type of public health and safety report the B.C. government could provide is locations of marijuana grow ops

B.C. government agencies shouldn’t wait for an urgent threat to health and safety before informing the public about conditions that affect them, Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham says.

Denham issued a report Monday reviewing five cases where government disclosure was questioned. In only one of those cases, the 2010 collapse of a private irrigation dam in the Oliver area, did she find the province didn’t meet its obligation to warn the public.

While government agencies met their obligation in the other cases, Denham noted that in since B.C.’s freedom of information law came into effect in 1993, the only proactive warnings issued to the public have been from police regarding the release of dangerous offenders.

“Over 20 years, we have never seen any reports around public infrastructure, animal health, about water quality,” Denham said.

Ontario provides such reports to the public on bridge safety, and B.C. should consider reporting on the location of marijuana grow ops.

The other cases reviewed by Denham involved a 2008 study of formaldehyde in the air in Prince George, a 2010 study of Lyme disease cases, well water tests by the Cowichan Valley Regional District at Cobble Hill, and mould contamination in a student residence at Simon Fraser University.

Denham’s report is available here.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Man, 36, identified as victim of Abbotsford’s first homicide of 2020

Body of Michael Ray Day was found on Keeping Road on Feb. 15

How clean is your favourite Abbotsford restaurant or café?

Online inspection reports allow consumers to find health hazard of all food facilities in region

Mission’s Barnsdale wins bronze at BC Winter Games

Speed skater takes home hardware from Fort St. John event

Former Abbotsford man pleads guilty to 2018 assault in Ontario of man with autism

Parmvir Chahil, along with Jaspaul Uppal, to be sentenced in June for aggravated assault

Fraser Valley couple wins $500K after finding scratch-and-win while moving

  • Robert Walters and Lois Gueret of Agassiz win half a million from Scratch & Win ticket

VIDEO: Minister says consider coronavirus outbreak when planning for spring break

Foreign Affairs minister points to rash of new cases appearing in places like Italy and Iran

Alberta tourist dies after plunge from 70-metre cliff in Stanley Park

The 26-year-old hopped a fence at Prospect Point on fell to a walkway below, police said

B.C. man who pulled a gun on off-duty cop gets two years in prison

Encounter also led police to a home where 100 guns and explosives were found

New Westminster woman’s ‘out of character’ disappearance probed by police

She left without telling anyone, prompting investigation by Major Crimes Unit, police say

EDITORIAL: Fraser Health needs to be transparent to fight coronavirus panic

Fraser Health and other authorities are not helping by being vague in recent communications

Riverdale actress Lili Reinhart rescues puppy from Langley shelter

American actress named her adopted pup Milo

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

COLUMN: Forestry no longer close to top of B.C.’s economy

Our reactions to a forestry downturn reflect the past, not the present

Most Read