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.


Just Posted

U.S. consulate general to visit Northwest

Trip part of the region’s first-ever pop-up consul for American residents

Houston Flyers bring home bronze

The Houston Flyers peewees were off to Smithers last weekend and came… Continue reading

New Cottonwood Manor units nearly ready

Sixteen units replace ones condemned several years ago

Houston celebrates International Womens Day

International Women’s Day March 7 was celebrated by 102 registered guests who… Continue reading

Houston’s woman of the year

International Woman of the year event was held last Thursday in Houston.… Continue reading

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Anti-pipeline protestors block Kinder Morgan tanker near Seattle

Protest was spurred on by the 28 anti-Kinder Morgan activists arrested in Burnaby

Some surprises in new book about B.C. labour movement

“On the Line” charts history of the union movement back to the 1800s

B.C. cyclist races to first win of the season in New Zealand

Casey Brown captures Enduro title by more than two minutes at Crankworx Rotorua

Notorious Russian troll farm also took swipes at Canadian targets

Targets included oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

Canada earns second Paralympic Games silver in 20 years

Held 1-0 lead in para hockey game from 12:06 of first to dying seconds of third and lost in overtime

LETTERS: Two views of oil pipeline protests

U.S. and other petroleum-rich countries aren’t cutting production

Most Read