News

More safety disclosure urged for B.C.

One type of public health and safety report the B.C. government could provide is locations of marijuana grow ops, B.C.
One type of public health and safety report the B.C. government could provide is locations of marijuana grow ops, B.C.'s information and privacy commissioner says.
— image credit: Black Press files

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.

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Bella turns out to be a boy
 
Ride-sharing company spooks taxi firms
 
Family Day boasts flurry of fun across Capital Region
Shovel in the dirt closer
 
RDN wary of tower, smart meters
 
Have a safe and happy Halloween in Parksville Qualicum Beach!
Lantzville marks 10th birthday
 
Grads to Watch: Chris Hennecker swaps bylines for beakers
 
The Week — Oct. 27

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 29 edition online now. Browse the archives.