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Vincent Gogolek

Executive Director, BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association

Vincent Gogolek is the Executive Director of the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association. He was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1987 and has degrees in Law (University of Ottawa) and Journalism (Carleton), and a diploma in International and Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics. His work history includes stintsin journalism, law and intergovernmental affairs. He has worked for legal aid in B.C. and Ontario and has been Policy Director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.
Getty

Will B.C. Continue To Thumb Its Nose At Information Commissioner?

She ended her letter to the minister with a call to action: "It is vital for open and accountable government that, whatever the form of the entity, if it is carrying on public business, it should be subject to the [Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act]." Two and a half years later, there is still no sign of action from the government.
02/07/2014 05:42 EST

Transit Referendum Should Be Delayed To Avoid Cluster Fiasco

If the transit referendum was held at the same time as the municipal election, there is a real risk that people exercising their freedom of speech on one would be subject to severe penalties under the other. This is because the B.C. government has imposed draconian penalties (a year in jail, $10,000 fines) for those they define as "election advertising sponsors" in provincial election law.
01/29/2014 02:22 EST
Alamy

Concerned About A B.C. ID Card? Have Your Say Before the Deadline Passes

The ID Card, known as the BC Services Card, has been rolling out since February, and it combines both the drivers license and the provincial health care card, with lots more to come. If you are concerned about the implications for our privacy and our pocketbooks, you should definitely put your opinions to the consultation panel -- but hurry: the deadline for submissions is Nov. 27.
11/22/2013 03:11 EST
Getty

Which Is More Embarrassing: Our Men's Soccer Team or National FOI Ranking?

The national police force has apparently stopped responding to Access to Information requests, and one federal department (National Defence) said it would take 1100 days (about three years) to respond to one particular request. They released the documents after the Commissioner took them to Federal Court over the delay.
10/02/2013 08:50 EDT
Getty

Will Our Government Become More Transparent?

Delays and fees in Freedom of Information requests are reaching such ridiculous proportions that if you didn't laugh you'd cry. And worst of all, our various rulers are more than happy to continue blocking our information rights, seeming to believe they will have no price to pay. But there are a number of potential cracks in the wall of secrecy at both the federal and provincial levels.
09/25/2013 12:20 EDT
Getty

Stephen Harper's Secret Open Data Survey

Shhhhh. Don't tell anybody, but the Harper™ government is 'consulting' Canadians on Open Government. Well, sort of. There has been no press release about the consultation program. No ad campaign, either. And the program was quietly started in the middle of summer, while everyone was on vacation. It's almost as if Harper doesn't want anyone to know about it. Crazy talk, right?
09/05/2013 05:48 EDT
B.C. Gov't

A BC Service Card Offer We Can't Refuse?

The province's new ID card, known as the BC Services Card, began rolling out earlier this year. At present, it combines both drivers licence and provincial health care card. Given the hundreds of millions of dollars the government has spent on other high-profile IT projects that failed miserably -- including BCeSIS, Integrated Case Management -- the provincial government has real reason to be concerned about what citizens think of their latest project.
08/26/2013 06:54 EDT
AP

Harpers' Gag Orders Sweep While Canadians Sleep

The Harper government wants to hide all of its secrets. A Canadian Press reported noticed a troubling policy detail buried in the feds' legislative bulletin that would dramatically expand the number of current and former federal government employees under a lifetime gag order, potentially curbing the right to free expression of thousands of Canadians.
06/27/2013 11:30 EDT
CP

Transparency? Not On Harper's Watch

Over the last several months, the federal government has repeatedly thrown up the claim that theirs is "the most transparent government in Canadian history," even in the face of overwhelming evidence that it is categorically untrue. Even the practice of stomping on backbenchers who push for more transparency is nothing new for this government.
06/09/2013 02:36 EDT