The attorney general isn't giving any further reasons for British Columbians to believe his government's interpretation of the children and youth representative's information rights. Last week, Mike de Jong asserted those rights don't allow Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond to access confidential cabinet documents. The reason: according to the attorney general, the province is prohibited from releasing such documents under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. But our reading of that act is the prohibition only applies to the government's response to freedom of information requests - not the representative's rights. So what does attorney general have to say about that? Not much, dodging around questions about whether government has a legal opinion supporting its position. In the same scrum, Mr. de Jong also responded to criticism from social workers and social service agencies over legislation that will ensure Ms. Turpel-Lafond doesn't have unrestricted access to cabinet documents.
May 3, 2010