Terms of engagement

Today, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond and the premier's deputy minister Allan Seckel signed a protocol for the handling of cabinet documents by the children and youth representative's office. Under that protocol, Ms. Turpel-Lafond must notify the government if she intends to reference those documents in a public report. The government then has an opportunity to object. If the representative ignores the objection, the government can go to court to block the publication of that information - but not before the two parties try to resolve their differences through confidential negotiations. The following is a complete copy of the protocol.

6 Comments

This seems to be what Min Polak was after - a protocol that protects cabinet confidentiality/the provincial interests of protection from interference with litigation, markets, etc. and protects MCFD clients/children.

Now why was that so difficult?

It speaks volumes that the Minister needed Hughes to come in and work out a solution for her.

It was Mary Ellen Turpel Lafond who didn't care for the protocol.

Do you want a hyperlink or a YouTube with that?

Legislation was in place allowing access to documents of interest to the advocate. So why the sudden need for change? There really wasn't any. The Child Advocate, a judge, has more smarts than to publicize a cabinet document. It's the Liberal gang that looked stupid, its the kids who were about to lose their advocates experience in investigating. Ted, once more sorted it out.

Access, yes. Disclosure of cabinet confidential docs, no.

A deal had to be made to bridge that gap, it's something defending freedom of information/FOI that I wish wasn't necessary but is. I wish you'd quit picking on the BCLibs to do so. Perhaps you work for the BCNDP or are a BCNDPFan :-).

The protocol's an uncomfortable quasi-veto over the advocate, but you just cannot have cabinet documents leaked for leaking's sake. There are reasons for this & hopefully going forward a thoughtful debate can be held on limiting the scope of cabinet confidentiality. In Washington State, for instance, the law for public meetings spells out very clearly what can be held in confidence of a meeting of individuals. Many American states and Canadian provinces also spell out what is confidential and what is not.

Josep, you are very wrong. I work for no one and my gosh it is very easy to find issue with things this government has been doing.A number of us have noted that you for one, seem to be the rah rah guy for the present minister and brings up her name at every opportunity. So who are you working for, one may ask? The original legislation was agreed by all parties. The present guy in charge tried an end run around the Childrens Advocate and it didn't work. The so called protocol wasn't the same one Ms. Polak was taking about a few weeks ago. She, and her boss wanted to vet anything the advocate was doing. Didn't sell. Score one for the kids, and hopefully the government will start to follow their own legislation. Hopefully as well they will quit wasting tax dollars trying to force their will on us all. I must say though that some states due have a easier route to freedom of information that the BC secretive government. Most of us, up this way, pretty well understand the parts of Cabinet Confidentiality

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