Another OIPCBC Update

The following correspondence was received in response to the questions (see below) regarding the new penchant for chronic redaction which seems to have overtaken City Hall recently.

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Dear Mr. Bolin,

Now that the submissions portion of the inquiry is finished, your file waits in a queue for assignment to an adjudicator. There are quite a few files ready for assignment ahead yours, so my best estimate is that it will be assigned within a months’ time, and then it can take anywhere from 1 – 3 months for a decision to be reached and an order released.

In answer to your other question, no, providing submissions to the OIPC does not make them public documents.

I am not clear about your other questions, except to say that no further submissions will be accepted on this file.

If you haven’t heard from me by mid-October, please don’t hesitate to email, and I’ll give you another update on the progress of the decision.

Regards,

Cindy Hamilton

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From: Ron Bolin [mailto:rlbolin@telus.net]
Sent: July-13-15 1:37 PM
To: Cindy Hamilton
Cc: Carolyn MacEachern
Subject: Further Redactions (ref OIPCBC File F14-58563

Dear Ms. Hamilton:

I cannot fail to notice that redaction of the public video record with which my file noted above is concerned has recently become more frequent and I am left to wonder if we are creating classes of citizens differentiated by whether they can: a) personally attend Council meetings and see and hear what takes place in the Council Chamber; b) can have access to private audio or video recordings of Council meetings; c) are relegated to the class that only has access to video/audio recordings which may have been redacted by the City administration; or d) last and certainly least, are left to the minutes of the meeting, a 19th century technology which leaves very limited substance. In this latter regard it can be easily ascertained by comparing minutes over the years that the availability of the video records have greatly eroded the level of detail contained in the minutes of the past.

While I do not hold that the present redactions are politically motivated, their existence permits that suspicion to breed and if condoned can be anticipated to tempt that abuse at some time. Democracy demands that information, once made public, remains public.

Is it possible to provide a time frame in which a decision in this matter may be reached?

Is it necessary that these further redactions be individually raised with the OIPCBC?

I have been told that the documents submitted to the OIPCBC by myself as well as those submitted by the City have themselves become public documents which can be distributed. Is this interpretation correct? And if not, what conditions apply.

Thank You for the consideration of the OIPCBC.

Ron Bolin

Nanaimo

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