Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Abortion bubble zone FOI - "open government" is a farce Part II

Further to my last post on the ridiculous discriminatory anti-pro-life abortion bubble zone legislation, I received "answers" to my questions. See Ministry responses below (my points in black, government response in red).

First. You state:
  • "The records at issue may contain personal information and therefore does not fall within the Open Government initiative."
I am not requesting any personal information. If the records I am seeking, do contain personal information, the usual procedure is to redact this information. Therefore clearly releasing personal information to me is not an issue and my request satisfies the Open Government policy.
The Open Government initiative is intended for records that do not contain personal information, are not confidential, are not a risk to security (e.g., of vulnerable or targeted individuals) and do not contain sensitive/legal/contractual agreements. The records you are seeking may require a review in accordance with FIPPA and severances may be applied.

Second. The document you sent me states:
  • "When is it fair and equitable to waive fees?...whether the requester worked constructively with the institution to narrow the scope of the request; whether the requester has advanced a compromise solution which would reduce costs;"
I have twice now agreed to reduce the scope of my request.
Please be advised that the initial parameters of the request were very broad and the fee was much higher. Upon narrowing the request and in the interest of good customer service, the Ministry significantly reduced the fee from $675 for 22.5 hours to $450 for 15 hours.

Third. The document you sent me states:
  • "Generally, the requester must provide details regarding his/her financial situation, which may include information about income, assets and expenses." 
Obviously I have no intention of providing anyone with information "about my income, assets and expenses." This would be a breach of my privacy rights.
Further to the information provided about fee waivers, in order to assess whether there is a financial hardship the ministry has the right to request documentation in order to assess financial hardship.

Fourth. On numerous previous occasions I have obtained FOI information from the Ontario government. Fees have never been requested of me, except once. That one time I complained and that fee was waived. Therefore the Ontario government has clearly demonstrated a history of not charging me fees. Why should fees now be charged?
Every request is different and must be assessed on its own merits to determine whether fees are necessary. Waivers are granted when it is proven that there is a financial hardship (supporting documentation required) or a benefit to the health and safety of the public.

Fifth. You ask me how these records:
  • "at issue will benefit public health and safety". 
This abortion bubble zone law's alleged reason for being, is to protect the health and safety of women who go to abortion facilities. Notice that the intention is to protect these women. I see no allowance in the legislation that would provide protection to pro-life people whose health and safety is frequently in danger from people who spit at us; who rip up our signs; who threaten us; who confront us with verbal obscenities; and who block us from our annual peaceful March for life all the while hiding their identity by covering their faces. Our health and safety is threatened frequently in these many ways but we have no protection against that. This is why I want to be able to understand why this legislation was enacted--why are we not also provided with health and safety protection? Why are we being discriminated against by our politicians and others and why is this discrimination allowed to continue?
Please explain how the dissemination of the records at issue will protect the health and safety of the public per the criteria below:
·         whether the subject matter of the record is a matter of public rather than private interest;
·         whether the subject matter of the record relates directly to a public health or safety issue;
·         whether the dissemination of the record would yield a public benefit by disclosing a public health or safety concern, or contributing meaningfully to the development of understanding of an important public health or safety issue; and
·         the probability that the requester will disseminate the contents of the record.

No comments:

Post a Comment