Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Information Commissioner orders 287 pages released from FOI on abortion Bubble Zone Law

As I told you back in 2018, I appealed the Attorney General's hiding of their alleged "evidence" for the need of an abortion bubble zone. Because there was nothing in the FOI I received that showed a need for the bubble zone:

"One of my other complaints was the glaring omission of any police reports to support the need for a bubble zone in the first place. You know, like actual evidence for the need for a bubble zone?  When I asked the information commissioner about this, I was told:

"with respect to the police reports, I had followed up earlier with the ministry [attorney general] and they advised there were no police reports."

So the abortion bubble zone was enacted purely on the basis of Joyce Arthur's say so, and not on any actual concrete police reports. Political? You bethca. Of course I had already learned that there were no police reports for Ottawa, through an FOI of the Ottawa Police. So not only were there no police reports for Ottawa, but now I learn that there were no police reports for the entire province of Ontario."

Recently I heard back from the Information Commissioner. They agreed with me that a large part of the information that was withheld from me, should not have been withheld:

"The adjudicator also upholds the ministry’s decision to withhold some information under the personal privacy exemption at section 21, but finds that portions of the withheld information are not “personal information” once identifiers are removed, and orders disclosure of that information."

Here are the 287 pages that the Attorney General wouldn't let me see because they said I might be able to figure out who wrote the emails. (The bolded statement above is exactly what I argued and the Information Commissioner agreed with me.)

What these 287 pages actually reveal, is that there were three times as much support against the bubble zone, as there was support for the bubble zone. (55 letters for, vs 154 against).

You can view those letters yourself.

Some interesting comments from these letters:

"If such a law is passed, then pro-abortions should not be able to organize rallies either."

"Our Charter protects our right to show the truth. Freedom of expression is fundamental to democracy. I hope you will publish my point of view as you have published that of the pro-aborts."

"We just keep getting more and more restrictions on the freedom to have a different point of view in our nation."

"Just because you don't have the same views doesn't give you the right to take away someone else's right to express their opinion in a peaceful way."

"Please rethink your opinion regarding above. Unborn cannot protest but are still human."

"I am not associated with either pro-life or pro-choice advocates...I urge you not to pass laws prohibiting abortion protests. Laws exist to deal with criminal forms of harassment, and these should be applied as warranted. The singular fact that a protest offends some people is completely unacceptable as a justification for banning the proponent's freedom of speech. We do not need liberties diminished issue by issue and one by one until we find ourselves unable to protest, express an opinion or offend someone."

Conclusion? We still have no evidence that the abortion bubble zone was needed. 

A small sample of the letters that I was refused access to on my original FOI.

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