Vancouver group upset at city's FOI delays
A community group wants Vancouver city hall to hurry up with its FOI request. (FILE PHOTO/24 HOURS)
A Vancouver community group says the city has stalled releasing information via the Freedom of Information Act, alleging the delays are part of a plan to disrupt the group’s lawsuit, slated for August.
The Community Association of New Yaletown will be in court against the city Aug. 24 — alleging the city already intended to go ahead with a development for the neighbourhood around Emery Barnes Park before consulting with residents.
As part of their suit, the group asked for emails between a variety of city staff in December 2013, and though FOI legislation says information should be delivered within 30 days, the city kept delaying its date to produce the information, said the group.
Kerry Corlett with CANY said at one point the city said it would take 400 days to get the information at then suddenly made 99 pages of the information available with many redactions upon the court case being filed.
“They’re not divulging all the information they should,” Corlett said. “Whatever they’re hiding is even more poor, we think it’s probably politically damaging.”
He said the group now wants thousands more pages of information it alleged were initially listed as part of what the city said would be an 8,500-page request.
Corlett suspects if the information was released the project his group opposes would have to be stopped.
The City of Vancouver said there are avenues under FOI legislation to pursue if an applicant is unhappy with the response to their application, but would not elaborate on why CANY’s has taken the amount of time it has.