FOI & Privacy Law Update

The legal landscape around freedom of information (“FOI”) and privacy in British Columbia was altered significantly in late 2021. The Province passed the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Amendment Act, 2021 (“Bill 22”), which contained significant additions and changes to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”), the central piece of legislation that governs FOI and privacy for local governments and other public bodies. Some of these changes were instantaneous, coming into force when Bill 22 passed. Others came into force at a later date by regulation, some as recently as February 2023. The evolution of the law is also not confined exclusively to legislative amendments. Decisions of the Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner (“OIPC”) and the BC Courts also shape and interpret the understanding and application of FIPPA.

Two years on from these significant changes to FIPPA, we survey the differences to the FOI and privacy landscape in BC to see what has changed, what continues to evolve, and what remains to be seen. This paper outlines several regulatory changes that have come into force around privacy impact assessments, privacy management programs, application fees, and storage and disclosure of personal information outside of Canada. We also provide updates on recent OIPC decisions on section 43 of FIPPA, as expanded by Bill 22, as well as judicial review by the BC Supreme Court overturning OIPC decisions on disclosure of records.

Download pdf: FOI & Privacy Law Update

Download pdf: FOI & Privacy Law Update

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