Thanks to The NEWS for allowing Qualicum Beach residents to learn what the town’s “edited” report removed from the third Administrative Review of the Qualicum Beach fire department. To remind, two earlier reports were buried by the town (mayor and former councils).
Division four of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act of British Columbia says that the “Public Interest (is) paramount.”
Information must be disclosed if, in the public interest, “a risk of significant harm . . . or to the health or safety of the public or a group of people” is involved.
I would have thought that concerns about our fire department would qualify as a major concern for public safety, given the woodland in which we live and taking into account the perceived need for three reviews.
Finally, how can the following two statements, found in recent stories by editor John Harding, be resolved?
On April 16, Harding reported: “The mayor, as spokesperson for the Town of Qualicum Beach, today released the following statement . . . With the review of the report now completed; mayor and council have re-instated the fire chief.”
Elsewhere, Harding reported: “In reaction to the news release, (councillor) Luchtmeijer told The NEWS Friday morning council had not had a meeting regarding the re-instatement of the chief in the previous 48 hours.” Go figure.
Nestor E. Gayowsky