Celebrating 25 years of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act

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On October 1, the Alberta Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) tweeted a shout out to the Freedom of Information and Protection (FOIP) Act and its 25 years of existence. Twitter Link 

That’s right, the FOIP Act came to be in 1994, and into effect in October 1995. It was first introduced as Bill 203 in June 1989 with support by opposition (Liberal) Leader Laurence Decore. It didn’t make it past the first reading. Reintroduced as Bill 205 in March 1990, Bill 204 in March 1991, Bill 202 in March 1993 and Bill 201 in September 1993. None made it past their first reading. Additionally, in March 1993, NDP Leader Ray Martin introduced Bill 201. In total, six (6) private members bills were submitted by opposition members to the legislature for freedom of information law in Alberta.

A major step was taken on April 26, 1993, when then Premier Ralph Klein introduced Bill 61, Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, igniting the assurance to government information and protection of privacy under government custodianship.

“Mr. Speaker, in accordance with the request of many Albertans and various organizations, it is our intention to seek the introduction of this Bill, give it first reading, and then send out to the public a discussion paper with a draft copy of the Bill for further public input. I would like to take four copies of the discussion guide”. Source: Twitter Link 

A summary of that consultation from 1993 can be found here 1993 FOIP Act Consultation.

The report ends, “If this report is implemented in the legislation, it will be the strongest Bill in Canada and uniquely Albertan”. Some sections of the legislation in Alberta are paramount over the FOIP Act. If conflicts arise, provisions in the other Acts of regulations prevail. FOIP Paramountcy

The FOIP Act has been reviewed and amended numerous times (1998/99, 2001/02, 2010, and 2013) but can be found, at the youthful yet improved age of 25 here: FOIP Act 

Training is available here for Public Bodies. If you are not supporting a public body via employment and want to learn more about your rights under the FOIP Act you can email Shannyn at info@rustructconsulting.com. 

 

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