“Nobody can operate in any major endeavor, such as the provincial government, without having some record on paper or electronically, or in some way domented. At some stages in the process, it’s easy enough to make oral decisions, but it’s really obvious that much of this is being deleted and destroyed…”
That was former NDP Attorney General of B.C., Colin Gabelmann speaking with Jon McComb today.
Referred to as the father of the Freedom of Information Act, Gabelmann was instrumental is creating the Act. He says he was focused on getting people to understand that B.C. needed a difefrent culture in government.
“It was just the law that was critical, it was taking a differnt approach to it. Recognizing that what government’s did was the public’s business , it wasn’t the private business of government.”
Gabelmann says the culture in the 80s under the Socreds was that there was no real legislation regarding information. He says changing the law was effective, but they struggled with the culture.
“Where after people recognized the value of sharing everything with the public, that sharing that would just become automatic. And of course it didn’t, people reverted back to the old ways and here we are in trouble today as a result.”