The following letter was sent to Premier Christy Clark and copied to Coast Reporter.
Regarding your proposed Animal Health Act: we read the following in The Province newspaper of May 22, “A person must refuse, despite the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, to disclose … information that would reveal that a notifiable or reportable disease is or may be present in a specific place or on or in a specific vehicle,” Section 16 of the Act reads.
This is an unacceptable attack on our democracy and will serve to silence those whose interest is for the public good and public safety. We call on you to withdraw this provision of the Animal Health Act that will “expressly over-ride B.C.’s Freedom of Information Act” and serve to “protect businesses from disclosure of information (such as farm-disease outbreaks or animal-disease management) that may harm their financial interests” even when their practices may well be harming the people of B.C.
We further read that penalties under this act could reach $75,000 fines and two years in prison and that a government representative can apply these penalties with no requirement for “due process” or a judge in a court of law. This is an outright attack on the civil liberties of B.C. citizens.
Again, we call on you and your government to withdraw this Act.
Lynn Chapman and John Turnbull