Environment Ministry holding up FOI documents

VICTORIA (February 28, 2018) – A request for two weeks’ worth of documents on the Trans Mountain Pipeline from Environment Minister George Heyman’s office has been delayed almost three months and no date for release is forthcoming.

“We’ve heard George Heyman proclaim he has nothing to hide, that all his dealings and transactions on this are transparent,” says BC Liberal environment critic Peter Milobar. “He stood in the Legislature this week and said he’s happy to share his correspondence. However, as is becoming a sad pattern, this government’s words don’t match its actions.”

A response from Freedom of Information staff, dated February 14, was clear: “I sent this to the Ministry of Environment for sign-off on November 17 and have yet to receive approval for release. I will send the records to you when I receive that – but seeing as it is currently 56 days overdue, I’m not confident on providing you with a timeline.”

The original request asked for copies of any documents, including e-mails, text or instant messages, in the Minister’s or Deputy Minister’s office that reference the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline. (Date range for record search: from 07/18/2017 to 08/03/2017).

“This appears to be George Heyman’s plan for sharing documents: stonewalling all attempts to access them,” says Milobar. “It appears the Minister is more interested in hiding which activist groups he is breaking bread with, and how they are planning to delay a permitted project. The Minister of Environment needs to do the right thing and release this information right away to the public.”