We've spent $3,856 trying to get government documents through Freedom of Information requests in recent years.
Freedom of Information (FOI) requests give us access to records and information created and compiled by the government – you can request FOIs from municipalities, the provinces or federally. These files can include anything from meeting briefs, inspections, investigations, decisions and more; they’re the documents that show us how decisions affecting wildlife get made behind closed doors.
These requests take time, money and a bit of know-how. The documents revealed paint a bureaucratic paper trail that informs our advocacy. Many of our op-eds, news releases, action alerts, petitions and government meetings stem from what we’ve found in documents released via FOI. They even have the potential to form the foundation for lawsuits as government decisions are subject to judicial reviews or sometimes are straight-up unlawful.
Through FOI requests we have learned:
- The government has known for years that an average of eight pets per year are killed or maimed by traps in British Columbia
- Little to no active enforcement of trapping takes place in B.C.
- Not a single animal welfare inspection took place on B.C.’s 13 mink farms in 2019 through March 2020
- The B.C. Conservation Officer Service (BCCOS) were killing bears – but not issuing nearly as many fines or orders in early 2019 (which was followed by a fall enforcement “blitz”)
These vital documents can sometimes be denied, returned with redactions, or have a hefty price tag associated with them. The size of that price tag has meant we aren’t always able to access the files we think might hold important threads, waiting to be tugged.
Please help us uncover truths in Canada about government and wildlife so we can all do better for them.
Your monthly donation helps us plan and routinely file FOIs. As little as $5 makes a difference. Start your monthly donation or increase your existing monthly donation by clicking here. If you'd like to increae your existing monthly donation, please create a new monthly donation in the new amount on our form. Your previous donating will be cancelled (and verified via email).
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