“Dear Stefan, Good Morning
Re: Information about the Brinkworthy Sports Multiplex
1. The cause of public discourse thrives on in the cross pollination of ideas on the background of the facts of the a matter and this underlines the obligation of governments to “keep the citizenry charged with information”. With that background I pose my:
a) What is the accumulated total number of correspondence items /written submissions the Trust has received from the public on the subject matter?
b) What is the “path” to their cumulative posting on the Trust website?
c) “At a glance” how many of these
i. Support the PARC Brinkworthy project? ______________
ii. Oppose the PARC Brinkworthy project? _______________
2. In the December 17, 2015 meeting Agenda Package Addendum there is a letter in support of the Brinkworthy SportsMultiplex from Ms. Jane Horsburgh. It is shown with six redactions. The first and the sixth may hide the writer’s email URL and this may be legit. But the existence of the four in-between substantial redactions are perplexing because citizens’ submission to governments (other than specifically exempted by FOIPPA, or other Law) are entirely public documents. This is clearly reflected in Trust “policies”, too. With that background I pose my"
What is the legal basis for these redactions? Or, if the redaction are an oversight of an overzealous administrator, would you please re-post the document whole?
NB: Given that only a Court of Law may strip a citizen of basic freedoms and rights; and that democracy exists to ensure that the society benefits from those who hold views at variance with the magistrates; and that the Trust has not ever challenged the legitimacy of anything, in any of my submissions; I shall therefore expect to find all my submissions on the subject matter in the collection of the accumulated public input the Trust has, I presume, showcased for the society to consider so that democracy may function.
I will expect and appreciate a prompt response.
A. N. T. Varzeliotis”
April 28, 2016 From: Tom Varzeliotis To: Carmen Thiel
Ms. Carmen Thiel,
Designate Islands Trust FOI Officer,
The Islands Trust, SSI Branch Office
Dear Ms. Thiel
Re: Formal FOI request, for information
As you will notice, this is essentially a request I filed with Mr. Cermak of the Trust SSI Office, on April 18, 2016 and to which he has responded in silence.
[I appended the above cited April 18 email to Cermak]
Sincerely, A. N. T. Varzeliotis"
May 3, 2016: From: "Claire Olivier" To: Tom Varzeliotis
“Subject: Request for Information - Brinkworthy Playing Field
Dear Mr. Varzeliotis,
We are in receipt of the above noted request sent originally to Carmen Thiel on April 28th (below) and received at our office on May 2nd, 2016. Although you have titled this request as a "FOI Access to Information Request", we are able to respond to your queries as an information request as follows:
Staff reports involving the proposed Brinkworthy playing field, which include correspondence received during their respective time frames, form part of published agenda packages that you can access on our website at this link: Salt Spring Meetings.
To assist you in finding this information readily, Staff reports were presented to the Local Trust Committee on the following dates:
Agricultural Land Commission application SS-ALR-2015.2:
- November 19, 2015
- December 17, 2015
Rezoning application SS-RZ-2015.3
- March 10, 2016
From this information you can tally the accumulated total number of correspondence received and determine which are in support or in opposition.
Per Freedom of Information Section 20(1)(b) a public body may refuse to disclose a record if information in the record is to be published within 60 days of the date of the receipt of request to disclose. We anticipate that the next staff report on the proposed Brinkworthy playing field will be submitted to the Local Trust Committee at its June 23rd meeting. Correspondence received since the date of the last published report is scheduled to be included at that time. Therefore, we anticipate that this will answer your question concerning any remaining correspondence that has not been published.
Concerning Ms. Jane Horsburgh's correspondence which was included in the December 17, 2015 staff report; the redacted text contained information that was removed per Islands Trust Incoming Local Trust Committee Correspondence Policy 7.4.i. and the FOI Act concerning personal information.
This response concludes this request for information.
Thank you for your submission.
Claire Olivier” (Emphasis added)
May 04, 2016: From: Tom Varzeliotis: To: Claire Olivier
“Subject: Re: Request for Information - Brinkworthy Playing Field
Dear Ms. Olivier, Good Afternoon,
I am responding to your communication, below, it being in answer to my FOI application of April 28, which I submitted subsequent to my request of April 18, addressed to RPM Stefan Cermak who failed to acknowledge it.
The "information" you provided leads to deductions as the following:
1. Either the LTC has not collated the correspondence on the Brinkworthy case into a showcase that would be constructive, essential really, to debate the proposed Multiplex project; or that the Trust hides information that it ought to charge the citizenry with;
And, that the LTC has not even counted, save considered as it must, the submissions people made which is a shame, that is to say, if it is true!
And, that the Trust has not abstracted the "vox populi" for reference and consideration;
And that the Trust has spared no effort to make it as difficult as it may for people to access the public submissions.
Which? Please say
2. I have acquainted myself with all the published material on the Brinkworthy case. I have found no trace of any of my several written submissions on the subject matter which I presented starting October 1, 2015.
If I missed them, please direct me to find them. If you omitted them, please explain the discrimination.
3. It is my understanding that submissions on public issues become public documents upon delivery. Your response shows the Trust as having struggled to find excuses to do contrary. You justify the redactions in Ms. Jane Horsburgh's correspondence as being based on Trust "Policy 7.4.i. and the FOI Act". I am familiar with both documents and I know of no provision to conceivably justify the blackout of that information.
Please identify the specific sections of the Policy and the Act compelling the Trust to secrecy.
4. The closing statement: "This response concludes this request for information" offends Democracy. It also flies in the face of the Law, along with the rest of the Trust’s missive at issue, as you would realize by glancing at s.6 of the FOIPPA which explicitly compels public bodies to "assist applicants".
Please comply with the law!
Regards, Tom V.”
“The SSI LTC
Dear Chairman Luckham
Re: Request for Information - Brinkworthy Playing Fields
Since April 18, 2016, I have been struggling to access the public input made to the Trust on the issue of the PARC application for LTC consent to removing the 181 Brinkworthy property from the ALR and rezone it so that PARC could construct the Sports Multiplex the people of SSI and the Trust rejected when PARC attempted to build on Furness Road in 2010.
I sought this information from RPM Cermak, who failed to even acknowledge receipt of my request.
Faced with Cermak’s silence I addressed a formal FOI Access to Information Request to Ms. Carmen Thiel, FOIPPA Officer Designate of the Trust. Thiel delegated the FOI Request to Ms. Claire Olivier who is a subordinate of Cermak. There is no evidence that Thiel took any exeption to Cermak’s offending the FOI Act and the Trust’s own Policies on the handling of my FOI requests.
Oliver “responded” to my FOI on May 3, 2016, in a most inappropriate way, and closed her “response”, thoroughly despotically, as follows:
“This response concludes this request for information.”
Evidently whoever ghost-scripted that letter, or counseled Olivier in writing it, should be investigated by the LTC along with the other personnel who have made the Trust the bastion of governance-by-stealth.
On May 4, I articulated to Olivier my serious concerns about the Trust’s reply to my FOI, in the hope of getting the information I need and to which I am entitled, and which the Trust is legally and ethically bound to disseminate widely in the society, instead of forcing citizens to file FOI requests for it and then breach the law, again, to deny it. Olivier fell silent, not unlike Cermak, her supervisor, had done earlier, thereby triggering the correspondence at hand.
The above are testified to by the email string, forming part of this communication.
* it is the duty of the Trust in general, and in the SSI LTC in this particular instance, to ensure the conduct of the Staff meets the legal and ethical standards of society,
I hereby request the information at issue as I identified it in my April 18, request to Cermak and which is included in the attached email thread. And
* the Trust has illegitimately withheld from the society the subject information, thereby handicapping debate of the proposed Sports Multiplex; and of the removal of the Brinkworthy lands from the ALR; and subjecting me to the pains of this pursuit;
I hereby request a public apology issued to society by the LTC and placed on record.
Please let me draw your attention to that it is illegal and unethical to treat citizens correspondence to the government as if it has not happened. The LTC may decide its response to correspondence and among its options is that of falling silent. But, the LTC cannot prevent, eradicate, or otherwise control “correspondence” from the citizens of a democratic society who elected them in the expectation that they would conduct themselves as mandated.
Having thus reasoned out matters, I expect to see all my submissions to the Trust in respect to the subject matter in the dossier of the public input on the Brinkworthy Sports Multiplex issue. This, irrespective of whether the LTC like or dislike what I write, for the message is mine to decide and for society to assess. It is up to us, the people to decide what we say, and it is the obligation of public servant, both elected and hired, to listen to what we say – by definition.
I ask no favours, all I ask for is the respect I have eminently earned; and that the Trust conducts itself in accordance with prevailing law and ethics.
Dr. N. T. Varzeliotis P.Eng (Ret’d)
With copies to P. Grove; George Grams; Carmen Thiel and Claire Olivier”
“This response concludes this request for information.”
Honour its legal and ethical obligation to make public the citizens input on the PARC Brinkworthy Multiplex expansion.
And that the release include the submissions I have made on the subject matter and those citizens have conveyed via the public communication media; and
issues a news release informing society that they have made public the public input on the Brinkworthy file.