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Islands Trust
Posted August 6, 2015


A Delegation by

A. N. T. Varzeliotis

For Presentation to the

Islands Trust Council

at its June 2015 Quarterly Session

The Trust’s track record on the Freedom of Information and the Protection of Privacy Act (“FOI”, “FIPPA”) has been dismal throughout the years since 2009 when I began observing the Trust. Trust responses to FOI Access Request are rarely honest usually incoherent, patently evasive and, frequently disingenuous; on occasion they are outrageously dishonest. A thread running through all the Trust FOI responses is the propensity to evade the frankness that is the raison d’etre of the FOI Act.

I must also remark on the Trust’s zeal to cover the optics of being non-credible by challenging applicants to take their dissatisfaction to a commissioner, such as the FOI commissioner and the ombudsperson. Indeed, this pointing the finger to the way of a commissioner, appears to have by far displaced in Trust practice the traditional letter ending: “Please do not hesitate to conduct us if you have any questions on the content of this letter”. This change-over is more than sad, really ...

The raison d’ être of commissioners is not to serve as living licences for malfeasance. Wronging citizens and claiming “innocence” and expecting rewards for purity, just because your victims did not take you before a roadside tribunal, amounts to additional malfeasance, and certainly does not legitimize the wrongdoing does not reduce it to an inadvertent occurrence.

With this Delegation I plead with the Council, once again I must say for the benefit of its new members, to reject this Trust tradition of malfeasance and to jolt it to come to terms with democracy.

If you lead the Council to take the latter course you may help the Trust spare itself the fate of shrinking into a minor nuisance to Islanders due to SSI incorporating itself. Act fast, your chance to save your precious Trust is precarious – act before it is more late than it already is.

I will illuminate the above with one example from the heap of Trust FOI failures on file:

April 14, 2015: A FOI Access Request the Trust should have never triggered

“The Islands Trust
Ms. Carmen Thiel and
Ms Claire Olivier

Re: FOI Access Request

Given that on:

March 23, 2015: I submitted the delegation paper titled “Trust Fakes Prudery” for presentation at the April 16 SSI LTC meeting;

April 3, 2015: I submitted the delegation paper titled “Roll in and Turn On the Camera” for presentation at the April 16 SSI LTC meeting;

April 13, 2015: on the Agenda of the next, the April 16, 2015 SSI LTC meeting there is a statement reading:

“14. DELEGATIONS – None”

I hereby request access to the records of the deliberations and the other aspects of the processing of my submission of March 13 and April 3, 2015; and of the making of the decision to proclaim: “DELEGATIONS – None” through the LTC Meeting Agenda for April 16, 2015; and documentation of the Trust compliance with the obligation of the Trust to make decisions in public.

This Access to Information request is for all the information and covers all media it was recorded on and/or may be stored in.


Dr. A. N. T. Varzeliotis, P. Eng ( Ret’d)”

May 4, 2015: Claire Olivier emails Varzeliotis:

RE: FOI Access to information Request

Dear Mr. Varzeliotis,

Your FOI request has been completed and is ready to be picked up or mailed to you at your request. The cost to process this request is $45.00. Upon receipt of your payment we will release the requested records. Please make your cheque payable to Islands Trust.

The office will be temporarily closed on Wednesday of this week but is open all other week days from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Yours truly,
Claire Olivier”

May 7, 2015: Varzeliotis addresses the Trust:

“The Islands Trust
Ms. Carmen Thiel and
Ms Claire Olivier

By Hand and Email

Dear Ms. Olivier, GoodDay,

Re: Your May 4 email – FOI as the Trust reads it

In your notification about having “completed and ready to be picked up” my “FOI request”, you refer to the “cover message” under which I conveyed it and which reads:

“Attached please find a FOI Access Request.

Prompt Consideration will be appreciated.”

Sadly you removed [from the correspondence thread] the “attachment”, thereby leaving the reader in the dark about the subject matter. At the end of this message I will copy that “attachment” to restore the email thread.

You ask me to fork out $45 (the price of a bottle of Scotch) for the contents of your response to my FOI access request. Well the answer is “No”, I will not pay, “Yes” you must hand me the “completed and ready to be picked up response to my FOI access request”. This for a host of reasons, including but not limited to the following:

1. You know or ought to know, that the FOI (“Act”) explicitly obligates you, the public body, to assist applicants; and that it implicitly forbids you to launch “witch-hunts” for means to obstruct the flow of information.

2. You know or ought to know, that the Act compels you to provide an estimate of the fee, if a fee is applicable to an access request and to do so promptly. Indeed, the Act allows you to ask for a fee “down payment”, before wasting public resources to compile a FOI response that may not be taken.

3. You know or ought to know, that you should have itemized your fee invoice.

4. You know or ought to figure by yourselves, that the subject of my access request (which you “removed” from the email thread) is “personal information” for me.

5. You know or ought to know (I have myself pointed out that to you since Pauline Brazier first tried the “fee” roadblock on me), that the Act stipulates that no fee can be charged for “personal information”.

6. You know or ought to know, that you were obligated to process the subject matter in front of the Public Eye, to wit, that the information I am requesting, ought to have been already in the public domain. It is, therefore, you who, by doing the censoring from the dungeon, have unduly forced me to file the FOI access request. Accordingly, it is you who should compensate me for the burden you imposed on me in your churlish attempt to evade the law and keep society and me in the dark about your act of censorship.

This comes on the heels of Carmen Thiel & Nancy Roggers demanding I re-apply for the info on the Kris Nichols RAR thing, using the OIPC form which on its face declares in Beatrix Potter English, in caps:


Now, please, provide me with the “FOI request [that] has been completed” c/w an apology for playing on me, once again, the Trust’s Pay a Fee stonewalling Trick.


Dr. A. N. T. Varzeliotis, P.Eng (Ret’d)”     NB: The “ ‘attachment’ to restore the email thread,” is the May 4, 2015, FOI access requests at the top of this example of trust malfeasance.

May 7, 2015:

I visited the SSI Trust office asking for the information. At my ringing the bell, Planner Seth Wright appeared and after searching for the FOI response, he brought the pack to the counter.

Unwilling to get him into trouble, I told him that I have been requested to pay $45.00 for it, and I told him that I would not pay. I handed him a copy of my letter of that day addressed to Carmen and Claire. After reading it, he told me that Claire was on vacation that day but he would ask Carmen to consider the issue, and that I will be informed accordingly. Neither Carmen Thiel nor Clair Olivier, contacted me.

At the time of writing, May 25, 2012, I am still denied the information the Trust was obligated by law to have made available to me prior to the April 16 SSI LTC meeting, two and a half months to date.

Irrespective of whether the six breaches of the FOIPPA noted in my letter of May 7, 2012 cited above are due to lack of training of the Trust employees or to sinister ends, apologies are also due, along with the wrongfully withheld information.


A.N.T. Varzeliotis.


Outlome of the Submission: CENSORED


A Delegation for presentation to the LTC at its August 6, 2015 meeting

by Dr. A.N.T. Varzeliotis, P.Eng Ret’d

Truth Gone AWOL

On May 26, 2012, I applied to register a delegation for presentation at the June Trust Council Meeting in Galiano. With it I raise the issue of the endemic Trust blatant breaching of the Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection Act (“FIPPA”). I titled the Delegation “Trust FIPPA FLOPa”, which, as a title must, depicts reasonably well the subject matter.

On June 10, Chairman Luckham informed me by letter that the Trust Executive Committee (“ExCom”) blocked my delegation out of the Council June 23 meeting agenda. Specifically he informed me that the ExCom determined that my delegation:

“was considered to have incorrect and defamatory content, when viewed in its entirety”.

The assertion is not true and the Chairman knows, or ought to know, that it is false.

Luckham also alleges that my paper:

“also contains personal criticism of named staff members and the Islands Trust Council has a responsibility to protect staff from harassment.”

Yes, I illustrated my presentation with an example of Trust trampling the FIPPA. This I had to do, because I am not discussing a “hypothetical situation”, I am discussing an ugly reality! And I wrote that delegation because it is incumbent upon citizens to hold the government accountable. Having said that, I turn around and tell to Chairman and the ExCom and the Council and the SSI LTC:

It is your failure to do your duty to control the Trust public service and to ensure that they abide by the law, thereby sparing citizens the pain of exposing issues as those in the delegation; and which you censored to protect the guilty and to hide your failure to prevent the staff from pillorying citizens, as per the example I relate in the delegation you censored.

Before going to the next item, I will quote Professor Bill Durodié of Royal Roads:

“Far from liberating us, the fear of causing offence can drive resentment and unwittingly expand the numbers of the readily offended. Not judging is a symptom of disengagement, not harmony. We should strive to engage passionately – yet peacefully.”

As for the insinuation that I harass the Trust Staff, I contend this is another reversal of the truth. Just look at that libel on the background of the subject Delegation paper. It will leave no doubt who is the culprit.

And that is not all. The approved Minutes of the June 10, 2015 ExCom Meeting, do not support your assertion that:

“the Executive Committee recommended that your submission not be placed on the June Trust Council agenda due to the objectionable content”

Either the Minutes of the June 10 ExCom meeting or your rendition of what transpired is no true – it is incumbent upon you to tell which is the Truth and which it is not.

To help you and the local members of the LTC assess the matter of the Delegation at hand, I will cite the following excerpts from the article “Trust has minutes policy” by former Trust Chair Sheila Malcolmson published in the Driftwood January 10, 2010: “Islands Trust Policy 5.4.ii says the minute taker should ‘record in meeting minutes any reason given for LTC decisions about applications.’ This policy also encourages trustees to explain (in open meetings and at the time a decision is made) how they reached their decision.” [parentheses original]

These procedures are consistent with Robert'sRules, which indicate that, when minutes are to be published, "they should contain ... a list of the speakers on each side of every question, with an abstract or the text of each address ..."

“While individual trustees may suggest amendments, the entire LTC must agree minutes are accurate before adopting them.”

I hereby request:

a) Retraction of the libelous letter and appropriate written apologies;

b) Recognition that the Trust is accountable to society as all Local governments are.

c) An outline of the measures the Trust will take to ensure compliance with FIPPA


A. N. T. Varzeliotis


Fate of the Submission: CENSORED

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