June 2009: Dear(ly Departed) Leader seethes about "frivolous" Access to Information requests:
Well, y’know, whistleblower legislation, we want to do right. I’ll be quite frank, and I’ll be quite honest with ya, ATIP legislation, for example, has placed tremendous demands and strains on government. It takes a tremendous amount of time, I know even at my senior staff level, the amount of time that’s taken up in perusing ATIP — now, it’s a good thing, Access to Information is a very, very important thing, but there are a lot of frivolous requests that are very, very time-consuming. The one thing we don’t want to do here is just create another situation where we’re going to put a stranglehold on government.September 2009: Dear(ly Departed) Leader gives some more guidance as to the kind of requests He considered to be problematic:
I promoted ATIP, I promoted Access to Information when I was in opposition coz I felt it was worthwhile. What I've seen from the other side of the fence is some of the requests that we get for access to information are UNbelievable. Like, every speech I've ever given since I got into politics, that's ten years of speeches. So fine [mumble] staff will dig that out. Then they start to dig into more information. My staff at the Eighth Floor could spend all their time just digging out and trying to answer ATIP requests. Things that are important, things that are fundamental and that the public need to know we get that for them. But some of the requests that come in are ludicrous, they're ridiculous, they're just people who are looking for an edge, people who are trying to find something that they can hang their hat on, but, y'know, there's no hidden agenda here. This is not about trying to be secretive or private. There's just so much a government can handle, there's only so much we can do and still run the province at the same time.October 2009: Felix Collins appointed Minister of Justice, responsible for the Access to Information Act.
March 2010: Felix Collins appoints John Cummings to review the operation of the Access to Information Act. His mandate includes settling the vexing question of "Whether the ATIPPA should contain provisions for dealing with frivolous, vexatious or nuisance requests".
June 2010: The Access to Information Commissioner recommends the adoption of provisions that would allow for the denial of Access to Information requests that the Commissioner considers frivolous, vexatious, or frivolous and vexatious.
January 2010: John Cummings, surprising almost no one, recommends "that public bodies should have the authority to refuse to respond to requests for information that are frivolous, vexatious, trivial, or made in bad faith."