Dear Editor:

Memories of early school days, visitors dressed in polished boots and wide brimmed hats. Young minds easily impressed by fine words and obvious power. We are here to help where ever help is needed thats our job. Scroll ahead a few years. Young man, now prostrate on a hospital emergency bed deathly ill and far from home. Sick and worried, all worldly possessions at risk in an unlocked car on a downtown street. We are here to help wherever help is needed thats our job. Oh lord, where are they now? On cue, one appears to my huge relief and I ask if hed be so kind to lock my car doors since I was not able to. I cant be held responsible for your car is the response burned forever into my mind. Months later, his response is confirmed by others of his creed. Scroll ahead again, many years this time. A hi-jacked car pulled over by police, the driver detained and the unlocked car abandoned. Released from hospital, the beaten owner returns to his car only to find all valuables stolen. Cant be held responsible once more confirmed by those who still visit schools to impress young minds.

Recently, a vehicle I own was involved in an accident. I learned from ICBC that the RCMP report had indicated that the driver had been cited as the principle offender. So, because of the potential financial repercussions, I requested to see the evidence the office had used to arrive at this conclusion. I was told that I would need to apply through Freedom of Information. When the package arrived, I find over thirty pages of mostly blank paper, the only information provided is my name and address. Deja vu.

Barrie Hawes


Editors note: The Pioneer contacted the RCMP Privacy and Information Branch regarding the Freedom of Information request filed by Mr. Hawes and the subsequent information sent to him. The branch told The Pioneer it is quite common for such reports to be vetted of some information and contain blank pages, since the Privacy Act dictates the branch cannot disclose the personal information of other people involved in the case (for instance, in this case the other driver in the accident), without the written consent of those people. Such vetted information can include items such as photos that would show the licence plate number of another drivers car.