Portland Hotel Society operates INSITE, a most questionable business that purports to help drug addicts.  PHS agitated before Abbotsford Council to allow needle exchange etc. here.  

From Brian Hutchinson’s article, http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/03/14/brian-hutchinson-vancouver-downtown-eastside-social-service-provider-phs-is-neither-too-big-or-too-cheap-to-fail/  it would appear that PHS helps itself to a lot of our tax dollars.  And this Freedom of [from] Information, shows PHS has no intention of letting the paying public see where their tax-money is going.

But why does BCHMC allow public funds to be funnelled into private operations, – and then essentially agree that PHS privacy trumps transparency.  

This melding of pubic and private money is a serious and ongoing problem, precisely because under the guise of ‘privacy’, ‘third-party’, or some other ruse, money extracted via taxation disappears, with no accountability.  That was a major reason we in Abbotsford rejected the Public Private Partnership proposal for a future water supply from Stave Lake.  Once the money flows into P3s, – forget about transparency.

(Excerpt from the BCHMC/ Portland Hotel Society denial of media FOI to access audit report)

FIPA submits that the time sensitivity requirement in section 25(1) is met because PHS is likely to be the recipient of large amounts of public funding in the very near future [pp. 16-17, initial submission]

Does section 25(1)(a) or (b) apply?

[16] The applicant’s submissions on this issue occupied the majority of its brief initial submission. It said that the PHS had operating revenues of almost $7 million in the 2002 fiscal year, most of it from taxpayer-funded sources. It said that the PHS’s rapid growth has been of intense interest in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and that its article about the PHS engendered many calls and letters from the public. The applicant said that the public has few avenues of obtaining information about the PHS’s finances, apart from one or two public sources, such as the BC Corporate Registry. It concluded:

The society [PHS] functions in the public interest and spending of public funds is a public activity. We believe the society’s business interests are superceded by the public interest.

[17] FIPA and the individual intervenor made similar points. They also consider that public accountability and oversight of the PHS’s management and administration of its funds are necessary for the health and safety of the PHS’s clients. Disclosure of the report is essential, in FIPA’s view,

to ensure the public’s right to know how PHS, effectively an agent of government, is handling its affairs. FIPA submits that the time sensitivity requirement in section 25(1) is met because PHS is likely to be the recipient of large amounts of public funding in the very near future [pp. 16-17, initial submission]

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