VSB should release full harassment report now, privacy expert says

Superintendent of Vancouver schools announces resignation

A privacy expert is disputing claims by the Vancouver School Board that it cannot release a workplace review on the board's toxic work environment due to privacy concerns.

The report was commissioned by WorkSafeBC on the recommendation of B.C. Education Minister Mike Bernier who revealed allegations of bullying and harassment at the board.

On Friday, the board released a summary of the report, which was conducted by the Goldner Law Corporation. It said there was evidence of a toxic work environment at the Vancouver School Board. 

The board has not released the full report due to privacy concerns but said it will eventually release a redacted copy of the report.

Vincent Gogolek, the executive director with the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, says the board could have easily released the report right away.

"[Privacy] is a consideration and should be a consideration but there's also the fact that this is a matter of public interest."

Furthermore, he said, the minister has discretion to release the report but he has not done so.

"As citizens and citizens of Vancouver and British Columbia, we're interested in finding out what happened and what are the details of these serious and systemic problems that they're talking about," Gogolek said.

In a statement, Vancouver School Board, interim secretary treasurer Guy Bonnefoy said the board is aware of the public interest in the investigation and has consulted legal advisors about how to release the report appropriately and in compliance with privacy laws.

With files from The Early Edition

To listen to the interview, click on the link labelled VSB can release harassment report now, privacy expert says