I think the thing about reporters increasingly showing their frustration with B.C.'s transparency is that pretty much everybody has changed their lives in huge ways to deal with a deadly pandemic, and the province's communications strategy seems to have stayed the same.
Taking hours to provide information to some requests and weeks for others, providing data only when it can have a shiny bow on it, hearing requests for transparency changes and sticking with the status quo...that's politics.
Most reporters, at a certain level, accept that.
So you'll make a note in your story that the government didn't respond, or that B.C. lags behind province X in metric Y, or that you haven't gotten your FOI back, and move on. There's another story to cover. The daily battle for information continues.
Since today's emergency press conference on #COVID19 data in B.C. is telephone only, I'm going to use this thread to livetweet the questions and answers in a straightforward fashion, instead of the usual charts/context/jokes approach
Dr. Réka Gustafson begins the press conference, says she's going to "raise some awareness" on the public health surveillance done by B.C.
Explains how data is used for making decisions.
"It's an established process, and with every week and day we try to improve it."
Gustafson says the province "makes as much of the data as possible … available publicly."
Says "there has been a particular interest in the data".
Dr. Henry says the data "is for decision making" and there is weekly technical meetings.
B.C.'s $69 billion budget includes a projected deficit of $9.7 billion this year, as the province plans for large contingency funds to help groups both during the pandemic and in the recovery afterwards.
A few highlights in the thread to come!
Deficits are projected indefinitely: $9.7 billion this year, $5.5 billion next, $4.3 billion in 2023/2024.
But the province promises that in the next year B.C. would provide a detailed timeline and approach “to a return to fiscal balance.”
Most of the big had been previously announced in the election or the last couple months, including free transit for children under the age of 12, and a permanent $175/month increase to income and disability assistance (though down from $300/month during the pandemic)