Below are the results of an FOI request. This request went to the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance.
As you can see below, the Ministry of Education does not track any financial information related to human rights complaints in their school districts. After speaking with an employee in the finance department of the Ministry of Education, this person confirmed that they don’t request that information from the districts. They have no idea how much money school districts are spending in human rights complaints, either employee or student.
From the Ministry of Finance, I received this below information that will be posted on the public FOI disclosure site within the next 10 days. Here – https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/search?id=4BAD1D13C68243D1960FECBBF7B8B091&q=FOI
I received full disclosure of my request. These two FOI requests, cost me $20.00, with the new fee system.
As can see, the ratio between lawyers’ fees spent on the complaints compared with settlements, is quite wide.
Almost 4. 5 million dollars mostly in lawyers fees in 10 years. Yet, only approx. $750,000 of that in settlements.
Why are settlements for human rights violations so low?
Why is the Ministry of Education not interested in tracking or being aware of any of this data? They fund the districts, but they don’t want to know how they spend their money on human rights violations?
If you went to see how much money your district is spending on Harris & Co, a law firm most school districts use, the Ministry is aware of at least that, you need to look on your districts budget information and you will find a Statement of Financial Information. Go the very end of the report and you will see a list of all of their expenses and if they have spent more than $25,000 to Harris & Co, it will be listed. These are lawyers fees that they are spending, and depends if they are human rights complaints or for other, it will come out of their operational or capital accounts.
This is a topic that deserves further exploration. Any investigative journalists out there interested?????