Darrell Evans

Founding President, Freedom of Information and Privacy Association; Executive Director, Canadian Institute for Information and Privacy Studies

Darrell Evans’ career has been devoted primarily to the use of communications skills to solve problems, remove obstacles and improve human and business conditions, with the understanding that positive change can only be accomplished by reaching the hearts and minds of people. After spending 15 years working as a graphic designer, copywriter, creative director and communications consultant, Darrell opted to work exclusively on environmental, civil liberties and ’information rights’ issues. Darrell is a fervent acolyte of the democratic ideal, and so has dedicated the last 20 years of his professional life to creating and sustaining an organization that empowers citizens by increasing their access to vital information and their control over their own personal information. In 1990, Darrell initiated a movement to get a freedom of information and protection of privacy act passed in British Columbia and began selling the idea and organizing the movement across BC. This campaign, fuelled by the work of many other outstanding volunteers, led to the creation and incorporation of the non-profit BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (FIPA) in January 1991. Evans was FIPA’s first President and then assumed the position of Executive Director, a position he occupied until December 2010. FIPA’s primary objective – the enactment of BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FOIPP act”) – was accomplished in 1992, a remarkably short time for such an achievement. While working as FIPA’s Executive Director in 1993, Darrell was asked to advise and work with a similar group of FOI enthusiasts in Alberta on a volunteer basis. The resulting movement led to the passage in 1994 of an Alberta FOIPP act closely modelled on the BC act. FIPA went on to play a major role in the development and reform of other legislation, notably the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and BC’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). The group is also well known for its work of public legal education and assistance, legal advocacy, and legal and policy research. All these programs contribute to its objective of ongoing law reform.