Senior administrators at McGill University are seeking dispensation from the provincial government to deny freedom of information requests filed by students or anyone associated with the McGill or Concordia student newspapers.
The university claims that it is overwhelmed by the “systematic” filing of “frivolous” requests from students. It is believed that a small number of students are responsible for the abrupt increase in freedom of information access requests, from 37 last year to 170 so far this year.
According to a report in The Globe and Mail, the requests have sought information on a range of topics, from connections to energy companies to military research to catering expenses.
Bodies governed by federal or provincial access-to-information laws are allowed to try and designate problem requesters as “frivolous and vexatious” on a case-by-case basis, which would allow them disregard annoying or repetitive requests.