We first learned about the Saskatchewan government's plan to bring in an electronic identification system by looking at a request for proposal on the Saskatchewan government's tenders and contracts website wherein the government was looking for qualified contractors to build and administer the thing.
The whole thing sounded dangerously sinister, especially after a couple of years of segregation, separation, weird rules and then and several months of government-enabled vaccination snooping by total strangers as part of a vaccine passport system.
The last few years of one conspiracy after another coming true has sent many reasonable conspiracy-minded people into a tailspin. Instead of jumping to conclusions, however, we went looking for more details. We wanted to know what the digital ID system would entail, but also how it would be used.
And that's when the Saskatchewan government slapped me with the most outrageous Access to Information fee I have ever seen.
They didn't send us documents in the form of a PDF attachment to an email like we normally see when we file for access. They sent us a bill for $15,317.50 for documents which included $12,437.50 in photocopying fees and about $2,900 in labour to pay a government staffer to do the work.
The purpose, if I am to believe what I am told and I'm not sure that I do, for moving life into the digital realm, is that hard copies and paper are obsolete. Yet, for access to documents on the digital ID program, the government is taking a very Y2K approach to things and insisting on photocopying and snail mail as opposed to the more recent technology of a digital document called a PDF email attachment.
It's outrageous and it's designed to stop us from investigating. It's going to have the opposite effect.
We are going to file an appeal of the fees and remind the government that of all the programs where documents should be available electronically to filers, the digital ID just might be the most important one.
However, with 50,000 pages identified as pertaining to our query, our investigation costs are going to be astronomical. It takes time to appeal the fees and time to lay eyes on each page. But given how the government has gone to such outlandish lengths to stop us from looking, I am only compelled to investigate further.
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