Decisions

Type

143 decisions found

Feb 9
2021

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Re), 2021 OIC 4

Institution
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Section of the Act
16
Decision Type
final report
Summary

The complainant alleged that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) improperly withheld information under paragraph 16(1)(a) (investigative bodies) of the Access to Information Act in response to an access request. The Office of the Information Commissioner’s (OIC) investigation determined that the information withheld was obtained by an investigative body specified in the regulations (the RCMP) in the course of a lawful investigation pertaining to detection, prevention or suppression of crime. The information also came into existence less than twenty years prior to the request. The OIC is also satisfied that the RCMP reasonably exercised their discretion by taking into consideration relevant factors for and against disclosure.

The complaint is not well founded.

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Feb 3
2021

Canada Revenue Agency (Re), 2021 OIC 3

Institution
Canada Revenue Agency
Section of the Act
24
Decision Type
final report
Summary

The complainant alleged that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) had improperly withheld information under subsection 24(1) of the Access to Information Act in response to a request for information regarding business ownership for a specific individual. The Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) is satisfied that the information requested is information about an identifiable taxpayer that is not the complainant, which was obtained by the CRA for the purposes of administering the Income Tax Act. The OIC is satisfied that the information meets the requirement of the exemption in subsection 24(1) because section 241 of the Income Tax Act restricts the disclosure of the requested information. 

The complaint is not well founded.

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Jan 21
2021

Health Canada (Re), 2021 OIC 2

Institution
Health Canada
Section of the Act
4
Decision Type
final report
Summary

The complainant alleged that Health Canada did not conduct a reasonable search for records in response to two access requests for information related to the personal or designated producers and users of medical cannabis. Responsive records were drawn from a database of medical cannabis producers licensed under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). Health Canada acknowledged that there may be additional relevant records stored in a second database but that retrieving this potentially relevant information would be unreasonable. The Office of the Information Commissioner agreed, given the amount of manual labour involved in retrieving additional potentially relevant records.

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Jan 7
2021

Transport Canada (Re), 2021 OIC 1

Institution
Transport Canada
Section of the Act
26
Decision Type
final report
Summary

The complainant alleged that Transport Canada had improperly relied on section 26 of the Access to Information Act to refuse access to annual statistics related to processing access to information and privacy requests. The Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) was satisfied that Transport Canada met the criteria needed to establish the applicability of section 26 – Refusal of access if information to be published – and that Transport Canada had considered all relevant factors for and against disclosure in its exercise of discretion. The complaint is not well founded.

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Dec 16
2020

Canadian Heritage (Re), 2020 OIC 10

Institution
Canadian Heritage
Section of the Act
30(1)(f)
Decision Type
final report
Summary

The Information Commissioner initiated a complaint against the Department of Canadian Heritage (PCH) based on reports that the institution had suspended its processing of access requests as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The investigation found that between March 16, 2020 and July 10, 2020, PCH’s Access to Information and Privacy Secretariat was not granted access to its work premises and was unable to access its departmental network remotely. This created a backlog of 224 access requests.

The complaint is well founded as PCH’s failure to respond to the 224 access requests was not based on any of the specified circumstances set out in subsection 9(1) and effectively breached the requesters’ quasi-constitutional rights of access under the Act.

The Commissioner made six recommendations to the Minister of Canadian Heritage who agreed to take corrective measures to ensure that PCH is fully meeting its obligations under the Act.

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Dec 15
2020

Transport Canada (Re), 2020 OIC 16

Institution
Transport Canada
Section of the Act
21
20
14
Decision Type
final report
Summary

The complainant disputed the decision by Transport Canada to withhold information related to vehicle safety recall completion rates by applying sections 14, 20 and 21 of the Access to Information Act. The Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) sought representations from the complainant, Transport Canada and a third party. The Commissioner was not satisfied that Transport Canada or the third party had met its burden of demonstrating that the exemptions applied to the information at issue. The Commissioner therefore recommended that Transport Canada release all information previously withheld, with the exception of certain personal information. Transport Canada gave notice that the recommendations would be implemented. The complaint is well founded.

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Dec 14
2020

VIA Rail Canada Inc. (Re), 2020 OIC 15

Institution
VIA Rail Canada
Section of the Act
18
21
Decision Type
final report
Summary

The complainant disputed VIA Rail’s decision to withhold information related to a High Frequency Rail Proposal in response to an access request. The information was withheld under multiple paragraphs of the Access to Information Act. VIA Rail failed to demonstrate that the information withheld fell within the scope of the exemptions claimed. In addition, VIA Rail did not conduct a severance exercise to disclose non-exempt information. The Information Commissioner recommended that VIA Rail engage in a severance exercise, release all information which does not meet the criteria for exemption, and exercise discretion with regard to the remaining information at issue. The complaint is well founded.

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Nov 9
2020

Privy Council Office (Re), 2020 OIC 14

Institution
Privy Council Office
Section of the Act
10(3)
Decision Type
final report
Summary

The complainant alleged that the Privy Council Office (PCO) did not respond to an access request within the time limits set out in the Access to Information Act. The access request consisted of minutes of the Joint Intelligence Committee from 1962. PCO claimed an extension of time to respond to the access request, in part to conduct consultations with other government institutions. PCO sent a letter informing the complainant that it would not be processing the access request because it had not received recommendations from other government institutions, and closed the file, according to its “no late file” policy.

The Act does not authorize PCO to fail to respond to an access request on the grounds that it has yet to receive recommendations from consulted institutions. The Office of the Information Commissioner concludes that PCO was in deemed refusal pursuant to subsection 10(3) of the Act.

The Information Commissioner recommended that the Clerk of the Privy Council take the necessary steps to respond to the access request by November 16, 2020 and revoke or revise its current policy so that the processing of all requests are in accordance with its obligations under the Act. PCO did not agree to the November 16, 2020 response date, but committed to responding by December 17, 2020. PCO confirmed that it had revoked its “no late file” policy.

The complaint is well founded. PCO has respected its commitment.

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Nov 9
2020

Privy Council Office (Re), 2020 OIC 13

Institution
Privy Council Office
Section of the Act
10(3)
Decision Type
final report
Summary

The complainant alleged that the Privy Council Office (PCO) did not respond to an access request within the time limits set out in the Access to Information Act. The access request consisted of minutes of the Joint Intelligence Committee from 1968. PCO claimed an extension of time to respond to the access request, in part to conduct consultations with other government institutions. When the consulted institutions did not respond before the deadline, PCO sent a letter informing the complainant that it would not be processing the access request because it had not received recommendations from other government institutions, and closed the file, according to its “no late file” policy.

The Act does not authorize PCO to fail to respond to an access request on the grounds that it has yet to receive recommendations from consulted institutions. The Office of the Information Commissioner concludes that PCO was in deemed refusal pursuant to subsection 10(3) of the Act.

The Information Commissioner recommended that the Clerk of the Privy Council take the necessary steps to respond to the access request by November 16, 2020 and revoke or revise its current policy so that the processing of all requests are in accordance with its obligations under the Act. PCO did not agree to the November 16, 2020 response date, but committed to responding by December 17, 2020. PCO confirmed that it had revoked its “no late file” policy.

The complaint is well founded. PCO has respected its commitment.

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Nov 9
2020

Privy Council Office (Re), 2020 OIC 12

Institution
Privy Council Office
Section of the Act
10(3)
Decision Type
final report
Summary

The complainant alleged that the Privy Council Office (PCO) did not respond to an access request within the time limits set out in the Access to Information Act. The access request consisted of minutes of the Joint Intelligence Committee from 1971. PCO claimed an extension of time to respond to the access request, in part to conduct consultations with other government institutions. When the consulted institutions did not respond before the deadline, PCO sent a letter informing the complainant that it would not be processing the access request because it had not received recommendations from other government institutions, and closed the file, according to its “no late file” policy.

The Act does not authorize PCO to fail to respond to an access request on the grounds that it has yet to receive recommendations from consulted institutions. The Office of the Information Commissioner concludes that PCO was in deemed refusal pursuant to subsection 10(3) of the Act.

The Information Commissioner recommended that the Clerk of the Privy Council take the necessary steps to respond to the access request by November 16, 2020 and revoke or revise its current policy so that the processing of all requests are in accordance with its obligations under the Act. PCO agreed to implement both recommendations.

The complaint is well founded. PCO has since responded to the access request.

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