IPC Digest | April 2017

Apr 23 2017

. Français
IPC Digest
April 2017 Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario IPC Facebook  IPC Linkedin IPC Twitter-@IPCInfoprivacy IPC Website



Next week, we will host a webinar about exemptions under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and its municipal counterpart (MFIPPA). The presentation will aim to enhance participants’ understanding of exemptions, how they apply to FOI requests, and other issues that come up in dealing with access to information laws.

Join our team of experts on Thursday, April 27, for an overview of:

  • the principles behind certain exemptions under FIPPA and MFIPPA and how they have been interpreted by the IPC
  • discretionary versus mandatory exemptions
  • other issues that arise in FOI requests, such as custody and control of records, and frivolous and vexatious requests

A Q&A session will follow the presentation. Register now to participate! View our previous webinar on Situation Tables.


March 25, 2017
Toronto Hydro and the power of secrecy
Toronto Star

March 19, 2017
Should police be required to collect race-based data to fight discrimination?
Toronto Star

March 16, 2017
Ontario student fined $25,000 for accessing personal health info without permission
Globe & Mail

March 14, 2017
Judge denies request to keep details about top-billing doctors secret
Toronto Star

February 28, 2017
For real change, we need more than internal police reviews
Globe & Mail



The IPC regularly provides advice and recommendations on legislative amendments. Recently, Commissioner Beamish presented comments on three proposed laws:

Bill 84, the Medical Assistance in Dying Statute Law Amendment Act – This submission focused on the proposal to exclude information from access laws that identifies facilities providing services related to medical assistance in dying. We object to this amendment because the public’s “right to know” is a fundamental principle of access legislation.

Bill 68, Modernizing Ontario’s Municipal Legislation Act – This bill proposes to expand the open meeting exceptions which permit a municipality or local board to close all or part of a meeting to the public. The submission outlines our concerns that there is no evidence that the exceptions need to be expanded and such changes could affect the public’s ability to access records.

Bill 89, Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act – The proposed legislation greatly expands the ministry’s power to collect, use and disclose the sensitive information of those receiving services. We recommend that it be amended to strengthen privacy safeguards and narrow the ministry’s powers to collect, use and disclose personal information to that which reasonably necessary.


April 27, 2017
Understanding Exemptions Webinar

May 3, 2017
Reaching Out to Ontario: Thunder Bay

May 17, 2017
IAPP Canada Privacy Symposium



Ontario institutions are required to conduct a reasonable search for records when they receive an access to information request. To answer frequently asked questions about reasonable searches, we have developed a new fact sheet that explains:

  • what a reasonable search is
  • how institutions can comply with their search obligations
  • what requesters should consider when asking for responsive records
  • a requester’s rights if they are not satisfied with a search
  • the role of our office in a reasonable search appeal


January 27, 2017
PO-3691 – An individual submitted 40 requests to the Public Guardian and Trustee within a nine-week period, We found this to be excessive and that the behaviour amounted to a pattern of conduct that interfered with the operations of the institution.
Public Guardian and Trustee

January 31, 2017
PO-3693-I – A request for the names of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board’s drug advisory committee members was denied, citing the personal privacy exemption. We disagreed with this decision because the names identify the individuals in a professional capacity and therefore cannot be considered personal information.
Workplace Safety and Insurance Board

January 31, 2017
PO-3695 – We upheld a decision by Independent Electricity System Operator to disclose the name of a requester who filed an access request. The individual filed the request in a professional capacity, and thereforetheir name was not considered personal information.
Independent Electricity System Operator

Read more recent decisions


If you have any questions call us at 416.326.3333 / 1.800.387.0073, email us, or write to us: Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, 2 Bloor St. East, Suite 1400, Toronto, ON, M4W 1A8.

 Subscribe to our newsletter
To unsubscribe, please email us with “UNSUBSCRIBE” in the subject line.

© 2017 Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. All rights reserved.

This post is also available in: French

Media Contact

For a quick response, kindly e-mail or phone us with details of your request such as media outlet, topic, and deadline:
Telephone: 416-326-3965

Social Media

The IPC maintains channels on Twitter, YouTube and Linkedin in its efforts to communicate to Ontarians and others interested in privacy, access and related issues.