Saturday, August 24, 2013

Ontario's information commissioner has a good idea

Yesterday in the Ottawa Citizen, I detailed my case against the Ontario government regarding the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care's decision to withhold abortion information from my Freedom of Information request.

Today there is a response by Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian.

She says:
although information may be excluded from FIPPA, there is nothing precluding the government from voluntarily releasing non-identifiable statistical information. Those wishing to expand the types of information to be released may seek a change in the law.
I agree. A change in the law is exactly what is needed here.

This amendment to the Freedom of Information Act, brought about by the Broader Public Accountability Act, was a very very bad law. It is completely contrary to the spirit of both these laws. Just look at the names of these laws.

If the government had been up front about what they were doing, instead of being sneaky about it, they would have renamed FIPPA to the Suppression of Information Act and their new bill would have been called the Narrower Public Accountability Act. At least then we would have known what bus hit us.

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