Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services v. Information and Privacy Commissioner

(Ontario) (Civil) (By Leave)

(Sealing order)




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Access to information - Access to records - Exemptions - Minister refusing to disclose records relating to location and number of sexual offenders in community - Information and Privacy Commissioner (“IPC”) ordering release of requested information - Whether IPC exercised the statutory authority under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”) to grant a right of access for purposes that are not consistent with Christopher’s Law or with the purposes of the right of access under FIPPA - Whether the IPC erred in its interpretation of FIPPA law enforcement exemptions by applying an unreasonable standard for establishing a reasonable prediction of future harm to public safety and to the ability of police to control crime - Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31, ss. 14 14(1)(e) and 14(1)(l) Christopher’s Law (Sex Offender Registry), 2000, S.O. 2000, c. 1.

A request was made under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31, for disclosure of a record containing a list of the first three characters of Ontario’s postal codes in one column with a second corresponding column of figures representing the number of individuals residing in each area who are listed in the Ontario Sex Offender Registry. The Ministry resisted the request based on its assertion that the information in the record may lead to the identification of the whereabouts of registered offenders. The Information and Privacy Commissioner ordered that the record be disclosed. The Divisional Court dismissed the Ministry’s application for judicial review. The Ministry obtained leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.

Lower Court Rulings

June 7, 2011
Ontario Superior Court of Justice

Application for judicial review dismissed.
June 4, 2012
Court of Appeal for Ontario

C54647, 2012 ONCA 393
Order of the Divisional Court upheld; appeal dismissed.