Attorney General of Canada v. Larry Philip Fontaine in his personal capacity and in his capacity as the executor of the estate of Agnes Mary Fontaine, deceased, et al.

(Ontario) (Civil) (By Leave)


Civil procedure - Class actions, Courts, Jurisdiction, Privacy, Access to information, Exemption, Third party information.


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Civil procedure - Class actions - Courts - Jurisdiction - Inherent jurisdiction - Implied undertaking - Interpretation of settlement agreement - Privacy - Access to information - Exemptions - Third party information - Personal information - Whether the Ontario Court of Appeal erred by unilaterally rectifying the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement - Whether the Ontario Court of Appeal erred in finding that the Independent Assessment Process documents were not under the control of a government institution - Whether the Ontario Court of Appeal erred by holding that, through the inherent jurisdiction of the court and the implied undertaking rule, the Courts below had jurisdiction to order the retention and destruction of the IAP documents.

In the course of the Independent Assessment Process (“IAP”), which provided a second level of compensation to former residential school students who were victims of certain kinds of serious harm, questions arose about what was to become of the highly confidential documents created during the IAP after it came to an end. Library and Archives Canada also issued a Records Disposition Authority requiring that certain IAP records held by Northern Affairs Canada, having been deemed by the National Archivist to be of enduring historical value, be transferred to Library and Archives Canada. In 2013, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Chief Adjudicator of the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat each brought a Request for Directions to the court. They both requested the development of a notice program to inform claimants that they could archive some of their IAP documents at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. The Chief Adjudicator also sought an order that all other copies of the IAP documents in the hands of the parties be destroyed.