The Annotated Ontario Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Acts by David Goodis is the go-to guide to Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) as well as to Ontario’s Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA). The 2018-2019 edition just came out this week and my copy has already arrived.
The annotations are organized around FIPPA but each section includes a reference to the equivalent section of MFIPPA where applicable as well as a description of any differences the MFIPPA version may have.
If you don’t yet have an annotated version of FIPPA/MFIPPA, this is a good time to finally get one — you’ll have the latest version for the next 12 months. If you already have an older version of the annotated acts, there are a few interesting updates in the most recent release that may make it worth the purchase, including:
- The coming into effect of s.15.1 regarding Relations with Aboriginal communities (although with no annotations yet)
- Ontario (Children’s Lawyer) v. Ontario (Information & Privacy Commissioner), 2018 ONCA 559 (Ont. C.A.) (although the Ministry of the Attorney General is an institution under s. 2(1) of FIPPA, the Children’s Lawyer, which is administratively structured under the ministry and has a funding relationship with it, is not subject to FIPPA)
- Toronto Star v. Ontario (Attorney General), 2018 ONSC 2586 (FIPPA’s presumption of non-disclosure of personal information should not apply to a large number of provincial adjudicative tribunals; rather, the open courts principle embedded in s.2(b) of the Charter should prevail. The application of ss.21(1) to (3) and related sections of FIPPA pertaining to the presumption of non-disclosure of “personal information” to “Adjudicative Records” held by such tribunals infringes s.2(b) of the Charter and is not justified under s.1. It is therefore of no force or effect.)
Where the text really shines is in the author’s commentary on many sections of FIPPA and MFIPPA. David Goodis is the Director of Legal Services and General Counsel with the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPCO). He has served in various legal roles at IPCO for almost 30 years — nearly as long as FIPPA itself has been in effect in the province. Very few others would be as well situated to write the definitive annotated version of the acts.
I’m looking forward to relying on the new edition in the year ahead.
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