The Canadian Privacy Law Blog: Developments in privacy law and writings of a Canadian privacy lawyer, containing information related to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (aka PIPEDA) and other Canadian and international laws.

Search this blog

Recent Posts

On Twitter

About this page and the author

The author of this blog, David T.S. Fraser, is a Canadian privacy lawyer who practices with the firm of McInnes Cooper. He is the author of the Physicians' Privacy Manual. He has a national and international practice advising corporations and individuals on matters related to Canadian privacy laws.

For full contact information and a brief bio, please see David's profile.

Please note that I am only able to provide legal advice to clients. I am not able to provide free legal advice. Any unsolicited information sent to David Fraser cannot be considered to be solicitor-client privileged.

David Fraser's Facebook profile

Privacy Calendar



Subscribe with Bloglines

RSS Atom Feed

RSS FEED for this site

Subscribe to this Blog as a Yahoo! Group/Mailing List
Powered by

Subscribe with Bloglines
Add to Technorati Favorites!

Blogs I Follow

Small Print

The views expressed herein are solely the author's and should not be attributed to his employer or clients. Any postings on legal issues are provided as a public service, and do not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained herein or linked to. Nothing herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel.

This web site is presented for informational purposes only. These materials do not constitute legal advice and do not create a solicitor-client relationship between you and David T.S. Fraser. If you are seeking specific advice related to Canadian privacy law or PIPEDA, contact the author, David T.S. Fraser.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

LaForest recommends keeping Info and Privacy Commissioners separate 

In July, 2005 the government asked Mr. Justice Gerard LaForest to inquire into the desirability of merging the Office of the Privacy Commissioner and the Office of the Information Commissioner. While a merged office is the norm in many provices, Justice LaForest's report has recommended not merging the offices. And, he said, if the government plans to do the merger nevertheless, he recommends that it be delayed so that each office can sort out the current challenges they are facing. Read the report here: THE OFFICES OF THE INFORMATION AND PRIVACY COMMISSIONERS: THE MERGER AND RELATED ISSUES and in PDF here.

Here are the recommendations:


The major recommendations made in this Report may be summarized in the following manner:

  • There should not be either a full merger of the offices of the Information Commissioner and the Privacy Commissioner or an appointment of one commissioner to both offices. These changes would likely have a detrimental impact on the policy aims of the Access to Information Act, the Privacy Act, and PIPEDA.
  • If the Government and Parliament decide to proceed with a merger or cross-appointment, implementation should be delayed for a considerable period of time. The transition should take place gradually, and only after the challenges facing the current access and privacy regimes have been thoroughly studied and addressed.
  • Caution should be exercised in proceeding with any attempt to share the corporate services personnel of the offices of the Information and Privacy Commissioners. Care must be taken to establish mechanisms ensuring adequate accountability and control.

Government must do much more to foster a "culture of compliance" with access and privacy obligations. With respect to access, it should:

  • make it clear to officials that access should be provided unless there is a clear and compelling reason not to do so;
  • develop better information management systems;
  • ensure adequate training for access officials;
  • create proactive dissemination policies; and
  • provide adequate incentives for compliance

With respect to privacy, it should:

  • pay greater attention to the implications of programs involving the sharing, matching, and outsourcing of personal information;
  • ensure adequate training for privacy officials ; and
  • develop comprehensive privacy management frameworks;
  • The Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act should be amended to specifically empower the commissioners to comment on government programs affecting their spheres of jurisdiction. Ideally, there should be a corresponding duty imposed on government to solicit the views of the commissioners on such programs at the earliest possible stage.
  • The Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act should be amended to recognize the role of the commissioners in educating the public and conducting research relevant to their mandates.
  • The option of granting order making powers to the Information and Privacy Commissioners should be studied in further depth.
  • The Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act should be amended to specifically empower the commissioners to engage in mediation and conciliation.

Labels: ,

Links to this post:

Create a Link

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours? Creative Commons License
The Canadian Privacy Law Blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Canada License. lawyer blogs