Staff Advice and Recommendations Not Publicly Accessible Upon Request

June 25, 2013

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently considered what qualifies as the “advice or recommendations of a public servant”, for the purpose of exemption from freedom of information legislation. The Court clarified that this exception was designed to protect the decision-making process within public institutions. The Court held that where the content of the records in question relates to a suggested course of action and pertains to a decision that will ultimately be made, the exception can be applied.  The Court found that the exception included records that permit “the drawing of inferences with respect to a suggested course of action…”

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