Guide to FOIP-Chapter 1

Office of the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner. Guide to FOIP, Chapter 1, Purposes and Scope of FOIP. Updated 7 March 2023 28 Prevail means a provision of one Act having priority over a conflicting provision in another Act.53 The ordinary meaning of the word means to be superior in strength or influence.54 The Supreme Court of Canada in Lévis (City) v. Fraternité des policiers de Lévis Inc., 2007 SCC 14 (CanLII), [2007] 1 SCR 591 stated: The starting point in any analysis of legislative conflict is that legislative coherence is presumed, and an interpretation which results in conflict should be eschewed unless it is unavoidable. The test for determining whether an unavoidable conflict exists is well stated by Professor Cote in his treatise on statutory interpretation: According to case law, two statutes are not repugnant simply because they deal with the same subject: application of one must implicitly or explicitly preclude application of the other. (P.-A. Cote, The Interpretation of Legislation in Canada (3rd ed. 2000), at p. 350)55 Section 23 of FOIP ensures that the fundamental rights enshrined in FOIP are given proper deference when interpreting legislative intent as to its application in conjunction with other statutes. This primacy clause is a strong expression of legislative intent and a tool for ensuring public policy objectives are met. In the event of a contest between two statutes, the legislature is presumed to not intend conflict between the statutes. Therefore, if an interpretation allows concurrent application, that interpretation should be adopted.56 The following three-part test can be used to determine whether two laws can coexist or are in conflict: 1. Does compliance with one law involve the breach of the other? The first test is one of pure conflict. 2. Does one law supplement the other? 53 SK OIPC Review Report 149-2017 at [50]. 54 The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, Oxford University Press 1973, Volume 2 at p. 2340. 55 Lévis (City) v. Fraternité des policiers de Lévis Inc., 2007 SCC 14 (CanLII), [2007] 1 SCR 591 at [47]. See also SK OIPC Review Report 149-2017 at [52]. 56 SK OIPC Review Report F-2009-001 at [39].