Guide to FOIP-Chapter 4

Office of the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner. Guide to FOIP, Chapter 4, Exemptions from the Right of Access. Updated 8 April 2024. 95 Including means that the list of information that follows is not complete (non-exhaustive). The examples in the provision are the types of information that could be presumed to disclose a confidence of the Executive Council (Cabinet).351 The Saskatchewan Government is based on a Cabinet system. Consisting of the Premier and ministers. In Supreme Court of Canada decision, Ontario (Attorney Genera) v. Ontario (Information and Privacy Commissioner), 2024 SCC 4, the following highlights the importance and purpose of protecting cabinet confidences: [28] In our constitutional democracy, the confidentiality of Cabinet deliberations is a precondition to responsible government because it enables collective ministerial responsibility. Responsible government is a fundamental principle of our system of government (OPSEU v. Ontario (Attorney General), [1987] 2 S.C.R. 2, at p. 38) and the “most important non-federal characteristic of the Canadian Constitution” (P. W. Hogg and W. K. Wright, Constitutional Law of Canada (5th ed. Supp.), at § 9:3). Government is “responsible” in that the executive is accountable to, and must maintain the confidence of, the legislative assembly (§ 9:1; Heard, at p. 90). Cabinet ministers are both individually responsible for their own conduct and respective departments, and collectively responsible for government policy and action (G. White, Cabinets and First Ministers (2005), at pp. 15-16). [29] Cabinet secrecy derives from the collective dimension of ministerial responsibility (Y. Campagnolo, “The Political Legitimacy of Cabinet Secrecy” (2017), 51 R.J.T.U.M. 51, at p. 59). Collective ministerial responsibility requires that ministers be able to speak freely when deliberating without fear that what they say might be subject to public scrutiny (IPC reasons, at paras. 86-87 and 97). This is necessary so ministers do not censor themselves in policy debate, and so ministers can stand together in public, and be held responsible as a whole, once a policy decision has been made and announced. These purposes are referred to by scholars as the “candour” and “solidarity” rationales for Cabinet confidentiality (see Campagnolo (2017), at pp. 66-72). At base, Cabinet confidentiality promotes executive accountability by permitting private disagreement and candour in ministerial deliberations, despite public solidarity (ibid.; see also N. d’Ombrain, “Cabinet secrecy” (2004), 47 Can. Pub. Admin. 332, at p. 336). 351 British Columbia Government Services, FOIPPA Policy and Procedures Manual at Accessed June 26, 2019.