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. 79 Interfere means to hinder or hamper.299 Interference can occur on concluded, active, ongoing or future law enforcement matters. For example, the right to ensure witnesses of complete confidentiality and secrecy would be severely compromised if the protection only existed until the end of a criminal proceeding.300 When there is a review by the IPC, the government institution is invited to provide a submission (arguments). The government institution should describe how and why disclosure of the information in question could interfere with a law enforcement matter. b) Could release disclose information with respect to a law enforcement matter? It is necessary for the government institution to demonstrate that the information in the record is information with respect to a law enforcement matter to meet this part of the test. Section 15 of FOIP uses the word could versus “could reasonably be expected to” as seen in other provisions of FOIP. The threshold for could is somewhat lower than a reasonable expectation. The requirement for could is simply that the release of the information could have the specified result. There would still have to be a basis for asserting the outcome could occur. If it is fanciful or exceedingly remote, the exemption should not be invoked.301 With respect to are words of the widest possible scope; the phrase is probably the widest of any expression intended to convey some connection between two related subject matters.302 A government institution cannot rely on subsection 15(1)(k) of FOIP for a record that: a) Provides a general outline of the structure or programs of a law enforcement agency; or 299 Service Alberta, FOIP Guidelines and Practices: 2009 Edition, Chapter 4 at p. 152. 300 Evenson v Saskatchewan (Ministry of Justice), 2013 SKQB 296 (CanLII) at [40] to [45]. 301 SK OIPC Review Reports LA-2007-001 at [117], LA-2013-001 at [35], F-2014-001 at [149]. 302 The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) established the meaning of the phrase “in respect of” in Nowegijick v. The Queen, [1983] 1 SCR 29, 1983 CanLII 18 (SCC) at [39]. The SCC later applied the same interpretation to the phrase “with respect to” in CanadianOxy Chemicals Ltd. v. Canada (Attorney General), [1999] 1 SCR 743, 1999 CanLII 680 (SCC) at [15] to [17]. Summary of this can be found in Gardner, J., and Gardner K. (2016) Sangan’s Encyclopedia of Words and Phrases Legal Maxims, Canada, 5th Edition, Volume 5, S to Z at p. w-97.