Monday, March 01, 2010

Progress in Judicial Review - Communications between Ottawa CAS and City of Ottawa's Legal Counsel / Clerk

John Dunn has received the latest order and court materials for the Divisional Court matter now titled:

Court File No. 09-DV-1513
City of Ottawa v. Information and Privacy Commissioner / Ontario and John Dunn

This case involves Dunn's request for e-mails between the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa and its president of the board at the time, Rick O'Connor who is also the City of Ottawa's head Solicitor and Clerk which may show his involvement in the commission of a provincial offence under section 307 (5) of the Corporations Act. (failing to furnish a list of the Society's members)

In this matter, the Privacy Commissioner ordered (MO-2408) the City to issue Dunn another decision letter after disallowing them to use the excuse of "lack of custody and control" of the requested records simply because they are "personal e-mails". The City (Rick O'Connor) did not agree with the Privacy Commissions order and applied to the Divisional Court to have the decision overturned.

The following is a summary of the records Mr. O'Connor and the City are fighting from being discovered.

There are 6 pages of records that remain at issue in this appeal:

• Pages 370-373 – an email chain and attachment sent by the Executive Director of the CAS to employees, a consultant and volunteers of the CAS, including the Solicitor at his City email address.

• Page 387 – an email sent by the Executive Director of the CAS to the Solicitor at his City email address. This email was also sent to two other individuals: another CAS volunteer and a CAS employee.

• Page 391 – an email sent on behalf of the Executive Director of the CAS by her executive assistant to a number of individuals who are either employees or volunteers of the CAS. Among the recipients is the Solicitor and the email was sent to his City email address

This case is currently holding back many other cases across the province at the municipal level which are waiting to hear the outcome of this case based on "Custody and Control" of "personal e-mails" of municipal employees.

Dunn agreed to have the matter heard in the Toronto Courts so that more members of the public can attend the court hearings and monitor it. An order was also requested by John Dunn asking that the name "John Doe" be changed to "John Dunn". The request was granted which will enable the case to be searched for using John Dunn's name.

Updates will be posted as they arrive.

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