The Ministry of Health (the Ministry) provides funding for a number of development projects across Ontario which are operated on behalf of individuals who have received treatment for mental health problems. One such project was operated by an organization known as the Mental Health Consumer/Survivor Employment Association of Essex County (the Association). The Ministry provided funding for the operation of a project through which the Association operated a restaurant in the City of Windsor.
The Ministry received a request under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the Act). The request was for access to:
1. Records relating to an audit of the Association conducted in August 1996.
2. Records related to any communications between the Ministry and the District Health Council of Windsor-Essex County (the Health Council) relating to the Association from January 1995 to the date of the request.
3. Records related to any communications between the Ministry and/or the Health Council and the Consumer/Survivor Alliance of Windsor with respect to any issue relating to the Association from January 1995 to the date of the request.
4. Any contact sheets maintained by the Ministry on the Association from January 1995 to the date of the request.
5. Any records relating to any personal references to the requester or a numbered Ontario corporation held by the Ministry.
The Ministry located a number of records and granted access to some of them, in whole or in part. Access to the remaining records, or parts of records, was denied pursuant to the following exemptions contained in the Act:
- section 13(1) - advice or recommendations
- sections 18(1)(c), (d) and (e) - economic and other interests
- section 18(1)(g) - proposed policies, plans or projects of an institution
- section 19 - solicitor-client privilege
- section 20 - danger to safety or health
- section 21(1) - invasion of privacy
The requester, now the appellant, appealed the Ministry's decision. A Notice of Inquiry was provided to the appellant and the Ministry soliciting their submissions on the application of the exemptions claimed to the records. Because it appeared that the records may contain the personal information of the appellant and/or other identifiable individuals, the parties were asked to address the possible application of sections 49(a) and (b) of the Act.
Representations were received from both parties. Attached as Appendix "A" to this order is an index of the records remaining at issue and the disposition of each in the order.