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Statement from the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario on Supreme Court decision not to release mandate letters

Patricia Kosseim, Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision that the government does not need to disclose its mandate letters:

"Access rights exist to ensure the public has the information it needs to participate meaningfully in the democratic process and that government institutions remain accountable to the people they serve. The Supreme Court’s decision to allow the Attorney General for Ontario’s appeal from the decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal on the IPC’s Order PO-3973 is an important ruling that clarifies the limits of the public’s right to access government information subject to cabinet confidence. Although Ontarians have the fundamental right to know how their governments are operating, there are limited exemptions from this right of access to protect the government’s legitimate confidentiality interests related to specific types of information. We respect the Supreme Court’s decision and will be considering the significance of this precedent and its broader implications for future cases involving access to cabinet records."

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