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Information and Privacy Commissioner releases Review Report 22-03

The applicant, an injured worker, sought identifying information related to a witness (source) who provided information to the Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia (public body) that the applicant may have been misrepresenting his abilities to the public body. The Commissioner determines that the Special Investigation Unit of the public body was engaged in law enforcement and that the identity of the source was provided in confidence. The Commissioner finds that the public body is authorized to withhold the information that could reasonably be expected to reveal the identity of a confidential source of law enforcement information pursuant to s. 15(1)(d) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. She recommends that the public body continue to withhold the information. Read more...


Information and Privacy Commissioner releases Review Report 22-02

The Department of Community Services (public body) failed to issue a decision to the applicant in response to an application for access to a record within the legislated time period required by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPOP). The applicant appealed to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for Nova Scotia. The Commissioner finds that the applicant filed a valid application for access to a record and that the public body is in violation of s. 7 of FOIPOP because it failed to issue a response within the statutory time period. She recommends that the public body issue the decision within 14 days of the date of this report. Read more...


Information and Privacy Commissioner releases Review Report 22-01

The applicant sought access to records containing evaluative and opinion material in relation to his application for admission to an academic program. Dalhousie University (public body) denied access to some information in the responsive records under s. 19C(a)(ii) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPOP), which gives the public body discretion to withhold personal information compiled solely for the purpose of admission to an academic program. The Commissioner determines that the public body is authorized to withhold the requested information. She finds that FOIPOP specifically permits universities to refuse access to precisely this information in order to ensure that information provided about a candidate's suitability, eligibility and qualifications for admission to an academic program of an educational institution is frank, candid and complete. She recommends that the public body continue to withhold the requested information. Read more...


Statement on Nova Scotia Health's collection of personal health information by email

Last week, we were made aware that the Department of Health and Wellness (DHW) and Nova Scotia Health (NSH) had started a practice of encouraging Nova Scotians to email personal health information related to positive COVID-19 tests. This practice raised concerns for our office and for some Nova Scotians. Read more...


Information and Privacy Commissioner releases Review Report 21-17

The applicant requested access to records relating to a communication he received from the Town of New Glasgow (Town). The Town withheld information under s. 476 (solicitor-client privilege) of the Municipal Government Act (MGA). The Commissioner finds that s. 476 does not apply to the redacted information and recommends the Town release the information to the applicant. Read more...


Information and Privacy Commissioner releases Review Report 21-16

The Department of Environment and Climate Change withheld records relating to a property in the applicant's neighbourhood. In doing so, the public body claimed that disclosure would harm a law enforcement matter and deprive a person to the right to a fair trial per s. 15(1)(a) and (g) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPOP). The Commissioner finds that the public body's representations with respect to potential harm from disclosure were neither detailed nor convincing. The Commissioner further determines that a charge laid one and a half years after the decision to deny access could not have formed the basis for the denial of access under FOIPOP. She recommends disclosure of all of the withheld information. Read more...


Questions about Nova Scotia's Proof of Full Vaccination Policy

Effective October 4, 2021, Nova Scotia's Proof of Full Vaccination Policy requires documentation of full vaccination to go to or participate in specified non-essential events and activities. This document provides information for Nova Scotians about who to contact with their privacy questions or concerns and the role of the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC). Read more...


Department of Justice mandate includes amendment to Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Premier Houston's September 14, 2021 mandate letter to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice includes a requirement to amend the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPOP) to give order-making ability to Nova Scotia's Information and Privacy Commissioner:  September 14, 2021 Ministerial Mandate - Department of Justice and Attorney General

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner is willing to provide input and guidance to the government as it moves ahead with this amendment to FOIPOP, or any other important amendments the OIPC has recommended to modernize Nova Scotia's outdated access to information and privacy laws. 


News release

Federal, Provincial and Territorial Information and Privacy Commissioners and Ombudsman Issue Joint Resolution About Privacy and Access to Information Rights During and After a Pandemic

June 2, 2021 - In a joint resolution, Canada's Information and Privacy regulators called on their respective governments to respect Canadians' quasi-constitutional rights to privacy and access to information. The regulators took note of the serious impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the right of access to information and privacy rights in Canada and called on governments to use the lessons learned during the pandemic to improve these rights. Read more...

Joint Resolution: Reinforcing Privacy and Access to Information Rights During and After a Pandemic


News release

Vaccine passports must meet highest level of privacy protection

May 19, 2021 - Privacy should be front and centre as governments and businesses consider COVID-19 vaccine passports as a tool to help Canadians return to normal life, say Canada's privacy guardians. Read more...

Joint Statement by Federal, Provincial and Territorial Privacy Commissioners: Privacy and COVID-19 Vaccine Passports


The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for Nova Scotia supports the International Conference of Information Commissioners' (ICIC) public statements concerning public bodies' obligations regarding access to information requests during a global pandemic. Read the full statements below:


Nova Scotia's Information and Privacy Commissioner's statement on COVID-19

Nova Scotia's access and privacy laws are designed to protect people's privacy but also to share information where public bodies determine that compelling circumstances exist that affect anyone's health or safety.  Read more...


New/Updated Publications Now Available

Questions about Nova Scotia's Proof of Full Vaccination Policy

Know Your Rights: Missing Records?

Provincial Government Records - Which Office Do I Need? / Auprès de quel bureau dois-je me renseigner?

Connaissez vos droits - Comment faire une demande efficace d'accès à l'information

Guide du processus d'examen en cas de non-communication partielle ou totale de l'information en vertu d'une exemption

Know Your Rights: Withheld (or Severed) Information