You are here

News

Due to COVID-19, our office is currently closed to the general public. If you require assistance, please contact us by telephone or email. Our contact information is available on our Contact Us page.


Information and Privacy Commissioner releases Review Report 21-10

The applicant requested all records "related to An Act Respecting a Teachers' Professional Agreement." The Department of Justice (public body) refused to disclose the responsive records, citing advice to a public body pursuant to s. 14 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPOP) and solicitor-client privilege (s. 16 of FOIPOP). The Commissioner finds that the public body appropriately applied s. 16 to the responsive records. The Commissioner recommends that the public body take no further action with respect to this matter.  Read more...


NEWS RELEASE

For immediate release
August 24, 2021

Nova Scotia's Information and Privacy Commissioner releases 2020-2021 Annual Report

HALIFAX - Today, Tricia Ralph, Nova Scotia's Information and Privacy Commissioner, released her annual report for 2020-2021.

The annual report outlines that the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) continues to have a backlog of cases reaching back to 2017. However, the office has recently learned that it has been allocated three two-year term positions to address the backlog. These positions will be filled as soon as possible. In addition, the OIPC implemented several new processes over the past year, with a goal of improving efficiency. On this matter, Commissioner Ralph notes, "Our number one priority is to reduce the backlog. With these new resources and with the changes to our internal processes, I am confident we have the tools to address our backlog in a meaningful way."  Read more...

2020-2021 Annual Report


Information and Privacy Commissioner releases Review Report 21-09

The applicant requested records related to the costs of a court case involving a named individual. The Department of Health and Wellness (public body) refused to disclose the requested information, citing financial or economic interests (s. 17 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act) and on the basis that some of the information was "not responsive". The applicant appealed to this office. The Commissioner finds that the pulic body did not meet its burden to prove the information was exempt from disclosure. The Commissioner also finds that other information was removed without authority. She recommends the public body disclose the record in full to the applicant. Read more...


Information and Privacy Commissioner releases Review Report 21-08

The applicant sought access to a settlement agreement and associated schedules reached between the Town of Wolfville (Town) and multiple third parties arising out of a court case. The Town notified the third parties that it intended to release the requested settlement agreement with some information severed pursuant to s. 481 (confidential business information) and s. 480 (personal information). A third party submitted a request for review, claiming that the settlement agreement should be withheld in full pursuant to s. 481, s. 476 (solicitor-client privilege) and settlement privilege. The Commissioner finds that s. 481 does not apply to the settlement agreement. The Commissioner also finds that a third party cannot raise a discretionary exemption that has not been relied upon by the Town. Finally, the Commissioner finds that aside from the signatures, which are not necessary to release in these circumstances, the disclosure of the withheld personal information would not result in an unreasonable invasion of a third party's personal privacy. As such, the Commissioner recommends disclosure of the settlement agreement in full with the exception of signatures. Read more...


Information and Privacy Commissioner releases Review Report 21-07

The complainant completed the Driving While Impaired Program (DWI Program), a mandatory program for drivers whose licenses have been suspended due to an impaired driving offence. The DWI Program was administered by Nova Scotia Health (NSH) and was composed of a standardized education component, an optional referral to healthcare treatment services and a biopsychosocial assessment resulting in an individualized risk rating. The risk rating was then disclosed to the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) for its use in its administrative decision-making about whether to reinstate the driver's license. The complainant complained that in administering the DWI Program, the NSH collected, used and disclosed his personal information without authority. Read more...


Notice of consultation and call for comments - Privacy guidance on facial recognition for police agencies - Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Canada's federal, provincial and territorial privacy commissioners have jointly developed a draft document about the use of facial recognition technology by policing agencies intended to ensure that any use of facial recognition complies with the law, minimizes privacy risks and respects privacy rights. The federal Privacy Commissioner has also launched a consultation period inviting written feedback from stakeholders on the draft guidance document as well as on the legal and policy framework for police use of facial recognition more generally. Stakeholders can learn more about the federal consultation period and make submissions here: Notice of consultation and call for comments - Privacy guidance on facial recognition for police agencies - Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. Nova Scotian stakeholders are encouraged to submit any comment about this subject which will help contribute to this national conversation.


Nova Scotia to create an advisory committee to conduct a review of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

We are pleased to see the Premier's March 24, 2021 mandate letter to the Minister of Justice includes a requirement to create an advisory committee to conduct a review of FOIPOP and its related legislation with a view to make recommendations to modernize Nova Scotia's out of date access to information and privacy legislation: 2021 Ministerial Mandate Letter Department of Justice

Nova Scotia's Information and Privacy Commissioner has recommended the review be conducted by an independent committee, with input from public stakeholders and the OIPC:

UPDATE August 24, 2021: Given the outcome of Nova Scotia's recent election, the March 24, 2021 mandate letter is no longer applicable. However, the Commissioner is hopeful that the incoming government will take swift steps to modernize the legislation and her position remains that a reviewing committee should be independent and must seek stakeholder input, including from the OIPC. 


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

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

Know Your Rights: How to Make a Privacy Complaint

Guide to Review Process

Consultation Request Guidelines (for public bodies, municipalities and health custodians)

Consultation Request Form (for public bodies, municipalities and health custodians)