Supreme Court hears Alberta Privacy Case

Case considered: Information and Privacy Commissioner v. Alberta Teachers’ Association, an appeal from 2010 ABCA 26

Yesterday the Supreme Court of Canada heard the appeal in Information and Privacy Commissioner v. Alberta Teachers’ Association, an appeal from 2010 ABCA 26. For a comment on the Court of Appeal decision, see Court of Appeal Decision on Privacy Process Likely to Have Significant Impact on Office of Information and Privacy Commissioner. Here is a summary of the case from the SCC’s website: “Ten individuals complained to the Office of the appellant Information and Privacy Commissioner that the respondent Alberta Teachers’ Association disclosed, in contravention of the Personal Information Protection Act, S.A. 2003, c. P 6.5, their personal information by publishing their names and other information about them in a publication called the “ATA News”. The adjudicator found that the Association had disclosed the complainants’ personal information contrary to ss. 7 and 19 of the Act. On judicial review, the adjudicator’s decision was quashed on the basis that the Commissioner lost jurisdiction for failing to comply with the time lines set out in s. 50(5) of the Act. The Court of Appeal, in a majority decision, upheld that decision.” The issues raised in the case include: Whether it is appropriate for a court, on judicial review, to review a matter that has not been decided by the tribunal at first instance? What consequences ought to flow when a tribunal breaches a statutorily imposed time line?

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