Case Report – Newfoundland FOI judgement on “advice and recomendations” exemption

On February 12th, the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court – Trial Division issued an FOI judgement. It is largely fact-specific, but the Court made this comment on the advice and recommendations exemption in the Newfoundland Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act:

The words “advice” and “recommendations” have similar but distinct meanings. The term “recommendations” relates to a suggested course of action. “Advice” relates to an expression of opinion on policy-related matters such as when a public official identifies a matter for decision and sets out the options, without reaching a conclusion as to how the matter should be decided or which of the options should be selected.

The Court also held that the statutory privilege in section 55 of the Act protects records from production.

McBreairty v. College of the North Atlantic, 2010 NLTD 28 (CanLII).

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