FOI matter moot because the stated reasons for a request spent

On December 15, the Alberta Court of Appeal held that an FOI matter was moot, in part, because the stated reasons for a request were spent. It said:

Second, the dispute about whether certain records can remain private is of no further consequence or practical utility. The ATA wanted SBEBA’s records for reasons that are, now, purely academic. There is no longer any need for the ATA “to gain a full understanding of the operation of SBEBA with its member school boards”; there is no longer any risk of the ATA not “following correct procedures related to the SBEBA” or “interfering with or being seen to interfere with the SBEBA”. Further, the collective agreement entered into between the ATA and Buffalo Trail has long since expired, such that there is no longer any need “to act fully on” it. SBEBA was not revived for the most recent collective bargaining process and will not be the bargaining agent for, or otherwise negotiate on behalf of, Buffalo Trail in any future such process or dispute.

The Court also held that the OIPC lacked standing to pursue an appeal because the issue under appeal did not go to its jurisdiction.

This is another example of the very tough go the OIPC has had in the Alberta courts.

Alberta Teachers’ Association v Information and Privacy Commissioner, 2014 ABCA 432 (CanLII).