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Opening CAS Records Suggested

June 22, 2005 permalink

Ontario's Children's Aid Societies are not subject to the freedom of information law, and reject all requests for their documents. Parents cannot even request documents relating to their own children. Ontario privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian is suggesting expanding freedom of information to all crown-funded agencies including Children's Aid.



Wed. Jun. 22 2005 1:33 PM ET

Expand information laws, Ontario watchdog urges

Canadian Press

TORONTO -- All Ontario organizations that are funded by taxpayer dollars should be included under the province's Freedom of Information laws.

Anne Cavoukian
Ontario privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian

That's what Ontario's privacy commissioner wants the province to do to improve accountability.

In her 2004 annual report, Ann Cavoukian says hundreds of organizations receive huge amounts of public dollars but aren't subject to laws that let the public request the release of certain information.

Cavoukian cites hospitals, Children's Aid societies and various community organizations as examples.

She says Ontario's FOI legislation was progressive when it was put in place in 1987, but now it has fallen behind.

Cavoukian says the province needs to extend its current legislation to cover these organizations.

"There are at least hundreds of organizations that are recipients of large transfer payments from governments that are not subject to these acts," she said.

"Therefore, the general records of these organizations are not subject to public review."

Last year, Ontario extended FOI laws to cover Hydro One and Ontario Power Generation, a move applauded by Cavoukian.

The province also gave the auditor the power to examine universities, colleges, hospitals and other publicly funded organizations.

Source: CTV

Addendum: Here is a link to the full report.