Federal Court

Privacy and Freedom of Information

Freedom of information

Federal legislation

Mere suspicion that record existed not sufficient to establish premise that further records did exist

Judicial review. Employer was Parks Canada Agency, for whom employee worked as compensation advisor. Employee submitted request to employer under s. 6 of Access to Information Act seeking access to certain human resources decisions made between 2007 and 2014 relating to her work. Employer’s access coordinator disclosed various documents after redacting others’ personal information. Employee received further disclosure after following-up with coordinator and after involving Office of the Information Commissioner, but employee believed she had still not received all documents responsive to her request. Employee brought application for judicial review under s. 41 of Act. Application dismissed. This was not case of records being either withheld or missing. There was no evidence that there were any records to disclose other than what was given to employee. Mere suspicion or belief that record existed was not, in and of itself, sufficient to establish premise that further records did exist. Although not necessary to outcome, there were plausible explanations for why there were no additional records. Without evidence that employer controlled records it had not disclosed or formally withheld, court did not have jurisdiction to question reasonableness of its search or to order further search of records.

Tomar v. Canada (Parks Agency) (2018), 2018 CarswellNat 654, 2018 CarswellNat 998, 2018 FC 224, 2018 CF 224, E. Susan Elliott J. (F.C.).

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