The Freedom of Information Case

Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Abortion information - ask and you shall receive?

Saturday, April 1, 2017
Reported abortions in Canada are up

Sunday, March 26, 2017
The bogus health and safety argument and our Charter right to protest abortion

Sunday, March 26, 2017
Information and Privacy Commissioner says no health and safety concerns in releasing abortion information

Friday, March 24, 2017 (Letter to Eric Hoskins)
The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth

Monday, February 27, 2017
Ministry of silly walks has nothing on the Ontario Government

Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Government wrong when it says "large body of scholarly works on abortion policy"

Sunday, February 19, 2017
Hiding abortion information was done for political reasons
The Wild West of getting abortion information

February 14, 2017
By Deborah Gyapong

BY  DEBORAH GYAPONG, CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS
February 8, 2017
Law censoring abortion statistics impairs freedoms, court hears

LifeSite News Feb 3, 2017
Ontario keeps abortion stats a secret. Pro-lifers are suing to expose the truth

February 2, 2017, National Right to Life News - Abortion Statistics, Canada
Guess how many abortions were done in Ontario in 2014/2015?

Court documents:
ARPA and Patricia Maloney's Factum
IPC Factum
Ontario government Factum

Friday, February 3, 2017
Defunding abortion worries the Ontario government

Thursday, February 2, 2017 (Letter to Eric Hoskins)
Getting abortion information outside of FIPPA

Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Guess how many abortions were done in Ontario in 2014/2015?

Canadian and Ontario abortion statistics: the series
http://run-with-life.blogspot.ca/2013/02/canadian-and-ontario-abortion.html

Wednesday August 24, 2016
Ontario government wants suggestions for open government

Saturday, August 20, 2016
How can we discuss abortion when we don't have data?

Friday, August 19, 2016
When open and transparent government isn't
Fixed toes would not be hidden under FIPPA

August 8, 2016
Hiding abortion information = unaccountable government

January 2016
Served our application record to the Attorney General of Ontario for our Charter Challenge:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_QDsYLWnwO6bnY3Y2pqd21EYlk/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_QDsYLWnwO6WnBKcEJ1QThTeFU/view?usp=sharing

Friday, December 18, 2015
Why the Ontario Government had to hide abortion statistics (discusses the 2000 IPC case)

Monday, November 30, 2015
A pro-abortion's many factual inaccuracies (discusses the 2000 IPC case)

2015 FAQs on our case from ARPA

Monday, April 27, 2015 Charter Challenge interview on Lighthouse News

Thursday, April 23, 2015 Why a Charter challenge for hiding abortion statistics?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 Press conference on FOI constitutional challenge in Toronto

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 WeNeedaLAW at Queen's Park

July 14, 2014 - Freedom of Information case - on Lighthouse news

July 13, 2014 - Violation of freedom of expression rights

July 2, 2014 - Pro-life blogger submits arguments in case to obtain Ontario’s abortion stat

June 27,  2014 - Freedom of Information case moves forward

Background

Media Release: Blogger Takes Ontario Government to Court over Suppression of Information

OTTAWA , July 18, 2013– “In January 2012, the Ontario Liberal government amended its freedom of information law to exempt any abortion-related data from Freedom of Information (FOI) requests. As a blogger and a member of the new media, I’m taking on the government and challenging them over this undemocratic move. Tax-payers should know how their tax dollars are being spent,” explains Patricia Maloney.

By means of Bill 122, the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act, the Ontario government amended the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) to restrict data relating to the “provision of abortion services” from the public. There is no recorded debate in Hansard of this amendment, and it did not come to the public’s attention until after the provision came into effect and Maloney exposed it.

Maloney, the author behind the blog Run with Life, discovered the amendment when the Ministry of Health responded to an FOI request she made in March 2012. After breaking the story on her blog, the amendment caught the attention of the national media. Among others, Margaret Somerville covered it for the Calgary Herald and Barbara Kay wrote about it in the National Post.

“I’m not interested in patient or physician names, or the identification of hospitals. I respect the dual purposes of freedom of information laws; to ensure government accountability by providing information to taxpayers while ensuring the privacy of Canadian citizens. But data relating to provincial trends and rates of a publicly funded medical procedure are fair game,” elaborates Maloney. “The government has not restricted this type of generalized data for any other medical procedure. This amendment is without precedent or justification.”

“And without this data, how will we know if safe-sex campaigns are effective? Or the sex-education program that Premier Kathleen Wynne has promised to introduce?” Maloney asks. “Or if there is a sudden spike in tween or teen abortions? This is an important healthcare issue. And now the public is running blind on a government expenditure previously identified as costing as much as 30 to 50 million dollars each year.”

In March 2013, the Ministry of Health denied Maloney’s FOI request. Maloney retained constitutional lawyer Albertos Polizogopoulos, and appealed the decision to the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC). The IPC upheld the Ministry’s decision stating that the new section to the FIPPA was clear in its exclusion of documents relating to the provision of abortion services. Maloney is now seeking a reconsideration of the IPC’s Order (by the IPC) and a Judicial Review of the Order (by the Ontario Divisional Court).

“As a blogger, Ms. Maloney benefits from the freedom of expression and freedom of the press guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” explains Polizogopoulos. “The Charter protects her right to comment on matters of public interest. The allocation of taxpayer funds for a medical procedure which remains the source of much controversy is certainly a matter of public interest and the suppression of that information cannot be justified in law.”

For More Information

Applicable Legislation

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
See section 65.(5.7) “This Act does not apply to records relating to the provision of abortion services.”

Bill 122: Broader Public Sector Accountability Act, 2010
See Part VIII, section 24 (17) which amends FIPPA by adding subsection (5.7) to section 65. This amendment to FIPPA was not debated in the Ontario legislature, was not considered at committee hearings, and was passed into law without any input whatsoever from the public, and without any public comments by a single member of the Ontario legislature. The amendment goes against the spirit of Bill 122, which was supposed to increase accountability, not reduce it.

Legal Submissions: Maloney v. Information and Privacy Commissioner (Ontario) et. al.

Notice of Application for Judicial Review (July 2013)
Application Record of the Applicant  (July 2013)

Relevant Run With Life Blog Posts
Freedom of Information in Ontario aborted (May 9, 2012)

Ontario’s Stealth Attack on FOI – the series (December 23, 2012)
This post includes all published information as of December 23, 2012, including commentary from the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, the Institute for Marriage and Family Canada, The Interim, Brian Lilley (SunNews), Nick Vandergragt (CFRA)

The Hidden Cost of Abortion in Ontario (January 18, 2013)
This post speculates on the reasons why the Ontario government wants to hide abortion-related information

Ontario abortion doctors very busy in 2010 (December 5, 2011)
The post includes important OHIP information accessed through an FOI request in 2010 is now off-limits to the public because of this recent change to FIPPA. This request revealed from OHIP billing records that the total number of abortions in Ontario is about 45% higher than reported by the Canadian Institute of Health Information, which does not rely on OHIP billing records to gather its data.

Media coverage
Margaret Somerville, “Democracy hurt by abortion stats secrecy” – Calgary Herald, May 22, 2012

Barbara Kay, “McGuinty Liberals put ‘top secret’ label on abortion figures” – National Post, June 5, 2012

Ontario cuts off access to abortion data” – National Post, August 10, 2012

Kelly McParland, “Ontario judges abortion statistics too sensitive to share” – National Post, Aug 10, 2012

National Post editorial, “Why Ontario hides abortion statistics” – August 11, 2012

Letters to the editor (Jakki Jeffs, Patricia Maloney, Andre Schutten), “Citizens ready for abortion truth” – National Post, August 11, 2012

Claire Hoy, “It’s all politics, pure and simple” – Orangeville Citizen, August 16, 2012

Paul Tuns, “Ontario hides abortion statistics” – The Interim, September 20, 2012


Deborah Gyapong, "EFC blasts government suppression of reliable abortion data" - The BC Catholic, August 21, 2012

Mike Schouten Mike Schouten: Give us the facts on abortion - National Post, May 2, 2013
Faye Sonier, "Fighting to Keep our Elected Representatives Accountable" - National Right to Life, July 18, 2013


Robyn Urback, Robyn Urback: Ontario’s prohibition on access to abortion data will finally be challenged in court - National Post, July 19, 2013

Laura Armstrong, Blogger asks courts to intervene after government denies request for abortion data - Ottawa Citizen, July 19, 2013

Patricia Maloney, Op-Ed: Ontario’s information isn’t free - Ottawa Citizen August 23, 2013

Suppression of Abortion Data in Ontario

In this report, The Evangelical Fellowship, explains how abortion data is being withheld from the Ontario public. For more information on abortion data suppression in Ontario, British Columbia and problems with data reporting across Canada, download a copy of our report 'Black Holes: Canada's Missing Abortion Data.'