T-891-93 / T-2187-93
Application under Access to Information Act, s. 41 for review of refusal by respondent to grant access to report and other records pertaining to Post-Accident Safety Review conducted by Minister into operations of Nationair in 1991, following worst-ever Canadian airline disaster involving Nationair DC-8 on July 11, 1991, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where 249 Nigerians and 14 Canadian crew members died-Information Commissioner upheld exemption of report and related records-Issue whether refusal justified under Act, ss. 16(1)(c) and 21(1)(a) and (b)-Heavy burden on party seeking to deny disclosure-In conclusion: (1) Review constituting investigation within meaning of Act, s. 16(4) as pertaining to administration of Act of Parliament, Aeronautics Act-(2) S. 16(1)(c) not misinterpreted by respondent as not restricted to specific investigation but relating to records falling within general language thereof, contemplating situation in which disclosure of information may reasonably be expected to be injurious to conduct of lawful investigations in future-Thus, injury may be to general investigative process, not only to particular investigation-(3) Evidence submitted by respondent meeting requirements of injury test found in s. 16(1)(c) as reasonable expectation of probable harm from disclosure to conduct of lawful investigations under Review program-(4) No evidence of bad faith in refusing to disclose requested information under Act, ss. 16 and 21-(5) Head of government institution bound by initial election and cannot rely on other sections of Act only where Commissioner denied opportunity to investigate grounds ultimately relied upon before Court, but such not case herein-(6) In public interest to maintain confidentiality of Post-Accident Safety Review program as review providing opportunity for Minister to assure himself and public that airline now safe and deficiencies resolved-(7) Information refused under Act, s. 21(1)(a) constituting advice developed by officials of Transport Canada and properly withheld-Information refused under Act, s. 21(1)(b) containing account of consultations and deliberations developed by government officials and properly withheld-(8) Obligation to sever imposed by Act, s. 25 met by respondent as several documents released, partially released or totally exempted-(9) No evidence of "missing records" or that applicant not provided with all relevant records-In result, most of report ought to be exempted; passages falling outside exemptions shall be released by respondent as ordered-Related documents all either exempted under Act, s. 16(1)(c) or 21(1)(a) and (b)-Applicant awarded disbursements under Act, s. 53 as raised important new issues in relation to Act, s. 16(1)(c) and progressively obtained more information from respondent-Also partly successful in one of applications- Applicant not awarded costs as solicitor as not one-Access to Information Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. A-1, ss. 16(1)(c),(4), 21(1)(a),(b), 53.