The complainant alleged that Trans Mountain Corporation (TMC) had improperly withheld information under paragraphs 21(1)(a) (advice or recommendations), 21(1)(b) (accounts of consultations or deliberations) and section 26 (information to be published) of the Access to Information Act in response to an access request for documents pertaining to the Trans Mountain Project and related to specific TMC Board of Directors meetings held in 2019.
During the course of the investigation, TMC informed the OIC that it had decided to continue to withhold all of the information responsive to the request, in accordance with, not only the three exemptions mentioned above, but also the following twelve exemptions: paragraphs 13(1)(c) (confidential information from government bodies), 18(a) (government financial, commercial, scientific or technical information), 18(b) (competitive position of government institutions), 20(1)(a) (third-party trade secrets), 20(1)(b) (confidential third-party financial, commercial, scientific or technical information), 20(1)(b.1) (third-party emergency management plans), 20(1)(c) (financial impact on a third party), 20(1)(d) (negotiations by a third party), and sections 17 (safety of individuals), 22 (testing or auditing procedures or techniques), 22.1 (draft internal audit reports and their working papers), and 23 (legal advice and litigation privilege) of the Act.
TMC failed to convince the Commissioner that it had applied the Act correctly to the entirety of the information found in the record and did not provide sufficient details for the Commissioner to decide whether it had reasonably exercised its discretion to decide not to release the information. Accordingly, the Commissioner found that further disclosure was warranted.
As a result, the Commissioner provided the President and Chief Executive Officer of TMC with her initial report setting out her intended order to disclose all information withheld under the Act.
Following receipt of the Commissioner’s intended order, the President and Chief Executive Officer of TMC gave the Commissioner notice that he would be partially implementing her order by releasing portions of the records. Thereafter, the complainant indicated to the OIC that they were satisfied with the additional information that had been released. Therefore, an order was no longer required.
The complaint is well founded.