Gas Busters Part 29: Appeal of FOI Response from Wynne’s Office

(body of appeal as sent)

Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, Ontario M4W 1A8

Dear Commissioner,

I am writing to appeal a decision issued February 11, 2013 by Cabinet Office related to my FOI request they identify as 12/53.

The request and the decision are attached, as is my $25 appeal fee.

The Cabinet Office’s full response to my request is available at

Although my request was broad in scope and also with respect to the time interval, the response only provided 88 pages.

Almost all of the documents provided are communications-oriented with virtually no substantive discussion, analysis, review of options, updates, or other communication that might be expected in such a significant and sensitive financial negotiation.

The response from Cabinet Office failed to disclose the total number of responsive records related to my request withheld or the reasons why they were withheld.

I believe that I have a reasonable basis for requesting your review of the completeness of the response.

Here is one example that supports this conclusion. My request contains a specification for any documents “produced, sent or received…by the Premier, the Premier’s Office, consultants to the Premier’s office, or advisors to the Premier’s Office.” David Livingston was appointed Mr. McGuinty’s Chief of Staff in May 2012. We know from documents disclosed by the government in response to a Speaker’s order that David Livingston was directly involved in the negotiations while in his capacity as President of Infrastructure Ontario. Press reports indicate that he continued to be directly involved in the negotiations while employed as Mr. McGuinty’s Chief of Staff.

How is it that neither the Premier nor his office had information on the progress of negotiations or the implications of the offers on the table? It is not believable that only 88 pages of communications-oriented documents exist on this subject.

I ask that your office investigate whether responsive records were withheld and the number and nature of the documents withheld. If documents were withheld, I ask that you use your powers as Commissioner to bring these documents to light or failing that to document the reasons why they are being withheld.

I note that in the House yesterday, the Premier stated, “I have said consistently that I am open to making sure that all the documentation is available.”