Air Atonabee Ltd. v. Can., (1989) 27 F.T.R. 194 (TD)

JudgeMacKay, J.
CourtFederal Court (Canada)
Case DateOctober 19, 1988
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1989), 27 F.T.R. 194 (TD)

Air Atonabee Ltd. v. Can. (1989), 27 F.T.R. 194 (TD)

MLB headnote and full text

In The Matter Of an application pursuant to paragraph 44(1) of the Access To Information Act, S.C. 1980-81-82-83, c. 111 (Schedule I) (the "Act")

And In The Matter Of a decision by the respondent to disclose certain records requested under the Act by an undisclosed requestor

Between:

Air Atonabee Limited, carrying on business under the firm name and style of City Express (applicant) v. The Minister of Transport (respondent)

(T-2249-86)

Indexed As: Air Atonabee Ltd. v. Canada (Minister of Transport)

Federal Court of Canada

Trial Division

MacKay, J.

May 24, 1989.

Summary:

The Minister of Transport decided to disclose records which included information about City Express Airline, operated by Air Atonabee Ltd. Air Atonabee applied for judicial review of the decision under s. 44 of the Access to Information Act.

The Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division, allowed the application in part, ruling on what records had to be disclosed and what information was exempted from the disclosure requirements.

Crown - Topic 7207

Examination of public documents - Freedom of information - Bars - Confidentiality - Access to Information Act, s. 20(1)(b) - This Act required government institution heads (e.g., Ministers) to disclose information upon request, even where the information related to a third party (i.e., a party other than the party requesting the information) - Section 20(1)(b) created an exception to the disclosure requirement where the information was confidential, financial, commercial, scientific or technical information supplied to the institution by a third party and was consistently treated as confidential by the third party - The Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division, discussed in detail the criteria necessary for establishing a s. 20(1)(b) exception - See paragraphs 33 to 54.

Crown - Topic 7207

Examination of public documents - Freedom of information - Bars - Confidentiality - Access to Information Act, s. 20(1)(b) - The Minister of Transport was in possession of information respecting an airline company - A third party requested disclosure of the information under the Access to Information Act - The Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division, examined the information in issue, and determined what material had to be disclosed and whether any of the information was exempted from disclosure under s. 20(1)(b)(the confidentiality provision) of the Act.

Crown - Topic 7210

Examination of public documents - Freedom of information - Bars - Financial loss - Access to Information Act, s. 20(1)(c) - The Minister of Transport was in possession of information respecting an airline company - A third party requested disclosure of the information under the Access to Information Act - The Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division, examined the information in issue and determined what material had to be disclosed and whether any of the information was exempted from the disclosure under s. 20(1)(c) of the Act (the provision exempting material from disclosure where disclosure would result in financial loss or gain, or prejudice the competitive position of the subject of the information (in this case the airline company)).

Crown - Topic 7210

Examination of public documents - Freedom of information - Bars - Financial loss - Access to Information Act, s. 20(1)(c) - This Act required government institution heads (e.g., Ministers) to disclose information upon request, even where the information related to a third party (i.e., a person other than one requesting the information) - S. 20(1)(c) created an exception to the disclosure requirement where disclosure could reasonably be expected to result in financial loss or gain, or prejudice the competitive position of the third party - The Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division, discussed in detail the criteria necessary to establish a s. 20(1)(c) exception - See paragraphs 33 to 62.

Crown - Topic 7241

Examination of public documents - Freedom of information - Judicial review - General - The Access to Information Act required a government institution head to disclose information requested, even where the information related to a third party (i.e., a party other than the requestor), except in certain instances - S. 44 provided for a court "review" of a disclosure decision - The Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division, discussed the nature of s. 44 "review" and the role of the court - The court concluded that on such a review the court's function is to consider the matter de novo, including if necessary a detailed review of the records in issue document by document - See paragraphs 28 to 32.

Crown - Topic 7283

Examination of public documents - Freedom of information - Practice - Evidence and proof - The Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division, held that the onus of establishing that information relating to a third party is exempted from disclosure under the Access to Information Act, rests with the third party - See paragraph 28.

Words and Phrases

Confidential information - The Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division, discussed the meaning of this phrase as it appeared in s. 20(1)(b) of the Access to Information Act, S.C. 198081-82-83, c. 111, Schedule II [paras. 33-52].

Words and Phrases

Reasonably be expected - The Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division, discussed the meaning of this phrase as it appeared in s. 20(1)(c) of the Access to Information Act, S.C. 198081-82-83, c. 111, Schedule II [para. 53].

Cases Noticed:

Sawridge Indian Band v. Canada (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development) (1987), 10 F.T.R. 48 (T.D.), affd. 80 N.R. 263 (F.C.A.), refd to. [para. 12].

Twinn et al. v. Canada (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development) - see Sawridge Indian Band v. Canada (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development).

Canada Packers Inc. v. Canada (Minister of Agriculture) et al., [1989] 1 F.C. 47; 87 N.R. 81 (F.C.A.), refd to. [paras. 17, 31, 33, 34, 47, 48, 53].

Ternette v. Solicitor General of Canada, [1984] 2 F.C. 486; 10 D.L.R.(4th) 587; 9 Admin. L.R. 24 (T.D.), dist. [paras. 22, 23, 25].

Davidson v. Solicitor General of Canada (1987), 9 F.T.R. 295; 35 C.C.C.(3d) 84, dist. [paras. 22, 23, 25, 26, 28].

Ciba-Geigy Canada Ltd. v. Minister of National Health and Welfare (1986), 11 C.P.R.(3d) 98, dist. [para. 23].

Merck Frosst Canada Inc. v. Canada (Minister of Health and Welfare) (1988), 20 F.T.R. 73 (F.C.T.D.), refd to. [paras. 28, 31, 33, 37].

Montana Band of Indians v. Canada (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development) (1988), 18 F.T.R. 15 (F.C.T.D.), consd. [paras. 31, 33, 35, 37, 41, 42, 67].

Saint John Shipbuilding Limited v. Canada (Minister of Supply and Services) (1988), 24 F.T.R. 32, refd to. [para. 34].

Noel v. Great Lakes Pilotage Authority Ltd. et al. (1987), 20 F.T.R. 257; 45 D.L.R.(4th) 127 (F.C.T.D.), refd to. [para. 37].

Canada Packers Inc. v. Minister of Agriculture, [1988] 1 F.C. 483 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 37].

Maislin Industries Ltd. v. Minister for Industry, Trade and Commerce et al., [1984] 1 F.C. 939; 10 D.L.R.(4th) 417; 80 C.P.R.(2d) 253 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 37].

D.M.A. Associates v. Minister of Supply and Services (1984), 11 C.P.R.(3d) 87 (F.C.T.D.), refd to. [para. 37].

National Parks and Conservation Association v. Morton (1974), 498 F.2d 765, refd to. [para. 38].

Saltman Engineering Co. Ltd. et al. v. Campbell Engineering Co. Ltd., [1948] 65 R.P.C. 203; [1963] 3 All E.R. 413 (C.A.), dist. [para. 39].

Coco v. A.N. Clark (Engineers) Ltd., [1969] R.P.C. 41 (Eng. H.C.), dist. [para. 39].

Amer-Can Development Corp. Ltd. et al. v. Tele Time Saver Inc. et al. (1976), 29 C.P.R. 272 (Ont. H.C.), dist. [para. 39].

International Corona Resources Ltd. v. Lac Minerals Ltd. (1987), 23 O.A.C. 263; 62 O.R.(2d) 1 (C.A.), dist. [para. 39].

Slavutych v. Board of Governors of the University of Alberta, [1976] 1 S.C.R. 254; 3 N.R. 587; 55 D.L.R.(3d) 224, refd to. [para. 40].

Re Actors' Equity Association of Australia and Australian Broadcasting Tribunal (1985), 7 A.L.D. 584, consd. [para. 53].

Information Commissioner of Canada v. Solicitor General of Canada, [1988] 3 F.C. 551 (F.C.T.D.), refd to. [para. 66].

Statutes Noticed:

Access to Information Act, S.C. 198081-82-83, c. 111, Schedule II, sect. 2 [paras. 21, 45, 65]; sect. 2(1) [para. 2]; sect. 3 [para. 3]; sect. 4 [paras. 21, 25, 45]; sect. 20(1) [paras. 8, 11, 17, 20, 25, 26]; sect. 20(1)(a) [para. 36]; sect. 20(1)(b), sect. 20(1)(c) [para. 16 et seq.]; sect. 20(1)(d) [paras. 36, 38]; sect. 20(5) [paras. 11, 50]; sect. 20(6) [paras. 6, 9, 11, 16, 17, 18, 20]; sect. 25 [paras. 5, 16, 19, 30, 63-68]; sect. 27 [para. 11]; sect. 28 [paras. 11, 13, 25]; sect. 28(1) [para. 12]; sect. 28(1)(a), sect. 28(1)(b), sect. 28(1)(c) [para. 5]; sect. 28(5) [para. 16]; sect. 29(1) [para. 13]; sect. 41, sect. 42 [para. 30]; sect. 44 [paras. 6, 19, 30]; sect. 44(1) [paras. 1, 7, 12, 23, 27, 29]; sect. 46 [para. 30]; sect. 47(1) [para. 10]; sect. 50 [para. 30]; sect. 51 [paras. 27, 30, 63-68, 72].

Access to Information Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. A-1, sect. 27, sect. 28 [paras. 11, 25].

Privacy Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. P-21, generally [paras. 3, 22, 26].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Canada, Law Reform Commission, Inspection: A Case Study and Selected References (1988) [para. 44].

Wigmore on Evidence (3rd Ed. 1961), para. 2285 [para. 40].

Counsel:

Michael L. Phelan, and David K. Wilson, for the applicant;

B. McIsaac, for the respondent.

Solicitors of Record:

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt, Ottawa, Ontario, for the applicant;

John C. Tait, Q.C., Deputy Attorney General of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, for the respondent.

This application was heard in Ottawa, Ontario, on October 19, 1988, before MacKay, J., of the Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division, who delivered the following decision on May 24, 1989.

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    ...Defence, [2011] 2 S.C.R. 306; 416 N.R. 105; 2011 SCC 25, refd to. [para. 53]. Air Atonabee Ltd. v. Canada (Minister of Transport) (1989), 27 F.T.R. 194; 37 Admin. L.R. 245 (T.D.), refd to. [paras. 53, 250]. Merck Frosst Canada & Co. v. Canada (Minister of Health), [2003] F.T.R. Uned. 85......
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    ...of National Revenue (2003), 239 F.T.R. 1, 2003 FC 1037 (F.C.), at para. 114; Air Atonabee Ltd. v. Canada (Minister of Transport) (1989), 27 F.T.R. 194 (Fed. T.D.), at para. 37; Brookfield Lepage Johnson Controls Facility Management Services v. Canada (Minister of Public Works & Governme......
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