Statement by Commissioner on the Dismissal of Statement of Claim

December 8, 2005

Frank Work, Information and Privacy Commissioner issued the following statement today.

“I have instructed my lawyers to discontinue the Statement of Claim against the Alberta Federation of Labour. This follows Mr. Justice Thomas’ judgment of December 6, 2005.

I went to the Court on December 2, 2005, seeking a declaration that certain documents were privileged and confidential and seeking an interim injunction to restrain further use of them. The Court did not find any privilege in the documents and dismissed the application for an interim injunction.

The documents in question were inadvertently released by my Office. That should not have happened. It is one thing to order documents released following due process under the law; it is quite another thing to accidentally send them out. I regret that this mistake was made and I have extended my apologies to those affected.

I made the application for an injunction because I believe I was obliged to take all actions available to secure the documents. The legal action had nothing whatsoever do with the parties involved or subject matter of the documents. I have also commissioned an external review of our document handling procedures to reduce the risk of a future occurence of this nature.

Following on Justice Thomas’ decision, I will be completing the inquiry on the Alberta Federation of Labour’s application for information under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.”