Freedom of Expression Ch. Challenge

$3,645 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 35 people in 27 months
In January, 2012, the Ontario government quietly slipped in an amendment to the provincial Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) whereby all information related to abortion is no longer accessible through freedom of Information requests.

Section 65(5.7) reads: “This Act does not apply to records relating to the provision of abortion services.”

Yet one of the FIPPA’s purposes is to guarantee access to government information to maintain transparency and accountability. Yet this addition undermines this purpose and was never debated in the Legislature.

I am a pro-life blogger and I ran up against this roadblock in January 2014. When my request for statistical information was denied (under the new provision) Iappealed the decision on my own, but lost.

I then retained a lawyer on a pro bono basis and appealed again. After a third appeal, I finally received the information. The government released this information to me “outside of the FIPPA process” mere days before my hearing in court. But the bad law remains on the books.

Together with ARPA Canada, I am now challenging the law itself as unconstitutional. We have filed a notice of application asking the Ontario Superior Court to strike down section 65(5.7) of Ontario’s FIPPA. Freedom of Information is guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, falling under the freedom of expression protection. A successful Charter challenge would produce the information we are looking for, would require the Ontario legislature to amend the legislation, and would expose the extremism of the Ontario government in banning all information, including basic statistical information, from the citizens of Ontario in order to hide the injustice of abortion.

On the April 27th edition of Lighthouse News, ARPA featured an interview with myself and André Schutten about the history of this file, and some of the particulars of the case. You can hear that interview here:

See the PDFs and links below for more details:
Notice of Application – ARPA FIPPA

This go-fund-me campaign will help me raise funds to pay for my legal fees related to this challenge. We believe that open, transparent, and accountable government is crucial for a healthy democracy.

I thank you so much for your support!
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See my latest post on how the Information and Privacy Commissioner says:

"...for example, in 2012, the Ministry denied a freedom of information request for province-wide statistics on the number of claims and amounts billed for abortion services. It did so on the basis of the abortion
records exclusion in section 65(5.7) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, even though disclosure of this information posed no health or safety risk. Ministry ultimately disclosed this information outside the scope of the statute after the requester commenced a court application."

See my full post here:
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My latest post on the case:

Monday, February 27, 2017
Ministry of silly walks has nothing on the Ontario Government
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Sunday, February 19, 2017

What the judge said about the government's assurances we can get abortion information outside of FIPPA:
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Read a Previous Update
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$3,645 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 35 people in 27 months
Created July 8, 2016
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Campaign Life Coalition
20 months ago (Offline Donation)

Thanks so much CLC!

Barbara Powell
20 months ago

Keep up the good work.

Cyril Fleming
20 months ago (Offline Donation)
Wanda Hartlin
26 months ago (Offline Donation)

Wanda thanks so much for your donation, it is appreciated! Pat

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