Yukon Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner
2021 Annual Reports of Ombudsman, Information & Privacy Commissioner & Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner issued
Mon, Oct 31, 2022
WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Ombudsman, Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC), and Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner (PIDC), Jason Pedlar, has issued the 2021 annual reports for his three offices. The reports, jointly entitled Protecting the public’s interest in fairness, accountability and information rights during challenging times, were tabled in the Yukon Legislative Assembly (YLA) this afternoon.
“I am pleased to submit these reports on behalf of my predecessor, Diane McLeod-McKay,” said Pedlar. “She served in these roles throughout 2021 but left the position in mid-2022 before the reports had been finalized. They are now available on our website and anyone who would like to receive a printed copy of the reports may do so by contacting our office.”
The reporting period of 2021 covered within these reports spans a time during which a new Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (ATIPPA) came into force, so the reporting in the IPC portion of the document reflects requirements set out in both the previous and the current Act.
“As is normally the case, our annual reports provide examples of cases that reflect the nature of the work we undertook throughout the year,” said Pedlar. “We also highlight any special challenges faced. For 2021, we have included a new section in our IPC report, which sets out a concerning trend where the recommendations in our formal ATIPPA reports have often been refused or deemed refused, which means not responded to in time. As IPC, I have the authority to compel information and evidence and to determine fact and law. However, I can only make recommendations and ask that the public body follow them. It is my hope that public bodies will recognize our expertise in these matters and make a concerted effort to follow our recommendations. Failing that, I will push to be provided order-making power, to ensure recommendations are followed.”
The Ombudsman section of the report for 2021 notes the significant investigative work being done into a complaint about Hidden Valley Elementary School, an investigation which has continued into 2022. The report also summarizes two court cases that the Office of the Ombudsman was involved in, as well as work done regarding vaccine verification credentials and fairness.
The PIDC section of the report notes problematic aspects of the Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing Act and the Ombudsman Act, both of which affect the PIDC’s ability to conduct investigations into wrongdoing.
The Ombudsman, Information and Privacy Commissioner, and Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner is an independent officer of the Yukon Legislative Assembly. For more information, please go to www.yukonombudsman.ca.
To download a PDF of this news release, click here.
Elaine Schiman, Communications Manager
Office of the Yukon Ombudsman, Information and Privacy Commissioner & Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner