Information Commissioner of Canada

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The Information Commissioner of Canada is an independent ombudsman and an officer of parliament of Canada who reports directly to the House of Commons of Canada and the Senate of Canada.

The Commissioner’s work is supported by the Office of the Information Commissioner, which was established in 1983 under the Access to Information Act(ATIA) – Canada’s freedom of information legislation. The Office assists individuals and organizations who believe that federal institutions have not respected their rights under the ATIA. More specifically, the Office of the Information Commissioner:

  • carries out investigations and dispute-resolution efforts to resolve complaints
  • monitors federal institutions’ performances under the ATIA
  • represents the Commissioner in court cases, and provides legal advice on investigations and legislative matters

The Information Commissioner provides arms-length oversight of the federal government’s access to information practices. He or she encourages and assists federal institutions to adopt approaches to information-sharing that meet the objectives of the ATIA, and advocates for greater access to information in Canada.

Whenever possible, the Commissioner relies on persuasion to solve disputes, asking for a Federal Court review only if an individual has been improperly denied access and a negotiated solution has proved impossible.

Suzanne Legault was appointed as Information Commissioner of Canada effective June 30, 2010.

Information Commissioners of Canada[edit]

There have been five Information Commissioners since the Office was established in 1983. He or she holds office for a seven-year term (Access to Information Act, s. 54).

Suzanne Legault (2010 - )

•Suzanne Legault (2009-2010 – Acting)

Robert Marleau (2007-2009 – Retired)

John Mercer Reid (1998-2006)

John W. Grace (1990-1998)

Inger Hansen (1983-1990)

See also[edit]


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