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Yukon government partially complies with reccomendation to release SCAN records

Privacy commissioner’s office wanted full release of records requested by investigation subject
Diane McLeod-McKay, the information and privacy commissioner for the Yukon. (File photo)

The Yukon government has been tapped to increase transparency on an ATIPP request by the Yukon’s privacy commissioner.

The Office of the Yukon Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) has concluded an investigation into the Yukon government’s Department of Justice regarding a request for records obtained by the department under the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act (SCAN).

The complaint investigated by the IPC was made under the territory’s Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (ATIPP) in April 2021. The complainant made a request to the Department of Justice for all records from Jan. 1 through June 3, 2019 regarding an investigation of them.

According to the IPC, the government department provided access to 19 records with significant redactions in 18 of them. It claimed to withhold the information to protect investigations, the safety of law enforcement officers and the privacy of third parties.

The complainant brought the issue to the IPC in June 2021 saying that more could have been disclosed.

“One of the first challenges our office had with this case was that the department refused to provide us with the information we needed in the early stages of our work,” said commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay.

McLeod-Mckay said an attempt was made to resolve the matter informally, but the department would not provide unredacted records so a full investigation had to be launched.

According to the IPC’s full investigation report, the records include surveillance logs, investigator reports, land title and motor vehicle registration searches, investigators’ notes and eviction documents among others.

A statement from the IPC office says the government provided little evidence besides assertions that they were exempt from releasing the information.

The IPC concluded that disclosing the requested records would not compromise the investigation or the safety of officers. It was recommended that the government turn over all information requested except the personal information of third parties as that would be considered an unreasonable invasion of privacy.

According to the IPC, the Department of Justice partially accepted the recommendation. It refused to provide specific info: information about a specific recording device identified in one record, the cell phone numbers of two SCAN investigators and parts of two records with details of an ongoing SCAN investigation.

Contact Jim Elliot at

Jim Elliot

About the Author: Jim Elliot

I’m a B.C. transplant here in Whitehorse at The News telling stories about the Yukon's people, environment, and culture.
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