Ministerial Order under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

On March 26, 2020, the Minister of Citizens’ Services made Ministerial Order No. M085 pursuant to section 33.1(3) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”). Order M085 will remain in effect until June 30, 2020 unless rescinded by the Minister before that date.

Disclosure of COVID-19 Information

Order M085 authorizes health care bodies, as defined in FIPPA, as well as the Ministries of Health and Mental Health and Addictions and the Provincial Health Services Authority to disclose personal information on the conditions that the disclosure is necessary for the purposes of:

  1. communicating with individuals respecting COVID-19,
  2. supporting a public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, or
  3. coordinating care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Authority to Use Software for Communication and Collaboration

Order M085 authorizes public bodies to disclose personal information through the use of third-party tools and applications including any software developed and maintained by a third party and which is used to enable communication or collaboration between individuals for the following purposes:

  1. the tools or applications are being used to support and maintain the operation of programs or activities of the public body,
  2. the tools or applications support public health recommendations or requirements related to minimizing transmission of COVID-19 such as working from home, and
  3. any disclosure is limited to the minimum amount reasonably necessary.

The authority to disclose information pursuant to Order M085 is subject to the head of the public body being satisfied that with respect to the information to be disclosed the third party application is secure and in compliance with FIPPA.