ALBERTA HEALTH SERVICES v ALBERTA (INFORMATION AND PRIVACY COMMISSIONER), 2020 ABQB 263
1.2: Purpose and intention of these rules
9.15: Setting aside, varying and discharging judgments and orders
The matter involved a dispute over the meaning and interpretation of the provisions of a Restricted Court Access Order that was granted by Justice Campbell in 2015 (“RCA Order”). The Applicant, an individual in the proceedings known as “B.G.,” applied for clarification of the RCA Order, and Alberta Health Services (“AHS”), applied to vary the RCA Order with both Applications heard contiguously.
B.G. argued that under the RCA Order, legal counsel for both AHS and the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta (“OIPC”) were required to destroy their respective solicitor files with respect to the within proceedings. B.G. argued that counsel was not exempt from the obligation to destroy Confidential Information (as defined in the RCA Order) in its possession and were in breach of the terms of the RCA Order for failing to do so.
Price J. found that the plain language interpretation of the RCA Order did not require counsel to destroy their solicitors’ files or to redact B.G.’s full name from them. Justice Price noted the practical consideration of the requirement of lawyers to conduct conflict searches before taking on any new clients or opening a new file. Given counsels’ continued obligation to examine whether a conflict of interest exists, if B.G.’s name was redacted from counsels’ files, an accurate conflict search would be impossible.
Justice Price noted that the purpose and intent of the Rules, including foundation Rule 1.2, is to provide a means by which claims can be fairly and justly resolved in or by a Court process in a timely and cost-effective way. Her Ladyship referenced Rule 9.15 and the Court’s jurisdiction to set aside, vary, or discharge an interlocutory Order: (a) because information arose or was discovered after the Order was made; (b) with the agreement of the parties; or (c) on other grounds that the Court considers just.
Price J. found that pursuant to Rule 9.15(c), it would be just for the Court to vary the RCA Order to allow the AHS and its legal counsel to comply with their respective legal obligations and to ensure B.G.’s access to proper health care was not compromised. Accordingly, B.G.’s Application was dismissed and Her Ladyship allowed AHS’s Application to vary the RCA Order to limit the scope of the definition of “Confidential Information” to allow for these additional considerations.View CanLII Details