provision of abortion services”. The applicants rely on s. 2(b) of the
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the “Charter”), which
provides a derivative right to information where the applicant can
demonstrate that a denial of access to information effectively precludes meaningful public discussion on a matter of public interest.
The applicant must also show that there are no countervailing
considerations inconsistent with disclosure that would negate the
right of access under s. 2(b) of the Charter.
 The respondent, Ontario, takes the position that there
already exists a meaningful public debate on the issue of abortion
services and that this precludes the applicant from seeking
specific information. Furthermore, there is concern that disclosure of such records by hospitals could pose risks to the safety and
security of their patients, health care providers and other staff.
 The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (the
“commissioner”) intervenes in this application as a friend of the
court with leave. It made no submissions on the desired outcome
of the application.
 One could simplify the main question as being: does having
less than 50 per cent of some of the statistical information on
a matter of important public interest allow for a meaningful
public discussion? For the reasons which follow and given the
place the abortion debate takes in the Canadian political and
social environment, I think the answer to the question is no.
 Prior to 2012, FIPPA governed all applications for records
related to the provision of abortion services. There are a number
of decisions of the commissioner which govern the availability of
records which are similar in nature to the records which have
been referred to in these proceedings. In some instances,
the records were released and in other instances they were
withheld. Often, when access to a record was provided, it was
because the content was statistical in nature and there was no
identifying information associated with individuals or facilities.
 In 2010, the Ontario Provincial Government adopted Bill
122, being legislation which amended FIPPA and made hospitals
subject to the provisions of FIPPA. Bill 122 came into force and
effect on January 1, 2012. In doing so, Ontario adopted s. 65(5.7)
of FIPPA, which created an exclusion for all “records relating to
the provision of abortion services”. Prior to this amendment, the
applicant Patricia Maloney and others had made abortion services-related requests to the commissioner which were at least
granted in part.