December 11, 2015

Noted: Nova Scotia Ombuds Fends Off Police Demand for Records

The Nova Scotia Office of the Ombudsman (a classical and federally established Ombuds program that receives complaints about municipal and provincial governing bodies) recently convinced a provincial court judge to protect documents sought by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. 

The Mounties are conducting a probe of financial impropriety at a now-defunct regional economic development agency and had requested materials about complaints received by the Ombudsman. In a written decision, Provincial Judge Elizabeth Buckle said, "I accept that many individuals who contact the Ombudsman and agree to provide information, do so with the expectation and understanding that their information and the fact that they provided information will be kept private." Acting NS Ombudsman Christine Delisle-Brennan said that her office does not want to "open the highway" for confidential information to be disclosed to police without parameters.  (CBC News.)

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