Decisions > Federal Court Decisions > Ahmadzadegan v. Canada (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness)

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Date: 20060426

Docket: T-1959-04

Citation: 2006 FC 523

Ottawa, Ontario, April 26, 2006

PRESENT:      The Honourable Mr. Justice Blanchard

BETWEEN:

SHAHROKH AHMADZADEGAN

Applicant

- and -

MINISTER OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

Respondent

REASONS FOR ORDER AND ORDER

1.          Facts

[1]                This is an application for judicial review pursuant to section 41 of the Privacy Act, R.S.C. 1981, c. P-21, (the Act) of a decision by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to deny the Applicant's request for access to his personal information. The Applicant seeks to have information he alleges to be false expunged from files held by the RCMP.

[2]                The Applicant, Shahrokh Ahmadzadegan, came to Canada in 1980 at the age of 22. In 1989, he was convicted of drug trafficking offences and sentenced to 25 years in prison. The Applicant is currently incarcerated at Matsqui Institution in Abbotsford, British Columbia.

[3]                The Applicant alleges that because of "unfounded and unsubstantiated" allegations made by the RCMP to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) in a letter dated September 8, 1992, he was denied a transfer from a maximum security to a medium security institution as well as full parole. Specifically, the Applicant states that his transfer to a medium security prison was revoked on October 15, 1992, after CSC received the letter from the RCMP. Further, the Applicant states that the RCMP's letter was relied on by the National Parole Board (NPB) in denying him full parole in August 1996 and in April 1997. The Appeal Division found in his favour both times, overturning the NPB's decision.

[4]                The Applicant states that he made numerous attempts personally and through his lawyers to find out details of the statements made about him in the September 8, 1992 letter, as well as any efforts made to verify those statements. In May and June 2003, the Applicant wrote a letter to the RCMP and two letters to CSC requesting the basis for the claims and that the RCMP and CSC remove false allegations from his file. The Applicant also wrote letters to the Canadian Human Rights Commission (the CHRC), the Commissioner for Public Complaints against the RCMP, the Public Complaints Commission of the Montreal Urban Police, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, and the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. It appears that only the CHRC responded to the Applicant's letters.

[5]                On June 16, 2003, the Applicant submitted to the RCMP a request pursuant to subsection 12(1) of the Act for "information concerning the allegation of Setp [sic] 1992, and any other factual information". In a letter accompanying the access request form, the Applicant asked specifically for details about his alleged involvement with the secret police in Iran. He also stated that under the Act he is entitled to have information corrected or have the writer of the letter provide the Applicant with proof of the allegations against him.

[6]                On June 27, 2003, the RCMP informed the Applicant that none of the information which fell within the ambit of the Applicant's access request would be disclosed to him because the information was exempted by virtue of paragraph 22(1)(a) of the Act. Paragraph 22(1)(a) allows the head of a government institution to exempt from disclosure personal information obtained or prepared by an investigative body as part of a lawful investigation pertaining to, among other things, the detection, prevention or suppression of crime, or the enforcement of any law in Canada.

[7]                The Applicant then complained to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada in September 2003. After an investigation, the Privacy Commissioner informed the Applicant by letter dated March 25, 2004 that the Applicant's complaint was not well-founded, agreeing that the RCMP had the legal authority to exempt the information by virtue of paragraph 22(1)(a) of the Act.

[8]                The Applicant filed a Notice of Application for Judicial Review on November 3, 2004.

2.          The Matter before the Court

[9]                At the start of the hearing, the Applicant moved for an adjournment in order to allow him to appeal the decision of Justice Michel Shore dated March 2, 2006, denying the Applicant's motion for an order that the Applicant be brought to Court for his hearing under Rule 45 of the Federal Courts Rules. This hearing was being conducted with the Applicant appearing from Matsqui Institution by teleconference and counsel for the Respondent appearing in person in the courtroom. The Applicant also sought the adjournment to allow him an opportunity to seek legal counsel. The Applicant has been representing himself since the start of this proceeding.

[10]            After considering the matters raised and the submissions by the parties, I declined to grant an adjournment to the Applicant. With respect to the first ground for his request, I note that, at the time of the hearing, the Applicant had not filed a notice to appeal Justice Shore's decision. As for an opportunity to seek legal counsel, I note that the Applicant had more than a year since he filed his Notice of Application, in November 2004, to obtain counsel but did not do so. For these reasons, I did not find it in the interest of justice to grant the Applicant's request for an adjournment.

[11]            At the outset of the hearing, I also clarified with the parties the issues to be dealt with in this application. In his Notice of Application, the Applicant states that he is seeking an order from the Court directing the RCMP and CSC to remove all false information about the Applicant from their respective files. The Applicant also seeks compensatory and special damages for loss of parole opportunities and the opportunity to be classified as a lower security risk, and for mental and emotional distress. Finally, the Applicant alleges that his rights guaranteed under section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms Schedule B, Part I to the Canada Act 1982 (U.K.) 1982, c. 11, have been violated.

[12]            The decision at issue in this application for judicial review is the decision made by the RCMP to refuse disclosure, pursuant to paragraph 22(1)(a) of the Act, of personal information to the Applicant. As a result, I informed the Applicant that I can only consider his claim with respect to that decision. That is, I cannot consider the remedy the Applicant seeks against CSC. I note that the Applicant never made a request with CSC for access to his personal information held by CSC. Regarding the Applicant's request for damages, the jurisprudence has established that damages cannot be claimed by way of an application for judicial review: see Al-Mhamad v. Canada(Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission), 2003 FCA 45. Finally, as for the Applicant's claim that the RCMP's refusal to correct allegedly erroneous information in its files has resulted in violations of his section 7 Charter rights, I find that this claim has no merit. The Applicant adduced no evidence to support a finding of a breach of his Charter rights.

[13]            Upon hearing the submissions of the parties, I re-state the issues to be considered in this application as follows:

1)                   Was the personal information withheld from the Applicant by the RCMP properly exempted under paragraph 22(1)(a) of the Act?

2)                   If the information ought to have been disclosed to the Applicant by the RCMP, can the Court order that the personal information about the Applicant be corrected pursuant to subsection 12(2) of the Act?

[14]            Under the scheme provided by the Act, the Applicant is not entitled to the remedy provided for under subsection 12(2) unless he first succeeds in attacking the decision of the RCMP not to release his personal information to him. Subsection 12(2) can only be invoked with respect to information that has been released under paragraph 12(1)(a) of the Act.

[15]            Subsection 12(1) of the Act provides individuals with access to their personal information:

12. (1) Subject to this Act, every individual who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act has a right to and shall, on request, be given access to

(a) any personal information about the individual contained in a personal information bank; and

(b) any other personal information about the individual under the control of a government institution with respect to which the individual is able to provide sufficiently specific information on the location of the information as to render it reasonably retrievable by the government institution.

12. (1) Sous réserve des autres dispositions de la présente loi, tout citoyen canadien et tout résident permanent au sens du paragraphe 2(1) de la Loi sur l'immigration et la protection des réfugiés ont le droit de se faire communiquer sur demande :

a) les renseignements personnels le concernant et versés dans un fichier de renseignements personnels;

b) les autres renseignements personnels le concernant et relevant d'une institution fédérale, dans la mesure où il peut fournir sur leur localisation des indications suffisamment précises pour que l'institution fédérale puisse les retrouver sans problèmes sérieux.

[16]            Subsection 12(3) allows the government to make regulations to extend the category of persons who may access personal information under section 12 beyond Canadian citizens and permanent residents. In accordance with Extension Order No. 1, SOR/83-553, the right to be given access to personal information was extended to include an inmate within the meaning of Part 1 of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, S.C. 1991, c. 20, who is not a Canadian Citizen or a permanent resident within the meaning of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.C. 2001, c. 27.

[17]            Subsection 12(2) of the Act provides that an individual given access under subsection 12(1) to personal information may request that that information be corrected or that a notation be attached to the information that a correction has been requested.

12. (2) Every individual who is given access under paragraph (1)(a) to personal information that has been used, is being used or is available for use for an administrative purpose is entitled to

(a) request correction of the personal information where the individual believes there is an error or omission therein;

(b) require that a notation be attached to the information reflecting any correction requested but not made; and

(c) require that any person or body to whom that information has been disclosed for use for an administrative purpose within two years prior to the time a correction is requested or a notation is required under this subsection in respect of that information

(i) be notified of the correction or notation, and

(ii) where the disclosure is to a government institution, the institution make the correction or notation on any copy of the information under its control.

12. (2) Tout individu qui reçoit communication, en vertu de l'alinéa (1)a), de renseignements personnels qui ont été, sont ou peuvent être utilisés à des fins administratives, a le droit :

a) de demander la correction des renseignements personnels le concernant qui, selon lui, sont erronés ou incomplets;

b) d'exiger, s'il y a lieu, qu'il soit fait mention des corrections qui ont été demandées mais non effectuées;

c) d'exiger :

(i) que toute personne ou tout organisme à qui ces renseignements ont été communiqués pour servir à des fins administratives dans les deux ans précédant la demande de correction ou de mention des corrections non effectuées soient avisés de la correction ou de la mention,

(ii) que l'organisme, s'il s'agit d'une institution fédérale, effectue la correction ou porte la mention sur toute copie de document contenant les renseignements qui relèvent de lui.

[18]            In the present case, if the Applicant is successful in challenging the RCMP's refusal to disclose his personal information he may then request that the information which he alleges to be false be corrected or deleted, which is the remedy he seeks in this application.

3.          Standard of Review

[19]            The particular provision invoked by the RCMP in this case - paragraph 22(1)(a) - is a discretionary exemption:

22. (1) The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any personal information requested under subsection 12(1)

(a) that was obtained or prepared by any government institution, or part of any government institution, that is an investigative body specified in the regulations in the course of lawful investigations pertaining to

(i) the detection, prevention or suppression of crime,

(ii) the enforcement of any law of Canada or a province, or

(iii) activities suspected of constituting threats to the security of Canada within the meaning of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act,

if the information came into existence less than twenty years prior to the request;

22. (1) Le responsable d'une institution fédérale peut refuser la communication des renseignements personnels demandés en vertu du paragraphe 12(1) :

a) soit qui remontent à moins de vingt ans lors de la demande et qui ont été obtenus ou préparés par une institution fédérale, ou par une subdivision d'une institution, qui constitue un organisme d'enquête déterminé par règlement, au cours d'enquêtes licites ayant trait :

(i) à la détection, la prévention et la répression du crime,

(ii) aux activités destinées à faire respecter les lois fédérales ou provinciales,

(iii) aux activités soupçonnées de constituer des menaces envers la sécurité du Canada au sens de la Loi sur le Service canadien du renseignement de sécurité;

[20]            In Kelly v. Canada (Solicitor General) (1992), 53 F.T.R. 147 (T.D), aff'd (1993) 154 N.R. 319 (F.C.A) at page 148, Justice Barry Strayer stated:

There is very little jurisprudence on the nature of the court's review power under s. 48 of the Privacy Act, nor has that subject been seriously addressed in argument in this case. I will therefore go no further than necessary for present purposes in trying to define that role. It is true that s. 47 places the burden of proof on the head of a government institution to show that he is authorized to refuse to disclose the personal information in question. The nature of this burden is adequately clear when the institution head simply invokes a mandatory exemption: in such a case the court may look at the Act and the material exempted and determine whether as a matter of law that material comes within the description of material which the Act requires exempted. (CF. Ternette v. Solicitor General, [1984] 2 F.C. 486, at p. 501 (F.C.T.D.); and see Information Commissioner v. Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission (Chairman) et al., [1986] 3 F.C. 413; 1 F.T.R. 317 (F.C.T.D.) insofar as it concerns nondiscretionary refusals to disclose under the Access to Information Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. A-1.... (My emphasis.)

The learned Judge went on to discuss the two types of decisions involved in discretionary exemptions and the role of the Court in reviewing those decisions.

It will be seen that these exemptions require two decisions by the head of an institution: first, a factual determination as to whether the material comes within the description of material potentially subject to being withheld from disclosure; and second, a discretionary decision as to whether that material should nevertheless be disclosed.

The first type of factual decision is one which, I believe, the Court can review and in respect of which it can substitute its own conclusion. This is subject to the need, I believe, for a measure of deference to the decision of those whose institutional responsibilities put them in a better position to judge the matter....

The second type of decision is purely discretionary. In my view in reviewing such a decision the Court should not itself attempt to exercise the discretion de novo but should look at the document in question and the surrounding circumstances and simply consider whether the discretion appears to have been exercised in good faith and for some reason which is rationally connected to the purpose for which the discretion was granted....

In respect to the first type of decision, Justice Strayer opines that the question is a matter of law.

[21]            Since Justice Strayer's decision in Kelly, the jurisprudence regarding standard of review has evolved. Determining the standard applicable to the RCMP's decision not to disclose personal information to the Applicant now requires the Court to conduct a pragmatic and functional analysis as first set out in Pushpanathan v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [1998] 1 S.C.R. 982. This approach involves considering the following four factors:

1)                   the presence and absence of a privative clause or a statutory right of appeal;

2)                   the expertise of the tribunal relative to that of the reviewing court on the issue in question;

3)                   the purpose of the legislation and the provision in particular; and

4)                   the nature of the question - law, fact or mixed law and fact.

[22]            In Thurlow v. Canada (Solicitor General), 2003 FC 1414, Justice John O'Keefe conducted such an analysis in determining the appropriate standard for reviewing a decision of the RCMP to exempt information under the discretionary provisions of the Act, including subparagraph 22(1)(a)(i). With regards to the first type of decision as stated by Justice Strayer in Kelly, above - whether the requested information falls within a category of exemption - Justice O'Keefe held that, after weighing all the factors set out in Pushpanathan, the appropriate standard of review is correctness. With regards to the second type of decision - whether the RCMP should exercise its discretion to release information even though it falls within an exemption category - Justice O'Keefe held that the appropriate standard of review is that of reasonableness simpliciter.

[23]            Thurlow and the present case before the Court involve decisions by the RCMP to deny an access request on the ground of paragraph 22(1)(a). I agree with Justice O'Keefe's assessment of the applicable standard of review in Thurlow. For the purposes of this case, I will therefore adopt the analysis and conclusions reached by Justice O'Keefe regarding the applicable standard of review.

4.          Analysis

A.                  Was the information withheld by the RCMP properly exempted under paragraph 22(1)(a) of the Act?

[24]            The Respondent had filed a motion requesting that the affidavit of Renaud Lebel containing, among other things, the information withheld from the Applicant be treated as confidential and that the Respondent not be required to serve the confidential affidavit on the Applicant. Prothonotary Hargrave granted the relief requested in an order dated January 17, 2005.

[25]            On the basis of that confidentiality order and section 46 of the Act, the Respondent moved to have the determination of whether the RCMP properly exempted the Applicant's personal information from disclosure considered by the Court in camera and ex parte. Section 46 of the Act provides that:

46. (1) In any proceedings before the Court arising from an application under section 41, 42 or 43, the Court shall take every reasonable precaution, including, when appropriate, receiving representations ex parte and conducting hearings in camera, to avoid the disclosure by the Court or any person of

(a) any information or other material that the head of a government institution would be authorized to refuse to disclose if it were requested under subsection 12(1) or contained in a record requested under the Access to Information Act; or

(b) any information as to whether personal information exists where the head of a government institution, in refusing to disclose the personal information under this Act, does not indicate whether it exists.

46. (1) À l'occasion des procédures relatives aux recours prévus aux articles 41, 42 ou 43, la Cour prend toutes les précautions possibles, notamment, si c'est indiqué, par la tenue d'audiences à huis clos et l'audition d'arguments en l'absence d'une partie, pour éviter que ne soient divulgués de par son propre fait ou celui de quiconque :

a) des renseignements qui justifient un refus de communication de renseignements personnels demandés en vertu du paragraphe 12(1) ou de renseignements contenus dans un document demandé sous le régime de la Loi sur l'accès à l'information;

b) des renseignements faisant état de l'existence de renseignements personnels que le responsable d'une institution fédérale a refusé de communiquer sans indiquer s'ils existaient ou non.

The Respondent made its request on the basis that allowing the entire application to be heard in pubic would render the application moot since the Applicant would then have access to the exempted information.

[26]            After considering the submissions of the parties, I granted the Respondent's motion. As a result, I heard the Respondent's submissions on the confidential information in camera and in the absence of the Applicant.

[27]            The records exempted from disclosure by the RCMP pursuant to paragraph 22(1)(a) included the September 8, 1992 letter sent to John Rose of CSC (the Letter). That Letter is already in the possession of the Applicant, although he did not receive it through an access request.

[28]            Drawing from the reasons of Justice Strayer in Kelly, above, the Court must decide whether the information withheld from the Applicant falls within a category of exemption provided for under paragraph 22(1)(a) of the Act, and if so, whether the RCMP reasonably exercised its discretion in not disclosing the information to the Applicant.

[29]            With respect to the burden of proving that the information requested was properly exempted, that burden rests with the RCMP as stated in section 47 of the Act.

47. In any proceedings before the Court arising from an application under section 41, 42 or 43, the burden of establishing that the head of a government institution is authorized to refuse to disclose personal information under subsection 12(1) or that a file should be included in a personal information bank designed as an exempt bank designated as an exempt bank under section 18 shall be on the government institution concerned.

47. Dans les procédures découlant des recours prévus aux articles 41, 42 ou 43, la charge d'établir le bien-fondé du refus de communication de renseignements personnels ou le bien-fondé du versement de certains dossiers dans un fichier inconsultable classé comme tel en vertu de l'article 18 incombe à l'institution fédérale concernée.

[30]            The first question is whether the records exempted by the RCMP fall within the ambit of paragraph 22(1)(a) of the Act. As noted above, that provision permits the head of a government institution, in exercising his or her discretion, to withhold personal information from an access requester if:

1.                   the information is less than 20 years old;

2.                   the information was obtained or prepared by an investigative body, as specified in the Privacy Regulations, SOR/83-508; and

3.                   the information was obtained or prepared in the course of a lawful investigation pertaining to, among other things, the detection, prevention or suppression of crime, or the enforcement of any law of Canada or a province.

[31]            The Respondent submits that all three criteria were satisfied in the RCMP's refusal to disclose. In support of its submission, the Respondent filed the confidential affidavit of Renaud Lebel, a sergeant with the RCMP in its Access to Information and Privacy Branch. In his capacity as Disclosures Supervisor, Sergeant Lebel was involved in processing the Applicant's access request.

[32]            Upon reviewing the records and the evidence, I agree with the Respondent that the withheld information meets the criteria under paragraph 22(1)(a). All the personal information at issue is less than 20 years old, and it was obtained or prepared by the RCMP, which is listed as an investigative body in Schedule III of the Privacy Regulations. Further, I am satisfied that the impugned information is information that was obtained through the conduct of a lawful investigation related to the detection, prevention or suppression of crime, or the enforcement of a law of Canada. In applying the appropriate standard of review, I conclude that the RCMP's finding in this regard was correct with respect to all of the records withheld from the Applicant.

[33]            I will now consider whether it was reasonable for the RCMP to have exercised its discretion in not disclosing the records to the Applicant.

[34]            With respect to the exempted records, other than the Letter, I find that it was reasonable for the RCMP to have withheld the personal information pertaining to the Applicant contained in those records.

[35]            However, as for the RCMP's exercise of its discretion with respect to the Letter, I am of the view that, in the circumstances of this case, its decision to refuse disclosure was unreasonable. I base my finding on the fact that the Applicant already has a copy of the Letter and based on the record before the Court, I can infer that the RCMP knew the Applicant had a copy of the Letter prior to making its decision to refuse disclosure. I note that the Respondent does not dispute that the Applicant has a copy of the Letter, nor does the Respondent explain how the Letter fell into the Applicant's hands. Further, I note that despite knowing for some time that the Applicant has a copy of the Letter, the RCMP does not appear to have taken any steps to seek its return from the Applicant.

[36]               Considering the Letter, the surrounding circumstances and the purpose of the Act, I am of the view that it was not reasonable for the RCMP to have withheld the Applicant's personal information contained in the Letter. The objective to be served by not disclosing the Applicant's personal information is to protect the sources and nature of sensitive information obtained or prepared in the conduct of criminal investigations. In the circumstances, this objective could no longer be met because the information was already in the Applicant's hand. Further, by denying the Applicant access to his personal information contained in the Letter under subsection 22(1), the RCMP is also denying him the opportunity to have information he alleges to be erroneous corrected pursuant to subsection 12(2) of the Act.

[37]               In these particular circumstances, where the Applicant already has access to the Letter, allowing the RCMP's decision to stand would not be consistent with the purpose of the Act which is not only to provide access to personal information, but also to protect the privacy of individuals with respect to their personal information. Section 2 of the Act provides:

2. The purpose of the Act is to extend the present laws of Canada that protect the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information about themselves held by a government institution and that provide individuals with a right of access to that information.

2. La présente loi a pour objet de compléter la législation canadienne en matière de protection des renseignements personnels relevant des institutions fédérales et de droit d'accès des individus aux renseignements personnels qui les concernent.

[38]               Implicit in this purpose is the right to ensure that one's personal information in records held by the government is accurate. Here, the Applicant seeks a remedy -"to correct allegedly false information held by the RCMP"- which is only available to him if he is given access under subsection 12(1) of the Act. In the circumstances, it is unreasonable for the RCMP not to disclose the information since no purpose is served by doing so. Withholding the Letter denies the Applicant access to a remedy otherwise available to him under the Act.

[39]            That said, the Applicant is only entitled to his personal information contained in the Letter. I recognize that the Letter contains information about individuals other than the Applicant. Such information ought not to be disclosed to the Applicant. Section 26 of the Act provides that:

26. The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any personal information requested under subsection 12(1) about an individual other than the individual who made the request, and shall refuse to disclose such information where the disclosure is prohibited under section 8.

26. Le responsable d'une institution fédérale peut refuser la communication des renseignements personnels demandés en vertu du paragraphe 12(1) qui portent sur un autre individu que celui qui fait la demande et il est tenu de refuser cette communication dans les cas où elle est interdite en vertu de l'article 8.

[40]            In my opinion, the following information may properly be redacted from the Letter before its disclosure to the Applicant:

a)         the names of persons other than the Applicant in the reference line, "Objet";

a)                   the last two paragraphs on page 1; and

b)                   the first three paragraphs on page 2.

[41]               Other than the above noted passages, I am of the view that the RCMP erred by not disclosing the Letter to the Applicant. While the RCMP was correct in deciding that the information in the Letter fell within the ambit of paragraph 22(1)(a), its discretionary decision not to disclose the information in the circumstances was unreasonable.

[42]            Section 48 provides the Court with broad discretionary powers in the event the Court concludes that the head of a government institution was not authorized to refuse disclosure of personal information:

48. Where the head of a government institution refuses to disclose personal information requested under subsection 12(1) on the basis of a provision of this Act not referred to in section 49, the Court shall, if it determines that the head of the institution is not authorized under this Act to refuse to disclose the personal information, order the head of the institution to disclose the personal information, subject to such conditions as the Court deems appropriate, to the individual who requested access thereto, or shall make such other order as the Court deems appropriate.

48. La Cour, dans les cas où elle conclut au bon droit de l'individu qui a exercé un recours en révision d'une décision de refus de communication de renseignements personnels fondée sur des dispositions de la présente loi autres que celles mentionnées à l'article 49, ordonne, aux conditions qu'elle juge indiquées, au responsable de l'institution fédérale dont relèvent les renseignements d'en donner communication à l'individu; la Cour rend une autre ordonnance si elle l'estime indiqué.

[43]               I will therefore order that the head of the government institution, namely the RCMP, disclose the personal information of the Applicant contained in the Letter to him, save and except the redacted passages noted in paragraph 39 above.

B.                  Can the Court order that the allegedly erroneous personal information about the Applicant held in the RCMP's files be corrected?

[44]            Given my above finding that the RCMP erred in not disclosing the Applicant's personal information contained in the Letter, pursuant to subsection 12(1) of the Act, the next question is whether the Applicant can obtain from this Court a remedy under subsection 12(2). The Applicant seeks to have information in the records of the RCMP, namely the Letter, corrected. The Applicant alleges that the following information in the RCMP's September 8, 1992 letter to CSC is false:

a)                   that he was previously an employee/member of the Iranian secret police organization "Savak" and had tortured people;

b)                   that he was a member of Iranian mafia in Iran; and

c)          that he had threatened and intimidated his lawyers at his original trial.

[45]            The record before the Court indicates that the Applicant has repeatedly asked that information which he alleges to be false either be corrected or proven. In a letter attached to his request for personal information under the Act, the Applicant specifically asked for details supporting the claim that he was involved with the Iranian secret police and used torture.

[46]            In his affidavit, the Applicant points to evidence which he says refutes those claims against him. Since the RCMP determined that the personal information requested by the Applicant was exempt from disclosure by virtue of paragraph 22(1)(a), it does not appear that the merits of the Applicant's allegation were considered by the RCMP. It is not for this Court on judicial review to conduct such an exercise. It is, however, now open to the Applicant to make a request under subsection 12(2) of the Act to seek to have his personal information corrected if the information is erroneous as alleged.

5.          Conclusion

[47]            For the above reasons, I find that the RCMP erred in not disclosing the Applicant's personal information contained in the Letter by virtue of paragraph 22(1)(a) of the Act. Pursuant to the authority vested in the Court under section 48 of the Act I will order the head of the RCMP to disclose to the Applicant his personal information contained in the Letter except for the redacted passages noted in paragraph 39 above. With respect to the remaining records withheld from the Applicant, I find that the RCMP committed no reviewable error.

[48]            Given the mixed results on this application and the fact that no important new principle has been raised, in the exercise of my discretion, no costs will be awarded.

[49]            At the hearing, counsel on behalf of the Respondent moved to amend the style of cause to substitute as respondent the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness in lieu of the Commissioner, Royal Canadian Mounted Police. I granted this motion. As a result, the style of cause will henceforth reflect the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness as the responding party.


ORDER

            THIS COURT ORDERS that:

1.          The application is allowed in part;

2.          The letter dated September 8, 1992 is to be disclosed to the Applicant with the following exempt portions redacted from the letter:

1.                   the names of persons other than the Applicant in the reference line, "Objet";

2.                   the last two paragraphs on page 1; and

3.                   the first three paragraphs on page 2;

3.                   The style of cause is amended to reflect the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness as the responding party.

4.             No costs are awarded.

"Edmond P. Blanchard"

Judge


FEDERAL COURT

SOLICITORS OF RECORD

DOCKET:                                           T-1959-04

STYLE OF CAUSE:                           SHAHROKH AHMADZADEGAN v. MINISTER OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

PLACE OF HEARING:                     Vancouver, BC

DATE OF HEARING:                       March 7, 2006

REASONS FOR ORDER AND ORDER:             Blanchard J.

DATED:                                              April 26, 2006

APPEARANCES:

Shahrokh Ahmadzadegan (via telephone)                                   FOR THE APPLICANT

Helen Park/Peter Bell                                                                FOR THE RESPONDENT

SOLICITORS OF RECORD:

Shahrokh Ahmadzadegan                                                          FOR THE APPLICANT

Matsqui Institution

Abbotsford BC

John H. Sims, Q.C.                                                                   FOR THE RESPONDENT

Deputy Attorney General of Canada

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Date Modified: 2014-10-01