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uOttawa ordered to release Allan Rock’s emails

August 6, 2015

In September 2011, former member of the University of Ottawa Senate Joseph Hickey filed an access to information (ATI) request for all communications between university president Allan Rock and his former chief of staff Stephane Emard-Chabot.

As was previously reported on this blog, the university initially refused to process Mr. Hickey’s ATI request and closed the file and returned the filing fee.

Mr. Hickey appealed, and the Information and Privacy Commissioner for Ontario (IPC) ordered the university to process the ATI request. The university then issued an “access decision”, providing access to some records and denying access to others.

Mr. Hickey appealed the access decision to the IPC, and received a decision dated June 25, 2015 ordering the university to disclose additional records. The additional records had been withheld on the basis of Section 18(1) of Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, which is intended to protect the economic interests of institutions. The IPC adjudicator ordered all records withheld under section 18(1) released. The new records are posted in a PDF at the link here.

Some of the new records of note are:

  • Records 244, 246, and 257 (beginning at pgs. 225, 228, and 237 in the PDF): $585,000 spent under “management authority” re: plans for new building
  • Record 192 (pg. 162): A. Rock’s “secret fund” to pay for high-profile speaker
  • Record 151 (pg. 133): Funding for A. Rock’s 2-year travel plan may be shifted from provincially-mandated 10% cut to “executive offices” (see also Record 176 at pg. 150)
  • Records 286 and 287 (pg. 253): A. Rock to appear as intro for “respect in the workplace” video
  • Record 87 (pg. 85): F. Houle concerned about A. Rock’s confidence in his abilities as VP Academic
  • Record 5 (pg. 4): Dean of Law listed as nominator for honorary doctorate, but incapable of supporting nomination
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