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CCCA_V6No2_Dept-IntelProperty-FIN_CCCA_V6No2_Dept-IntellectualProperty 5/23/12 11:38 PM Page 13 Intellectual Property The Court set a fairly low threshold for make a serious attempt to decide on based on their own observations. notice. Disclosure without notice is only access and exemptions;it cannot do a cur- Redacting is only an appropriate com- permitted when there is no reason to believe sory review and shift its responsibility to promise where disclosure of the unex- that the disclosed information might con- the company, and second, disclosure of cised portions provides meaningful infor- tain exempted information. When in doubt information and protecting confidentiali- mation. If severance leaves only discon- or redacting documents, notice will be ty are both equally important objectives. nected snippets of releasable information, given to the company. The low threshold Companies must provide reasonable, co- the company should assert that severance reduces the risk of mistaken disclosure. operative assistance to government. This and disclosure are improper. ATI requests require rapid response. approach will better protect information, If you end up in the rare situation The government completes its response but it may create more work for the gov- of going to court to block release, the to many ATI requests within 60 days. ernment and companies. onus of proof (civil standard) will be on Requests involving voluminous records Make clear, targeted submissions for the company. or consultation often take longer. A com- exemption of information. Identify and Taking these steps to carefully protect pany must likewise move fast, within argue for any special categories of informa- your company information should ensure specified timelines (usually extendable), in tion that arose after the initial filings with that your competitors are left hungry after order to make its case for exemptions. the government, such as correspondence they review the results of their ATI and government reviewer notes. These will request. Responding to an ATI request not be disclosed if they contain exempted When preparing a response, keep two information. They will be disclosed if they Noel Courage is a partner with Bereskin & things in mind:first,the government must contain comments of government officials Parr LLP in Toronto. ÉTÉ 2012 CCCA Canadian Corporate Counsel Association 13
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