Other Privacy Legislation

There are several pieces of privacy legislation, both federal and provincial, that do not apply directly to a board of education.  However, partners, suppliers or contractors working with the board may be subject to these statutes.

Boards must share personal and confidential information with partners, suppliers or contractors only when necessary; they must share only the minimum information required ; and they must require these parties to put in place appropriate protections for the information when it is shared.

Before accepting information from a party not subject to LAFOIP, boards must be confident that they can meet any requirements imposed upon them by the other party.

Provincial Legislation

This provincial statute covers government agencies and departments including the Ministry of Education. The provisions of FOIP are almost identical with those of LAFOIP.

HIPA does NOT apply to apply to health professionals employed by school divisions.  HIPA applies to trustees such as licensed or registered health professionals in private practices and the Saskatchewan Health Authority and their employees.

School divisions and their employees are not trustees within the meaning of HIPA.  This includes school division professionals health employees including psychologists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, nurses, and physiotherapists.

 Any health information or records created by Divisions (including their professional health staff) is treated a personal information under LAFOIP.  Any health information or records received by the Division from a HIPA trustee (ie. private practitioner) is treated as personal information under LAFOIP.

According to the Ministry of Justice, “The purpose of the Act is to facilitate the use and acceptance of electronic information by persons who wish to do so.  The Act ensures that people who wish to deal with each other electronically can do so despite the existence of certain legal requirements that seem difficult to satisfy electronically (e.g., for writing, for signatures or for delivery by registered mail).”

This provincial Act provides certain restrictions on the release of information when it relates to medical information concerning the mental health of an individual. It is recommended that the advice of legal counsel be sought when dealing with this type of information.

This provincial legislation deals with the invasion of privacy. It provides that a person can be sued if one wilfully and without claim of right violates the privacy of another person.

Proof that there has been use of letters, diaries or other personal documents of a person is evidence that the statue was violated. The nature and degree of privacy that can be expected by an individual depends on what “is reasonable in the circumstances, due regard being given to the lawful interests of others.”

These rights must be enforced by individual through the court system. The Privacy Commissioner does not oversee or enforce this legislation.

Federal Legislation

The federal government has a constitutional right to regulate commercial activities. Parliament has used this power to enact privacy legislation which has provincial application. PIPEDA affects all organizations, even local and provincial bodies, that engage in commercial enterprise.

Board activities consistent with the educational purposes of a board will not likely be caught by PIPEDA. Activities such as running a school cafeteria or renting out rooms in the school or the gym or playing fields will not normally be considered commercial activities.

It is likely that the board will be dealing with other parties such as suppliers or contractors who are required to impose PIPEDA’s privacy requirements on the board. For example, a service in a school run by a third party, such as a bus company or a food service will be covered by PIPEDA. In these cases the board should address privacy and access to information issues in the contract with the third party.

If the board complies with the requirements of LAFOIP it will usually meet any obligations required of a contractor or supplier under PIPEDA or required by other provincial legislation.