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Statutory review of the Freedom of Information Act

This is a file the HCANL has spent considerable time and expense in lobbying for change and we have had a positive outcome as outlined below.

The Report is now Public and you can find the full 550 pages at the link below

https://www.nlatippareview.ca/files/FINAL-REPORT-June-8-2021.pdf

https://www.nlatippareview.ca/files/APPENDICES-FINAL-REPORT.pdf

GOOD NEWS on Recommendation

So Chair Osborne has made a recommendation that Trade Secret Info not be revealed…This is one of many recommendations, but is also the one we were hoping for. We still need to await action on recommendations from government re actioning the recommendation(s)

According to the definition of Trade Secrets (Canadian Intellectual Property Office), which is what Judge Osborne referenced, I do not think there is any doubt that unit pricing would fall into this category.

Heavy Civil Association of NL Recommendation from our presentation: The interpretation of “harm” [and “trade secrets”] be adjusted to protect valuable proprietary company information [specifically unit pricing]. – Heavy Civil Association of NL, Page 2 of our submission.

Statutory Review RECOMMENDATION

That the Act be amended to:

· Provide a mandatory exception for trade secrets.

What is a trade secret?

From: Canadian Intellectual Property Office

Trade secrets include any business information that has commercial value derived from its secrecy. Trade secrets can be very valuable to you, whether you have developed new technology, designed original products, created the perfect recipe or amassed a gold mine of customer data. One of the most famous trade secrets is the Coca Cola formula—a well-guarded secret for over 100 years. The commercial value of the formula is why the company goes to great lengths to keep it secret.

How are trade secrets protected?

In Canada, there is no federal trade secrets act or equivalent statute. Trade secret law is instead based on common law, or in the case of Quebec, civil law, principles enforced in the courts through claims including torts, such as breaches of contract or confidence. There are also relevant dispositions in Canada’s Criminal Code. Unlike for some other types of intellectual property, there is no formal process for protecting a trade secret. The protection of a trade secret requires the following, at a minimum:

that the information has commercial value
that the information is secret
that the information has been subject to reasonable measures by the business to ensure that it remains secret
Courts considering whether information is a trade secret, whether an action involves the misuse of a trade secret and how to compensate an owner of a trade secret for its misuse look at factors including the following:

the measures taken to maintain secrecy
the value of the information
the cost in money or time of creating or developing the information
the ease with which the information could be acquired or developed by others independently
the degree to which the owner regards and treats the information as confidential
the degree to which the recipient regards and treats the information as confidential
whether the recipient ought to have known that the information was confidential
whether misuse of the information resulted in detriment to the owner

Let’s See where this goes

Jim

Jim Organ
Executive Dire

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