CCLA and coalition partners launch legal action to stop Ontario government’s disclosure of COVID status to police

The CCLA has joined with Aboriginal Legal Services (ALS), the Black Legal Action Centre, and the HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario (HALCO) to launch an urgent court application in the Ontario Superior Court challenging the Government of Ontario’s decision to share the personal information of all Ontarians who test positive for COVID-19 with police.

In early April the Ontario government passed an emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act that would allow police to obtain the names, addresses, and dates of birth of Ontarians who had tested positive for COVID-19. The government has since made a database or portal that it has opened to police services, and several Ontario police services boards have passed policies to facilitate law enforcement’s access to the information.

The court application challenges the government’s decision to release this information to police because it breaches provincial health privacy protections and violates individuals’ constitutional rights to privacy and equality. The legal challenge also argues the measure is not authorized by Ontario’s emergency legislation.

CCLA wrote to Ontario’s Solicitor General on April 22, 2020 outlining concerns with the government’s decision to share sensitive personal health information with police. To date, no response has been received.

Download a copy of the notice of application:

2020-07-07 Notice of Application to Divisional Court for Judicial Review

Download a copy of the press release:

2020-07-15 Final COVID database press release LEAVE GRANTED


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