B.C. Coroners Service

An applicant requested a record confirming whether a post-mortem or toxicology examination was conducted in relation to the death of a specified individual. The B.C. Coroners Service refused to confirm or deny the existence of a responsive record pursuant to s. 8(2) of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that confirming or denying the existence of certain types of records – or confirming that no responsive records exist – would convey personal information of the deceased. The adjudicator determined that the Coroner is authorized to refuse to confirm or deny the existence of these types of records because disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of the deceased’s personal privacy (s. 8(2)(b)). Section 8(2)(b) did not apply to types of records that would not convey personal information. The adjudicator also determined that disclosure of the mere existence or non-existence of a requested record needs to convey information described in s. 15 of FIPPA (information harmful to law enforcement) for s. 8(2)(a) to apply. Section 8(2)(a) did not apply to the remaining records.

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