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Acknowledgements and Disclaimer


This Toolkit was prepared by a consultant to the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario, in association with an advisory group of community mental health and addictions representatives.
Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario
Linda Marmen
Karen McGrath
Scott Mitchell
Liz Scanlon
Glenn Thompson

Mary Jane Dykeman, Barrister & Solicitor

Toolkit Advisory Group
Brenda Bunting, Canadian Mental Health Association, Toronto Branch
Diana Capponi, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Greg Howse, Simcoe Outreach Services
Harry Spindel, Bayview Community Services
Jeff Wilbee, Addictions Ontario
Victor Willis, Parkdale Activity and Recreation Centre
Brigitte Witkowski, Mainstay Housing

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Halyna Perun
Michele Sanborn
Ruth Stoddart

Print Layout
Joss Maclennan Design

Copy Editing
Elizabeth Cockle

Design – Christine Bilusack
Coding – Jeff Kraemer, Scott Mitchell

The financial support of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is gratefully acknowledged.


The material in this Toolkit is intended to assist community mental health and community addictions stakeholders to understand their obligations under the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). By its nature it provides information, but is not a complete review of the law. It is current to June 30, 2005.

It is for general reference, and directs you to other more complete sources of information about PHIPA, including the Act itself. It does not cover every possible scenario that you may encounter.

The Toolkit should not be relied on as legal advice or professional opinion. If you have specific questions about its content or the Act, you may wish to consult a lawyer.

Another helpful resource is the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, which provides general guidance on how the Act applies. Helpful materials are available online at: You may contact the Commissioner’s Office at:

Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, Ontario M4W 1A8
Tel: (416) 326-3333
Toll-free: 1-800-387-0073

You may wish to adapt the tools, checklists and templates in this Toolkit to fit your particular circumstances.

All references to “clients” in the Toolkit should be read to mean “individuals,” “patients,” “consumers” and “customers,” as appropriate. Where the context requires it, “client” includes the client’s substitute decision-maker.