The Commissioner’s view is that the mandate letters are at best “outcomes”
of the Premier’s deliberations that do not fall within the “substance of deliberations”
of “Cabinet as a whole”.94 I reject the relevance of this distinction in this case.
 I accept that there are circumstances where the distinction between the
“substance” and the “outcome” of deliberations would be meaningful, such as
when the outcome of Cabinet’s deliberations on an issue has been publicized but
“the substantive details of the matters deliberated upon by Cabinet” to reach that
outcome have not.95 However, I would qualify the distinction in two ways.
 First, the Act is concerned about premature disclosure. For example,
subparagraph (c) expressly exempts materials used in reaching a decision “before
those decisions are made and implemented”. Further, s. 18(1)(g), exempts:
“information… where the disclosure could reasonably be expected to result in
94 I also note that the Commissioner followed a line of IPC cases that draws a distinction between the
“substance” and the “subject matter” of deliberations: see Information and Privacy Commissioner of
Ontario, Order PO-3719 (2017), at para. 42; Order PO-3720; Ontario (Ministry of Finance) (Re), 
O.I.P.C. No. 58, at paras. 33, 42, and 44; Interim Order MO-2964-I; Greater Sudbury (City) (Re), 
O.I.P.C. No. 254, at paras. 37-39, 43, and Interim Order MO-3684-I; North Bay (City) (Re),  O.I.P.C.
No. 236, at paras. 18-21. As I indicated above, I reject this distinction because, understood in its proper
context, s. 12(1) aims to protect the confidentiality of certain kinds of documents whose disclosure would
reveal the matters Cabinet would be discussing, not just the content of its discussions. I also note that
much of this IPC case law is rooted in the interpretation of the meaning of “the substance of deliberations”
as it appears in s. 6(1)(b) of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. R.S.O.
1990, c. M.56. This section permits a head to refuse to disclose a record “that reveals the substance of
deliberations of a meeting of a council, board, commission or other body or a committee of one of them if
a statute authorizes holding that meeting in the absence of the public” (emphasis added). Although both
provisions use the phrase “the substance of deliberations”, the s. 6(1)(b) exemption is unrelated to
Cabinet records and therefore does not engage the constitutional conventions surrounding Cabinet
confidentiality. As a result, the case law interpreting the scope of s. 6(1)(b) is of limited use in discerning
the scope of s. 12(1).
95 Order PO-3752; Ontario (Ministry of Energy),  O.I.P.C. No. 145, at para. 40.