Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act establishes a general right to access records held by the municipal government and local agencies boards and commissions using these principles:
- Any information held by the government should, in general, be available to the public.
- Any exemptions from the right of access to information should be limited and specific.
- Any decisions relating to access to information can be reviewed by the independent Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC).
- Any person may request information held by a government institution covered by the Act.
Freedom of information (FOI) requests
All requests for information must be made in writing to the Clerk’s Office and be accompanied by a $5 application fee. The Act provides a right of access to records held by the municipality; however, the general right of access is limited to certain exemptions in place to protect one’s right to privacy and the institution’s need.
Before filing a freedom of information (FOI) request, check these sources for the material you’re looking for:
The first step to making a freedom of information request is to fill in a request form. Include details and be as specific as possible about the information you would like to obtain. Services in this area are legislated by the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
- Download, print, and fill out the request form (PDF).
- The application fee is $5. We accept debit, cash or cheque payable to the City of Quinte West.
- Submit applications in person at the customer service counter, second floor at city hall, or mail to:
City of Quinte West
7 Creswell Drive, PO Box 490
Trenton, ON K8V 5R6
*do not mail cash.
Requests are usually processed within 30 days. We will contact you if your clarification is necessary. If you need assistance applying, contact 613-392-2841 ext. 4422.
Another essential principle is that the government’s personal information must be protected from unauthorized disclosure, collection, and use. There are also rules about how long personal information is kept and how it is disposed of.
The City of Quinte West cannot collect your personal information unless it is authorized to do so. With some exceptions, personal data must be collected directly from you. The City must notify you of its authority to collect your information, how it will be used, and whom to contact if you have questions about using your data.
The City cannot use your personal information except as permitted by the Act. Personal data can only be used for the purpose for which it was collected or for a consistent purpose, or with your permission. When personal information is used, the City must take reasonable steps to ensure it is accurate.
With a few exceptions, you have the right access to your personal information. The City may also disclose your information to another user if you consent to that disclosure.
Your personal information may be disclosed by the City to others – without your consent – in the following circumstances:
- To respond to a freedom of information request or an appeal to the IPC.
- To carry out the purpose of collecting the information, or a consistent (reasonably expected) purpose.
- To inform a City employee who needs the record in performing duties.
- To comply with the law.
- To cooperate with the law enforcement agency in Canada conducting an investigation.
- To inform other compelling circumstances affecting an individual’s health or safety.
- To make contact with next of kin or a friend of an ill, injured or deceased person.
- To audit a program that is cost-shared by the federal or provincial government.
The City of Quinte West receives many public requests for copies of building plans, property surveys, and structural/engineering/architectural drawings. In most cases, the requesters are the current property owners who wish to complete renovations and therefore need to know the building’s original structure. In some cases, a representative such as a real estate agent, construction manager etc., may also request access to the client(s). It should be noted that these documents are copyrighted.
There are several ways to obtain a copy of these types of documents. An individual can:
- Visit the land registry office as the document may be registered on title; or
- Contact the original creator of the document (architect) directly; or
- Contact the original builder directly; or
- Contact the previous owner.
The City’s policy is currently that access to these types of records (viewing or copying) shall only be given to the registered owner of the property or if the requester has a written permission letter from the registered owner of the property.