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Freedom of Information Act
What is Freedom of Information (F.O.I.)?
F.O.I. is a commonly used term that refers to Ontario’s Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The Act came into force in 1991, and applies to all Ontario municipalities, local boards, agencies and commissions.
The fundamental purpose of the freedom of information system is accountability to the public. The spirit of the Act is to create an open and accountable government by providing as much information as possible to the public, while ensuring that their personal privacy is protected.
The Act gives you two legal rights:
- The right to access government information, including most general records, and personal information about yourself; and
- The right to the protection of your personal information which may be held within government records.
How do I Get Information I Want?
First, you should approach the Department you believe has the information you are looking for and simply ask for it. In most situations, you will be given a copy of the information without having to submit a formal request under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
If you are denied access to the information, staff will explain why, and may suggest that you submit a formal request under the Act.
Freedom of Information Form