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Freedom of Information

The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) provides a right to access records held by the Town.  The right to access records is subject to limited and specific exemptions.  The right to access records includes both general records and any records that may contain your personal information.  Also, the Act governs how the Town may collect, retain, use, disclose and dispose of personal information which may be found within Town records.

The first step when seeking access to Town records is to contact the Department holding the records that you are looking for. Records are generally available, unless there are specific reasons why the information cannot be given to you. Where the records are not publicly available, a formal MFIPPA Request Form is required.

Every person has the right to see personal information about them that the Town has.  A request may be made to see the records and have the information changed if a person thinks that the information contains errors or omissions.  To access personal information or request a change to personal information, a Formal Request is required.  Once the Town receives your request, it will review it and advise whether the correction or addition of information has been granted.  If your request has been denied, you may appeal the decision to the Information and Privacy Commissioner Filing An Appeal - IPC.

All formal requests to see general records or personal information or to change personal information must be submitted to the Town Clerk’s Office with the application fee of $5.00. This fee cannot be waived, or refunded. Completed formal request forms and the application fee should be mailed to:

Office of the Clerk
32 Mill Street
PO Box 310
Thornbury, ON N0H 2P0

You may also submit a request in person by visiting the Clerk’s Office on the first floor of Town Hall. 

Once the Town receives your request, it has 30 days to provide you with a response to your request. 

Exemptions: Mandatory and Discretionary

There are two types of exemptions in FIPPA and MFIPPA.

Mandatory Exemptions require the head of an institution to refuse to disclose the record. Mandatory exemptions begin with the words: “a head shall refuse to disclose…”

Discretionary Exemptions allow the head to disclose a record, despite the existence of the exemption. Discretionary exemptions are introduced by the words: “(A) head may refuse to disclose…”

Examples of exclusions and exemptions include:

  • Cabinet records
  • Court records
  • Records containing certain law enforcement information
  • Records that could prejudice intergovernmental relations
  • Personal information that could invade the privacy of an individual
  • Certain records supplied in confidence by a third party
  • Most labour relations records

Requesters may appeal institutions’ decisions by writing or by filling out an appeal form and sending it to the IPC Registrar at the address on the form.

The MFIPPA Act is founded on the premise that requestors should bear at least a portion of the costs associated with responding to their request. As a result, you are required to pay the fees mandated by the Act.

When the cost is expected to be more than $25.00, you will be provided with a Notice of Fee Estimate that will provide a line by line breakdown of the anticipated fees.  

When the cost is expected to be more than $100.00, a deposit equal to 50% of the anticipated cost will be required before we do any additional work associated with your request.  

If you feel that the anticipated fees are excessive or unaffordable, you are invited to modify the scope of your request.  A Notice of Fee will be provided when the process is complete.  The cost outlined in the Notice of Fee must be paid before you can see your records.

As well as giving access to Town records, the MFIPPA Act also requires the Town to protect your privacy. 

Personal information is collected and used by the Town for very specific purposes that are identified at the time of collection.  Your personal information will not be used for any other reason than identified at the time of collection, nor disclosed in any circumstance, except as permitted by the Act. 

If you feel your personal information has been misused or disclosed in a manner that is inconsistent with the Act, please contact the Town Clerk or the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.

Any decision issued by the Town may be appealed to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. Decisions can only be reviewed by the Commissioner's Office and must be appealed within 30 days of the decision being issued by the Town. 

To appeal a decision of the Town, please consult the information provided by the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.


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Contacts

Clerk's Office
519-599-3131 x232

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