Access to Information (FOI)

COVID-19 Update
As part of the Town’s COVID-19 response, the Town of Grimsby is unable to receive Freedom of Information requests in-person. You may submit FOI requests by mail or mail drop off at Town Hall. There may be delays in responding to requests and time extensions may be required.
Freedom of Information 

Freedom of Information (FOI) requests are formal requests for records of the Town of Grimsby. FOI requests should not be submitted for information that is already available on the Town's website, from a Town department by request, or for information that is held by other governments or government agencies.

The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) establishes a general right of access to the information held by local governments and institutions. The Act also protects the privacy of individual’s personal information in government records. Some limits to the right of access are described in Step 1 Before Making an FOI Request. Read through all sections before you submit an FOI request. 

1.  Before Making an FOI Request
  • Town records are generally available with a few exceptions. Here’s how to get Town information:

    • Search the Town website to see if the information you’re looking for is already available and posted.

    • Contact the service area or department that has the information during our regular business hours (Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm).
    • If you’re not sure which department you should be speaking to contact us directly at Town Hall at 905-945-9634
  • Provide as much detail as possible about the records or information you are requesting. If you can, specify the dates and the Town office or Department.  This helps staff locate the information. 
  • If you are requesting information about a property, you should submit one request per municipal property address.
  • A $5 application fee is required to submit an FOI request. Additional fees are applicable for processing and photocopying.
  • Fee estimates will be provided if the anticipated fees are $25.00 or greater.  If the fee estimate is $100.00 or more, the applicant will be required to pay a 50% deposit prior to process the records.
  • You will receive a response within 30 days from the time you submit your request and $5 application fee. You may be contacted if there is not enough information in your request or to seek clarification on the Town records you are looking for.
  • A time extension may be required if your request involves an extensive search or a large volume of records.
  • There are some exceptions to what you can obtain through the FOI process. Specific exemptions are listed in the Municipal Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act.
2.  How to Submit an FOI Request

Please review all sections before submitting your request.

Requests can be submitted by mail or deposited in the drop box at Town Hall. In-person submission is not available at this time.

All requests must be submitted with the $5 application fee required under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. For a full listing of fees, see Fee Schedule for FOI Requests.

If you are requesting records or information that contain your own personal information, proof of identity must be provided.

FOI requests are not accepted by fax or email.

By Mail or Drop Off at Town Hall

Download the FOI application form and mail it to, or drop it off at Town Hall together with a $5.00 cheque/money order payable to the Town of Grimsby.

Mailing address:

Town of Grimsby
Attention:  Office of the Clerk (FOI)
160 Livingston Avenue
Grimsby ON L3M 4G3

3.  After the Decision (Appeals to the Information and Privacy Commissioner)

Once your request is processed, you will receive a letter containing a decision about your FOI request, any fees owing (e.g. fees for photocopying, computer disks or search time) and how to make a payment for fees.

Requests for information held by the Town of Grimsby are made to the Office of the Clerk. Decisions on access to information are subject to independent review by the Information and Privacy Commissioner, Ontario.

If you are not satisfied with the decision made by the Town, you can file an appeal with the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC).

Appeals

An appeal must be made within 30 calendar days of receiving the decision. To file an appeal you must write to the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s office indicating you are appealing the Town’s decision.

Your letter should include a copy of your original FOI request and a copy of the Town’s decision letter. Forward your request for an appeal with the appropriate fee to the Commissioner’s office.

4.  Legislation (MFIPPA/ PHIPA)

The Town is responsible for protecting personal information and providing access to information under this provincial Act.

Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA)

The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act establishes a general right of access to records held by municipal government and local agencies, boards and commissions using these principles:

  • any information held by government should, in general, be available to the public;
  • individuals should have access to their own personal records;
  • any exemptions from the right of access to information should be limited and specific;
  • the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information the Municipality collects and maintains shall be protected;
  • any decisions relating to access to information can be reviewed by the independent Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario; and,
  • any person may make a request for information held by a government institution covered by the Act.

 

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