Access to Information (FOI)

Freedom of Information 

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. Freedom of Information (FOI) requests are formal requests for records that are held by the Town of Grimsby.

Read through all sections before you submit an FOI request. 

1.  Before you submit a request

Some records do not need an FOI request in order for you to access them. Please go through these steps prior to submitting your request:

  • 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

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 a request
  • Download the FOI application form, print it off and complete it. 

  • Submit your form along with the $5 application fee to Town Hall in person, via our Town Hall drop box or by mail. 

       Mailing address:

       Town of Grimsby
       Attention:  Office of the Clerk (FOI)
       160 Livingston Avenue
       Grimsby, ON  L3M 0J5

 

A request for information, should contain as much detail as possible about the records including specific dates or timelines, including:

  • Your personal information and that of others, including corrections to your own information.
  • Ensure that proper names are used and where necessary provide supporting documentation
  • If you are requesting information about a property, you should submit one request per municipal property address.

If the records or information you are requesting contain your own personal information, proof of identity must be provided. If there are questions regarding your request, we will contact you for clarification.

FOI requests are not accepted by fax or email.

 

3.  Payment and Fees 

 Depending on the complexity of the request, the following fees may apply:

  • A $5 application fee is required 
  • Documents: $7.50 per quarter hour of search time and preparation
  • Photocopies are charged at the rate of $0.20 cents per page
  • Computer programming, if needed to develop and retrieve information is $15 per quarter hour
  • 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.

Please make your cheque payable to the Town of Grimsby. Once full payment has been made, your records (if any) will be made available to you.

 

4.  How to file an Appeal with the Information and Privacy Commissioner

The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act allows individuals the right to appeal any decision made by the Town relating to access of records or personal information. Decisions on access to information are subject to independent review by the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) of Ontario.

If you are not satisfied with the decision made by the Town of Grimsby regarding your FOI request, you can file an appeal with the IPC within 30 calendar days of receiving the decision from the Town. 

 

5.  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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