Access to Information


Access To Information

Canadians often hear journalists talk about getting information through the Access to Information process, but this access is not limited to journalists.

Any Canadian citizen, permanent resident or any person or corporation residing in Canada has the right to request access to records of government institutions that are subject to the Access to Information Act.

The government retains the ability to withhold information for a number of reasons such as; national security, personal privacy, Cabinet Confidence, proprietary information, trade secrets, international relations and third-party information.

Any Canadian citizen, permanent resident or individual present in Canada has the right to access their personal information held by government institutions that are subject to the Privacy Act.

Your request must be directed to a specific department or institution and each request will cost five dollars. You can final the information on how to make your request at

You can also use the online archive to see summaries of previous requests that have been made by others. This could save you considerable time if the request has been made previously.

The Access to Information process it not as quick as it should be, but it is an important tool that Canadians can use to access government information.

If you believe there is an error in the information a government institution has on file about you, or that information is missing, you may ask to have it corrected. If the institution does not agree to change the information on file, the institution must make a note of your request for correction and attach it to the record.

They may have also shared your information with other government institutions in the last two years. The government institution will contact these other institutions so that they can make the same correction or notation.