CANADIAN LEGISLATION

GOVERNING

ACCESS TO INFORMATION

&

PRIVACY


CANADA (Federal Government) (Updated June 16, 1998)

Since 1983, the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act provide individuals a right of access to, respectively, non-personal and personal information held by the federal public sector. In addition, the Privacy Act contains provisions regulating the confidentiality, collection, correction, disclosure, retention and use of personal information. Records are requested directly from the institution which has the custody of the information. The federal government also publishes a guide, entitled InfoSource, to help applicants locate the desired information.

Moreoever, the federal government has committed itself to having enforceable privacy legislation in the Canadian private sector by 2000. To this end, it conducted public consultations in the spring of 1998.

ABOUT ACCESS TO INFORMATION:
Mr. John Reid
Information Commissioner of Canada
112 Kent Street, 3rd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1H3
(613) 995-2410
Toll-free in Canada : (800) 267-0441
Facsimile: (613) 995-1501
WWW home page URL : http://infoweb.magi.com/~accessca.


ABOUT PRIVACY:
Mr. Bruce Phillips
Privacy Commissioner of Canada
112 Kent Street, 3rd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1H3
Telephone: (613) 995-2410
Toll-free in Canada: 1-800-267-0441
Facsimile: (613) 995-1501
WWW home page URL : http://infoweb.magi.com/~privcan.


ALBERTA (Updated June 2, 1998)

Since October 1995, the province's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act grants individuals a right of access to information (personal and non-personal) held by the provincial public sector. The act also regulates the confidentiality, collection, correction, disclosure, retention and use of personal information. The act will be extended to school boards (effective September 1, 1998), health care bodies (October 1, 1998), universities and colleges (January 4, 1999) and municipal governments and police commissions (October 1, 1999).

The provincial government also tabled a proposed Health Information Privacy Act (Bill 30) in June 1997, which would have regulated the collection, use and disclosure of health information in the province. Following public criticism, however, the government has decided to redraft the bill.

ABOUT ACCESS PROCEDURES:
Mr. Robert C. Clark
Information & Privacy Commissioner of Alberta
410, 9925-109 Street
Edmonton, Alberta
T5K 2J8
Telephone: (403) 422-6860
Facsimile: (403) 422-5682
e-mail: ipcab@planet.eon.net


ABOUT THE ACT:
Information Management & Privacy Branch
Alberta Department of Public Works, Supply & Services
6950-113 Street
Edmonton, Alberta
T6H 5V7
Telephone: (403) 422-2657
Facsimile: (403) 427-1120


BRITISH COLUMBIA (Updated June 4, 1998)

Since October 1993, the province's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act grants individuals a right of access to information (personal and non-personal) held by the provincial public sector, and regulates the collection, confidentiality, correction, disclosure, retention and use of personal information. Since November 1994, the act also applies to local, municipal and regional governments, and, since November 1995, to self-governing professional bodies. The provincial government also publishes a guide to help applicants locate the desired information.

In addition, the province's Privacy Act (enacted in 1968) grants British Columbia residents civil protection against violations of their territorial and personal privacy.

ABOUT ACCESS PROCEDURES:
Dr. David Flaherty
Information & Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia
1675 Douglas Street, 4th Floor
Victoria, British Columbia
V8V 1X4
Telephone: (250) 387-5629
Facsimile: (250) 387-1696
E-mail: pesmith@gems3.gov.bc.ca
WWW home page URL: http://www.oipcbc.org/


ABOUT THE 1993 ACT:
Ministry of the Attorney General of British Columbia
609 Broughton Avenue
Victoria, British Columbia
V8V 1X4
Telephone: (250) 356-8430.


MANITOBA (Updated June 4, 1998)

Since May 1998, the province's Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act (replacing the 1988 Freedom of Information Act) grants individuals a right of access to information (personal and non- personal) held by the provincial public sector. The act also regulates the collection, confidentiality, correction, disclosure, retention and use of personal information by the provincial public sector. Records are requested directly from the institution which has custody of the information. The provincial government also publishes a guide to help applicants locate the desired information.

In addition, the province's Privacy Act (re-enacted in 1987) grants Manitoba residents civil protection against violations of their territorial and personal privacy.

Since December 1997, Manitoba's Personal Health Information Act regulates the collection, confidentiality, correction, disclosure, retention and use of personal health information by provincial health care organizations and other approved individuals or agencies.

ABOUT ACCESS PROCEDURES & THE 1997 BILLS:
Mr. Barry Tuckett
Ombudsman of Manitoba
500 Portage Avenue, Suite 750
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3C 3X1
Telephone: (204) 786-6483
Facsimile: (204) 942-7803


NEW BRUNSWICK (Updated June 4, 1998)

Since 1978, the province's Right to Information Act grants individuals a right of access to information (non-personal only) held by the provincial public sector, and regulates the confidentiality of personal information. Amendments (not yet in force) made in February 1998 through a new Protection of Personal Information Act will grant individuals a right of access to personal information held by the provincial public sector, and will regulate the collection, confidentiality, correction, disclosure, retention and use of personal information. Records are requested directly from the institution which has custody of the information.

In addition, the provincial government is contemplating additional privacy protection legislation that could either regulate how the province's private sector businesses handle personal information, or grant New Brunswick residents civil protection against violations of their territorial and personal privacy. Public consultations have begun on the Discussion Paper which the government released on June 1, 1998.

ABOUT ACCESS PROCEDURES:
Ms. Ellen King
Ombudsman of New Brunswick
703 Brunswick Street
P.O. Box 6000
Fredericton, New Brunswick
E3B 5H1
Telephone: (506)453-2789
Toll-free in New Brunswick (800) 561-4021
Facsimile: (506) 457-7896


NEWFOUNDLAND (Updated June 4, 1998)

Since 1982, the province's Freedom of Information Act grants individuals a right of access to information (personal and non-personal) held by the provincial public sector, and regulates the confidentiality of personal information. Records are requested directly from the institution which has custody of the information. The provincial government also publishes a list of general classes of information available.

In addition, the province's Privacy Act (1981) grants Newfoundland residents civil protection against violations of their territorial and personal privacy.

ABOUT THE ACTS:
Director of Public Prosecutions
Department of Justice of Newfoundland
Confederation Building
P.O. Box 8700
St. John's, Newfoundland
A1B 4J6
Telephone: (709) 729-5942
Facsimile: (709) 576-2129


NORTHWEST TERRITORIES (Updated June 4, 1998)

Since January 1997, the territory's Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Bill 6) grants individuals a right of access to information (personal and non-personal) held by the territorial public sector. The act also regulates the collection, confidentiality, correction, disclosure, retention and use of personal information. Records are requested directly from the institution which has custody of the information. The territorial government also publishes a guide to assist the public.

ABOUT ACCESS PROCEDURES :
Mrs. Elaine Keenam-Bengts
Information and Privacy Commissioner of the Northwest Territories
5018-47th Street
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
X1A 2N2
Telephone : (867) 669-0976
Facsimile : (867) 920-2511


ABOUT THE ACT:
Minister of Justice of the Northwest Territories
Department of the Executive
P.O. Box 1320
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
X1A 2L9
Telephone: (403) 669-2366
Facsimile: (403) 873-0169


NOVA SCOTIA (Updated June 4, 1998)

Since November 1993, a new Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act(Bill 55) has replaced the old 1990 Freedom of Information Act. The act grants individuals a right of access to information (personal and non-personal) held by the provincial public sector. The act also regulates the collection, confidentiality, correction, disclosure, retention and use of personal information. Records are requested directly from the institution which has custody of the information. The provincial government also publishes a guide to help applicants locate the desired information.

ABOUT ACCESS PROCEDURES:
Mr. Darce Fardy
Review Officer of Nova Scotia
3-1601 Lower Water Street
P.O. Box 1692, Postal Unit M
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3J 3S3
Telephone: (902) 424-4448
Facsimile: (902) 424-3919


ABOUT THE ACT:
Office of the Legislative Counsel
Howe Building, 9th Floor
P.O. Box 1116
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3J 2X1
Telephone: (902) 424-8941


ONTARIO (Updated July 23, 1998)

Since 1988, the province's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act grants individuals a right of access to information (personal and non-personal) held by the provincial public sector. The act also regulates the collection, confidentiality, correction, disclosure, retention and use of personal information. Since 1991, a Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act applies in a similar fashion to the local, municipal and regional governments. Records are requested directly from the institution which has custody of the information. The provincial government also publishes a guide to help applicants locate the desired information.

ABOUT ACCESS PROCEDURES:
Ms. Ann Cavoukian
Information & Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
80 Bloor Street West, Suite 1700
Toronto,Ontario
M5S 2V1
Telephone: (416) 326-3333
Toll-free in Ontario (800) 387-0073
Facsimile: (416) 325-9175
WWW home page URL http://www.ipc.on.ca


ABOUT THE ACTS:
Freedom of Information & Privacy Branch
Management Board of Cabinet
Secretariat of Ontario
56 Wellesley Street West, 18th Floor
Toronto, Ontario
M5S 2S3
Telephone: (416) 327-2084.


PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND (Updated June 2, 1998)

There is no access to information and privacy legislation yet. In its spring 1994 Throne Speech, the provincial government had indicated that it was considering tabling a bill some time that year, and had set up a Parliamentary Committee to look at the issue. But no action took place until November 1997, when the government tabled a proposed Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Bill 81). This bill, however, is still awaiting second reading in the Legislature.

ABOUT THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE:
Mr. Charlie McKay
Assistant Clerk of the Committee
Legislative Assembly
P.O. Box 200
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
C1A 7N8
Telephone: (902) 368-5970
Fascimile: (902) 368-5175.


QUEBEC (Updated June 4, 1998)

Since 1982, the province's Act Respecting Access to Documents Held by Public Bodies and the Protection of Personal Information grants individuals a right of access to information (personal and non-personal) held by the local, municipal, provincial and regional governments. The act also regulates the collection, confidentiality, correction, disclosure, retention and use of personal information. Records are requested directly from the institution which has custody of the information. The provincial government also publishes a guide to help applicants locate the desired information.

Since 1994, the Act Respecting the Protection of Personal Information in the Private Sector grants individuals a right of access to personal information held by private sector businesses operating in the province of Quebec, and regulates the collection, confidentiality, correction, disclosure, retention and use of these businesses' personal information holdings. Records are requested directly from the business which has custody of the information.

In addition, Quebec's 1994 Civil Code grants all provincial residents similar rights, as well as civil protection against violations of their informational, territorial and personal privacy.

Lastly, the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, which came in force in 1975, enshrines a right to privacy for provincial residents.

ABOUT ACCESS PROCEDURES:
Mr. Paul-André Comeau
Chairman, Commission d'accès à l'information
900 René-Lévesque Boulevard East, Suite 315
Quebec City, Quebec
G1R 2B5
Toll-free in Quebec (888) 528-7741 or collect calls to (418) 528-7741
Facsimile : (418) 529-3102
e-mail : Cai.Communications@cai.gouv.qc.ca
WWW home page URL : http://www.cai.gouv.qc.ca.

MONTREAL ADDRESS:
2, Complexe Desjardins,
East Tower, Suite 3210
P.O. Box 122, Station Desjardins
Montreal, Quebec
H5B 1B2
Collect calls to (514) 282-6346.

ABOUT THE ACTS:
Access to Information Official
Ministère des Relations avec les citoyens et de l'Immigration
900 René-Lévesque Boulevard East, Suite 325
Quebec City,Quebec
G1R 2B5
Telephone : (418) 643-7455
Facsimile : (418) 643-7817


SASKATCHEWAN (Updated June 4, 1998)


Since 1991, the province's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act grants individuals a right of access to information (personal and non-personal) held by the provincial public sector. The act also regulates the collection, confidentiality, correction, disclosure and use of personal information. Since 1993, a Local Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act applies in a similar fashion to the local, municipal and regional governments. Records are requested directly from the institution which has custody of the information. The provincial government also publishes a guide to help applicants locate the desired information.

In addition, the province's Privacy Act (1979) grants Saskatchewan residents civil protection against violations of their territorial and personal privacy.

ABOUT ACCESS PROCEDURES:
Mr. Derril G. McLeod
Information & Privacy Commissioner of Saskatchewan
2220-12 Avenue, Suite 500
P.O. Box 1037
Regina, Saskatchewan
S4P 3B2
Telephone: (306) 787-8350
Facsimile: (306) 757-4858


YUKON (updated June 4, 1998)

Since 1996, the territory's Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act grants individuals a right of access to information (personal and non-personal) held by the territorial public sector. The act also regulates the collection, confidentiality, correction, disclosure, retention and use of personal information. Records are requested through the Territorial Archives from the institution which has custody of the information. The territorial government also publishes a guide to help applicants locate the desired information. (

ABOUT ACCESS PROCEDURES:
Mr. Hank Moorlag
Ombudsman and Information & Privacy Commissioner of the Yukon
P.O. Box 2703
Whitehorse, Yukon Territory
Y1A 2C6
Telephone: (403) 667-8468
Facsimile: (403) 667-8469

[1998.28.07]#3698


Home page | What we do | Reach us | Publications | Whats New | Conference 96 | Other Privacy Protection