Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP)
- Our Guiding Principles
- Accessing Information, Where Do I Start?
- Does It Cost Anything?
- How Long Does It Take?
- How Do I Submit A Formal Access to Information or Privacy Request?
- Request Forms
- Completed Access to Information Requests
- Info Source
- Contact Us
The mandate of Environment Canada's Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) is to administer the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. The ATIP Office also ensures that Environment Canada respects legislative and central agency policies and procedures.
The purpose of the Access to Information Act is to provide a right of access to records, in any format, held under the control of government institutions and subject to certain specific and limited exceptions - to citizens and permanent residents of Canada as well as to individuals who are present in Canada. The Act upholds the principles that government information should be available to the public; that exceptions to the right of access should be limited and specific and, that decisions on the disclosure of government information should be reviewed independently of government.
The Privacy Act is intended to protect the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information about themselves held by a government institution and to provide individuals with a right of access to their personal information. This Act provides individuals with a basic right to know why their information is collected by the government, how it will be used, how long it will be kept and to whom access will be provided. In addition, under this Act, individuals are entitled to request a correction of the personal information where the person believes there is an error or omission.
Our Guiding Principles
When processing requests under the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, Environment Canada follows ten guiding principles:
- The identity of the requester will not be considered when processing their request.
- Reasonable assistance will be given throughout the request process.
- Information on the access and complaint process will be available.
- Requesters will be informed if their request needs clarification.
- Reasonable effort will be made to locate and retrieve the desired records under the control of Environment Canada.
- Only limited and specific exemptions will be applied to records.
- Accurate and complete responses will be provided.
- Access will be provided in a timely fashion.
- When appropriate, records will be provided in the format and official language requested.
- An appropriate location within the government institution will be made available to examine information. The address of Environment Canada's public reading room is:
National Capital Region
Environment Canada Departmental Library
Place Vincent Massey
351 St-Joseph Boulevard, 2nd floor
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0H3
Accessing Information, Where Do I Start?
There are two types of requests:
- Access to Information Request when seeking information not of a personal nature.
- Personal Information Request when seeking information of a personal nature.
Narrowing your request will produce faster results and keep costs down. Be sure to fully describe the information you are seeking and provide any relevant details that will help us to locate the information.
You can request the information in two ways:
- A formal request is a request made in writing to the government institution that controls the record, which indicates you are requesting access under one of the Acts (either the Access to Information Act or the Privacy Act).
- An informal request for previously released information can be submitted in the form of a signed letter stating clearly what information is being requested. There are no fees and no legislated deadlines associated with informal requests. There is also no recourse for a requester in the event they wish to lodge a complaint.
If you would like to make a formal request under the Access to Information Act or the Privacy Act, follow the instructions listed in How Do I Submit a Formal Access to Information or Privacy Request.
Does it cost anything?
There is a $5.00 application fee for each formal request filed under the Access to Information Act (money order or cheque payable to the Receiver General of Canada). Payments can also be made by credit card by contacting the EC ATIP Office. This fee includes five hours of search time. There may be additional fees or charges applied depending on the request (i.e. search and preparation time in excess of five hours, copies).
There are no fees for accessing your own personal information under the Privacy Act.
All fees must be paid in full before information will be disclosed to you.
How long does it take?
The Department has 30 calendar days in which to respond to a formal request. If a lengthy or complex search is required to locate the information or if consultations are necessary, the department is allowed an extension beyond the initial 30 calendar day response time. You will be notified in writing of any extensions.
How Do I Submit a Formal Access to Information or Privacy Request?
Print and fill out the Access to Information Request Form (PDF) or the Personal Information Request Form (PDF). Each Access to Information request must be accompanied by the $5.00 application fee. Payment may be in the form of a cheque or money order payable to the Receiver General of Canada.
There are no application fees for requests made under the Privacy Act.
Alternatively, you may submit a letter containing the following:
- A statement that you are making a request pursuant to the Access to Information Act or the Privacy Act;
- A description, as detailed as possible, of the records you wish to access (if necessary, consult Environment Canada's Info Source chapter)
- Your name, complete address, telephone number; and
- Date and signature.
Access to Information Request Form
Personal Information Request Form
Send your request and fee (if applicable) to:
10 Wellington, 27th floor
Gatineau (Québec) K1A 0H3
Department of Justice Canada
Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada
Contact the ATIP Office at email@example.com to obtain a copy of recent Access to Information and Privacy annual reports.
Completed Access to Information Requests
View summaries of completed Access to Information requests.
If you have any questions pertaining to the Access to Information and/or Privacy Acts or any other ATIP related matter please do not hesitate to contact us at:
Les Terrasses de la Chaudière
10 Wellington Street, 4th floor
Gatineau (Québec) K1A 0H3
General Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
ATIP Fax: (819) 953-1099
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