The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA – the “Act”) provides the public a right of access to all records that are under the custody and control of the Town, with limited exceptions. The Act, however, is not intended that staff undertake compiled and summarized research in order to answer specific questions. Before you make a formal request, please contact the Town department that may have the information you are seeking, as some routine information may be released upon a verbal request.
The Act also protects your right to personal privacy by regulating how the Town collects, uses and discloses a wide range of personal information. The Town must ensure collection and use of personal information only for Town business purposes (i.e. for the reason it was collected) and the protection and security of that information.
Under the Act, and the Community Charter, public bodies must make available to the public, without a request for access, specific types of records such as:
- Council Agendas and Minutes
- Committee Agendas and Minutes
- Financial Plans
- Statements of Financial Information (SOFI)
- Annual Reports
- Official Community Plan & Maps
- Zoning Bylaw & Maps
There are also records that are routinely requested by the public which include information regarding information related to building permits, property taxes, utilities, business licenses, etc. and can be released, with some exceptions. There may be fees associated with providing these documents and some of these are available from the Town’s website. Call Town Hall at 250-656-1184 for guidance on accessing this information.
The Act also includes specific exceptions to disclosure and therefore certain types of records are to be protected and not made available to the public such as: third party personal information, third party business information, legal advice given to the Town, law enforcement material, deliberations of Council that are authorized to be held in “closed” meetings, etc.
If the records you are seeking are not routinely available, you may submit a Request for Access to Information in writing. The request should provide sufficient detail (simple, clear and focused) to reduce processing time and possible service fees. The Town is required to respond to your request within 30 business days, however every effort is made to make the records available to you sooner, if possible.
Depending on what you ask for, you may not get access to all information contained within the records and you will be advised of the reasons. If you are not satisfied with the Town’s response to your request, you have the right to request the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner to review the matter.
The Town may charge fees (as per Schedule 1 of the Act) for the costs of providing applicants with records. Also, as per the Town’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Bylaw, a 50% deposit required before a request is processed.
Local governments are required to protect personal information in their custody or control. The Town is committed to ensuring personal information is collected, used, disclosed and disposed of responsibly and lawfully. Personal information is treated with a high degree of confidentiality and is only used by Town employees to fulfill the purpose for which it was originally collected. For questions regarding the Town’s privacy management procedures, please contact the Corporate Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.