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Freedom of Information

The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) provides a process to access the general records held by municipalities and an individual's own personal information. The spirit of the Act is to create an open and accountable government by providing as much information as possible to the public, while ensuring that their personal privacy is protected. A request under this Act is commonly known as an FOI (Freedom of Information) Request.

Routine Access to Municipal Records

The City makes some municipal records accessible to the public without a FOI request. To access records and information you should always first contact the department who has the records and information you are looking for. Department staff will determine if:

  • the records can be supplied to you directly through an informal process
  • the request should be a formal FOI request
  • the records can be supplied to you through their department's routine disclosure practice (fees may apply)

Rules governing access and release of information are outlined within MFIPPA and apply to both formal and informal requests.

You may be able to request the following records without a formal FOI request (exceptions may apply):

Commonly Requested Records Requiring a FOI

The following types or records are commonly requested by a formal FOI Request:

  • Ontario Works files (including files of Haliburton County residents)
  • Incident Reports by the Kawartha Lakes Fire Rescue Service
  • Municipal Law Enforcement case files
  • Building Department Inspection files for properties that are not your own
  • Public Works records regarding maintenance of roads
  • Other City-held records that may contain personal information, or where another exemption under MFIPPA may apply

Making a Formal FOI Request

Freedom of Information Access Request Form

All formal FOI requests must:

  • be made in writing on the Freedom of Information Access Request Form containing:
    • an original signature
    • a clear description of the records requested (Note: to avoid clarifications, we recommend making a numbered list of requested records instead of a list of questions)
    • a time frame the records may be from
    • your contact information
  • include the $5.00 application fee (payable by cheque via mail, or made in person by cash, debit, or credit)
    • additional fees will apply if records are found ($30/hour for search, $30/hour for preparation/redaction, and $0.20 per page)
    • No search or preparation fees will be charged for requests of your own personal information
    • If fees are anticipated to exceed $100, you will receive a fee estimate and be requested to supply a 50% deposit before the search for records begins
  • include the following additional information if you are acting as a legal professional on behalf of a client:
    • a signed letter of consent to act on his/her behalf; and
    • a photocopy of a piece of your clients identification with a signature (such as a driver's licence) for verification purposes

Deliver all of the above material to in person to Kawartha Lakes City Hall, or any Municipal Service Centre if accessing City Hall is difficult for you.

You may also mail or send by courier all of the above information to:

Kawartha Lakes City Hall
26 Francis Street
PO Box 9000
Lindsay, ON  K9V 5R8
Attn: Office of the City Clerk

The City Clerk's Office will process the request by following the regulations in MFIPPA. Normally requests are processed within 30 days, however, extensions may be requested due to the volume of records. The 30 day time line does not apply if records contain third party information.

If you have questions about the formal FOI process, feel free to contact the City Clerk's Office by email, or call 705-324-9411 ext. 1322

New to the 'FOI' Process?

If you've never made a Formal Access Request to a government institution, the process can seem difficult to understand at first. The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario has provided a helpful podcast to listen to assist you in Demystifying the FOI Process:

 The process is outlined below:

Freedom of Information Infographic

Affiliated or Similar Government Institutions

The City of Kawartha Lakes does not hold all government information in Kawartha Lakes. You may also seek a Formal FOI request with an affiliated or similar government institutions:


Protection of Privacy

The City of Kawartha Lakes is committed to the Protection of Privacy in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. More information can be found on our Privacy Policy and Statement page.

Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

The Act outlines the process that must be followed and explains exemptions that the City may apply to records prior to releasing them to the requestor. It also sets out an Appeal process should the requestor disagree with the decision made by the City. 

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