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Freedom of Information  

All municipalities in Ontario are subject to the  Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act  (MFIPPA).  Haldimand County is also subject to the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA)  as it relates to the County’s long term care facility (Grandview Lodge) and Emergency Services.  These Acts provide a right of access to information under the custody and control of the County and protect the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information about themselves.  

Persons wishing to access records in the custody and control of Haldimand County are encouraged to first contact the municipality and request the information through normal inquiry channels. If access to the information is not available through these channels, individuals may make a formal written request under the applicable Act.  

 Routine Disclosure of Building Records

In an effort to ensure an appropriate balance between ease of access and the protection of privacy and confidential information, Haldimand County has implemented a  routine disclosure of records pertaining to a structure/property in Haldimand County.  Current property owners, or individuals with written consent of the current property owner, may submit a request to obtain records related to surveys, plans, drawings, applications, permits, engineering reports, orders, and zoning verification related to a specific property.  Requests for routine disclosure of these types of records must be submitted on the appropriate application form.  Records that are not covered through this routine disclosure process, may still be accessed through a formal Freedom of Information (FOI) request. 

Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA)  

The two main purposes of MFIPPA are:  

       a.   to provide the right of access to information held by institutions covered by the Act; subject to limited and specific
             exemptions; and
       b.   to protect the privacy of individuals with respect to their personal information held by government institutions.

The Clerks Division administers the Act on behalf of Haldimand County.  

 Requests for Information under the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA)  

PHIPA applies to municipal services that involve the collection of personal health information.  The Act defines personal health information as any form of identifying information about an individual’s physical or mental health.  This Act’s purposes are: 

       a.   to establish rules for the collection and disclosure of Personal Health Information 
       b.   to protect the privacy of personal health information; and
       c.   to provide individuals with the right to access and to correct or amend their personal health information subject to
             limited and specific exemptions.

How to Make a Request   

To request records under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act or the Personal Health Information Protection Act, follow these steps:

                Step 1: Complete the County’s Access or Correction Request Form, or write a letter stating that you are requesting information under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act OR Personal Health Information Protection Act. Requesters should provide as much detail as they can about the records sought.

                Step 2: Forward the completed request form or letter to the attention of the County’s Freedom of Information Coordinator. A $5 non-refundable application fee must accompany your request, payable to Haldimand County. Send the completed request form and payment to: 

Attn: Deputy Clerk / FOI Coordinator
45 Munsee Street North, P.O. Box 400
Cayuga, ON  N0A 1E0 

Usually, a request is processed within 30 calendar days. This means that the County must either provide access to the requested record or provide notification to the requestor that the information is exempt under the specific provisions of the Act. If the County requires a time extension for any reason, the requestor must be notified.

Fees Associated with Requests  

In addition to the non-refundable, $5.00 application fee that must accompany all applications, the following fees may also apply to requests:

  •  Time spent manually searching for records: $7.50 per ¼ hour
  •  Records Preparation: $7.50 per ¼ required to prepare records for release
  •  Photocopying and Computer Printouts: $0.20 per page
  •  Floppy/Hard Disk: $10.00 for each disk
  •  Computer Programming: $15.00 per ¼ hour if necessary to develop a computer program to retrieve information
  •  Appeal Fee: $25.00 to be paid to the Information and Privacy Commission of Ontario if an appeal is filed

 You will be given a fee estimate if anticipated fees are $25.00 or more.  If the estimate of fees to be paid is $100.00 or more, you may be required to pay an initial deposit of 50%. 

Appealing the County’s Response 

If you have received a response to your request from the County and are not satisfied with the decision that was reached, you may request that the decision be reviewed within 30 days of receiving the decision by sending a completed Appeal Form or letter to the Information and Privacy Commission for Ontario.  The appeal should include:  

       a.   your name, address and telephone
       b.   Haldimand County’s name and the file number
       c.   a copy of Haldimand County’s decision
       d.   a copy of the request; and 
       e.   a brief explanation of the basis for the appeal 

In addition, you must send an appeal fee. If your request was for your personal information, the appeal fee is $10. The appeal fee for all other requests for information is $25. Please include either a cheque or money order with your appeal, payable to the Minister of Finance.

 Please submit your appeal to:
 
IPC Registrar
Information and Privacy Commission/Ontario
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, ON  M4W 1A8 

Telephone: 1-800-387-0073

For more information about the appeal process, please visit the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) of Ontario’s website at www.ipc.on.ca..

Video Surveillance and Notification of Collection of Personal Information under MFIPPA 

When utilized with other security measures, video surveillance is an effective means of ensuring the security and safety of County facilities, the individuals who use them, and the assets housed within them. Video surveillance cameras are found in various County locations including Libraries, Grandview Lodge, Facilities and Parks as well as Waste Water Treatment Facilities. Under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the recorded image of an individual is considered personal information.

The personal information collected by the use of the County's video surveillance cameras is collected under the authority of the Municipal Act and the County’s Security Video Surveillance Systems Policy 2014-03.  The information is used for the purpose of public safety, aiding the risk management insurance program and reducing crime at County facilities.

Individuals wishing to access a recording from one of the County’s surveillance cameras may do so through the Freedom of Information request process as outlined above.  

How to Contact Us 

If you wish to obtain more information, make an information request, or speak to someone about privacy issues, please contact:

Deputy Clerk/FOI Coordinator
Haldimand County
45 Munsee Street North, P.O. Box 400
Cayuga, ON  N0A 1E0 

Tel: 905-318-5932, ext. 6362
Fax: 905-772-3542
FOI@haldimandcounty.on.ca 

How to File a Privacy Complaint 

You also have the right to complain to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario if you think that your privacy has been infringed on by the County. The Commissioner can be reached at:

Ontario Information and Privacy Commission
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, ON  M4W 1A8
 

Tel: 416-326-3333
Fax: 416-325-9195
E-mail: info@ipc.on.ca
Web: www.ipc.on.ca 

 

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