The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 1990 (MFIPPA) has been in effect since January 1st, 1991. This legislation regulates and controls the information that is made available to the public and provides a formal procedure to request records. The Act not only provides rights to the public to gain access to Municipal records, but also protects the privacy of individuals.

The purpose of the legislation is to provide a right of access to information. The Act allows access to records held by the municipality in accordance with the following principles:

  • Information should be made available to the public;
  • Individuals should have access to their own personal information;
  • Exceptions to access should be limited and specific;
  • The privacy of individuals with respect to the personal information the municipality collects and maintains shall be protected; and
  • Decisions on the disclosure of government information may be reviewed by the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

The City of Cambridge is committed to the protection of privacy. It manages the collection, use and retention of personal and non-personal information, in compliance with the requirements set out by the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA).

In fostering a cultural of openness and transparency the City of Cambridge is also committed to providing as much information as possible to the public without the need to make a formal Freedom of Information (FOI) request. However, requests for information containing personal information or third-party information may require a formal request.

There are two ways individuals can gain access to information or internal records:

1.     Informal Requests – see Routine Disclosure procedures.

2.     Formal Requests – made to the City of Cambridge Clerk’s Office.

To make a formal request under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA), submit in writing or complete the City’s Access Request Form and forward to the Office of the City Clerk. Requests may be dropped off in person, placed in the overnight drop box or can be mailed to the following:

City of Cambridge
Attn: Clerks Office/FOI
50 Dickson Street
Cambridge, ON N1R 5W8

Please note that a $5.00 non refundable Administration Fee much be accompanied with the Access Request Form. Please make your cheque or money order Payable to the City of Cambridge. We are unable to accept electronic payments at this time.

 What is Personal Information 
Personal information is defined as recorded information about an identifiable individual, including:
  • Information relating to race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation or marital or family status;
  • Information relating to the education or the medical, psychiatric, psychological, criminal or employment history of an individual or information relating to financial transactions in which the individual has been involved;
  • Any identifying number, symbol or other particular assigned to the individual;
  • The address, telephone number, fingerprints, or blood type of the individual;
  • The personal opinions or views of the individual except if they relate to another individual;
  • Correspondence sent to an institution by the individual that is implicitly or explicitly of a private or confidential nature and replies to that correspondence that would reveal the contents of the original correspondence;
  • The views or opinions of another individual about the individual;
  • The individual's name if it appears with other personal information relating to the individual or where the disclosure of the name would reveal other personal information about the individual.

Questions regarding Personal Information can be addressed to the Supervisor of Information Management and Archives at 519-740-4680, ext. 4583 or at FOI@cambridge.ca.

 Protection of Privacy
The protection of personal privacy in the day-to-day operations of an institution is one of the key principles of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA).

The privacy principles outlined in Part II of MFIPPA reflects internationally accepted fair information practices, and are based on two beliefs:

  • That an individual has the right to control their own personal information
  • That the privacy rules governing the collection, use, disclosure, retention and disposal of personal information are necessary.

These privacy rules apply to all personal information in the custody or control of institutions regardless of whether an access request has been made, with the exception of public records and certain labour relations records.

The City of Cambridge is committed to upholding the standards of privacy established within MFIPPA. City Staff are provided with the necessary training with regard to the collection, use, disclosure, retention and disposal of personal information.

If you believe your personal information has been misused or unlawfully disclosed, please contact the Supervisor of Information Management and Archives at 519-740-4680, ext. 4583 or at FOI@cambridge.ca.

 Notice of Collection 
The City often needs to collect and use your personal information in order to provide the programs and services you depend on.

The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) establishes that the City must give notice each time there is a collection of personal information. The notice of collection must state:

  • The legal authority for the collection of personal information;
  • The reason for the collection of personal information and how the personal information will be used; and,
  • Who to contact for more information on the collection and use of the personal information.

Questions regarding the Notice of Collection can be addressed to the Supervisor of Information Management and Archives at 519-740-4680, ext. 4583 or at FOI@cambridge.ca.

 How is Personal Information Used & Disclosed 
The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) establishes that the City may only disclose your personal information in the following circumstances:
  • You have consented to the disclosure;
  • For the purpose for which the personal information was obtained or compiled or for a consistent purpose;
  • Where the disclosure is necessary and proper in the discharge of the City’s functions;
  • For the purpose of complying with legislation;
  • For law enforcement purposes;
  • In compelling circumstances affecting the health or safety of an individual;
  • In compassionate circumstances, to facilitate contact with the next of kin or a friend of an individual who is injured, ill or deceased;
  • To the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario; and,
  • To the Government of Canada in order to facilitate the auditing of shared cost programs.

Questions regarding the Use and Disclosure of Personal Information can be addressed to the Supervisor of Information Management and Archives at 519-740-4680, ext. 4583 or at FOI@cambridge.ca.

 Request a Correction to Personal Information 
Individuals have a right of access to one’s own personal information and are entitled to:
  • request correction of the personal information if the individual believes there is an error or omission;
  • require that a statement of disagreement be attached to the information reflecting any correction that was requested but not made; and
  • require that any person or body to whom the personal information has been disclosed within the year before the time a correction is requested or a statement of disagreement is required be notified of the correction or statement of disagreement.  R.S.O. 1990, c. M.56, s. 36.

If you believe the record is incorrect, you can request that the information be corrected. If your request is refused, you may ask that a statement of disagreement be attached to the information. The statement of disagreement will appear each time the record is accessed, and city staff will be aware that there is a dispute as to its accuracy.

Questions regarding a Correction to Personal Information can be addressed to the Supervisor of Information Management and Archives at 519-740-4680, ext. 4583 or at FOI@cambridge.ca.

 Report a Privacy Concern / Privacy Complaint 
If an individual is of the opinion that an institution has improperly collected, used, disclosed, retained or disposed of their personal information, that individual has a right to request an investigation into the matter by the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.

It is considered a breach of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act to violate any of the privacy provisions outlined in Part II of the legislation. Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. M.56.

If you feel the security of your personal information under the custody and control of the City of Cambridge has been violated, we encourage you to contact the Supervisor of Information Management and Archives at 519-740-4680, ext. 4583 or at FOI@cambridge.ca.

Every attempt is made to resolve a privacy complaint informally through a resolution that is mutually satisfactory to both the complainant and to the City. Sometimes a simple explanation may help to alleviate the concerns that an individual may have. However, the individual still holds the right to contact the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario if they choose to submit a formal complaint.

 Routine Disclosure 
Routine Disclosure, one of the key principles of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) is that “information should be available to the public”, is the release of certain types of records in response to an informal rather than formal request under the Act.

In an effort to engage citizens and become more open and transparent, the City will proactively provide the public with access to the information that matters most to them. The practice of Routine Disclosure is a cost-effective and client friendly way of providing information to the public.

Policy GOV 005 - Routine Disclosure

The City and its departments will provide greater public access to information by making certain records routinely available in response to informal requests for access or by means of periodically releasing certain records.

This Routine Disclosure process will not require the submission of formal access to information requests under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA).

The City of Cambridge currently has Routine Disclosure procedures in place for the following departments:

  • Building Department
  • Planning Department
  • Engineering Department.

Request for Routine Disclosure Form

Questions regarding Routine Disclosure related to Building, Planning and Engineering can be addressed to:

Community Development Department
Building, Planning & Engineering
50 Dickson Street, 3rd Floor
Cambridge ON N1R 5W8
P: 519-623-1340
www.cambridge.ca

Questions regarding Routine Disclosure for all other departments can be addressed to the Supervisor of Information Management and Archives at 519-740-4680, ext. 4583 or at FOI@cambridge.ca.

 Camera Use
The City of Cambridge recognizes the need to balance an individual’s right to privacy and the need for the safety and security of its residents, visitors, municipal employees and property while integrating best practices with a responsible use of technology to minimize privacy intrusions.

The use of cameras, is undertaken in accordance with the City of Cambridge Guidelines for the Use of Corporate Cameras Policy ADM 033 Use of Corporate Camera Policy which was developed in accordance with the privacy provisions of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA).

Personal information is collected for security purposes in and around facilities that are operated by the City of Cambridge to ensure the safety and security of users and visitors.

Questions regarding the Use of Cameras can be addressed to the Supervisor of Information Management and Archives at 519-740-4680, ext. 4583 or at FOI@cambridge.ca.

 Submitting an Access Request 
Access Process:

Requests can be submitted by mail, in-person or dropped off to the night mail slot. Please note that we are unable to accept online submissions at this time.

All requests must be submitted in writing accompanied with the non-refundable $5 application fee as required under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

**If you are requesting records or information that contain your own personal information, proof of identity must be provided.

Please submit your letter or Access Request Form together with a non-refundable $5.00 cheque/money order payable to the City of Cambridge to:

City Clerk’s Office / FOI
Corporate Services
50 Dickson Street
Cambridge ON N1R 5W8

Fees:

A head shall require the person who makes a request for access to a record to pay fees in the amounts prescribed by the regulations for,

  • the costs of every hour of manual search required to locate a record;
  • the costs of preparing the record for disclosure;
  • computer and other costs incurred in locating, retrieving, processing and copying a record;
  • shipping costs; and
  • any other costs incurred in responding to a request for access to a record.

SUMMARY OF FEE CHARGES FOR GENERAL INFORMATION REQUESTS

Application fee:                  $5.00 to be paid when your request is submitted

Search time:                        $7.50 per ¼ hour (15 mins) required to search and retrieve records

Record preparation:           $7.50 per ¼ hour (15 mins) required to prepare records for release

Photocopying:                     $0.20 per page

Computer Programming:  $15.00 per ¼ hour (15 mins) if needed to develop program to retrieve information

CD / USB:                             $10.00 each

Fee Estimates

Fee estimates will be provided if the anticipated fees are $25.00 or more.

If the fee estimate is $100.00 or more, a requestor will be required to pay a 50% deposit prior to us processing the records.

If you disagree with any aspect of the fees or fees estimate you may request a review that this fee estimate be reviewed by the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

Information Privacy Commissioner
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto ON N4W 1A8

http://www.ipc.on.ca

Time Limits:

In general, access requests must be responded to within 30 calendar days from the date a complete request is received. A complete request is one which has been clarified or one which provides sufficient detail to allow the institution to understand what information is being requested.

Appeals to the City’s Decision:

Decisions are based on exemptions and criteria for denying records to a request and if you disagree with the City’s decision you can file an appeal within 30 days of that decision.

Appeals are filed through the Information & Privacy Commissioner Office at https://www.ipc.on.ca/.

Information Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, ON M4W 1A8
Toll Free: 1-800-387-0073
TDD/TTY: 416-325-7539

Contact Information:

The Corporation of the City of Cambridge

City Clerk’s Office
50 Dickson Street
Cambridge ON N1R 5W8
519-740-4680 ext. 4583

FOI@cambridge.ca

Information Privacy Commissioner of Ontario

2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, ON M4W 1A8
Toronto Area: 416-326-3333
Toll Free: 1-800-387-0073
TDD/TTY: 416-325-7539

http://www.ipc.on.ca

 

Resources:

  • Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. (link to MFIPPA legislation)

https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90m56

  • Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC)

https://www.ipc.on.ca/