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Freedom of Information

The Clerks Division for the City of Owen Sound responds to all Municipal Freedom of Information requests made under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Clerks staff ensure that each request follows the appropriate processes, and meets all deadlines and notification processes as outlined in the Act.

Freedom of Information requests are accepted electronically, by mail, and in person. 

To make a request electronically, please complete the online Access to Records Request Form. Once submitted, you will be instructed in the acknowledgement email whom to contact at City Hall to process the $5.00 access fee by credit card over the phone.

To make a request by mail or in person, please print and fill out the PDF version of the application and submit to:

Clerks Division
City of Owen Sound
808 2nd Avenue East
Owen Sound, ON N4K 2H4 

A mail or in-person submission must be accompanied by a $5.00 access fee, which can be paid by cash, cheque, debit or credit card. Cheques should be made payable to the City of Owen Sound.

When filling out the Access to Records Request Form, please remember to include enough detail in your description that an experienced employee can identify the record(s) that you are seeking. If the City requires clarification of the request, a staff member will contact you.

The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act came into effect on January 1, 1991 and applies to municipalities and local boards termed “institutions” under the Act.

For the purposes of fulfilling the duties assigned under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the City Clerk has been delegated the responsibilities and powers of performing the duties as the “head” within the meaning of the Act.

The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act is divided into four parts:

  • Part One – Freedom of Information
  • Part Two – Protection of Individual Privacy
  • Part Three – Appeal Procedures
  • Part Four – General information

This Act provides individuals the right of access to both corporate records and their own personal information maintained by the City of Owen Sound. The Act also provides for the protection of personal information that has been collected by the City of Owen Sound.

The Information and Privacy Commissioner is appointed under ss. 4(1) of the Provincial Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and is an officer of the Legislature independent of the Government or any institution. The Information and Privacy Commission (IPC) hears appeals and assists institutions to meet their obligations under the Act.

A record means any record of information however recorded, whether in printed form, on film, by electronic means or otherwise, and includes correspondence, a memorandum, a book, a plan, a map, a drawing, a diagram, a pictorial or graphic work, a photograph, a film, a microfilm, a sound recording, a videotape, a machine readable record, any other documentary material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, and any copy thereof. This also includes any record that is capable of being produced from a machine readable record under the control of an institution by means of computer hardware and software or any other information storage equipment and technical expertise normally used by the institution.

Requestors should note that not all records, or portions of records, are readily accessible as some records may fall into one of the exemptions listed in the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. In some cases, it is necessary to protect the confidentiality of a record(s) of interest to the City or third parties. Some records will not be released in order to protect the personal information contained in the records that the City holds.

If the request is for your own personal information, proof of identification is required. Please include a photocopy of a piece of your identification bearing your signature when submitting your request.

If you are acting as an agent for an individual other than yourself, please include a letter of consent duly signed and dated from that individual authorizing you to act on his/her behalf.

For further information, you may contact us at 519-376-4440 ext. 1222.

In addition to the access fee and depending on the nature of your request and the volume of records requested, there may be additional fees associated with your request, such as:

  • Photocopies and computer printouts, $0.20 per page.
  • Manually searching a record, $7.50 for each 15 minutes spent by a person (n/a for accessing your own personal information).
  • Preparing a record for disclosure, including severing a part of the record, $7.50 for each 15 minutes spent by any person (n/a for accessing your own personal information).
  • Developing a computer program or other method of producing a record from a machine readable record, $15 for each 15 minutes spent by any person.
  • Costs, including computer costs, that the institution incurs in locating, retrieving, processing, and copying the personal information requested if those costs are specified in an invoice that the institution has received.

If you are not satisfied with the decision given by the City, under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, you may appeal that decision to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario online at www.ipc.on.ca within 30 days of receipt of the decision letter and request a review. The appeal fee is $10.00 for personal information requests and $25.00 for all other requests. Or, you may mail the appeal form together with a cheque or money order for the applicable fee to:

Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
2 Bloor Street East
Suite 1400
Toronto, ON M4W 1A8
416-326-3333 or 1-800-387-0073
E-mail: info@ipc.on.ca

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