Request information from public bodies

Getting started

In Canada, Freedom of Information (FOI) rights are entrenched in the federal Access to Information Act and provincial Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Acts.

These FOI laws give you the following rights:

  • the right of access to government records, with some specified exceptions, and
  • the right to appeal to an independent commissioner if you think a public body has not responded correctly to your access request.

FOI is based on the request of records, so whatever information you are looking for, you must request the records that contain that information. For more information on records, see here. If you are seeking your own personal information, go to How to Request Your Personal Records.

Follow the steps on these pages to learn how to make a request, and what you can expect.

> Step 1: Determine if the information you want are already available