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Submit an information or privacy request

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Who is eligible for this service

Canadian citizens, permanent residents and people with an address in Canada have the right to request information or privacy reports. Corporations, businesses and organizations with a Canadian presence have the right to make an Access to Information request.

Canadians living abroad are required to provide proof of citizenship. If you don’t fall into these categories, you may have an eligible individual submit a request on your behalf.

Informal requests

The information you want can often be obtained informally simply by asking the government department.

Informal requests for information are direct lines of communication between departmental programs and the public. They’re the initial channel to receive departmental information.

Asking if the information is available informally can spare the time and cost of a formal procedure. To direct your informal information request, contact our communications office:

What you need before you start

To make a formal request under the Access to Information Act or the Privacy Act, you’ll need to send a signed letter (with all required consent forms attached) using the request form below or complete the Access to Information Request online form.

You’ll also need to pay the $5 application fee. The fee is payable by VISA, Mastercard, money order or cheque payable to the Receiver General of Canada. There are no fees for privacy requests.

There are no fees for Privacy requests.

DFO has records relating to the development and implementation of policies and programs in support of Canada’s scientific, ecological, social and economic interests in oceans and fresh waters. Specific details are illustrated in our annual Info Source publication.

If you believe another government institution may have the information you want, this page lists all federal government institutions and the information they hold.

Completing your request form

Concise and specific requests help reduce delays, costs and volume.

Avoid asking for all the information on a subject unless you really want it all. Narrowing your request will produce faster results. If possible, provide a concise date range and identify the key individuals or offices from which you wish to receive records.

You don’t need to explain why you’re asking for the information, but it may help staff find just the material you’re looking for. It may be possible to review the material yourself and to select only what interests you.

Be sure to include your phone number on your request and ask the department to call you for any necessary clarification.

Submit your request

You can submit access to information or personal information requests through the Access to Information and Privacy Online Request Service.

Mail your request

To mail in a formal Access to Information or Privacy request, complete your own signed written letter or use one of our forms:

Include your postal code and email address in your request.

By mail

Access to Information and Privacy Secretariat
200 Kent St
Mailstation 4N193
Ottawa ON K1A 0E6

By email

Complaints investigations

The Information Commissioner investigates complaints about how federal institutions process and respond to requests under the Access to Information Act, Canada’s freedom of information legislation. The Commissioner provides arms-length oversight of the federal government’s access to information practices, working with institutions to ensure they meet their obligations under the Act. The Commissioner has a full range of tools, activities and powers which are negotiating with complainants and institutions without the need for formal investigations, and making formal recommendations and/or issuing order to resolve matters at the conclusion of investigations.

Privacy Notice Statement

Personal information is collected under the authority of the Access to Information Act or Privacy Act for the purposes of:

Personal information may also be used:

Aggregate information, which does not identify individuals, is used to report to Parliament on the administration of the Acts. Non-personal information may be used to provide reports on Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) activities to management, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and other institutions. Information may also be used for research, planning, audit and evaluation purposes.

In some cases, information may be disclosed without an individual's consent for purposes authorized under subsection 8(2) of the Privacy Act.

Failure to provide sufficient information may preclude the processing of your Access to Information or Privacy Act request.

Personal information is protected in accordance with the provisions of the Privacy Act. The Act also gives individuals the right of access to and correction of their personal information. Details on these matters are outlined in the foreword section of Info Source.

Individuals given access to their personal information under the Privacy Act are entitled to:

If you wish to avail yourself of this right, or if you require clarification about this notice, please contact the ATIP Director.

The personal information collected is described in Personal Information Bank PSU 901, Access to Information and Privacy, and will be retained for a minimum of two (2) years from the last administrative action on the file.

For more information on privacy issues and the Privacy Act in general, please consult the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

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