Access to Information Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. A-1)

Act current to 2018-07-05 and last amended on 2018-06-21. Previous Versions

Marginal note:Economic interests of Canada

 The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains

  • (a) trade secrets or financial, commercial, scientific or technical information that belongs to the Government of Canada or a government institution and has substantial value or is reasonably likely to have substantial value;

  • (b) information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to prejudice the competitive position of a government institution or to interfere with contractual or other negotiations of a government institution;

  • (c) scientific or technical information obtained through research by an officer or employee of a government institution, the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to deprive the officer or employee of priority of publication; or

  • (d) information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to be materially injurious to the financial interests of a government institution or to the ability of the Government of Canada to manage the economy of Canada or could reasonably be expected to result in an undue benefit to any person, including such information that relates to

    • (i) the currency, coinage or legal tender of Canada,

    • (ii) a contemplated change in the rate of bank interest or in government borrowing,

    • (iii) a contemplated change in tariff rates, taxes, duties or any other revenue source,

    • (iv) a contemplated change in the conditions of operation of financial institutions,

    • (v) a contemplated sale or purchase of securities or of foreign or Canadian currency, or

    • (vi) a contemplated sale or acquisition of land or property.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-1, s. 18;
  • 2006, c. 9, s. 146.
Marginal note:Economic interests of certain government institutions
  •  (1) The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose a record requested under this Act that contains trade secrets or financial, commercial, scientific or technical information that belongs to, and has consistently been treated as confidential by,

    • (a) the Canada Post Corporation;

    • (b) Export Development Canada;

    • (c) the Public Sector Pension Investment Board; or

    • (d) VIA Rail Canada Inc.

  • Marginal note:Exceptions

    (2) However, the head of a government institution shall not refuse under subsection (1) to disclose a part of a record that contains information that relates to

    • (a) the general administration of an institution referred to in any of paragraphs (1)(a) to (d); or

    • (b) any activity of the Canada Post Corporation that is fully funded out of moneys appropriated by Parliament.

  • 2006, c. 9, s. 147.

Personal Information

Marginal note:Personal information
  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), the head of a government institution shall refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains personal information as defined in section 3 of the Privacy Act.

  • Marginal note:Where disclosure authorized

    (2) The head of a government institution may disclose any record requested under this Act that contains personal information if

    • (a) the individual to whom it relates consents to the disclosure;

    • (b) the information is publicly available; or

    • (c) the disclosure is in accordance with section 8 of the Privacy Act.

  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. I “19”.

Third Party Information

Marginal note:Third party information
  •  (1) Subject to this section, the head of a government institution shall refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains

    • (a) trade secrets of a third party;

    • (b) financial, commercial, scientific or technical information that is confidential information supplied to a government institution by a third party and is treated consistently in a confidential manner by the third party;

    • (b.1) information that is supplied in confidence to a government institution by a third party for the preparation, maintenance, testing or implementation by the government institution of emergency management plans within the meaning of section 2 of the Emergency Management Act and that concerns the vulnerability of the third party’s buildings or other structures, its networks or systems, including its computer or communications networks or systems, or the methods used to protect any of those buildings, structures, networks or systems;

    • (c) information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to result in material financial loss or gain to, or could reasonably be expected to prejudice the competitive position of, a third party; or

    • (d) information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to interfere with contractual or other negotiations of a third party.

  • Marginal note:Product or environmental testing

    (2) The head of a government institution shall not, pursuant to subsection (1), refuse to disclose a part of a record if that part contains the results of product or environmental testing carried out by or on behalf of a government institution unless the testing was done as a service to a person, a group of persons or an organization other than a government institution and for a fee.

  • Marginal note:Methods used in testing

    (3) Where the head of a government institution discloses a record requested under this Act, or a part thereof, that contains the results of product or environmental testing, the head of the institution shall at the same time as the record or part thereof is disclosed provide the person who requested the record with a written explanation of the methods used in conducting the tests.

  • Marginal note:Preliminary testing

    (4) For the purposes of this section, the results of product or environmental testing do not include the results of preliminary testing conducted for the purpose of developing methods of testing.

  • Marginal note:Disclosure if a supplier consents

    (5) The head of a government institution may disclose any record that contains information described in subsection (1) with the consent of the third party to whom the information relates.

  • Marginal note:Disclosure authorized if in public interest

    (6) The head of a government institution may disclose all or part of a record requested under this Act that contains information described in any of paragraphs (1)(b) to (d) if

    • (a) the disclosure would be in the public interest as it relates to public health, public safety or protection of the environment; and

    • (b) the public interest in disclosure clearly outweighs in importance any financial loss or gain to a third party, any prejudice to the security of its structures, networks or systems, any prejudice to its competitive position or any interference with its contractual or other negotiations.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-1, s. 20;
  • 2007, c. 15, s. 8.
Marginal note:Public Sector Pension Investment Board

 The head of the Public Sector Pension Investment Board shall refuse to disclose a record requested under this Act that contains advice or information relating to investment that the Board has obtained in confidence from a third party if the Board has consistently treated the advice or information as confidential.

  • 2006, c. 9, s. 148.
Marginal note:Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

 The head of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board shall refuse to disclose a record requested under this Act that contains advice or information relating to investment that the Board has obtained in confidence from a third party if the Board has consistently treated the advice or information as confidential.

  • 2006, c. 9, s. 148.
Marginal note:National Arts Centre Corporation

 The head of the National Arts Centre Corporation shall refuse to disclose a record requested under this Act if the disclosure would reveal the terms of a contract for the services of a performing artist or the identity of a donor who has made a donation in confidence and if the Corporation has consistently treated the information as confidential.

  • 2006, c. 9, s. 148.

Operations of Government

Marginal note:Advice, etc.
  •  (1) The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains

    • (a) advice or recommendations developed by or for a government institution or a minister of the Crown,

    • (b) an account of consultations or deliberations in which directors, officers or employees of a government institution, a minister of the Crown or the staff of a minister participate,

    • (c) positions or plans developed for the purpose of negotiations carried on or to be carried on by or on behalf of the Government of Canada and considerations relating thereto, or

    • (d) plans relating to the management of personnel or the administration of a government institution that have not yet been put into operation,

    if the record came into existence less than twenty years prior to the request.

  • Marginal note:Exercise of a discretionary power or an adjudicative function

    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of a record that contains

    • (a) an account of, or a statement of reasons for, a decision that is made in the exercise of a discretionary power or an adjudicative function and that affects the rights of a person; or

    • (b) a report prepared by a consultant or an adviser who was not a director, an officer or an employee of a government institution or a member of the staff of a minister of the Crown at the time the report was prepared.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-1, s. 21;
  • 2006, c. 9, s. 149.
 
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