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

Act current to 2019-07-01 and last amended on 2019-06-21. Previous Versions

PART 1Access to Government Records (continued)

Office of the Information Commissioner (continued)

General (continued)

Marginal note:Protection of Information Commissioner

  •  (1) No criminal or civil proceedings lie against the Information Commissioner, or against any person acting on behalf or under the direction of the Commissioner, for anything done, reported or said in good faith in the course of the exercise or performance or purported exercise or performance of any power, duty or function of the Commissioner under this Part.

  • Marginal note:Libel or slander

    (2) For the purposes of any law relating to libel or slander,

    • (a) anything said, any information supplied or any document or thing produced in good faith in the course of an investigation by or on behalf of the Information Commissioner under this Part is privileged; and

    • (b) any report made in good faith by the Information Commissioner under this Part and any fair and accurate account of the report made in good faith in a newspaper or any other periodical publication or in a broadcast is privileged.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-1, s. 66
  • 2019, c. 18, s. 39

Offences

Marginal note:Obstruction

  •  (1) No person shall obstruct the Information Commissioner or any person acting on behalf or under the direction of the Commissioner in the performance of the Commissioner’s duties and functions under this Part.

  • Marginal note:Offence and punishment

    (2) Every person who contravenes this section is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-1, s. 67
  • 2019, c. 18, s. 39

Marginal note:Obstructing right of access

  •  (1) No person shall, with intent to deny a right of access under this Part,

    • (a) destroy, mutilate or alter a record;

    • (b) falsify a record or make a false record;

    • (c) conceal a record; or

    • (d) direct, propose, counsel or cause any person in any manner to do anything mentioned in any of paragraphs (a) to (c).

  • Marginal note:Offence and punishment

    (2) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of

    • (a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine not exceeding $10,000, or to both; or

    • (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding $5,000, or to both.

  • 1999, c. 16, s. 1
  • 2019, c. 18, s. 39

Exclusions

Marginal note:Part 1 does not apply to certain materials

 This Part does not apply to

  • (a) published material, other than material published under Part 2, or material available for purchase by the public;

  • (b) library or museum material preserved solely for public reference or exhibition purposes; or

  • (c) material placed in the Library and Archives of Canada, the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian Museum of History, the Canadian Museum of Nature, the National Museum of Science and Technology, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights or the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 by or on behalf of persons or organizations other than government institutions.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-1, s. 68
  • R.S., 1985, c. 1 (3rd Supp.), s. 12
  • 1990, c. 3, s. 32
  • 1992, c. 1, s. 143(E)
  • 2004, c. 11, s. 22
  • 2008, c. 9, s. 5
  • 2010, c. 7, s. 5
  • 2013, c. 38, s. 11
  • 2019, c. 18, s. 31

Marginal note:Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

 This Part does not apply to any information that is under the control of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that relates to its journalistic, creative or programming activities, other than information that relates to its general administration.

  • 2006, c. 9, s. 159
  • 2019, c. 18, s. 39

Marginal note:Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

 This Part does not apply to any information that is under the control of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited other than information that relates to

  • (a) its general administration; or

  • (b) its operation of any nuclear facility within the meaning of section 2 of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act that is subject to regulation by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission established under section 8 of that Act.

  • 2006, c. 9, s. 159
  • 2019, c. 18, s. 39

Marginal note:Confidences of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada

  •  (1) This Part does not apply to confidences of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, including, without restricting the generality of the foregoing,

    • (a) memoranda the purpose of which is to present proposals or recommendations to Council;

    • (b) discussion papers the purpose of which is to present background explanations, analyses of problems or policy options to Council for consideration by Council in making decisions;

    • (c) agenda of Council or records recording deliberations or decisions of Council;

    • (d) records used for or reflecting communications or discussions between ministers of the Crown on matters relating to the making of government decisions or the formulation of government policy;

    • (e) records the purpose of which is to brief ministers of the Crown in relation to matters that are before, or are proposed to be brought before, Council or that are the subject of communications or discussions referred to in paragraph (d);

    • (f) draft legislation; and

    • (g) records that contain information about the contents of any record within a class of records referred to in paragraphs (a) to (f).

  • Definition of Council

    (2) For the purposes of subsection (1), Council means the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, committees of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, Cabinet and committees of Cabinet.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (3) Subsection (1) does not apply to

    • (a) confidences of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada that have been in existence for more than twenty years; or

    • (b) discussion papers described in paragraph (1)(b)

      • (i) if the decisions to which the discussion papers relate have been made public, or

      • (ii) where the decisions have not been made public, if four years have passed since the decisions were made.

  • R.S., 1985, c. A-1, s. 69
  • 1992, c. 1, s. 144(F)
  • 2019, c. 18, s. 39

Marginal note:Certificate under Canada Evidence Act

  •  (1) Where a certificate under section 38.13 of the Canada Evidence Act prohibiting the disclosure of information contained in a record is issued before a complaint is filed under this Part in respect of a request for access to that information, this Part does not apply to that information.

  • Marginal note:Certificate following filing of complaint

    (2) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Part, where a certificate under section 38.13 of the Canada Evidence Act prohibiting the disclosure of information contained in a record is issued after the filing of a complaint under this Part in relation to a request for access to that information,

    • (a) all proceedings under this Part in respect of the complaint, including an investigation, appeal or judicial review, are discontinued;

    • (b) the Information Commissioner shall not disclose the information and shall take all necessary precautions to prevent its disclosure; and

    • (c) the Information Commissioner shall, within 10 days after the certificate is published in the Canada Gazette, return the information to the head of the government institution that controls the information.

  • 2001, c. 41, s. 87
  • 2019, c. 18, s. 39
 
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