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Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy (FOIPOP)


The Municipal Government Act (MGA) which provides authority for most of the activities and operations of municipal governments in Nova Scotia, also contains provisions relating to freedom of information and protection of privacy (FOIPOP). These provisions are found in Part XX of the Act (The Nova Scotia FOIPOP Act)

The intent of the FOIPOP legislation is to balance two principles:

Freedom of Information (FOI): whenever possible, information held by the Municipality should be made available to the public;

Protection of Privacy (POP): the Municipality should not improperly collect or disclose personal information.

FOIPOP provides that the public have:

  • the right to request access to information held by the Municipality;
  • the right to access personal information about themselves held by the Municipality;
  • the right to request correction to their personal information held by the Municipality;
  • controls on the collection, use and disclosure of personal information, by the Municipality; and
  • the right to request independent review of decisions made under FOIPOP.

During the course of conducting municipal business, a great deal of information is produced and accumulated. The legislation supports the belief that every document held by government, regardless of format, is subject to release to the general public. Exemptions from release are designed to protect against the unreasonable invasion of personal privacy; to prevent unfair advantages occurring in commercial or government transactions; to protect law enforcement activities; and to safeguard the business conducted by government.

Privacy & Access Related to Correspondence from the Public

All records in the custody or under the control of Halifax Regional Police are subject to the provisions of FOIPOP. This includes correspondence addressed to HRP from the public and as such, the correspondence may be disclosed to others than those who were addressed by the correspondence.

FOIPOP legislation tries to balance an individual's right to access records and an individual's right to privacy.

  • E-Mail And Other Electronic Messages - E-mail and other electronic messages sent to those domain names owned by Halifax Regional Police are subject to the FOIPOP legislation. Senders of messages should be aware that information contained in electronic correspondence (or printed versions thereof) may be disclosed to others under the FOIPOP legislation.

  • Submissions to Council, Community Council, Committees, etc. - Correspondence and submissions from the public, that are considered in public meetings, may also be subject to release under FOIPOP.

Legislation Related to FOIPOP

How to make a FOIPOP request

Using Form #1 - Access to Information Application provided by Halifax Regional Police:

1. Enter your name, address and telephone number;

  • if applicable, enter your company name
  • fax and e-mail information is optional

2. Indicate if you are requesting general or personal information;

  • General - enclose $5 application fee
  • Personal - no application fee required
  • For either type of request, please indicate if you would like to examine the records or receive a copy of the records

3. Providing as much detail as possible, describe the records you would like to access, and the time frame for the records.

4. Please sign, date and send you request to the FOIPOP Coordinator with application fee, if applicable.

You may also submit your request in a letter provided it is in writing stating that you are requesting the information under FOIPOP.

Please send your request to access information to the:

FOIPOP Coordinator,
Halifax Regional Police
1975 Gottingen Street
Halifax, NS
B3J 2H1

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of information can I request?

You have the right to request any record in the custody or control of Halifax Regional Police.

How do I make a request?

You should always start by making an informal request. To do this, simply contact HRP. If you are told that the information is not routinely available, then you should proceed to file a FOIPOP request.

Is there a fee to process my request?

There is a $5 application fee for access to general records. There is no charge for applications for personal information or correction of personal information.

Are there additional fees charged after the initial application fee?

HRP has the authority to charge for time for preparing the information, copying of the information and sending of the records. If a charge is to be levied, you will be provided with a fee estimate prior to the request being processed.

Will I be charged if I am denied access?

Yes. The application fee will not be refunded even if you are denied full or partial access to the records.

How long does a request take?

Under the legislation, HRP is required to respond to your request within 30 days. If additional time is required (because your request was not detailed enough, you requested so much information or a third party has to be consulted), an extension can be given but HRP is required to advise the applicant when a response can be expected.

What is personal information?

Personal information is recorded information on an identifiable individual including:

  • the individual's name, address or telephone number;
  • the individual's race, national or ethnic origin, colour, or religious or political beliefs or associations;
  • the individual's age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status or family status;
  • an identifying number, symbol or other particular assigned to the individual;
  • the individual's fingerprints, blood type or inheritable characteristics;
  • information about the individual's health-care history, including a physical or mental disability;
  • information about the individual's educational, financial, criminal or employment history;
  • anyone else's opinions about the individual; and
  • the individual's personal views or opinions, except if they are about someone else.

Is my personal information protected?

The legislation protects personal privacy by restricting the collection, use and disclosure of personal information.

What if I am denied information?

HRP must provide you with reasons if you are denied access to information. If you are not satisfied with these reasons, you may request a review. A review must be requested within 60 days of notification. You may request a review using Form #7 Request for Review.

How much does it cost to request a review?

There is no cost for requesting a review.

What are the acceptable reasons to request a review?

A review can be requested if:

  • your request for access is either fully or partially denied;
  • you are told the records do not exist and you do not agree;
  • you do not agree with estimate of fees;
  • you did not receive a response to your application;
  • you do not agree with the extension of the 30-day response period;
  • your request to correct personal information has been denied; or
  • you are a third party to an application and you do not agree with the decision of the Municipality to release your personal information or information that you may have an interest in.

Who is the Review Officer?

The Review Officer is an independent ombudsman appointed by the Governor in Council. The Review Officer's role is to review decisions of public bodies when people are not satisfied with the response they have received from the public bodies.