The Municipal Government Act (MGA) [PDF], 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. These provisions are found in Part XX of the Act.
The intent of Part XX of the MGA is to balance two principles:
- Freedom of information: whenever possible, information held by the municipality should be made available to the public
- Protection of privacy: the municipality should not improperly collect or disclose personal information.
The legislation provides that members of the public have:
- the right to request access to information held by the municipality
- the right to access personal information about themselves that is held by the municipality
- the right to request correction to their personal information that is held by the municipality
- controls on the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information by the municipality
- the right to request independent review of decisions made under the access to information process
How do I access Halifax Regional Police records?
- Start by checking the Halifax Regional Police routine disclosure plan. The municipality has a Routine Access Policy, which is designed to provide individuals with the opportunity to obtain certain records without the requirement for a formal access application. If what you are looking for is listed in the plan, you can submit a routine disclosure request for the information or records you want.
- If you can't find the information or records you are looking for within the routine disclosure plan, send an email to HRPRoutineDisclosure@halifax.ca. If the information you're looking for is general in nature, you may be able to get it without an filing an access to information request.
- If the information or records you're looking for aren't available through routine disclosure plans or routinely provided by Halifax Regional Police, you'll have to file an access to information request.
- If you are looking for historical police records (from more than 25 years ago, though this may vary), they are publicly available at Halifax Municipal Archives. You can search for these records via the Municipal Archives Database, or by contacting the Municipal Archives.
Keep in mind:
- the Routine Access Policy does not apply to criminal record checks, motor vehicle collision reports or incident reports. Motor vehicle collision reports can be requested, for a fee, through firstname.lastname@example.org.
- the availability of any Halifax Regional Police records may be may be subject to the following law enforcement exemptions prescribed under MGA 463(2) (f) and MGA 480(3) (b):
- a record relating to a prosecution, if all proceedings in respect of the prosecution have not been completed.
- disclosure of personal information is presumed to be an unreasonable invasion of a third party's personal privacy if the personal information
- was compiled, and is identifiable as, part of an investigation into a possible violation of law, except to the extent that disclosure is necessary to prosecute the violation or to continue the investigation
Filing an access to information application
To file an access to information request you must fill out an Access to Information Application [PDF].
When filling out the application, be sure to:
- Enter your name, address and telephone number
- if applicable enter your company name
- fax and email information is optional
- Indicate if you are requesting general or your own personal information
- if general information: enclose a cheque or money order for $5 to cover the application fee
- if personal information: no application fee is required
- Indicate the type of request: would you like to examine the records or receive a copy of the records?
- Provide a thorough description of the records you would like to access, including (if you know):
- any case numbers, file numbers, or reference numbers
- the time frame you would like to enquire upon for the records requested
Sign, date, and send your request to the Halifax Regional Police Access and Privacy Coordinator with the applicable fee, or deliver it in person.
Mail or hand deliver your access to information application to:
Halifax Regional Police Access and Privacy Coordinator
1975 Gottingen Street
Halifax, NS B3J 2H1