How to Submit an Access to Information Request

The Access to Information Act gives Canadian citizens, permanent residents and corporations located in Canada the right to access information in the CMHR’s records that are not of a personal nature. For information on how to prepare and submit a request under the Access to Information Act, you may download the Access to Information Request Form (PDF) or consult the HTML version of the form.

Formal requests under the Access to Information Act must:

  • Be in writing (email requests cannot be accepted);
  • Be signed by the requester and dated;
  • Include the name, address, and a telephone number and/or email address where the requester can be contacted between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays;
  • Include a $5.00 application fee made payable to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (not the Receiver General of Canada). Payment can be made by cash, cheque or money order.

Requests must include sufficient detail to enable the ATIP Officer to identify the records that are being requested. Examples include, but are not limited to, time periods, file names, report titles, departments, names of individuals, etc.

There may be additional fees associated with processing requests made under the Access to Information Act. Additional fees may be incurred for search and preparation time in excess of five hours.

Tips on filing a request

Because of the costs associated with the processing of Access to Information Act requests, we strongly advise that you be as specific as possible when describing the records you want so that we may locate and process them as quickly as possible. A cost-effective request is focused on specific records, e.g., a memorandum or a briefing note on a given topic, that was generated within a given time period.

The cost and time of processing a request can be significantly reduced by eliminating some or all of the following records from the ambit of your request:

  • Draft documents;
  • Duplicates;
  • E-mails;
  • Documents which originate from another government institution; and
  • Portions of documents that have no relevancy to the subject of the request.

You may wish to split your request by submitting separate ones. While a separate application fee will apply, you are assured of five free hours of search time on each request.

Note: The processing of an ambiguous request will not begin until the request has been clarified. Please ensure that you provide a telephone number where we can reach you during the day or an e-mail address to allow us to communicate with you if need be