Freedom of Information

The city clerk is responsible for safeguarding and controlling all corporate records and documents. The city clerk is the coordinator of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Personal Privacy Act.

The city clerk is responsible for processing record requests under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The Act establishes a process for the public to gain access to records in the City’s custody and control. If you have a legal right of access to records the City of Welland creates and maintains, you may request to obtain them through this process.

Depending on the type of record requested, it may or may not be fully disclosed, as any applicable exemptions from the Act will be applied. This includes but is not limited to the withholding of personal information and identification of third-party individuals. For example, sometimes personal information will need to be redacted before providing records and sometimes an authorization of release is required from a third party of interest.

The city clerk has 30 days to respond to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests unless an extension is required, in which case notification is provided to the applicant in writing outlining the reasons.

The Act is not meant to interfere with the City of Welland’s practice of open disclosure. The Act is meant to provide the public with access to the City's records (except personal information) that are not available through usual channels.

The Act gives individuals a right to appeal any decisions that are made by the City about access to records or personal information. Appeals are filed with the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario who is an Officer of the Ontario legislature and is independent of the government or any institution.

Application fee

You can submit an FOI request by filling out the form. The form must be printed, completed, and submitted with a $5 application. As noted at the bottom of the form, this fee is required to process the FOI request. You can mail this payment in as a cheque or use the drop box at the City Hall entrance closest to Cross Street or pay in person at the finance counter.

Under Section 45 of the Act, fees for the processing of FOI requests must be charged as follows:

  • Search time: $7.50 for each 15 minutes required to search and retrieve records
  • Preparation time: $7.50 for each 15 minutes required to prepare records for release, including redacting part of the record
  • Photocopies and computer printouts: $0.20 per page
  • USB, CD, or digital record: $10