Answered By: Monique Woroniak
Last Updated: Feb 26, 2019     Views: 60

Search Smart with Winnipeg Public Library



The Right to Know                       

“The purpose of Right to Know is to raise awareness of an individual’s right to access government information, while promoting freedom of information as essential to both democracy and good governance.” – Government of Canada

Access to Government Records

Winnipeg Public Library has staff with the skills to help find government information.  If you think the information you want may already be publicly available just ask - we are here to help.

To learn about how to submit access to information requests to the Government of Canada, Government of Manitoba or the City of Winnipeg refer to the handout linked at the bottom of this page: "Search Smart:  Access to Government Records."

What are the provincial and federal laws related to the right to access government records?


Access to Information Act
and regulations

Privacy Act
and regulations


Gives Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or individuals or corporations present in Canada the legal right to be given access to any record under the control of a federal government institution


Gives individuals present in Canada the legal right to request or correct their personal information in government records.
Information about how to make a request under the
Privacy Act is not explained in this handout. See "What are the laws about privacy and personal information?" linked at the bottom of this page.


Freedom of Information
and Protection of Privacy Act

(FIPPA) and regulation

 Gives an individual the right to access information in records held   by Manitoba public bodies – including municipalities – subject to   limited and specific exceptions.

Before making a request

It is a good idea to check with the government institution or public body before making a submission.

The information you want may not require a formal application (for example, if the information is already shared online). In addition, someone else may have already requested the information and the request/response may be available online.

The information on our "Search Smart: Access to Government Records" handout shares:

  • information about where to learn about previous requests
  • information about how to submit a request
  • contact information to learn more about request processes or to file a complaint related to a reques

You may also be interested in the information on our page: "What are the laws about privacy and personal information?", linked to below.

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