Getting Started With Your Own Freedom Of Information/Access To Information Requests

This article is going to be different. Instead of dropping a bunch of research, today we will get into conducting your own research. Specifically, how to go about filing freedom of information (or access to information) requests. FOI/ATI are essentially the same thing, a request for documents.

You don’t have to be a journalist, reporter, or researcher to file these requests. Anyone who is curious or concerned with what’s going on, or if they have a personal issue, can file one.

Now, this is just general information of filing such requests, and how it works. Take this article as a starting place, rather than as some gospel.

Depending on the jurisdiction and/or information sought, there may or may not be a fee. Also, the fee can go up if the the search is overly broad. As a general guideline: Government bodies will typically give a person their own information for free, but may charge for general information. Also, they typically won’t hand over SOMEONE ELSE’S private information without a signed waiver or agreement.

Depending on many factors, an FOI can take anywhere from a few days, to several months for a response. There’s no one answer for how long you will wait. Now, what will the agency you file with do?

In short, a few different outcomes can happen:
(a) Government body discloses records being sought
(b) Government body ignores or delays the request
(c) Government body admits that it has no such records
(d) Government body admits having records, but refuses to release them, for some reason. More on that later.

All 4 outcomes have happened to FOI requests from here. The success rate at getting meaningful data has (anecdotally) been about 50%. That being said, these are still a valuable tool for truth seekers. If nothing else, these are quite easy to file.

A tip for making FOI requests: write it up in such a way that it’s clear you are asking for records. You likely won’t get a helpful response if this involves open ended questions. As an example:

Instead of: “Has anyone studied the physical or psychological consequences of forcing young children to wear masks?”

Try this: “I request records of any studies involving the physical or psychological effects of forcing young children to wear masks”

This may sound nitpicky and silly, but the wording does make a difference. If records are sought on a controversial topic, this could be used as an excuse to deny it, or at least delay it.

What kinds of documents can be requested?

  • Records of meetings, minutes
  • Names of people involved in a committee, study, or research
  • Conflict of interest disclosures
  • Studies or research conducted
  • Amounts of money paid to people or groups
  • Sources of funding
  • Reports filed publicly

Now, this should be commonsense, but if you wish to post your findings, consider scrubbing — removing — your personal details beforehand. At a minimum, don’t have your address splashed all over the internet, but even your name is important.

It’s worth pointing out that filing a formal FOI request may not always be necessary. Sometimes, if the information is already posted (or easy to find), just calling or emailing the Ministry or group in question may be enough to get it sent to you.

Also, if you don’t want to pay fees, or just don’t want to wait for a formal reply, see if someone has already made a similar request. In some jurisdictions, FOI results get posted online, in order to avoid duplication. If you do find what you want (from someone else), use that data. If you’re going to publish it, go ahead. Now, their personal info shouldn’t be disclosed, however, if it is, removing it would be appreciated. Their earlier work did you a favour after all.

  • Section 12: Cabinet confidences
  • Section 13: Advice or recommendations
  • Section 14: Legal advice
  • Section 15: Harm to law enforcement
  • Section 16: Harm to intergovernmental relations or negotiations
  • Section 17: Harm to financial or economic interests of a public body
  • Section 18: Harm to conservation of heritage sites
  • Section 19: Harm to individual or public safety
  • Section 20: Information to be published or released within 60 days
  • Section 21: Harm to business interests of a third party
  • Section 22: Harm to personal privacy
  • Section 22.1: Information relating to abortion services

It’s worth mentioning that Governments can (and often do) either refuse to release records, or redact parts of it. Using the BC FOIPP Act as an example, many items have exclusions (at least partially). Now, just because it’s a reason stated, doesn’t mean it’s legitimate.

When you get the results of the FOI request back, this might not be the end. There will almost always be some wording at the bottom saying that you can appeal, or request a review. Take this opportunity — especially if you’ve paid money or waited a long time — and ask for clarification on anything not understood.

As a closing thought, any readers who get something worthwhile are always welcome to submit their findings to Canuck Law. Results will be posted, with personal info removed.

P.S. Go check out Fluoride Free Peel for an extreme case on how to use FOIs to disprove a scam sprung onto the public.

(a) Contact FOIP TO See If Records Already Available
(b) Service Alberta: Making A FOIP Request
(c) Alberts eServices: Make FOIP Request
(d) Freedom Of Information & Privacy Protection Act

(a) Previously Released FOI Responses
(b) Getting Started With FOI Requests
(c) Submit General FOI Request
(d) Freedom Of Information & Protection Of Privacy Act

(a) Listings Of Previously Received FOI Requests
(b) Freedom Of Information Main Portal
(c) Freedom Of Information & Privacy Protection Act

(a) Getting Started Searching For Information
(b) List Of Bodies Subject To FOI Requests
(c) Right To Information & Protection Of Privacy Act

(a) Previously Released ATIPP Results
(b) Filing Your Own Access To Information Requests
(c) ATIPP Coordinators
(d) Access To Information & Protection Of Privacy Act

(a) ATIPP Reviews Posted
(b) ATIPP Main Page
(c) Access To Information request Forms
(d) Access To Information And Protection Act

(a) Searching Previously Disclosed Access To Information Results
(b) Getting Started With Access To Information
(c) Guidelines For FOI And Privacy Requests
(d) Freedom Of Information & Protection Of Privacy Act

(a) How To Place ATIPP Request

(a) Directory Of Records
(b) Access To Information Forms
(c) Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, Provincial
(d) Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, Municial

(a) Making A Request Under FOIPP
(b) List Of Public Bodies Covered Under Act
(c) Freedom Of Information & Protection Of Privacy Act

(a) Previous ATIPP Disclosures — French Only
(b) How To Make An Access Request
(c) General Information On ATIPP
(d) Act Respecting Access to Documents Held By Public Bodies

(a) Access To Information — Provincial And Municipal Acts

(a) Searching Archives Of ATIPP Requests
(b) Access to Information Registry
(c) ATIPP Request For Access To Information
(d) ATIPP Coordinators

(a) Search Existing Access To Information Requests
(b) Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Online Request
(c) Complete List Of Institutions
(d) List Of ATIP Coordinators

Toronto Region Board Of Trade Supports Vaccine Passports, While Receiving And Encouraging Subsidies

The Toronto Region Board of Trade, TRBoT, a group that isn’t accountable to the public, and holds no public office, is openly calling for Ontario to adopt vaccine passports. The idea is that people who refuse should be denied access to what they call “non essential” services. Jan De Silva, President and CEO of the group, pushes hard for it. More on her later.

In fact, if a group wanted to kill off businesses, it’s hard to think of a better way to do this.

TORONTO – The Toronto Region Board of Trade is calling on the Ontario government to introduce a vaccine passport system for non-essential business activity.

Jan De Silva, CEO of the board, says vaccine passports are the only way to safely reopen larger events like business conferences and will help revive tourism.

“Now that we’ve got sufficient vaccine, it’s a way to start resuming a more normal form of day-to-day living.” She said it’s a personal decision to get vaccinated, but accessing major events and indoor dining requires moral responsibility.

The board of trade says it is having discussions with the Ontario premier’s office about introducing a vaccine passport system.

This should alarm people. A board representing large business interests is meeting with Doug Ford’s office to discuss limiting people’s right to free association and free movement, unless they agree to have their privacy limited and take experimental “vaccines” for a virus that likely doesn’t exist.

Remember when trade associations used to call for less government restrictions and regulations? Now, the TRBoT is doing exactly the opposite of that. And far from calling on independence, this group openly promotes the idea of its members scooping up government benefits.

The TRBoT is partially funded by the City of Toronto, the Province of Ontario and the Ministry of Energy. This means that taxpayers are helping keep this operation afloat. Beyond that, there are also dozens of private sponsors who stand to benefit from the policies proposed. Rather than demanding economic freedom, there are demands for corporate welfare.

The Toronto Board of Trade is also pushing agenda of the mass testing people at work. For businesses with less than 150 employees, enough test sticks can be included to get everyone twice a week for 4 weeks, or 8 times each overall. Of course, it’s really taxpayers footing the bill for this, although that point is minimized. What exactly happens to the personal information afterwards anyway?

Granted these tests don’t work anyway, but whatever.

In their FAQ section, the Board of Trade provides links to what kind of government support is available. It’s interesting that this group, which claims to be pro-business, isn’t demanding Ford and Tory end their martial law. Instead, they push a pattern of dependence on their members.

In June, there was an update to the list of government (taxpayer) handouts available. However, there still isn’t any urgency in just letting businesses operate normally.

Jan de Silva is the President and CEO of the TRBoT. However, her other connections lend doubt as to what her motivations are. She’s a Director at Intact Financial Corporation, a large insurance company. She’s a member of APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation), and ABLAC (Asia Business Leaders Council). She’s also a Director at Piment Investments Limited, a firm supporting business expansion in Asia. Also, she’s a non-Executive Director at Blue Umbrella Limited, which sells compliance technology, and is based in Hong Kong. Furthermore, de Silva has chaired the Canada-China Business Council in Beijing. Her profile screams pro-business (in Asia), but she calls on restricting businesses and commerce in Canada, unless certain conditions are met.

De Silva isn’t kidding about lobbying all levels of Government. In fact, the TRBoT has been registered since 2007, and she is personally listed now. What is referred to as “Digital Adaptation – to seek funding for delivery of programs helping small to medium size businesses digitally transform their end-to end operations”, likely is a euphemism that included vaccine passports.

The TRBoT also supports an interesting combination of policies that include: (a) climate change nonsense to kill jobs; (b) “globalized” trade to continue offshoring local industries; and (c) increased immigration to compete for whatever jobs are left.

This is pretty much what Conservative Inc. calls for.

Also, for an organization that claims to be for businesses and a market economy, they don’t seem to mind getting taxpayer subsidies to keep their operations going. This includes receiving CEWS, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.

The TRBoT also supports “smart cities“, which means an almost completely digitally-run community. While this may sound convenient, there may be privacy issues to sort out. The April 14, 2021 webcast included as speakers:

1) Craig Clydesdale, Founder & CEO, Utilities Without Borders
2) Craig McLellan, CEO, ThinkOn
3) Raphael Wong, Director- Strategic Initiatives, ThoughtWire
4) Hugh O’Reilly, Executive Director, Innovate Cities

At least we’ll still have jobs when this is over, right?

Now, there is justification in the fear that jobs are disappearing permanently. TRBoT supports the Scale Up Initiative. It’s goal is to put more of the economy online, and to cut costs. Of course “cutting costs” generally means laying off employees. Keep in mind, TRBoT receives public money, which means taxpayers are subsidizing the costs of chopping the job pool available.

How do you feel about this, residents of Toronto and Ontario? Your tax money is helping fund an organization that encourages OTHER businesses to get subsidies, while pushing for vaccine passports? Yay, for capitalism.

(8) TRBOT Annual Report 2020 FINAL
(9) TRBOT-Annual-Report-2021

American College Health Foundation Is Funded By Big Pharma And Insurance

The American College Health Foundation (ACHF), is promoting the “pandemic” narrative, and even trying to coordinate the mass vaccination of students. Why would it do that? Turns out, the ACHF is involved with different organizations who don’t have the public’s interests at heart.

A look at some of their donors is an instant red flag. Several health companies, which stand to profit, are listed. True, this list is from 2018, but it gives a look into it. And sitting as a top tier donor: Pfizer.

With this in mind, it should not be at all surprising that the ACHF promotes the mass vaccination of college students.

Mass Vaccination Clinic Guidance and Resources
The ACHA COVID-19 task force has gathered resources to assist members in planning for mass vaccination clinics. While currently the focus is on planning the administration of COVID-19 vaccine to large numbers of students and other members of the campus community, these resources and principles may be applied to the administration of any vaccine in a large-scale event. Guidance for supply, delivery, storage, and administration of the anticipated COVID-19 vaccine will come from the federal government and state, territorial, tribal, and local health departments and therefore will not be addressed in any specific way in this document.

In the current situation, it is critical that colleges and universities reach out to the appropriate public health authority so as to be included in the planning and distribution of the vaccine for students and other campus community members. College and university health services will then provide direction to and coordination with their campus partners in setting up systems to manage the details of the immunization plan.

Although specific guidance will be forthcoming from governmental agencies, college health professionals have an important role in encouraging high uptake of vaccines in the campus community.

COVID-19 vaccine mass vaccination events will require additional planning including:

The ACHF is fully behind the agenda of mass vaccinating young adults, but omits any mention of the relevant details:

  1. These vaccines are still undergoing testing
  2. These vaccines have “Emergency Use Authorization” and are not approved
  3. Manufacturers are exempt from liability

The ACHF prominently posts a link to the CDC or Center for Disease Control in the U.S. This page gives “Covid communications” advice, including how to talk to people about getting vaccinated. See below.

For some context, the CDC doesn’t completely function as a Government body, but receives private funding. Its fundraising arm, the CDC Foundation is “an independent nonprofit and the sole entity created by Congress to mobilize philanthropic and private-sector resources to support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s critical health protection work”. It’s listed as 501(c)(3) charity. Top partner organizations and corporations are drug companies. A charitable interpretation would be to call it a public-private partnership.

Established by Congress more than two decades ago, the CDC Foundation is an independent, 501(c)(3) public charity.

One of the ACHF’s partners is Pharmedrix, a company that packages drugs and medicine. It’s also “licensed as a drug manufacturer with the State of California and registered as a drug manufacturer/repackager with both the Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration”. Pharmedrix is listed as a “Diamond Level” donors to the ACHF.

Another partner of the ACHF is Pyramed Health. The specific “pandemic” services it offers include: (a) Case Management System; (b) Contact Tracing; (c) Zoom Integration; and (d) Custom Lab Interfaces. The current situation seems to have kept them very busy.

Also on the list is Aetna Health, an insurance broker, who also provides referrals to a variety of other health services.

Gallagher Koster, is another insurance company, and another top donor to the ACHF. Unsurprisingly, its target customers are college students.

This is hardly an exhaustive listing, the pattern is unmistakable: there is a lot of money tied up in poisoning people, without fully disclosing the risks. The American education industry seems to be no different.

(8) ACHF Top Donor Honour Roll 2018
(10) ACHF Partners For Wellness 2017

Bill C-11: CPC National Secretary Lobbied For Big Pharma To Get Easier Access To Your Medical Data

Bill C-11, the Digital Charter Implementation Act, is currently before Parliament. At the time of writing this, it has still only undergone the first reading. Some of the more disturbing sections of it were covered previously.

Contrary to what the name may imply, “Digital Charter” doesn’t refer to antiviolence activity, spawned by the Christchurch psy-op. Instead, this is an end run around privacy as we know it.

This piece will focus on big pharma getting its hands on Canadians’ medical information. If this were to pass, then potentially all of this, minus your name and address, would be available to anyone will to purchase it.

What’s particularly disturbing is that one of the people pushing for this is Amber Ruddy, the Secretary of the National Council of the Conservative Party of Canada. She’s also CURRENTLY an employee at Counsel Public Affairs, the lobbying firm, and has Emergent BioSolutions, the company making the AstraZeneca vaccines, as a client.

A November 23, 2020 press release by the Federal Government summarized what it expected to accomplish with Bill C-11. Very interestingly, there will be new exceptions to requiring consent in order to obtain personal information.

CPPA will also promote responsible innovation by reducing regulatory burden. A new exception to consent will address standard business practices; a new regime to clarify how organizations are to handle de-identified personal information, and another new exception to consent to allow organizations to disclose personal information for socially beneficial purposes, such as public health research, for example.

There is nothing ambiguous about this. Public health research could be considered a “socially beneficial purpose” and your records handed over. But in fairness, this has probably been happening for a long time already. This Bill would make it a specifically permitted reason.

Among other things, Ruddy (and her colleagues) wanted to make it easier for drug companies to access “anonymized health data”. What this would mean is that your medical records could be send off to third parties, with the only caveat being that your personal information is removed.

Items like date of birth (showing age), and postal code (showing region) would likely still be included. As would the details of your visits, procedures, medications, and dates performed. Keep in mind, even anonymized accounts can be re-identified based on just a few clues.

Search “GlaxoSmithKline” and “Digital Charter”, it shows 35 registrations over the last few years, including Ruddy.

Transfer to service provider
19 An organization may transfer an individual’s personal information to a service provider without their knowledge or consent.
De-identification of personal information
20 An organization may use an individual’s personal information without their knowledge or consent to de-identify the information.
Research and development
21 An organization may use an individual’s personal information without their knowledge or consent for the organization’s internal research and development purposes, if the information is de-identified before it is used.

Public Interest
Individual’s interest
29 (1) An organization may collect an individual’s personal information without their knowledge or consent if the collection is clearly in the interests of the individual and consent cannot be obtained in a timely way.
(2) An organization may use an individual’s personal information without their knowledge or consent if the information was collected under subsection (1).

Statistical or scholarly study or research
35 An organization may disclose an individual’s personal information without their knowledge or consent if
(a) the disclosure is made for statistical purposes or for scholarly study or research purposes and those purposes cannot be achieved without disclosing the information;
(b) it is impracticable to obtain consent; and
(c) the organization informs the Commissioner of the disclosure before the information is disclosed.

Socially beneficial purposes
39 (1) An organization may disclose an individual’s personal information without their knowledge or consent if
(a) the personal information is de-identified before the disclosure is made;
(b) the disclosure is made to
(i) a government institution or part of a government institution in Canada,
(ii) a health care institution, post-secondary educational institution or public library in Canada,
(iii) any organization that is mandated, under a federal or provincial law or by contract with a government institution or part of a government institution in Canada, to carry out a socially beneficial purpose, or
(iv) any other prescribed entity; and
(c) the disclosure is made for a socially beneficial purpose.
Definition of socially beneficial purpose
(2) For the purpose of this section, socially beneficial purpose means a purpose related to health, the provision or improvement of public amenities or infrastructure, the protection of the environment or any other prescribed purpose.

The entire Bill is quite long, but those are a few points. While claiming that this legislation gives members of the public wide control over their information, it lays out ways that same private info can be shared with 3rd parties, without the knowledge or consent of that person.

It’s interesting that Conservatives pretend to care about free speech and Bill C-10, but are silent about the erosion of privacy with Bill C-11. Have to wonder if their Secretary is the reason for this.

This is hardly the first such privacy intrusion has been brought forward. A decade ago, Vic Toews gaslighted Canadians who opposed warrantless seizures of their internet data as “standing with the child pornographers”. Seems not much has changed.

For more on Emergent BioSolutions, and other lobbying, check the links below. It’s quite the cesspit, and Ruddy is up to her neck in it.


Expanded Drone Use Coming To Canada And Other Countries

Drones are about to become far more common and not just in Canada. Companies and countries are seeing what options there are in using this technology, but only for “safe” purposes.

One company, Drone Delivery Canada is trying to change the laws here so that it can carry larger loads, and for longer distances. They seem to think that drone use is going to become mainstream very soon.

While most of the applications specified by Drone Delivery Canada seem harmless enough, a few of are sure to raise eyebrows:

The current situation as related to COVID-19, as unfortunate and challenging as it is, demonstrates that delivery drones are an ideal solution to limit person-to-person contact in healthcare. Drone Delivery Canada is committed to helping Canada effectively manage the current situation and potentially help stop the pandemic, especially in remote communities.

Of course, if people weren’t able to get certain supplies (such as for being forcibly quarantined), this could also serve as a form of prisoner feeding system. Depending on the setup, it could reduce the chances people have to break out.

While our focus is predominantly on moving cargo, Drone Delivery Canada has proven experience in carrying specialized electronic equipment. Payloads can also be specialized cameras, sensors or other instruments for various applications such as – infrastructure inspection, military (C3I – command, control, communications, intelligence), border security, crowd monitoring, mining, oil & gas, surveying, mapping, crop spraying, etc.

These drones can be used to carry specialized equipment, such as cameras, and can be used for military and intelligence gathering. It could also serve in crowd monitoring. While this may sound paranoid, such a thing is already underway elsewhere.

Worth noting: G4S, the firm Brian Pallister hired for Manitoba, also has its foot in the door as far as using drones. The company’s services include intelligence gathering, and arrest and detention.

While these drones (above) supposedly aren’t equipped with facial recognition, it wouldn’t be too hard to implement it. Even without it, the idea of this kind of surveillance is downright nefarious and creepy. These people are unknowingly (or maybe knowingly) helping force a police state.

Even if Drone Delivery Canada (and similar companies) were using these drones primarily for deliveries, it would still require a vast surveillance apparatus to ensure that they were being delivered where they should be. Also, wouldn’t it potentially put many people out of work, as their jobs become obsolete?

DDC describes drone delivery itself as a “disruptive technology“. They seem to be aware of the impacts this could potentially have.

In June 2019 DDC and Air Canada reached an agreement, which would see the airliner promoting the drone company. Tim Strauss is both an Advisor for DDC, and a Vice President for Air Canada.

Incidently, the Canadian Government has put out several tenders recently, looking for suppliers to bid on drone construction. However, that’s probably nothing to worry about.

Recently, Jason Kenney was forced to cancel a proposal to have drones surveilling Albertans on vacation. He claimed it was all a mistake, and he never intended to spy on anyone.

Collaborating with international partners
Canada’s drone industry is part of a broader aviation network, which requires collaboration to support innovation, and ensure the safety of our aviation system. Transport Canada works with other state civil aviation agencies from around the world to share information, align Canadian drone policy, and share best practices.
For example, Transport Canada has a strong relationship with the United States Federal Aviation Administration, and has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to share results of RPAS research, such as the effects of icing conditions on drones, given the Canadian climate. Transport Canada is also a participant in the FAA’s International Roundtable on RPAS research which brings together multiple civil aviation authorities and academic institutions from around the world to share information.

The Canadian Government has formed a “Drone Advisory Committee”, to help it understand impacts and potential for flying these everywhere. DDC is on the committee. This is also happening internationally. What a coincidence that we had a global pandemic and needed to “reset” society. And unmanned aircraft has been a topic of discussion for a long time.

A quick look at Sussex Strategy Group, the firm lobbying for Drone Delivery Canada, shows that it has plenty of political ties. This shouldn’t be too surprising.

This is how things are done in Canada. Simply hire political cronies to make the magic handshake, and suddenly, your proposal gets approved.

As for having everything delivered by drones, it’s not like that was predicted by the World Economic Forum, several years ago. You’ll own nothing, and you’ll be happy. And this seems to be where things are going.


Chapters-Indigo Getting Large Handouts As They Deny You Access

By now, many Canadians have heard the stories about Chapters-Indigo refusing patrons entry without masks, even in the cases of written exemptions.

People will raise the defense of it being “their business”, and hence they can impose whatever policies they want. That’s incorrect, as there are human rights legislation that must be followed. Even if breathing isn’t considered a human right, various conditions are. Beyond that, it’s offensive to voters.

But what’s particularly bad about this is that Chapters-Indigo is getting large amounts of tax-payer money while they discriminate against their customers. It seems that boycotting such businesses doesn’t work when Ottawa will just bail them out. But of course, it’s all done in the name of “safety”.

According to the CEWS Registry, Indigo is receiving financial assistance. CEWS stands for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. So it is getting Government (or rather taxpayer) money in order to keep this business going.

One also has to wonder what other programs the company is getting money from, such as CERS, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy Program.

According to the Office of the Lobbying Commissioner of Canada, Chapters-Indigo received $20.1 million in various subsidies in the fiscal year of 2020. It is expected to get more money in 2021.

Also, keep in mind the thousands of small businesses that there deemed “non essential” and forced to close. Many went under permanently. However, a chain of bookstores like Chapters is considered important enough to bail out. This comes in spite of their blatant discrimination.

While no businesses should have been closed at all, many people would agree that a bookstore is pretty “non-essential” in the grand scheme of things.