Posted on: February 1, 2018

WFN Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Law FAQ

At the January 25, 2018, Special Membership Meeting held in relation to the proposed WFN Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Law (the “Law”), Members in attendance raised some questions about what impact, if any, the Law would have on their ability to access government-held information and what protections would be in place for the personal information of Members. In response to some of the questions raised, the Legal Services Department has put together this informational handout. Should you have any questions that are not addressed below, or should you like to request a copy of the draft Law to review, please do not hesitate to contact Julia Buck at the Legal Services Department (jbuck@wfn.ca or 250-769-4999)

1. Will this law apply to the information Members are able to access under the WFN Constitution?

No. This law will only apply to access to information requests submitted by either non-Members or by Members specifically in relation to information that does not fall under the access provisions of the WFN Constitution.

2. How will WFN determine whether or not a non-Member should be granted an access to information request?

Under the Law, an access to information request submitted by a non-Member will only be granted if the person making the request is at least 18 years of age and can demonstrate they are directly and significantly affected by the information contained in the record or document they are requesting.

3. Will Members be charged a fee for access to information requests?

No. At this time charging Members a fee for access to information requests has not been contemplated. Any fees charged under the Law would be for access to information requests made by non-Members.

4. What sort of information is available through an access to information request?

An access to information request can be made in relation to any record under the control of WFN. This includes books, documents, maps, drawings, photographs, letters, emails, and any other thing on or in which information is recorded or stored. Information that is NOT available under an access to information request includes:

  • Personal Information relating to anyone except the one making the request;
  • Information that could harm a law enforcement matter;
  • Information that could harm intergovernmental relations or negotiations; 
  • Information that could harm individual or public safety.

5. What is considered Personal Information under this Law?

Personal Information means recorded information about an identifiable individual and can include, but is not limited to your:

  • Name, address, email address, phone number, status number;
  • Race, nationality, ethnicity, origin, religious or political beliefs;
  • Age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status;
  • Healthcare history, including information on physical or mental disability;
  • Educational, financial, criminal, or employment history.

6. Will my personal information be protected?

Yes. Under the Law, WFN is obligated to protect your personal information by making reasonable security arrangements against such risks as unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure, or destruction of records.

7. What use can WFN make of the Personal Information it collects about me?

WFN can only use Personal Information for the purposes for which that information was collected, or if the individual the information is about has consented to the use of the information in writing.

8. If WFN takes a photograph or video of me while attending a WFN event, will they be able to use that photograph or video in the future?

No. The Law allows WFN to collect Personal Information, such as photographs or videos, when in attendance at public events; however, WFN is not allowed to use such Personal Information unless the individual the information relates to has consented to its use in writing.

9. Am I able to review the Personal Information WFN has collected about me?

Yes. Individuals have the right to access their own Personal Information collected by WFN.

10. If I find an error in the Personal Information WFN has collected about me, is there anything I can do?

Yes. If you discover an error has been made in the collection of your Personal Information, under the Law will be able to submit a request to have that error corrected.