Access to a document is subject to the Act respecting Access to documents held by public bodies and the Protection of personal information.
A request for access to a document is different from a request for information pertaining to a document. The first one is subject to some restrictions provided by the Act and gives access only to the document requested and not to an explanation of its content. Information on its content must be obtained from the concerned municipal department.
Any person wanting to request access to a document should preferably submit his or her request in writing to the Town Clerk, either by e-mail, fax or regular mail. A verbal request is also valid but only a written request allows a subsequent appeal of a decision regarding access before the Commission d’accès à l’information du Québec (Quebec’s information access review board).
Some restrictions may limit the right of access to municipal documents. Furthermore, only partial access to a document may be allowed. For that purpose, some sections of the said document may be blacked out.
In accordance with the Act, the person in charge of access to documents must acknowledge receipt of all written requests. Requests for access are usually answered within 20 calendar days. That period may be extended in certain circumstances.
Access to a document is free and the document concerned may be viewed at the Town hall by appointment. However, the Town will charge a fee for the transcription, transmission or reproduction of the document. The person making the request is informed of these fees which are prescribed by the Regulation respecting fees for the transcription, reproduction and transmission of documents or personal information.