Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA) establishes a process by which any individual can request access to information contained in records in the custody or control of the City of New Westminster.

The Act:

  • Gives individuals rights to request copies of the City of New Westminster records and receive them in a timely manner. This includes records containing an individual’s personal information.
  • Protects privacy by placing restrictions on the City of New Westminster when collecting or disclosing personal information. 

The Act is applicable to all records in the custody and control of the City of New Westminster, subject to exceptions provided for in the Act.

Click here to download a Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection Act Request for Records form (pdf).

  • The City has developed guidelines for Information Access and Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy. These guidelines provide an overview of information access and Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and its application to the City of New Westminster’s records. To access the guidelines, click here.

    Informal Requests
    If the information is not available online the next step is to make an informal request to the department that you think might have the information you are looking for.

    • Routinely Available Information Requests
      These requests are for records commonly available to the public through a verbal or written request to the department.  These requests do not require a Freedom of Information request.  Contact the City department to find out if the records you want are routinely or readily available. A fee may be charged for this information, as set out in the Fees and Charges Bylaw or other applicable City bylaws or policies. Click here to access the list of routinely available documents.
       
    • Information Requests
      These requests are for information that requires a review of the records, by a departmental supervisor.  This can also be a request for records that are not readily available, e.g. records stored in semi-active storage.  As with routine information requests applicable fees may be charged.  These requests are responded to within reasonable time frames for the sizes or location of the records requested. 


    Formal Requests
    These requests are for records that are not routinely available or accessible by submitting an informal request to a department.  If you are told by a department that the information is not accessible a Freedom of Information request (FOI) will need to be submitted.


    New Westminster Fire and Rescue Services Information Requests
    To request fire incident or investigation reports, motor vehicle accidents incident reports or residential oil tank information please contact New Westminster Fire and Rescue Services directly:

     

    Services

    Fee

    Fire Incident Report or Fire Investigation Report

    $200 each

    Motor Vehicle Accidents Incident Report

    $100 each

    Fire and MVA Report photocopies

    Cost recovery plus 10% (approx. $0.28/page)

    Residential Oil Tank information

    Free

     

    New Westminster Fire and Rescue Services
    1 East 6th Avenue
    New Westminster, BC V3L 4G6

    Fax: 604-520-7602
    Phone: 604-519-1004
    Email:

  • Formal requests under the Act must be made in writing submitted using either;

    • A FOI request form which is available as a PDF on the City’s Website (this form works best on Windows systems, excluding Chrome) or in hard copy from City Hall. Once filled out it can be submitted in person, mailed, emailed or faxed to (604-527-4594) to Legislative Services. 
    • A letter, fax or email to () that provides details of the requested information. This is an option for those that are not able to access the online form.   
    • In person at City Hall, where front-line staff can assist an applicant in preparing a written request, including helping an applicant to define requests as specifically as possible. 


    To assist with the processing of the request, please make it as specific and concise as possible. The better we understand your request, the more we will be able to control costs and respond in a timely manner. When making a request please provide your name, address, e-mail and/or telephone number so we will be able to better assist you with your request.

  • Under Section 7 of the Act, a FOI request must be processed within 30 business days, except in special circumstances where limited extensions may be made.  We will make every effort to respond your request as quickly as possible.

    • If you are a member of the public you will not be charged for your own personal information or for the first three hours spent locating and retrieving records.
    • If it will take longer than three hours to retrieve the records and prepare them, you will be charged a fee. Fees may be charged according to Section 75 of the Act if responding to your request will require large amounts of staff time and/or copying.  If we are going to charge you any fees, we will send you a fee estimate.
    • We require payment in full before we proceed with the request. You may choose to revise your request to reduce the cost. You will also be given an option to receive the records electronically which will decrease the fees for preparing and photocopying the records.

     

    Services

    Fee

    Public Applicant - Locating, retrieving, production, preparing a record for disclosure

    $7.50 per 1/4 hour after the first 3 hours

    Commercial Applicant -  Locating, retrieving, production, preparing a record for disclosure

    The actual cost of providing that service.

    Black and white photocopy

    $0.25 per page

    Scanned electronic copy of a paper record

    $0.10 per page

    Fire Incident Report or Fire Investigation Report

    $200 each

    Motor Vehicle Accidents Incident Report

    $100 each

    Fire Incident and MVA Report photocopies Cost recovery plus 10% (approx. $0.28/page)

    Residential Oil Tank information

    Free

     *Find the complete list of services and fees here under Fees Bylaw 6186, 1994, Amendment Bylaw 7637, 2013, Schedule B “Freedom of Information Schedule of Maximum Fees"

  • The City only handles FOI requests for records held by the City of New Westminster. The New Westminster Police Department and New Westminster public library respond to their own information requests. Please direct your request to the appropriate public body. For your convenience the contacts are provided below:

    • New Westminster Police Department Information Requests

    New Westminster Police Services
    555 Columbia Street
    New Westminster, BC,  V3L 1B2

    Fax: 604-529-2401
    Phone: 604-529-2468
     

    • New Westminster Public Library Information Requests

    Chief Librarian
    Public Library Main Branch
    716 6th Avenue
    New Westminster, BC, V3M 2B3

    Phone: 604-527-4675
    Email:

  • The City of New Westminster will make every reasonable effort to ensure that your personal information in our custody is accurate and complete. Under Section 29 of the Act you have the right if you believe there is an error or omission in your personal information held by the City of New Westminster, to request that information be corrected or amended to include new information. To request your personal to be corrected submit a verbal or written request describing the error to the appropriate City department.  The Legislative Services may be contacted for general information.

    Any questions regarding the FOIPPA Act or a FOI request with respect to the release of information or privacy concerns please contact:

    Acting Records and Information Administrator
    Legislative Services

    New Westminster City Hall
    511 Royal Avenue
    New Westminster, BC   V3L 1H9

    Fax: 604-527-4594
    Phone: 604-515-3828
    Email:

  • How FOI Request are Processed for Release

    The City of New Westminster publicly posts documents released through FOI with the exception of requests for records that contain personal and confidential information. The public release of documents began in 2016. Requests are posted for one year.  Requests are posted monthly at least 24 hours after their release to the applicant.

    The original wording of the records requested is provided in the release table below. Records are posted exactly as provided to the applicant.

    In compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, information in the records that falls under an exception or exemption in the Act, such as personal or confidential information, is severed from the records. Severed information in a document is whited out and the section(s) of the Act applied is in black text written over top.

    Information Released 2018

    Documents and data are organized based on the date of release.

    Release Date                      

    File type

    Request

    September 14, 2018 Engineering Operations

    For an estimate on how much the City spends each year on cleaning up illegal dumping or any related facts

    October 23, 2018 Not applicable

    Raw data for all water testing conducted within the City of New Westminster's wastewater treatment plants from January 1, 2014 to present. This includes, but is not limited to any data that may exist on bacteriological and chemical parameters, as well as metals, pesticides and pharamaceuticals. 

    The City's response: The City of New Westminster does not have any wastewater treatment plants therefore does not have the data requested. The City is provided with water from both the Metro Vancouver's water treatment plants, the Seymour Capilano Filtration Plant and the Coquitlam Treatment Plant.

    November 29, 2018 Engineering

    For raw data for all water sampling/testing conducted by or on behalf of the City of New Westminster in private buildings and all water testing conducted within the City of New Westminster’s water distribution network from Jan. 1, 2014 to present

    NWR By-station 2014

    NWR By-station 2015

    NWR By-station 2016

    NWR By-station 2017

    November 29, 2018 Engineering/ Engineering Operations

    Copies of any minutes from any meetings about lead in drinking water and/or lead pipe replacement in the City of New Westminster from January 1, 2014 to present. A map and/or geospatial dataset (shapefile, ESRI geodatabase, KML file, etc.) of all locations where the City of New Westminster knows there are, or suspects that there are, lead service pipes.

    The City's response: The City has not had a meeting since January 1, 2014 in regards to lead in the drinking water or lead pipeline replacement, therefore there are no minutes. The City does not have a map and/or geospatial dataset (shapefile, ESRI geodatabase, KML file, etc.) of all locations where the City of New Westminster knows there are, or suspects that there are, lead service pipes. 

    December 3, 2018 Engineering Operations

    Trip Logs for all of the City of New Westminster tow trucks from October 1, 2018 to October 10, 2018.

    December 10, 2018 Legislative Services

    The number of people in each census tract dissemination area who voted in the last municipal election.

    The City's response: The City does not have any records in its custody or control that would provide you with the information you are requesting. 

    December 11, 2018 Engineering

    All costs related to installing and maintaining the Alberta Street Diverter.

     

    January 17, 2019 Engineering Operations - Animal Control

    Total intake of dogs and cats at the animal shelter and a list of any licensed dog or cat breeders.

    Total intake of dogs and cats at the animal shelter

    List of licensed breeders:

    1. Cat - The City has not issued any licenses for cat breeders.

    2. Dog - The City has not issued any licenses for dog breeders. 

    January 17, 2019 Engineering/Information Technology

    Any records of Zayo or another entity doing underground work on Front Street near the railway crossing (southeast of Fourth Street), new Westminster between January 1, 2016 and November 1, 2018. 

    The City's response: The City does not have any records regarding underground work on Front Street near the railway crossing (southeast of Fourth street), New Westminster between January 1, 2016 and November 1, 2018. 

    January 28, 2019 Development Services Geotechnical Report 238 Dawe St. 
    May 17, 2019 Engineering Operations

    Contracts between the City and company that did roadwork in the vicinity of E Columbia and Braid Street that would cover April 24, 2018 and all contracts between the municipality and any flagging companies for the same construction date and location.

    June 18, 2019 Development Services Copies of records related to building permits and inspection dates for 205 Jardine Street. 
    July 5, 2019 Finance Detailed budget of the Q and Q Ferry Service, including all costs and revenues since its inception to the present day. 
    July 5, 2019 Finance The City of New Westminster's current list of investment holdings, including CUSIPS for each investment, Security Name, Yield, Coupon, Amount, Percentage of Portfolio, Term of each investment, etc. 
    August 21, 2019 Finance Travel expenses of the City manager, of the city, for 2018. 
    August 21, 2019 Legislative Services Records that itemize the freedom of information requests to the city in 2019 to date, including their wording and the time it took to process them. 
    August 22, 2019 Fire

    Total call volume for the Fire Department (including medical calls), for 2016, 2017, 2018, January 1 2019 to June 30, 2019.

    Call volumes for all years prior to 2019 are published in the Annual Report

    August 27, 2019 Finance Copies of records that identify overtime costs for labor by city workers in 2018. 
    September 4, 2019 Development Services Copy of business licenses for Qore Health and Spa from 2016 to 2017. 
    September 17, 2019 Development Services Records of correspondence in 2018 and to date in 2019 between the city and the provincial government concerning the legalization of cannabis. 
  • The Personal Information Bank Directory contains descriptions of the Personal Information Banks (PIB) that are created and maintained by the City of New Westminster. PIB is a description of personal information that is organized and retrievable by a person's name or by an identifying number, symbol or other particular assigned only to that person.

    The Directory was created to assist the public in identify the location of personal information that is held by the City. To shows the different ways the City collects personal information, how it is used and who it is shared with.

    Personal Information Banks

  • FOI Contact Information:

    • Legislative Services

    New Westminster City Hall
    511 Royal Avenue
    New Westminster, BC   V3L 1H9

    Fax: 604-527-4594
    Email: