Yukon Information and Privacy Commissioner
Right of Access
In the Yukon, your right to access information is governed by two laws.
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (ATIPPA) gives the public a right to access to any records held by a public body and the right to individuals to access their own personal information. There are limited and specific exceptions to these rights.
Public bodies include departments of the Yukon government, Yukon Housing Corp., Yukon Lottery Corp., Yukon Liquor Corp., Yukon University, Yukon Energy Corp., Yukon Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board, Yukon Hospital Corp., as well as many boards, commissions and statutory bodies established as an agent of government. You can consult Schedule 1 of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Regulation for a complete list of prescribed public bodies.
The following are not considered public bodies: a court, a judge, the office of a member of the Yukon Legislative Assembly, and officers of the Yukon Legislative Assembly.
Health Information Privacy and Management Act (HIPMA) gives an individual a right to access to their own personal health information held by custodians subject to certain limited exceptions.
Custodians include operators of health care facilities and hospitals, the Government of Yukon Department of Health and Social Services, the Child Development Centre, and most health care providers such as physicians, chiropractors, dentists and related professionals, optometrists, physiotherapists, psychologists, pharmacists, nurses, occupational therapists, midwives, naturopaths and speech pathologists.
Both ATIPPA and HIPMA set out rules that public bodies and custodians must follow when an individual makes a request for access to information.
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (ATIPPA)
Can I access my personal information or other information in records held by public bodies?
Under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (ATIPPA) the public has a right to access any records held by a public body subject to certain exceptions. Individuals also have the right to access their own personal information.
To make a request for access to your personal or other information held by a public body contact the Access and Privacy Officer, who is located at the ATIPP Office in the Government of Yukon, at 867-393-7048 or visit https://yukon.ca/en/submit-atipp-request to make your request for records.
Records may be available without having to submit a formal access request. Contact the public body that has the records you are interested in to find out if you can access these records directly from them. Under ATIPPA, there is a requirement for public bodies to make certain types of information available to the public without an access request. This is accomplished by establishing an open access register for the public body. Information available through the open access register includes, the public body’s organizational structure, the public body’s responsibilities and functions, each current manual and policy statement used in carrying out a program or activity, or providing a service, of the public body.
For this type of information, you may browse the Access to Information Registry here.
Who is the Access and Privacy Officer (APO)?
The Access and Privacy Officer (APO) is someone designated under ATIPPA who is responsible for receiving, managing and responding to requests for access to records or information held by any public body. The APO has a duty to assist the public in making requests for access to information. Once submitted, the APO will decide whether to accept or refuse to process your access request and will attempt to assist you, as necessary.
The APO does not decide what records or information you will receive in response to your request. That responsibility rests with the public body from whom you requested the records. When responding to your access request, the APO will pass along the public body’s decision about whether to grant access to the records related to your request.
What if I am not satisfied with the response to my request for access to records?
The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) can review the decisions taken by the APO or a public body in respect of your request for access to records.
You can request the OIPC to review a decision made by a public body, including:
- refusal to grant access to a record or records,
- redaction of information from a record,
- releasing your personal or business information to a third party, and
- refusal to correct information in a record.
You can also request the OIPC review a decision made by the APO, including:
- refusal to process your access request,
- granting an extension of time to respond to your access request,
- declaring your access request abandoned, and
- denying an application to waive some or all of the costs associated with processing your access request.
If you did not receive a response to your access request from the APO within 30 business days from the date your request was activated (or by the updated response date if there was a time extension granted by either the APO or the OIPC), this is considered a refusal by a public body to provide you with access to the records you requested. You can request the OIPC to review this refusal.
When must I submit a complaint the OIPC?
The OIPC must receive your complaint not later than 30 business days from the date the public body responded to your:
- access request, or
- request for correction.
A third party business or individual who received a notice of a public body’s decision to release their business or personal information to an applicant must submit a complaint to the OIPC at least 5 business days before the response date for the access request to which the complaint related.
If the APO failed to respond to your access request in time, you have 30 business days from the date they should have responded to submit a complaint to the OIPC.
How do I submit a complaint?
To submit a complaint, you must fill out the Complaint Form available on our website at and submit it to our office.
When you submit your form, make sure you include a copy of the following documents:
- your request for access to records that you submitted to the ATIPP Office,
- the APO’s response (if there was one), and
- any correspondence with the APO or public body related to your request for access to records.
What is the role of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC)?
If the complaint is not resolved through the ICR process, the IPC may decide to conduct an adjudication. The IPC’s decision to conduct an adjudication is discretionary and may be conducted by one of her delegates.
Adjudications are generally conducted by way of the parties making written submissions to the IPC. Following the adjudication, the IPC will issue a report with the findings and any recommendations. Both you and the public body will receive a copy of the report. For more information on the adjudication process, please see the FAQs about Adjudications.
What if the public body refuses to accept the IPC’s recommendation?
A public body must notify the IPC about whether or not it accepts a recommendation. If a public body does not give the required notice or refuses to accept the IPC’s recommendation/s, you have a right to appeal to the Yukon Supreme Court.
For more information regarding the rights of appeal, please see the FAQs about Written Adjudications.
What if my concern is about how a public body handled my request for access to records?
The OIPC can receive complaints from the public about the improper administration of ATIPPA by public bodies. If you believe a public body did not properly search for records, or the public body failed to locate records you believe exist, or you have some other concern about how a public body or the APO handled your access request, you can make a complaint to the OIPC by completing a Complaint Form.
What happens when I make a complaint?
Our Informal Case Resolution (ICR) Team will review your Complaint Form. and all supporting documentation. The public body will be notified that the OIPC has received a complaint.
Shortly after we receive your complaint form, in most cases you will be contacted by an ICR investigator who will work with you and the public body or APO (as necessary) to try and resolve the matter informally. If the issue cannot be resolved through the ICR process, the IPC may decide to conduct a more formal investigation and issue a report.
Is there a fee to make a complaint?
There is no fee for our services.
I have a concern about the privacy of my personal information?
If your concern is about the collection, use, disclosure or breach of your personal information by a public body, please visit the portion of our website dedicated to privacy concerns.
Where do I submit my request for review or complaint?
Complete the Complaint Form and submit it to our office.
Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner
3162 Third Avenue, Main Floor
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 1G3
Office hours are Monday to Friday 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.
Forms can be found on our website by clicking here.
You can also obtain the form by contacting our office.
Health Information Privacy and Management Act (HIPMA)
Can I access my personal health information held by a custodian?
Yes. Under the Health Information Privacy and Management Act (HIPMA) you have a right to view your personal health information or to receive a copy of it from a custodian (to see more about personal health information please click here to view page one of the FAQ's). A custodian has 30 days, or an additional 60 days if more time is needed, to respond to your request from the date they receive your request for access to your personal health information. Contact the custodian who has your personal health information to find out how to make a request for access to this information.
You can also ask the custodian for a “record of user activity.” This record will tell you who has looked at any of your personal health information that is stored on the custodian’s electronic system. Contact the custodian for information about how to request a record of user activity related to your personal health information.
What is a record?
A record is anything recorded. A “record” is defined as including books, documents, maps, drawings, photographs, letters, vouchers, papers and any other thing on which information is recorded or stored by graphic, electronic or other means. Records include email and information stored electronically. It does not include a computer program or any other process that produces information.
What can I do if I don’t receive a response or am not satisfied with the response received?
You can make a complaint to the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) by completing a Request for Review/Complaint Form if you don’t receive the information you requested by the deadline or are not satisfied with the information provided. You can also make a complaint about an extension taken by a custodian, the failure of a custodian to assist you in making your access request, or the fee charged for providing access.
What if my health information is not correct?
You can ask a custodian to correct your health information (please see page three of the FAQs). If you believe the custodian has not followed HIPMA in managing your request for correction you can make a complaint to our office by completing a Request for Review/Complaint Form.
What happens when I file an access complaint?
When we receive an access complaint, an Investigator with the ECR Team will:
- notify the custodian about the complaint;
- provide you and the custodian with a summary of the complaint and the procedure we will use to investigate the complaint;
- informally try and resolve the complaint with you and the custodian;
- notify you and the custodian about the resolution reached or if resolution could not be reached, the next steps.
For more information about our procedures for managing complaints, please click here.
What is the role of the Information and Privacy Commissioner?
If your complaint cannot be resolved informally the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) will conduct a hearing. Most hearings are conducted in writing by way of the parties making submissions. Following a hearing, the IPC will issue a report with her findings and any appropriate recommendations to remedy any noncompliance with HIPMA. Both you and the custodian will receive a copy of the report.
Summaries of Reports will be published on our website. As well, the IPC may choose to publish the entire report. Any personal or health information will be removed from the report before it is published.
What if a custodian does not follow the IPC’s recommendation?
A custodian must provide written notice to the IPC about whether they accept the recommendation/s. If the custodian does not provide notice or decides not to follow a recommendation you will be notified by the IPC after which you may appeal to the Yukon Supreme Court.
How do I make a complaint?
To make a complaint complete a Request for Review/Complaint Form and submit it to our office.
Forms can be found on our website by clicking here.
You can also obtain the form by contacting our office.
Our contact information can be found here.
Is there a fee?
There is no fee for our services.
What if my complaint is about the privacy of my personal health information?
If your concern is about the collection, use, disclosure or breach of your personal health information by a custodian, please visit the portion of our website dedicated to privacy concerns.
- Is the Information and Privacy Commissioner part of government?
No, the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) is an independent officer of the Yukon Legislative Assembly and is, therefore, not part of the Yukon government.
The IPC is responsible for monitoring compliance with the Health Information Privacy and Management Act (HIPMA) and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (ATIPP).
The IPC has a number of responsibilities under these Acts and has broad authority to investigate complaints made, including the power to compel production of records and witnesses. Under ATIPP and HIPMA, the IPC also has adjudicative authority which means her office can make findings of fact and law that are binding on public bodies and custodians subject to the Acts.