Secret Canada logo
A project from The Globe and Mail logo

It’s your right to know

Accessing information in Canada has been too difficult for too long. Explore what records Canadians are seeking from 

Illustration of a city, with trees, and stacked papers that look like tall buildings

Secret Canada is a freedom of information project from The Globe and Mail

Information is the bedrock of democracy. Freedom of information laws give you the right to obtain records held by public institutions. This project helps you navigate Canada’s access system

Canada’s FOI report card

The Globe analyzed every government ministry and department across the country to understand how they handle access requests. The investigation found:

Average time to process a request in days
A horizontal bar chart showing average time to process a request. Ont.*: 122 (45 including exemptions), federal: 83, N.B.: 72, B.C.: 67, Nunavut: 60, PEI: 59, NWT: 53, Man.: 51, Yukon: 41, N.S.: 38, N.L.: 29, Que.*: 25 (28 including exemptions), Sask.: 20
Percentage with records released
A horizontal bar chart showing the percentage of requests with any records released. Nunavut: 93%, Federal: 79%, B.C.: 78%, Yukon: 76%, N.B.: 73%, N.L.: 73%, Nunavut: 70%, Man.: 68%, PEI: 66%, N.S.: 62%, Sask.: 60%, Ont.: 50% (67% with exemptions), Quebec: 39% (47% with exemptions)

Alberta is not included in our analysis because every ministry refused to provide records. Released records includes full and partial disclosures.
*For Ontario and Quebec, we also analyzed the results with environment ministries excluded. Read why in our methodology.

Read The Globe‘s reporting

Learn how to navigate Canada’s access systems

These guides will help you write FOI requests, figure out where to send them, negotiate for access and appeal decisions

Illustration of two people in a boat atop a sea of document boxes