Mount Saint Vincent University is committed to making every reasonable effort to assist persons seeking information concerning the university and to help them with FOIPOP applications, responding without delay and in an open, accurate and complete manner.

In the sections below, you will find information on how to submit an application/FOIPOP Request (Form 1) for access to information/records held by Mount Saint Vincent University, and what the process is once you have submitted your Request. Should you have additional questions, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section. If you still have questions and/or you wish to speak directly the Mount’s Governance Secretary and General Counsel, please contact:

Sara Knight
University Secretary and General Counsel
Mount Saint Vincent University
166 Bedford Highway, Room Evaristus 217C
Halifax NS B3M 2J6

Phone: (902) 457-6436

The following ten (10) principles on the right of access to information was developed by the Open Society Justice Initiative, together with partner organizations, to mark the third annual International Right to Know Day. Please access Canada’s Right to Know website for further information.

1. Access to information is a right of everyone.
Anyone may request information, regardless of nationality or profession. There should be no citizenship

requirements and no need to justify why the information is being sought.

2. Access is the rule – secrecy is the exception!
All information held by government bodies is public in principle. Information can be withheld only for a narrow set of legitimate reasons set forth in international law and also codified in national law.

3. The right applies to all public bodies.
The public has a right to receive information in the possession of any institution funded by the public and private bodies performing public functions, such as water and electricity providers.

4. Making requests should be simple, speedy, and free.
Making a request should be simple. The only requirements should be to supply a name, address and description of the information sought. Requestors should be able to file requests in writing. Information should be provided immediately or within a short time frame.

5. Officials have a duty to assist requestors
Public officials should assist requestors in making their requests. If a request is submitted to the wrong public body, officials should transfer the request to the appropriate body.

6. Refusals must be justified.
Governments may only withhold information from public access if disclosure would cause demonstrable harm to legitimate interests, such as national security or privacy. These exceptions must be clearly and specifically defined by law. Any refusal must clearly state the reasons for withholding the information.

7. The public interest takes precedence over secrecy.
Information must be released when the public interest outweighs any harm in releasing it. There is a strong presumption that information about threats to the environment, health, or human rights, and information revealing corruption, should be released, given the high public interest in such information.

8. Everyone has the right to appeal an adverse decision.
All requestors have the right to a prompt and effective judicial review of a public body’s refusal or failure to disclose information.

9. Public bodies should proactively publish core information.
Every public body should make readily available information about its functions and responsibilities, without need for a request. This information should be current, clear, and in plain language.

10. The right should be guaranteed by an independent body.
An independent agency, such as an ombudsperson or commissioner, should be established to review refusals, promote awareness, and advance the right to access information.

The FOIPOP Act is in addition to, and does not replace, existing procedures for access to information. Before submitting a FOIPOP application for access to information, consider that the records you are looking for may already be available by calling the University and asking the specific department for it. Please access the Mount’s directory of University Departments/Staff for a list of staff and Departments.

As well, the information may already be on the Mount’s website and a search of the website may reveal the information you seek. The Mount is in the process of developing a Routine Access Policy that will make available various types of reports / documents; in the meantime, please refer to the list of documents currently available to to the public, as that will form part of the Mount’s “Routine Access Policy“, either by clicking on wording within this paragraph, or by choosing “Routine Access Policy” in the column to the left.

If you do not find the information you are looking for, please feel free to contact the Mount’s FOIPOP Administrator (contact info listed above).

Below are the steps required in submitting an application requesting access to records. Should you require assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the University Governance Secretary:

Complete the application (Form 1) available for download in pdf and Word format below, and attach the necessary $5.00 application fee. If paying by cheque or money order, please make the cheque/money order out to Mount Saint Vincent University. Where the applicant is requesting personal information about her/himself, the application fee is waived.

Form 1 – Application for Access to a Record (pdf)
Form 1 – Application for Access to a Record (Word)

Please ensure that your request is clear, detailing exactly what records you are seeking access to. As well, make sure that you sign the application and that your contact information is complete and legible. This will help expedite the process.

Submit your application to the FOIPOP Administrator. Requests for access must be made in writing, subject matter specified and fees paid before any action is taken on the application. The Mount will make every reasonable effort to assist the applicant in the process and to and respond without delay openly, accurately and completely. Applications should be submitted to:

Sara Knight
University Secretary and General Counsel
Mount Saint Vincent University
166 Bedford Highway, Room Evaristus 217C
Halifax NS B3M 2J6

The University must respond within 30 days unless a time extension is permitted.

Now that your application for access (Form 1) has been submitted, the work of the FOIPOP Administrator begins. Below are the steps taken by the FOIPOP Administrator to complete your application.

Day 1: Your application/request is received and assessed for the need for clarification. Correspondence is prepared to acknowledge your request, and explaining where, when and how access will be given (s. 7(2)(a)(i)).

Day 1-10: The existence (and location) of records that meet the criteria of the application are determined. At this time, the FOIPOP Administrator will be checking to see whether the material you are seeking access to is already public and released.

A fee estimate will also be undertaken to determine if completing your application process will require more than the two hours permitted by the FOIPOP Act (s.11(3)) and whether the records can be extracted, reviewed and prepared for release within the 30-days permitted by the FOIPOP Act. (s. 7(2)). Should a deadline extension be required or additional fees be determined you will be notified.

Day 11-22: Records are examined, notice is given to third parties who may be named within the records, consultations are undertaken, time extensions further considered, and volume of work on the application / request determined.

Day 23-28: Records are collated, and prepared for release, fee final processing is undertaken.

Day 28-30: The response package is prepared and released.


Note: You do have the right to ask for a review of the decision, by a review officer. You will have 60 days from the date of the response package to exercise this right.


If after 30 days you receive no response to a request for access to information, it is considered that the public body has denied access. At that point, you may request in writing that the Information and Privacy Commissioner conduct a review of the public body’s refusal.

As well, if you do receive a response to your application for access to information but you are not satisfied with the response of the public body, you may appeal the decision to the Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner of Nova Scotia.

A review process is initiated through the completion of a Form 7 – Request for Review (Word format or PDF format).

Completed forms should be submitted to the address at the top left of the Form 7