The basic right of every citizen or permanent resident, set forth in section 4, is to have access to "any record under the control of a government institution". The right recognized is part of the basis entitlement of citizens in a democratic and open society to know what their government knows and what it is doing with that knowledge. (see Dagg v. Canada (Minister of Finance) 1997 CanLII 358 (SCC),  2 S.C.R. 403 at 427-428).
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