Service Fees


Why are fees collected by the Government of Canada?

  • In 1997, Treasury Board announced a policy on cost recovery. The policy stated that the user or the direct beneficiary of government services should pay for that service and not the general public (taxpayers).
  • As a result, it is government policy to implement user charges for services that provide identifiable recipients with direct benefits beyond those received by the general public.

Why does LAC collect fees?

  • Some services provided by LAC have a service fee because they benefit the users (i.e. first access to archives or personalized reproductions) more than the general Canadian public.
  • The organization also chooses not to charge for some services, such as user registration, onsite consultation of archival and published material in all formats, digital collection online, workshops and tours.

LAC Service Fees

What fees are collected by LAC?

  • LAC collects revenue on behalf of the government for four service fees that have been established in the Department of Canadian Heritage Act and the Library and Archives of Canada Act.
  • These fees are divided into:
    • Reprography services
    • Information systems services
    • Local delivery services

Legislation governing LAC’s service fees

Department of Canadian Heritage Act

  • Sections 8 to 10 of the Act provide LAC with the authority to fix the fees to be paid for services, use of facilities, products, rights and privileges as well as fees in respect of regulatory processes.
  • Sections 11 and 12 of the Act list requirements regarding consultation and publication in the Canada Gazette.

Library and Archives of Canada Act

  • Section 8 of the Act describes all the services that LAC can provide to users.

Financial Administration Act (FAA)

  • The FAA sets out a series of fundamental principles about how government spending may be approved, expenditures can be made, revenues obtained and funds borrowed.
  • As well, subsection 19(2) outlines that the amount charged is not to exceed the total cost of providing the service.

Service Fees Act (SFA)

  • In July 2017, the User Fees Act was replaced by the Service Fees Act, to modernize fee charges by the Government of Canada. The Service Fees Act leads to greater government accountability and oversight, and increases transparency in managing service fee activities. The Act lists requirements when proposing a new fee or amending an existing fee.

Annual report on fees

  • LAC has to report on service fees each fiscal year. The report is tabled in Parliament, and it must be published on the LAC website no later than March 31 of the fiscal year in which the report is tabled.


  • In light of the renewed Service Fees Act and to have a balanced approach between revenue generation and the delivery of LAC’s mandate in terms of access, we initiated the process to review our service fees. The objective of this exercise is to update the pricing and list of services offered to clients.
  • We are also exploring other revenue opportunities for commercial use of the collection as well as other opportunities that may arise from transformational initiatives and projects such as with Ottawa Public Library.


Julie L’Écuyer
Tel.: 613-219-9542

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