At the Information and Referral Center of Greater Montréal (IRCGM), we are committed to respecting and protecting your privacy, in accordance with the Act respecting the protection of personal information in the private sector. We are also committed to transparency and accountability in the proper management of any personal information you may share with us.

The purpose of this Privacy Policy is to inform you of our practices regarding the collection, use, disclosure, retention and destruction of your personal information.

In the course of our activities, we collect, use and process personal information in order to provide our services.

Please read the Policy carefully. When you provide personal information to IRCGM (which manages the 211 service, Drugs: Help and Referral, Gambling: Help and Referral and the TeleCounseling program), we assume that you agree to it being handled in the manner described in this Policy. In some cases, we may ask for your explicit agreement. If you do not agree with any aspect of our Policy, please do not provide your personal information.


What is personal information?

By personal information, we mean any information that relates to a natural person and makes it possible, directly or indirectly, to identify them. For example, a name, home address, telephone number, age, sex, marital or family status, identification number, financial information, donation information, and education are all personal information.

When it gives rise to a high reasonable expectation of privacy, notably because of its medical or intimate nature, or the way it is used or communicated, it is said to be sensitive information. Due to the nature of our services, we consider all the information we process to be sensitive.


What information do we collect and why?

We collect only the personal information you choose to share with us and that which is required for the proper functioning of our services, in order to best meet your needs. Here are the situations in which we may collect your personal information:

When you communicate with one of our telephone lines or chat services on our websites

Type of personal information

  • Postal code
  • Age
  • Language
  • Gender
  • Purpose of the call
  • Details of your situation
  • Personal characteristics (e.g. tone of voice, state of distress)
  • In some cases, recording of conversations
  • Any information you voluntarily provide to us

In some specific cases for follow-up calls or a particular program (e.g. TeleCounseling), additional information may be collected with your consent:

  • Name
  • Telephone number
  • Email address


  • Refer you to local social and community resources or programs, such as food assistance, financial aid, housing, seniors and support for people with substance, gambling or screen addictions.
  • Answer your questions.
  • Tailor our services to your needs and profile.
  • Generate demographic data and determine the different needs and types of requests for help we receive.
  • Generate call reports that do not directly identify you, in order to supervise the work of our counsellors and evaluate our services.
  • Your personal information may also be used for statistical purposes (demographic information, determining the different needs and types of requests for assistance we receive) and research (chat reports). In this case, your personal information will be de-identified, i.e. it will no longer allow you to be directly identified.
  • If we have reason to believe that you or a loved one is in immediate danger, to rescue you.
  • For follow-up calls or TeleCounseling: additional information is required to ensure personalized follow-up

When you fill out a donation form for our Foundation

  • Name
  • Telephone number
  • Email address
  • Home address
  • Destination or allocation of donation when requested (for example, to one of the services operated by IRCGM)
  • Donation amount
  • Donation frequency
  • Contact information for people to inform of your donation in memory or honour of a loved one
  • Method of payment
  • Banking details
  • Receive and process your donation, and issue official receipts.
  • With your consent, we will acknowledge your contribution as a donor and thank you.
  • With your consent, we will contact you to inform you of the impact of your donation or contribution.

When you sign up for an activity, a newsletter or an invitation to collaborate

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Any information you voluntarily provide to us.
  • Communicate with you.
  • Identify you in future communications and thus personalize the service we provide.

When you browse our websites

When you browse our websites, we collect usage information such as:

  • Number of visitors to our sites
  • Pages visited
  • Visit duration
  • Type of device used
  • Language
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of our services.
  • Diagnose problems with our server and administer our websites.
  • Personalize your access to our sites.
  • Adapt the content made available to you and thus increase your satisfaction (for more information, see Do we use automated technologies?).

When you submit your application

When you apply for a job, internship or other position at IRCGM, we collect your:

  • Résumé
  • Cover letter
  • Email address
  • Telephone number
  • Information discussed during a reference-checking telephone conversation, for example, about your work performance
  • Evaluate your application and contact you as part of the recruitment process.

We will use personal information only for the purposes for which it was collected and any other purposes permitted by law.

We will take reasonable steps to limit the risk of anyone identifying an individual from de-identified information.


How do we collect your personal information?

We collect your personal information in several ways:

Directly from you:

  • When you directly provide personal information by completing the donation, inquiry and testimonial forms on our websites, whether to make a donation, request information about our services or provide a testimonial about your experience as a user of our services;
  • When you voluntarily provide personal information by writing in the online chat on our various websites, in the testimonial section of the website and in the message section of the contact forms on our websites to communicate with us;

By email when you apply for a job;

When you search for community and social services through the search tool available on our website;

Through the use of cookies in accordance with the terms set out below in the article: How we use cookies.


How do we obtain your consent?

When you provide us with personal information by telephone, through our websites or through any other service that involves the transmission of personal information, you agree to the processing of that information as described in this Policy.

When we collect, use and disclose your personal information, we always do so for specific purposes. Your consent is valid for the time necessary to achieve these purposes.

We always observe the purposes for which we have collected your personal information. If we wish to use or communicate your personal information for other purposes, we will seek your consent, except as permitted by law.


With whom do we share your personal information?

When we share your personal information with our service providers or partners for the purposes mentioned above, we take steps to ensure that the rules set out in this Policy are observed. We require them to use your personal information only for the purposes for which it was provided.

Below is a list of the categories of third parties that may process your personal information:

  • Other network organizations and partners (e.g. Centraide, Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal, regional county municipalities, Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, other government bodies) : We may share de-identified data with certain organizations that analyze and cross-reference it with their own to determine whether or not the needs of the population are being met.
  • Service providers
    • payment: Authorize purchases and process transactions securely.
    • IT, security and analytics services: Access IRCGM systems and data to provide IT services, telephony and chat services, security, and analytics, including cyberthreat management and data analysis.
    • hosting: Host our databases and websites, and ensure the smooth operation of transactional functions, including access to site information.
    • scientific research: Conduct scientific research and evaluation of our services and programs.
    • printing and mailing: Process personal information for the printing and mailing of documents and communications.
    • sending email: Manage the sending of emails, such as donation confirmations, updates and newsletters.
    • digital donation platforms: Collect personal information from visitors/donors via online platforms to facilitate donations.
    • CRM and related applications : Manage contact and user information and integrate with other related applications.
    • data analysis: With your consent, suppliers analyze usage information on our websites to help us improve our services. See Do we use automated technologies? for more information.
    • advertising: With your consent, suppliers analyze information about your use of our websites and your online behaviour in order to display personalized advertisements (see Do we use automated technologies? for more information).
  • Government or regulatory authorities (Bureau du coroner, judges, police): Enable us to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations.
  • Some volunteers closely involved in IRCGM activities: Manage the personal information of our clients/donors, including their contact details, contributions and preferences.

We do not share your personal information with anyone other than those named above without your consent.


How do we protect your personal information?

IRCGM is committed to keeping all personal information it collects secure. In addition, we undertake to take appropriate precautions to protect them against loss, fraud or unwanted use.

We limit access to your personal information. Only staff members who need to process your personal information in order to perform their duties have access to it (e.g. coordinator, director, caseworker, counsellor, complaints officer). These people have access to only the information they need to carry out their tasks.

We have established the roles and responsibilities of staff members throughout the cycle of processing your personal information, from collection to destruction. We review them regularly to keep them up to date.

We recognize that information security is an integral part of the confidentiality of personal information.

We use industry best practices to ensure that personal information is protected in accordance with applicable privacy legislation.

To this end, we maintain reasonable physical, technical or procedural safeguards to protect your personal information against unauthorized access, use, disclosure, destruction or other breach not compliant with legislation.

All IRCGM employees and third-party suppliers whose services we may retain and who process personal information on our behalf are also contractually bound to respect the security and confidentiality of personal information.


Where is your personal information stored?

Your personal information is stored on our servers and/or those of our IT service provider located in Quebec or Ontario.

Nevertheless, your personal information may be communicated to service providers whose facilities are located outside Quebec. You therefore consent to the transfer of your personal information to countries or provinces (other than the province of Quebec) where privacy rules may be different.

However, we ensure that these suppliers provide adequate protection in accordance with generally accepted privacy principles by first conducting a privacy impact assessment and having the suppliers sign a written agreement to this effect.


How long do we keep personal information?

We will retain your personal information for the purposes for which it was provided to us and for any compatible or related authorized purposes.

We will accordingly stop using and storing your personal information as soon as the purposes in question have been fulfilled, subject to legal or regulatory retention periods.

In particular, note that all online chat and telephone communications are retained for 90 (telephone calls) to 120 (online chat) days and that call reports generated from de-identified personal information after each online chat or telephone conversation for the purposes described above (What information do we collect and why?) are retained for 5 years.


What are your rights regarding your personal information?

  • Right of access, rectification and withdrawal of consent

To access your personal information, to request a rectification to your personal information or to withdraw your consent to the disclosure or use of your personal information, you must address a written request to the IRCGM Privacy Officer (contact information is provided at the end of this Policy).

The rectification request must be specific and correctly identify you to allow IRCGM to correct or complete the personal information deemed inaccurate or incomplete.

Withdrawal of consent will result in the termination of the services offered by IRCGM for the person concerned.


  • Processing of requests

IRCGM will normally respond to requests for access, rectification or withdrawal of consent within 30 days, in accordance with the timelines mandated by the Act respecting the protection of personal information in the private sector.

All necessary assistance will be reasonably provided to persons who wish to access or rectify their personal information, including clarifying exactly what they are looking for.

Depending on the amount of information requested in an access request, a nominal fee may be reasonably charged to cover the cost of responding to the request.

Written notification is provided if IRCGM must deny the individual access to their personal information for legal, regulatory or other reasons.


  • Recourse with the Commission d’accès à l’information

If you are not satisfied with the way IRCGM has handled your request for access or rectification of your personal information, in particular in the event of no response or an unsatisfactory response, you may submit an application to the Commission d’accès à l’information for the examination of a disagreement.


How we use cookies

When you use our websites, we may install a cookie on your computer. Cookies are small data files created by your web browser and placed on your computer. These cookies may have several functions, including improving the operation of our website.

We automatically install the cookies required for the proper operation of our websites, but we install other cookies (analytical, functional, performance and unclassified) only with your consent. These cookies are disabled by default.

You can find out more about the cookies we use:

  • When you first log on to our websites, a cookie banner informs you that cookies are being used and you are invited to accept all, reject all or register your preferences regarding the use of cookies that are not essential to your browsing of our websites.
  • You can configure your preferences and modify your choices at any time during your subsequent browsing of our websites by clicking on the consent button at the bottom left of your screen.

Our websites may include social media plug-ins (Facebook, Instagram and YouTube). These social media plug-ins are buttons that allow you to share your experiences on our websites with others through social media platforms. These platforms install their own cookies on your devices. For more information on this, see the cookie use policies of these social media websites.


When does this Policy not apply?

This site may contain links to other Internet sites over which we have no control. IRCGM is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such sites.


How do we update this Privacy Policy?

We may change the content of our websites and the way cookies are used.

These changes may affect our privacy practices as well as this Privacy Policy and the cookie banner on our websites.

In the event of any change, an appropriate notice will be posted on our websites.


How to contact us

We have appointed a Privacy Officer. This person ensures that we comply with the rules described in this Policy and in the Act.

If you have any requests, questions or comments regarding this Policy, please contact our Privacy Officer at the following address:


Privacy Officer

Information and Referral Center of Greater Montréal

3155 Hochelaga Street, Suite 101

Montréal, QC  H1W 1G4

438 940-5661