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Privacy Commissioner Stoddart still has strong concerns over violations of privacy in anti-union bill C-377

For Immediate Release


June 3rd, 2013

Privacy Commissioner Stoddart still has strong concerns over violations of privacy in anti-union bill C-377



Committee hearings on bill  C-377, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (requirements for labour organizations) continued last week at the Senate Standing Committee on Banking, Trade, and Commerce. On Wednesday, Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Jennifer Stoddart appeared before the committee to express her continued concerns regarding the bill.


Commissioner Stoddart had previously noted her concerns while the bill was in front of the House of Commons Finance committee, and while there was a slight amendment to the bill, her concerns were not significantly diminished, saying ; “In terms of proportionality, I think that naming that category of individuals that would still be named under this current legislative draft is a significant invasion of their privacy” and that “It is difficult to find an overriding public interest to expose everyone who is around a $5,000 transaction to a searchable web protocol…”


She also expressed some concern over the lack of requirement to obtain permission from those whose information would be exposed; “Specifically, I was troubled by the idea that the names and salaries of all union employees would need to be publicly disclosed, without the individuals’ consent, to achieve accountability objectives.”


Senator Ringuette has released the following statement;


“After two weeks of testimony, there continues to be an overwhelming amount of witnesses testifying against the bill. After hearing opposition from numerous legal experts and now the concerns of the Privacy Commissioner herself, I can see no way to dismiss the blatant violation of privacy of Canadian citizens. This is another entry in an extensive list of the fundamental flaws in this bill, I can see no way for any Senator to justify voting in favour of this legislation.”


For more information:


Tim Rosenburgh

Office of Senator Pierrette Ringuette

(613) 943-2248