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Minister of Revenue’s double standard on Canadians’ privacy

For Immediate Release


December 2nd, 2014



Minister of Revenue’s double standard on Canadians’ privacy



It was recently reported that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has sent CBC news highly confidential tax information of hundreds of Canadians who have donated items to art galleries and museums, including specific financial figures such as precise value tax credits granted.


The Minister of Revenue decried the leak in the House of Commons on Tuesday, November 25th, calling it “extremely serious “and “completely unacceptable to have private information go out publically”.

She went on to say that “our government understands that Canadians expect their information to be protected, and we take action on that every day.”


Except, of course, in the case of most working Canadians.


Minster Findlay, along with the rest of the Harper government, voted in favour of the anti-union bill C-377, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (requirements for labour organizations).


This bill forces labour organizations to disclose the receiver and amount of all disbursements over $5,000 to the CRA who will then post it in a public and searchable database on their website.


This means that the person providing custodial services and a retiree receiving benefits could have their private financial information post on a searchable database on the CRA website.


So while the Minister of Revenue is rightfully outraged at the accidental release of information of a few hundred Canadians, she is perfectly happy to legislate the creation of a searchable database of similar information for hundreds of thousands of hard-working Canadians.


Senator Pierrette Ringuette made the following statement in response to the issue;


“The release of private financial information by the government is just not acceptable. Posting the financial dealings of individuals with unions, as bill C-377 demands, can lead to all sorts of consequences, like retirees benefit information searchable by fraudsters or contract information made available to business competitors.


“The Harper government puts on a show over concerns about privacy, except when it interferes with their agenda; the concerns of Canadians are just not a priority.”


For more information:


Tim Rosenburgh

Office of Senator Pierrette Ringuette

(613) 943-2248