Debates of the Senate  
2nd Session, 41st Parliament, Volume 149, Issue 9
  Wednesday, October 30, 2013
 
Question: Privacy Commissioner
Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck: I would like to remind honourable senators that this is not the first time that the federal government has violated the privacy of individual Canadians. A while ago, in this chamber, I raised the case of Cindy Blackstock, the executive director of the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada.

Ms. Blackstock has been particularly outspoken on the fact that federal funding for child welfare in First Nations communities is at least 22 per cent lower than it is for the provinces.

So she took her claim to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. After she filed her Human Rights Tribunal complaint, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and the Justice Department monitored her Facebook and other social media accounts that she had in an effort to stymie her complaint to the tribunal.

Earlier this year, Ms. Blackstock won a decision by the Privacy Commissioner, who stated that the federal government violated her rights repeatedly.

My question to the Leader of the Government in the Senate is this: Does the government have a plan to limit privacy violations by government departments, as in the case of Ms. Blackstock, or will Canadians have to continue to take the federal government to court or to the Privacy Commissioner in order to protect their privacy rights?

Senator Carignan: As I said earlier, mechanisms are in place to protect Canadians' personal information and privacy. We expect these mechanisms to comply with the law and the agencies mandated to use personal information do so in accordance with the