— Patricia Moon (@nobledreamer16) April 1, 2016
Continued from An Extraordinary Debate in the Canadian Senate the Day Before #FATCA IGA Received Royal Assent Part I
The Consultation of the Privacy Commissioner-An Exercise in Futility?
Given the fact that we are expecting a hearing concerning the Privacy Commissioner’s Report (which apparently was not examined before the release of information by CRA to the IRS in September, 2015), I think it is worth revisiting some of the discussions held with the Interim Privacy Commissioner Chantal Bernier prior to the actual implementation of the IGA.
Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
National Finance, April 29, 2014 OTTAWA,
2:32-4:16 pm / 4:17-4:39 pm)
*The actual session lasted 22 minutes
also available here, 10:82-89
Senator Callbeck: I have a question on privacy concerns. I understand that some serious concerns are being expressed over privacy. I’m wondering, has the Privacy Commissioner been consulted?
Mr. Ernewein: “… In our discussions with the U.S., we’ve kept the Office of the Privacy Commissioner informed about what we were doing. We’ve also made sure to alert them that the agreement was being signed, to share the agreement with them and to share the draft legislation at that time. It’s my understanding that the Privacy Commissioner does not bless, if you will, government actions or legislation, so I don’t wish to speak for the office or the commissioner, but certainly they have been kept informed of all developments.
I have not been terribly familiar with Mr. Ernewein (I only recall him from the HOC May 29 meeting), as my attention during this time was focused on the House of Commons FINA hearings. I suspect that was due to Lynne, John, and Allison testifying there. I was inclined to think Mr. Ernewein was a reasonable fellow until I read this statement. Mr. Shoom furthers this idea a bit later by basically saying that they presumed she had no objections because outside of contact initiated by them, she did not respond further. While seemingly respectful of the Commissioner, even appearing to defer to her, Mr. Ernewein achieves something much more noticeable, which is to say that he doesn’t think it is required for the Commissioner to be on board with the legislation. Perhaps the only requirement is to check with actual Ministers however, how many of them would be as familiar with The Privacy Act and PIPEDA? I guess it wouldn’t matter, since the CONS had a majority. However, it may come back to haunt them later. Ms. Bernier, however understated it may seem, made some strong points that suggest she had serious concerns about the IGA.