Canadians across the country were shocked to learn this month that Statistics Canada wants access to our personal banking information – without our knowledge or consent.
Statistics Canada wants the financial transaction data and personal information of 500,000 random Canadians to develop their ‘new institutional personal information bank.’ The information being requested includes bill payments, cash withdrawals from ATMs, credit card payments, electronic money transfers and even account balances. And the 500,000 figure is only for the first year of data collection. Under their plan, Statistics Canada will eventually have access to the banking information of millions of Canadians.
I have heard from many of you on this matter, and I want to make my position clear: I believe this is a completely unjustifiable intrusion into our private lives by this Liberal government.
The Liberals have defended this policy by suggesting that the data will be perfectly secure. I simply do not believe they can guarantee that. In fact, I recently had the opportunity to review over 800 pages of privacy breaches that have occurred under the Liberals’ watch. How can they possibly be sure your data will be secure with that kind of record?
In this new age of hacking and cybersecurity breaches, it is grossly irresponsible to place all of our financial data under the care of one government entity. I can’t imagine a bigger ‘jackpot’ for those wishing to steal our banking information.
Furthermore, the government should have made a case for why they even believe they need this data. Instead, they launched the policy in secret without Canadians’ knowledge. That is just plain wrong.
Protecting the personal information of Canadians is an integral role of government, and I have joined my Conservative colleagues in calling on the Liberals to cancel this policy.
I can be reached in Ottawa at firstname.lastname@example.org. My Brooks office can be reached at 403-793-6775 or email@example.com, and my Strathmore office at 403-361-2980 or martin.shields.c1B@parl.gc.ca. Please don’t hesitate to contact me about any federal issue.