February 3rd, 2011 - 3:00am
Ottawa - Canadians aren’t sure whether the Conservative Government wants to protect their privacy or throw it to the wind as legislation has government policy running in two different directions. With plans to scrap the mandatory long form census being justified as protecting an individual’s right to privacy on the one hand and changes to the Aeronautics Act that will dramatically curtail privacy rights on the other, Carol Hughes is questioning whether the government has any position on privacy beyond what will be useful for their immediate needs.
During Wednesday’s debate on bill C-42, which will amend the Aeronautics act to make it legal for the government to provide passenger lists and personal information to other countries, Hughes voiced her reservations on the subject.
“The fact that the private information of airline passengers will be shared with other countries is quite concerning and Canadians should be worried about this,” said Hughes.
The right to privacy has been a central theme in the security debates of recent years. The government has firmly positioned themselves in that debate by showing no regard for individual privacy.
In stark contrast, the government announced it would kill the mandatory component to the long-form census this past summer and used privacy concerns as the main reason for doing so. They claimed there was a great amount of dissent surrounding the census that forced them to make their decision. It was later determined they acted on one complaint.
Hughes latched on to this contradiction in her comments exposing the Conservative’ double-standard on privacy rights in the process.
“Why would Canadians want to have their information shared like that, when we can’t even have a Census ourselves based on privacy complaints?” concluded Hughes.