Recently I have been overwhelmed by citizens asking what can be summarized by the following question:
“Is it true that Statistics Canada is demanding access to certain Canadians personal financial and banking information, including all transactions along with bank account balances without citizens’ consent or even notification that this is going on?”.
When news of this potential sharing of your personal financial information with Ottawa bureaucrats first broke (full credit to Global News) the Official Opposition immediately began hearing very serious concerns, even outrage, from many Canadians.
This was similar to what occurred when it was announced the Liberal Government was going to claw back employee discounts and treat them as taxable benefits.
In that case when the Official Opposition raised these concerns, the Liberals announced it was a policy directive that was not signed off by the Minister and would not go forward.
Our hopeful expectation was this might be a similar situation.
Unfortunately in question period this week Prime Minister Trudeau has confirmed that he fully supports your personal banking information being shared with Ottawa bureaucrats without either your consent, or your knowledge.
The Prime Minister has stated that he believes your data will remain secure. The fact that you have not consented to your financial data being shared and that you will not be notified that your banking information has been taken is perfectly acceptable and is something he supports.
On Thursday my opposition colleague MP Candice Bergen presented over 800 pages of government documents showing hundreds of incidents of privacy breaches affecting thousands of citizens over the past 19 months.
Fortunately on October 31st, the Privacy Commissioner announced he will launch an formal investigation into these proposed actions from Statistics Canada.
In my view, this is not 1984. No government should be using Orwellian techniques to harvest your personal private banking information.
Your personal financial information belongs to you and you have a right to know when it is being accessed and for what purpose.
The Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and our Official Opposition caucus do not support this Liberal supported assault on your personal financial privacy.
My question this week is a simple one:
I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.