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Privacy Act No Match For Harper's Conservatives

From September 1, 2008

Government accountability relies on the hand-in-hand functioning of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. But Harper's government is willing to ignore the rules and break the law.

According to the Privacy Act, the confidentiality of an Access to Information requester is to be protected, to prevent the possibility of reprisal. For journalist Jim Bronskill, this was not the case. Bronskill's name and the information in his request were given to Stephen Harper's director of communications and political staff.

According to CTV News, "Harper's advisors have put 'incredible pressure' on bureaucrats to reveal the identity of people making certain access-to-information requests."

And, "[W]e are looking into this further to determine whether or not it's a broad systemic issue," Anne-Marie Hayden, of the privacy commissioner's office, told The Canadian Press.

Stephen Harper's government is not accountable to the people. It is evident that his government believes they are above the law and that they can break privacy rules at will for their own benefit. But those rules were put there for a reason.

Consistently, Harper's government says one thing and does another.