Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

October 07, 2010 11:51 ET

Minister Blackburn Responds to Privacy Commissioner Report

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 7, 2010) - The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture), made the following statement today in response to the tabling of the Privacy Commissioner's report concerning Veterans Affairs Canada.

"I thank the Privacy Commissioner for the report and I will follow up immediately on all recommendations. I am taking this report very seriously. I want to reassure our Veterans that we are taking appropriate action to ensure the respect of their privacy and dignity. Protecting our Veterans' personal information is a priority for me and for our government.

This morning, I am announcing that a senior government expert has been asked to help my department in this matter. This expert will help Veterans Affairs Canada in implementing the Privacy Commissioner's recommendations. We will enhance our protection measures and the controls and practices in place. All of our staff will receive comprehensive training on the new practices.

In fact, we did not wait for this report, but have already taken measures to correct the situation. We are now reviewing the sanctions imposed on employees who violate the rules in order to make them stricter. Earlier this month, we initiated action to review the handling of personal information by the Department. Improvements to how employees share information internally will be implemented immediately where the principles of "need to know" will be strictly observed. 

Once again, I wish to thank Commissioner Stoddart and her team for their excellent work. We will fully cooperate in the upcoming audit to be conducted by her office. And I wish to reiterate to our Veterans that no violation of their privacy will be tolerated."

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Sophie Doucet
    Director of Communications
    Cell.: 613-608-3252