Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

March 09, 2007 17:01 ET

Privatization of Health Cards and Driver's Licences Raises Serious Security Concerns: OPSEU

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 9, 2007) - The McGuinty government's announcement today that it has selected a private firm to manufacture health cards and driver's licences jeopardizes the confidentiality of personal data-keeping and flies in the face of previous warnings by the provincial auditor general.

The government's move to privatize a public service comes on the heels of a warning from the federal privacy commissioner this week. Commission staff warned that using citizenship information on driver's licences to facilitate border-crossing between Canada and the United States comes at a significant risk to privacy.

The move to private sector production should be of grave concern to all Ontarians who treasure the confidentiality of personal records, said Leah Casselman, president of Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU).

"The government has provided no evidence whatsoever that a private company is better able to protect the security of personal information," said Casselman. "Keeping this information under direct ministerial control inside the public service is a better way of protecting the privacy of Ontarians.

"There is no place for the profit motive when it comes to guaranteeing the security of citizens."

Today's announcement that Markham-based Giesecke and Devrient Systems Canada (G&D) will take over the production of health cards and driver's licences means the loss of 30 Ontario Public Service positions with the Ministry of Government Services in Kingston.

Casselman cited the 2005 provincial auditor general's report which said that 56,000 secure items - including temporary driver's licences - had been lost or stolen from offices of private licence issuers. The auditor also found widespread overcharging, and illegal changes to data at private licence issuing offices.

Contact Information

  • OPSEU Communications
    Greg Hamara
    (416) 448-7441 or Cell: (647) 238-9933
    Website: www.opseu.org