Jun 052020

April 23, 2020

TO:  Michael Bryant, Executive Director and General Counsel, CCLA (Canadian Civil Liberties Assoc)

CC:  Brenda McPhail

It was good to hear Michael Enright’s interview of CCLA’s Brenda McPhail, Sunday Edition, April 19th   (CCLA, Director, Privacy, Technology & Surveillance Project).

Brenda did a fine job of addressing the implications of Personal Data Collection.



ONE QUESTION —-   WHY is the Canadian Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information not rolled out in full force?  I just don’t get it.

It is stated with eloquence in the case law associated with Section 8 of the Charter (protection against undue “search and seizure”)  R. v. Plant, [1993] 3 S.C.R. 281:

In fostering the underlying values of dignity, integrity and autonomy, it is fitting that s. 8 of the Charter should seek to protect a biographical core of personal information which individuals in a free and democratic society would wish to maintain and control from dissemination to the state.”

It is as though those words were never written.  WHY?   To me they are phenomenally important.  Every citizen in Canada should know they exist in that form and context.

2017-06-13  on The Sunday Edition, host Michael Enright stated “Canadians do not have a Charter Right to Privacy . . . ”.

I believe the statement to be demonstrably not true.   Michael was not so blunt this time around, on 2020-04-19.  But in the interview with Brenda, the Charter Right was, as usual, not articulated.

I deliberately used passion in my input to the CBC in 2017 because I do not know how otherwise to engage in an informed and serious discussion on this topic.   It was not the first time I tried to get “the goods” on the Charter Right, Privacy of Personal Info, to the CBC for their use.   Maybe passion would work?   I happened to have just read another atrocity from World War 2 that was enabled by state collection of detailed information on citizens.  The letter to the Sunday Edition in 2017 is at  https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=19458.

If I am wrong in my understanding of the Charter Right, for the love of God please tell me.  The Charter Right, the criteria required to satisfy a Court that a Section 1 override is warranted, how Prosecutors get around the “Oakes Test” in the case of the Charter Right, are well documented on my website.  The information base has been developed by working with a group of like-minded Canadians.  Since 2003.  And from experience, 5 years in and out of Court, working with a young lawyer who had a passion for Privacy Law.

I just do not understand WHY, if I am wrong, someone will not at least have the courtesy to point out the error in argument.

2011-01-21 Are StatsCan surveys mandatory?  Interpretation of the Law.        https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?p=1046

Lockheed Martin, StatsCan, Charter Right Privacy, Trial   https://sandrafinley.ca/blog/?page_id=70  

The highest volume postings on my website are the ones related to state collection of data on citizens and surveillance.  For almost a year, I have been pretty well absent from “my work”.  Surprising to me, the hits on those postings never stop.  The numbers just keep rising. 

Thank-you for your efforts to defend democracy in Canada.   Please just tell me why the Canadian Charter Right to Privacy of Personal Information is not even worthy of mention (at minimum).

Best wishes,

Sandra Finley

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