Sean Bruyea – April 11, 2011
OTTAWA—Just prior to the election campaign kick-off, Veterans Affairs Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn showed just how out of sync he and some in the department are with veterans and Canadians, not to mention Canadian law and Treasury Board policies. He recently made a number of public comments in Alexandria, Ont., ("The Review," March 23, 2011) in response to widespread privacy law breaches by Veterans Affairs bureaucrats.
Last fall, nationwide revelations showed that department bureaucrats had illegally and widely trafficked in my private financial and medical information. To date, 54 individuals have been disciplined mostly with letters of reprimand although some received up to three-day suspensions. It is not known whether these were paid suspensions. The minister justified disciplinary leniency, emphasizing it was as if privacy protection "didn't exist" and that "no one had a system adapted to the new requirements [of the Privacy Act]."