Grande Prairie – Mackenzie MP Chris Warkentin is speaking out against Statistics Canada’s plan to get banks, credit card companies and credit bureaus to hand over Canadians’ financial records.
“This week Canadians were disturbed to learn that the Trudeau government had commenced widespread unauthorized surveillance of Canadians’ personal financial transactions… Statistics Canada is compelling banks across the country for financial transaction data and personal information of Canadians without their knowledge.”
It was first revealed on October 26th that in October of 2017 and January 2018, Statistics Canada had been asking banks to give them the financial records of more than 500,000 random Canadians.
In a letter to one of those banks, it was reported that the data collected would be used to track household spending and trends to build a new information database. It was also reported that some information it was asking for included bill payments, cash withdrawals from ATMs, credit card payments, electronic money transfers and account balances.
Even though the government has tried to assure Canadians that their information would be safe and none would be made public, Warkentin has called on Ottawa to make the process stop.
“The government must immediately end this secretive and abusive intrusion into the private details of Canadians’ financial records. The government should be protecting the personal information of Canadians. Instead, they are engaging in a massive violation of Canadians’ privacy.”
By law, Statistics Canada does not have to tell people it has taken their information. As of October 31st, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is looking into the data collection.