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Opinion

Canadians shouldn’t have to give up privacy rights to prevent the spread of COVID-19

By Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner      

The government should be using this situation to improve individual privacy rights, not being content to let the status quo continue, or worse yet, use this as cover to allow our rights to be further eroded.

Canadian digital privacy laws were inadequate prior to COVID-19. Not only do we need a framework to protect privacy for COVID-19-related contact tracing, but we also need new data protection laws writ large, writes Michelle Rempel Garner. Photograph courtesy of Pixabay

As governments around the world look for strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19, there have been increasing questions about how Canada will do the same. One common acknowledgement is that in order to lift mass isolation measures while containing the spread of the virus, jurisdictions must have robust systems for testing and rapid contact tracing.

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Ottawa making ‘good progress’ modernizing procurement, but auditor finds more training needed

Canada’s Auditor General Karen Hogan looked into how departments are better planning procurements for complex IT solutions, including lessons learned from the problem-plagued Phoenix payroll system.

Long-term fixes for safe drinking water in some First Nations could be out of reach for ‘several years,’ says AG

News|By Beatrice Paez
A small proportion (15 per cent) of the 100 advisories lifted since the Trudeau Liberals took office ended as result of 'interim measures,' according to the report.

Liberal delay in moving on Bill C-19 ‘puzzling’ given election posturing, says NDP’s Blaikie

After being ‘in a hurry’ to table the bill in December amid strong public polling, Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu says she thinks the delay now is a reflection of a dip in Liberal fortunes.

New committee a forum to look deeper into ever-important Canada-U.S. economic relationship, but will partisan squabbles dominate?

News|By Neil Moss
The special committee was created through a Conservative motion that was backed by the Liberals, Bloc, and NDP. Nearly half of the members of the committee are members of the International Trade Committee.

Torture ‘by another name’: Canada still keeps some prisoners in solitary confinement, ‘disturbing’ new data shows

Federal prison authorities say the Liberal law requires the agency to give prisoner’s the ‘opportunity’ for time out of cell, and often prisoners refuse.

MPs, advocates urge more government action to combat ‘pandemic of anti-Asian racism’

News|By Alice Chen
Most MPs and advocates who spoke to The Hill Times connected this resurgence in hate to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Liberal MP Han Dong noting that communities have come together in response.

Statistics Canada ‘almost ready’ to launch consultations on effort to collect race-based data on crime

News|By Palak Mangat
It will ultimately be up to the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and other policing partners to get buy-in from their colleagues to implement the initiative on the ground.

Arbitrary detention declaration is a ‘good start,’ but questions loom about impact

News|By Neil Moss
Former Canadian ambassador Ferry de Kerckhove says the declaration is a recouping of the 'past glory' of Canada's multilateral work on the international stage.

Unofficial NDP political groups call to be seated at the table with the party

News|By Alice Chen
'We have the resolutions, we have people who are willing to do the job, so let us be partners in building a socialist movement in this country,' says NDP Socialist Caucus chairperson Barry Weisleder.
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