The privacy of every Ontarian will be at risk if
the Ontario Budget passes, allowing the Ontario Government to
sell ServiceOntario to a U.S.-based corporation, says Warren
(Smokey) Thomas, President of the Ontario Public Service
Thomas will deliver his message today to the
Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. Joining him
will be prominent Toronto lawyer Paul Cavalluzzo.
When: 7:45 p.m., Wednesday, June 6
Where: Room 230, Main Legislative
Building, Queen’s Park
The sweeping and intrusive U.S. Patriot Act
gives the U.S. government the power to order disclosure of
personal information held by any U.S. company. The orders are
issued and executed in secret and without notice to interested
Cavalluzzo issues this warning: "Under Bill 55,
(Budget legislation) if ServiceOntario services are contracted
out to an American corporation or subsidiary, personal
information of Ontarians could be provided to U.S. National
Security agencies under compulsion of the U.S. Patriot Act.
Ontarians know what can happen when an Ontarian’s personal
information is given to the American National Security
apparatus. Just ask Maher Arar."
Ontario privacy legislation will not protect
Ontarians, lawyers have advised. Natural Resources Minister
Michael Gravelle incorrectly stated in the Legislature that U.S.
corporations could not disclose information without permission
"Ontarians must use ServiceOntario to receive
critical government-issued identification, including birth
certificates, driver’s licences, and health cards," says Thomas.
"There is clear danger of unwarranted and secret intrusion into
the private lives of Ontarians."
The Ontario government has already contracted
with two U.S.-based firms: Active Outdoors to manage hunting and
fishing licences; and, Maximus, a company that trades on the New
York Stock Exchange, to manage the Ontario Drug Benefit Program.