I would normally be starting to hand out information in front of St. Paul’s at this time. But I can’t because the politicians have decided that anyone, who spends even $1, actually I believe that is even a penny (there are still some in use) can be fined if they do so without registering with them. The politicians want to know who we are, who we support and that goes into their computer system (and is shared with everyone). The BCCLA (B.C. Civil Liberties Association) has taken the issue to court, but that will probably take years. So, the politicians get to shut up a lot of people so it will be mostly the voices of the politicians that are heard (brain-washing as I see it).  

People like me, on the front lines, regularly threatened for exercising our democratic rights, aren’t going to give out our name and contact information. But I can write on the blog as this doesn’t cost anything and because I am an individual.


Mr. Doyle I am truly sorry that a man of your calibre as a human being is leaving but I wish you the very best in Australia. I hope that you won’t run into the same difficulties, as you have here, in doing your job in an ethical, responsible, moral manner.

This, unfortunately, is what happens, when a good person gets into the government and works “for the people”. The dirty (is there any other kind?) politicians get rid of them. The politicians want immoral people, people who work for the politicians, covering up what they do, or at the very least, not exposing it. That’s why politics has such an ugly reputation – because the good people never last.

But I am grateful for people like Mr. Doyle, the auditor general, who show us that decent, ethical people do get into government, and, although they don’t last long, they can accomplish a lot of good things during the time they have.


Source: No extension. B.C. NDP want auditor general decision reconsidered – Metro, January 11, 2013


I don’t vote anymore. The politicians lie, steal, kill and destroy our democracy and rights. Then they ask us to vote for them so they can continue to do the same. I finally realized that this was a really stupid thing to be doing. Why would I dignify people who steal from everyone, but in particular, the vulnerable, the newborn babies, the sick and put them in harm’s way, by voting for them. These are people who, when you demand that your right to privacy be respected, simply take away your rights; no vote, no discussion, not even a notification to the public, just hide it in a bill with a lot of other things (see prior post).  

I was taught, from the time I was a child, that you don’t pick on the vulnerable, those weaker, smaller than you but those seem to be the prime target of politicians.

We hear about scandal after scandal. The politicians and their friends looking after themselves at the expense of the people. And you know that for every scandal we hear about there are many, many more that they have managed to hide, to cover up. I now believe that politicians are the bottom of the human race, the garbage. Mind you, they have a lot of company down there. And I think all political parties, run by politicians, are the same bottom feeders.

People have said that if you don’t vote horrible things will happen, that you will get the people you deserve, etc. I’ve noticed that horrible things happen when I do vote and I don’t get the people I deserve whether I vote or not. The politicians, the medical system, the police all collect information on law-abiding, and many of them vulnerable, people but we aren’t allowed to even know why and who it is being shared with.

I’ve heard people say that you should vote even if you ”spoil” the ballot . I tried that one year. What I noticed was that little or no mention was made of the number of spoiled ballots but everyone talked, and tracked how many people didn’t vote. Of course, they like to say that people don’t vote because they are lazy, apathetic, not interested. It sounds a lot better than saying that people don’t vote because they are so disgusted with, so repulsed by the dirty excuses for human beings called politicians.

As the number of people who vote continue to drop, there is now a suggestion that people should be forced to vote. I once said that I would agree to that if they put “none of the above on the ballot”. But then I realized that forcing people to vote in a so-called “democracy” is an oxymoron. What is democratic about it? You take away people’s right to choose whether they want to vote or whether they want to protest by not voting. Of course, with online voting possible, it would allow the politicians to screw the numbers. But forcing people to vote would make it appear that the people supported politicians.

The politicians are people for whom I have such contempt. They are the people that I try to ignore, or work around. Every time I have contact with them I find out that another right I am suppose to have is just writing on a piece of paper, like them useless (at best).

Politicians like to say they are the “servants of the people” or “public servants”.  But when a political party and the politicians get “elected” they are said to be “in power”.  And evidence shows that 99.9% of the time, it is the politicians who have the “power”, not the people (the HST being one of the rare exceptions). We are the servants of the politicians.

In a democracy politicians are suppose to be accountable to the people. They are suppose to answer the questions of the people honestly and openly. But these politicians are people who do everything they can to avoid being accountable, avoid transparency, just read any paper, online or otherwise. Just ask a question and try to get a real answer, not some con.

But, for those planning to vote, and even those not planning to vote, ask you local politician some of the following questions:

1. Why did they take away our right to privacy in the medical system?

2. Why are hospitals refusing to state, specifically, who has access to medical records?

3. Why do we not have a “right” to know who has access to our personal information?

4. What information will (is) go to the provincial medical database and who will have access and how much?

5. Ask about the committee set up to look into privacy issues in the health sector? Does it still exist? Who was/is on the committee? How would we contact them? 

Ask them to prove anything they say. And be sure to record anything they say because they lie.



Collection, use and disclosure of personal information:

22  (1) The minister may collect personal information under this Act for one or more of the following purposes:

(c) for a prescribed purpose.

(2) The minister may use and disclose, inside Canada, personal information collected under subsection  (I) for one or more of the following purposes:

(i) to conduct or facilitate research into health issues;

(k) for a prescribed purpose.

(3) The minister may disclose, outside Canada, personal information collected under subsection (1) for one or both of the following purposes:
(a) to conduct or facilitate research into health issues;

This act gives the government and their friends the right to use our information without our knowledge, must less our consent.

How will it be used? We don’t know. For example, as Vincent Gogolek of FIPA states, a prescribed purpose “could be anything”. He also believes that we should have the right to say NO to having our information shared even anonymously. So, in essence the politicians have given themselves, and their friends, the legal right to do whatever they want with our personal/medical information as opposed to doing it illegally as they have in the past.

Personally, if they want my information, I want to answers to questions such as (for starters) who they are (name of research organization), I want to know what type of research they are doing, I want to know if it is being done outside Canada, if it is being done anonymously, how the information is being protected (with proof). If they want my information they should be required to set up a webpage providing this information. Then I can decide if my information is being shared appropriately. I want them to be transparent so they can be held accountable. They don’t want to be transparent, and therefore accountable, which proves I do have reason to be concerned. Also I want to know what money, or other form of gain, is being exchanged, who pays and who receives.

I would also like more details. The Act is vague (do you know what it means to you?) and if the politicians can’t provide more specifics about what they mean then they don’t know what they are doing or they are trying to hide what they are doing.

Even the privacy commissioner Elizabeth Denham states: “In Bill 35, I have a concern about the broad and unfocused authority for the minister to collect and share personal health information under that act,” she said. Again, it appears the politicians have ignored the privacy commissioner when implementing this act. It appears that, as usual, the privacy commissioner wasn’t even consulted.

According to the Vancouver Sun (a paper I never buy) “Hansen says sufficient safeguards are already in place to assure both the anonymity of records and to ensure they will only be released to responsible researchers.” We are not given the opportunity to determine if these researchers are responsible, only the politicians do that and we know how ethical they are. Also, see my next blog about the latest scandal on patient information being shared, apparently illegally, with researchers (which contradicts Colin Hansen’s statement of safeguards). As usual the politicians will ignore the evidence that our information is NOT being protected and just tell you what they want you to believe (brainwashing).

Our information can now go into other countries. What information is going into other countries? Whose laws apply to our information in this other country? Can our information be accessed under the U.S. Patriot Act (I really don’t believe that all the information shared will be anonymous now any more than it has in the past).

The politicians would have you believe that all researchers are ethical, and moral but they are not. I don’t think that anyone who takes my information without my personal knowledge and consent has any ethics, morals or integrity. And pharmacetical companies, one of (if not the) main funder of researchers, have been charged and convicted numerous times for various illegal acts. Not all research benefits society. In fact, some of it harms society.

Information has been shared with researchers in the past and is supposedly done so under specific circumstances. But as shown in the past, for example the Auditor General’s audit of the Vancouver Coastal Health database and the recent scandal, the rules aren’t followed. The hospitals just give the information and nothing is done to ensure that the information is properly used or protected. There are words on paper and there is reality.

Colin Hansen has been pushing to give our information to researchers while he was in the Liberal government and even now that he has left. I will be interested to hear where he gets his next job or directorship.

Again, if they have to take OUR information without our knowledge/consent, if they have to hide what they are doing with OUR information, then they are doing something wrong, something they don’t want you to know about.






– Bill 35 – Pharmacetical Services Act

– FIPA – Piecemeal Repeal of FIPPA? – June 1, 2012

– The Hook – Drug Bill Includes Personal Information Grab: Advocate – Andrew MacLeod, April 30, 2012

– Vancouver Sun, Craig McInnes, May 3, 2012



There was an article in The Province (not a paper I buy) on Aug. 12, 2012. The article was by Geoff Plant, chairman of Providence Health Care, which operates St. Paul’s and other hospitals/clinics. I don’t know if this article was paid for by the taxpayers, but that’s another issue. 

In the article G. Plant extols the virtues of St. Paul’s (a very one-sided view) but what interested me was the statement that St. Paul’s brings in research dollars of $43 million from outside sources annually. So, what are the research companies buying — us?

Is St. Paul’s selling us?? We, of course, are not allowed to know.

Geoff Plant is a former liberal attorney general and teaches at UBC (the university is involved in research with St. Paul’s). Interesting how it’s all connected by the same people.

But, it keeps coming back to the same issue. If everything is above-board, honest, ethical, moral, then why won’t they tell us who they are sharing our information with (names of companies/individuals and under what circumstances); why do they hide this information?

No transparency, no accountability. 



A new binational privacy charter will allow the U.S. to share information about Canadians, collected at the border, with other countries. “The U.S. won’t have to explicitly tell Canada about its plan to pass along the personal information in most cases.” “But the U.S. can only do so in accordance with U.S. law and relevant international agreements and arrangements.”

“In the absence of such “international agreements and arrangements,” the U.S. must inform Canada prior to the transfer, or as soon as possible after the transfer in the case of urgent circumstances.”

Emily Gilbert, director of the Canadian studies program at the University of Toronto, raised questions:
1. “When somebody is a person of interest in the United States, but is a Canadian, what does that mean?” “And then what does it mean if that information is then being sent to the European Union or somewhere else?”
2. it is unclear how the distinct constitutional and legal frameworks of the two countries are going to be maintained in the context of cross-border information sharing.
3. where will data collected under the border processes be physically stored and who will have access to it.                               4. regarding the principles of “effective remedies before a fair and objective authority” when a person’s privacy has been breached”,” who would fulfil the role of authority and whether the body’s rulings could be appealed.”

Some points to consider:

1. Note that the U.S. Is only required to inform Canada when sharing Canadian information, not get permission.

2. Also, as usual, so many questions and no answers; questions that should have been resolved before signing an agreement.

3. Do they only collect the information when you physically go to the border and what information is collected?

4. What do they do with all the other information they have access to on Canadian citizens who never enter the U.S.?

5. What are the U.S. laws (today, bearing in mind they can change tomorrow), what are the international agreements and arrangements? It’s very convenient to throw around the words “laws, agreements, arrangements” but what are they? What information can be collected, under what circumstances, who has access, etc. We are told none of this.

5. Canadians have never been consulted as to whether they agree with this sharing of personal information.

6. To again quote Stanley Stylianos (see prior post), “Once that information gets into the American system, you can’t control it,” And this would be made worse when it is shared around the world. The U.S. shares it with, for example, Iraq, Iraq shares it with (fill in country), who shares it with (fill in country), who shares it with (whoever). At what point does it enter the hands of the marketing companies, the U.S. military (who had already started an illegal DNA database on its own citizens – see prior post).

7. We have already seen that the hospitals can’t/won’t protect the information in its database. So it is highly unlikely that the information will stay confidential once it starts entering even more databases.

From the Globe & Mail’s comment section:

1. andhalamadola.

How does this privacy charter take precedence over our own Citizens Charter?

2. SlipperySlope: The Harper government, selling our privacy, to the highest bidder.

3. Scared Monkey: Oxymoron of the day, “Share/ private confidential” information. Wow!

4. Richard Roskell: It is SUCH an honour to have personal information about Canadians shared with and administered by the USA, for use as they see fit. All the sucking up that our governments do with America is really starting to pay off!

5. Chris in Ottawa: Harper should be tried for treason at some point. The only jurisdiction that should be allowed to share information on Canadians derived from Canadian sources should be Canada and that should only be done under the umbrella of international agreements that protect privacy. I have no confidence at all that the Americans will not abuse this!


6. Mr.Helpful

Why is it called a privacy charter when it is the opposite of privacy.

Responses: OldBear: Read 1984, it’s called Doublespeak. Wren10: “marketing”, “re-branding”, “spin”.

Now, even more Canadians are planning to never enter the U.S. again. But is that enough?


Calgary Herald – by the Canadian Press – U.S. Will be allowed to share Canadian border into under new privacy charter – 6/28/12

Global News – U.S. Will be allowed to share Canadian border info under new privacy charter – Jim Bronskill – The Canadian Press – 6/28/12

International Trade E Newsletter Content – Toronto Star – 6/29/12

CBC News – U.S. Can share Canadian border info under privacy deal – The Canadian Press – 6/28/12

The Globe & Mail – U.S. Will be allowed to share Canadian border info under new privacy charter – Jim Bronskill – 6/29/12





CBC News, September 9, 2011, By Sarah Bridge – Canadians with mental illnesses denied U.S. Entry – Data entered into national police database accessible to American authorities: WikiLeaks

Police had been called to a woman’s home because she attempted suicide with a pill overdose (she had been battling chronic pain, anxiety, & depression for years). This was 4 years prior to 2011. There were no charges as it was not a criminal matter but a medical emergency. Suicide (actual or attempted) is not illegal in Canada or the U.S. But when she went to the U.S border in 2011 she was denied access because the U.S. had the “dated” police information (it did not report her mental health recovery). More than a dozen others have reported similar stories about being refused entry to the U.S. because their records of mental illness was shared with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

“So far, the RCMP hasn’t provided the office (The Toronto Psychatric Advocate Office) with clear answers about how or why police records of non-violent mental health incidents are passed across the border.”
“According to diplomatic cables released earlier this year by WikiLeaks, any information entered into the national Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database is accessible to American authorities.”

Stanley Stylianos, program manager for the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office says his organization is trying to get this information not included in CPIC. “Once that information gets into the American system, you can’t control it,” he says.

You may or may not agree whether the information should be included in CPRIC. I personally don’t see any reason why it should be. But that is another issue to be debated.

My questions are:

  1. Why do people have to go to a foreign country to find out that this information is being shared, or find out from Wiki-leaks or from brave people, like the lady in this article, who must share very personal information to raise awareness. People make plans and travel to a foreign border, usually with friends and/or family, only to find out they can’t cross a border. Their travel plans are ruined and how do they explain to family/friends what is extremely personal information, and perhaps no longer even relevant. What happens when you fly to a country, for example, France? After you have flown across the Atlantic, do they force you to get on another flight home, after all your flight/hotel, etc. expenses have been paid? Or is this an issue strictly with the U.S.? The point is that OUR GOVERNMENT should be telling its citizens that this information is being shared and what to do about it.
  2. “Brad Benson from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security says medical records aren’t shared between countries.” Yet, while I have been in front of St. Paul’s, several people, with AIDS, have told me about being refused entry to the U.S. And one person said no one but his doctor knew about his condition. So, if people with certain medical conditions are not allowed in the U.S., how does the U.S. know who they are? (Note: the restriction on people with AIDS entering the U.S. has been recently reversed but this does not change the question).
  3. Who else has access to CPIC?

The lady did get entry to the U.S. but first “she had to submit her medical records to the U.S. And get clearance from a Homeland Security-approved doctor in Toronto, who charged her $250 for the service.”

And the U.S. has been continually complaining that they don’t get enough of our personal information.

PRIME-BC and CPIC are different databases but are they linked?;

Does the U.S. and others have access to PRIME-BC as it does CPIC?



A little over a year ago the BC Civil Liberties Association raised the issue of the police database (called PRIME-BC) collecting information on law-abiding citizens (1).  They state “that as many as 85% of British Columbia’s adult population have “master name records” in the PRIME-BC police database”. The Solicitor General was asked to investigate.  According to the BCCLA, they have received no additional information.  The Solicitor General’s office has not responded to my email.

The Privacy Commissioners office is “examining the issue of employment-related criminal records checks” and the report is, apparently, due out this month. This is a very narrow focus and does not answer the broader questions.

My questions are:

  1. Why are the police collecting information on law-abiding citizens and under what circumstances is it being collected?
  2. How is this information being used?
  3. With whom is it being shared?
  4. How long is it kept?

Apparently, no government office thinks we have the right to answers.

It was pointed out to me that the records of a criminal are legally required to be deleted after a certain period of time. A law-abiding citizen, apparently, has no such right and, it appears, records may be kept indefinitely.

Apparently the database includes “negative police contact” which, I understand, includes being a witness to a crime, or “residents of a building in which crime was occurring in a different unit, and if you refuse to answer their questions you are listed as “uncooperative”. Personally, I would rather be listed as “uncooperative” than provide personal information (it does depend on the situation). At least I know that all they have to enter in the database and share is “uncooperative”. When I have answers to the questions above I will reconsider my willingness to “cooperate”. Until then, as far as I am concerned, they don’t deserve my cooperation.

The next two blogs will show how this may become an issue with medical information.


(1) BCCLA – – More than eight out of every 10 BC adults in police database, March 22, 2011 (topic: police accountability) –

FIPA – – Information and Privacy Commissioner announces investigation of

BC’s PRIME police database – March 29, 2011

Vancouver Sun – Are you in the police bad book? March 29, 2011


According to Hospital Employee’s Union (HEU) website “a plan by Lower Mainland health authorities to contract out all medical transcription services threatens to put the confidentiality and accuracy of patient records at risk. On Thursday, health authorities issued a request for proposals to contract out the work of more than 130 medical transcriptionists who work out of three hubs located in Vancouver, New Westminster and Abbotsford. HEU secretary-business manager Bonnie Pearson says the move will transfer control over the accuracy and confidentiality of sensitive patient records to a private contractor. “Health authorities have a responsibility to both patients and physicians to maintain close control over highly sensitive patient records,” says Pearson. “This ill-thought out move by health employers comes with an unacceptably high degree of risk.” Medical transcriptionists are responsible for transcribing physicians’ voice-recorded dictation of surgical procedures, consultations, patient histories, laboratory and diagnostic test results, and various reports.”
I have never had any indication that HEU gives a damn about patient privacy (this is a generalized statement about the organization as I believe there are some individuals who do care). HEU is the organization that made sure their employee’s privacy was protected but not the patients. I also don’t recall them starting a “campaign” when the politicians and their friends took away patient rights to their own medical information. Nor do I recall hearing a peep out of them while, for over 10 years, the DNA of babies was being stored by a private contractor and shared without parent knowledge or consent; in fact, some of these HEU members would have been among the people who conveniently all decided that “the parents wouldn’t be interested”in knowing what was happening to their baby’s blood.etc. I only hear about their “concern” for patients when HEU jobs/working conditions are involved.
And to suggest that patient records are confidential, when so much evidence indicates otherwise, is just incredible hypocrisy. But, like the politicians and corporations that run the hospitals, they figure that if they say it often enough people will believe it or, at least, they won’t have to explain why it isn’t confidential (I would like to see their evidence that patient records are protected, not just hear the spin). I believe HEU really only cares about the jobs/working conditions of its members and the privacy angle is simply a means to that end.
Having said that, if what they say is true in terms of contracting out medical transciption it probably will worsen an already bad situation. I was told that the contract will go to Accenture (I don’t know if this is true), a US corporation which means it is subject to the US Patriot Act. This would be the Accenture that, I understand, did not have its contract renewed with BC Hydro.
I heard there will be a documentary on CTV on Sunday night. It will be interesting to see how much of it is about the patients and their loss of rights and privacy vs HEU and their self-interest.


This blog is about privacy but not necessarily hospitals but I thought it might be useful information.

I recently phoned to cancel my utilities with Accenture/hydro and Terasen/Fortis. I was asked for information to validate that I was who I said I was which I think is good. However, both companies asked me for my date of birth. I was fairly sure that I had never given it. When I asked I was told that they were now collecting this information. So, a few problems:

1. Collecting new information is not the same as validating information. In fact, I would think that it would be illegal to collect information in, what seems to me to be, a very devious manner.

2. I asked why they wanted this information and they refused to say. Under the Privacy Act, when you collect information you are required to state why you need it. But then the politicians and their friends do tend to ignore the Privacy Act except when it comes to spin.

3. The information they had on me was obviously good enough all these years.

Everyone wants your date of birth these days. Presumably this has to do with linking computer information. Is this information being shared? I thought the information held on you was suppose to be private so why do they want it?