WHY ARE ALBERTANS PROMOTING THE TAR SANDS/OIL SANDS

What I don’t understand is why Albertans are subsidizing the tarsands/oilsands at all, much less with billions and billions of dollars. (j) Even “internal studies by a group of analysts within Shell known as the ‘scenarios’ team had concluded that global demand for oil might peak in as little as a decade—essentially tomorrow in an industry that plans in quarter-century increments”, so Shell is transitioning to the renewable economy. (b) And, to quote Geoff Dembicki’s article “Alberta can transition from oil and gas and have a strong economy” so why don’t Albertans transition to a low-carbon economy; why don’t they let the oil gas business decline. (j)
Some reasons for the governments/Albertans to subsidize/promote the oil/gas industry may appear to be obvious; they want the jobs and the money. But are they really gaining or losing their future (and ours).
Instead of putting the money of Canadians (from the federal and Alberta governments) into the future, the renewable industry, politicians are putting billions of Canadians dollars into the dinosaur, oil and gas industries. (i) Why? Some reasons may be (not in order of priority):

1. Politicians want to protect jobs. Alberta has 140,000 people employed in the oil and gas industry. That is a lot of people. But, ‘thousands of workers in the oil industry have already been displaced as industry moves to automate away their jobs. After the oil price crash in 2014, companies made job-eliminating ‘efficiencies’ a top priority — a trend they have assured their shareholders will continue’. (a)(b)(g)(h) Whereas the renewable is growing in employment.
There will also be a large number of baby boomers in the oil and gas industry retiring. So, why not train the younger generation in the renewable industry and leave the remaining middle-aged people in the oil and gas industry to continue working while the oil and gas industry transitions downward? No one loses their job.
Even a big oil and gas corporation like Shell says: “We know that the tarsands/oilsands will have to end, or at the very least, go into a decline, at some point. The only question is whether it will be in two or three decades, whether they will be a manageable transition downward or whether it will be a deep dive due to changing…… or other factors”. So, if you know this industry will go downhill but the renewable industry will go uphill, why would you invest in the dinosaur industry instead of the new economy? Where’s the logic?”
So, are the politicians backing the oil and gas industries on a false premise?
UN general secretary Sharan Burrow said that there are “no jobs on a dead planet”. “But then dead people, on a dead planet, don’t need to work.” (c)
2. By throwing billions of dollars to the oil and gas industries, the politicians get a lot of photo-ops and may look, to some Canadians, like they are actually doing something positive — they’re not; it’s a con.
3. The oil and gas companies are a few, large companies who, I suspect, put large amounts of money into the pockets of politicians, and provide lucrative after-politics jobs. I believe the renewable sector is many, but smaller, companies, less able or willing to provide the same “service”.
4. NAFTA. I do not think Canada can impede the oil and gas industries under NAFTA or NAFTA 2.0 but the federal and Albertan governments also do not have to support it with subsidies.
5. Didn’t Trudeau say that Canada would become a leader in the renewable sector? Did Washington say No, the U.S. would be the leader? Will the US/Chinese companies control the renewable sector in Canada?
6. The politicians and their one-percenter friends just want large numbers of people to die? After all, with the increasing use of robots, what do they need the normal people for? Better to get rid of them before they cause problems.
7. Is it a distraction from the fact that they have no other plan or vision. Although creating a plan to support the low-carbon economy (other than a few breadcrumbs) is, maybe, too obvious for self-serving politicians
8. The oil and gas industries, some making record profits (c), don’t have enough money and must beg from Canadians.
9. This is a plan by the politicians to raise the GDP so the deficit looks smaller. Putting out forest fires, rebuilding/repairs after fires/floods/high winds, funeral services from heat waves/pollution, etc. all add to the GDP.
10. They just lack the backbone to take on the oil and gas companies.
11. The politicians are in a hurry to drill as many wells as possible because they know that fossil fuel usage is going the way of the dodo bird. But why do it for next to nothing or less than nothing? I have to assume it’s for one of the reasons above or any equally obnoxious reason that I haven’t thought of.
12. The oil and gas industry/banks have major investments in the tarsands/oilsands and they want to squeeze every penny out of that investment, regardless of the cost to regular Canadians. Kevin Taft believes that “’global warming is a death sentence for the fossil fuel industry.’ To delay that sentence, Taft argues that the industry has spent untold millions to capture key democratic institutions including political parties, governments, regulators and universities “. (l)
13. Maybe Albertans like the idea of ending up with billions and billions of dollars of orphan well liabilities, along with polluted water, soil and air.
14. Does Alberta want to be a loser province? When the oil and gas industry declines, which are inevitable, will Alberta have a diversified economy to rely on and will they have missed the new economy? They have, I think, a perfect opportunity to transition to the new economy and they are throwing it away; an opportunity they may never get again. But Kenny, with the support of Albertans and the federal government, is throwing billions of dollars at the tarsands/oilsands while putting road blocks in the way of the new economy.

“British Columbians have seen first-hand the benefits climate leadership brings: international recognition, new clean technology jobs, investment in clean energy and technology, a low-carbon competitive advantage and a healthier environment.
Clean technology companies thrive when faced with the challenge of developing a sustainable business that cuts carbon pollution. Lessons and technology learned at home can then be exported at a profit, in a growing cleantech market now valued at an estimated $2 trillion.
As Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN Environment Programme said in a CBC interview earlier this year, ‘the future markets, the technologies, the energy systems will be low-carbon….Whether you’re building the next pipeline or not…the economy of Canada will not be centred around a fossil-fuel based extractive economy.”’ (d)
But, British Columbia has since taken a major step backward by approving, and subsidizing with billions of dollars, significant carbon emission LNG plants. (e)(f) And, of course, there will not be any future markets if we are all dead.

I’m sure there are some Albertans who want the tarsands/oilsands to transition to the renewable sector. But we rarely hear from them. I recently read about a few groups supporting the transition to the new economy – Student March for Climate, Climate Justice Edmonton (CJE) and Beaver Hills Warriors (m); plus, Iron and Earth, Energy Futures Lab, Oil Change International (j). I applaud these groups for caring about today (multiple fires burning, pollution, flooding, heat waves, etc.) and the (near) future when things will get worse. Usually, all we hear from is people like the ‘convoy’ group with their big trucks, burning lots of oil/gas, travelling across Canada, giving the people of Canada and the world the proverbial finger. (k) Basically, they are saying that they don’t give a damn if the people of Canada/the world suffer and die, as long as Albertans get to keep pumping oil. Amazingly, they don’t seem to understand, or care, that suffering and death will also happen to Albertans.
The premiers of Alberta like to paint the picture of Alberta vs British Columbia but this isn’t true; its Alberta vs the world.

As much as possible, I’ve decided not to buy products from Alberta. It just doesn’t make sense to support people who want to make me and the rest of the world, suffer and die. I have already eliminated Alberta food products because of my concern that they have been grown/fed/on toxic soil/grass. I was looking for a Canadian shampoo and came across one from Alberta but I wouldn’t buy it, and so on. However, I may make an exception if I find the product is from the new economy.

Some people say that other countries might not meet their Paris Agreement commitment so why should we. Because, we have a responsibility to ourselves and the rest of the world to meet our commitment, to do our part, we gave our word and it reflects on our reputation. And if we do our part then we are in a position to encourage others, or embarrass them, into doing their part.

At one point I thought that the effects of climate change wouldn’t really be felt in my lifetime but things are happening faster than anticipated. But it’s the children who will feel the brunt of our greed and narcissism. I don’t understand why parents and grandparents and other relatives/friends don’t get this or why they don’t care.

I am mind-boggled by, what I can only assume to be, the stupidity of the people in Alberta (not all). They want the oil industry; it’s like they are saying – give me a shovel, a backhoe, a whatever, and, as long as I’m being paid now, I will dig my own grave and that of my children and grandchildren (if any are born). Are they brainwashed by the oil industry/politicians, are the media reports just oil industry/political propaganda? But, there is a thing these days called the internet to get a balance of information. Albertans should be out protesting, demanding that the jobs transition to a low-carbon economy – NOW.

I am truly sad and perplexed that Albertans care so little about us and themselves.

 

 

(a) Alberta Is Playing a Dangerous Game with Pipeline Ad Campaign – Mitchell Anderson, 24 Jan 2019, TheTyee.ca
(b) Inside Oil Giant Shell’s Race to Remake Itself For a Low-Price World – Jeffery Ball, 24 Jan 2015, Fortune – pg. 4
(c) How Alberta’s biggest oil companies are still raking in billions – Sharon J. Riley, 12 Jun 2019, The Narwhal
(d) Three Big Questions About British Columbia’s Climate Plan, Merran Smith, 19 Aug, 2016, Climate Energy Canada
(e) BC’s shiny new climate plan: A look under the hood – Policy Note, Marc Lee, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), 17 Dec 2018, Times Colonist
(f) LNG Canada: Short-term politics trumps long-term climate responsibility: Policy Note – Marc Lee, 04 Oct 2018, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)
(g) Suncor Energy says driverless trucks will eliminate a net 400 jobs in the oilsands – Dan Healing, 31 Jan 2018, National Observer
(h) Oil’s Boom-and-Bust Cycle May Be Over. Here’s Why – 01 Mar 2018, Harvard Business Review
(i) How Much Are We Paying the Oil and Gas Corporations to Take Our Resources – http://hospitalsandprivacyandpolitics.noblogs.org
(j) Alberta Can Transition from Oil and Gas and Have a Strong Economy. Here’s How – Geoff Dembicki, 31 Jul 2019, TheTyee.ca
(k) United We Roll protest: Truck convoy arrives at Parliament Hill – Taylor Blewett, 21 Feb. 2019, Ottawa Citizen
(l) Canada’s Petro Paralysis, Diagnosed – Chris Tollefson, 2019-01-28, TheTyee.ca
(m) If Alberta Is The Front Line of Climate Change, Young People Are In The Trenches – Melanie Woods, 17 Aug 2019, HuffPost Canada

ALBERTA SAYS THEY HAVE DONE THEIR PART – HAVE THEY?

Rachel Notley, previous premier of Alberta, released a climate change policy plan and said that Alberta had done its part to gain social licence for a pipeline expansion with the associated tarsands/oilsands expansion.
The plan included “five key pillars:
1) Carbon will be priced economy-wide at $30/tonne by 2018.
2) Coal-fired power plants will be phased out by 2030.
3) Oilsands emissions will be capped at 100 megatonnes (Mt) per year (recent Environment Canada figures predicted a 2020 output of 103 Mt from the sector), which amounts to allowing current construction to go ahead, but that’s it. That means to expand production beyond current projects, per barrel emissions will need to be reduced.
4) Methane emissions from oil and gas operations will be cut by 45 per cent in 2025.
5) 30 per cent of all electricity will be generated by renewables by 2030.”

“Prime Minister Trudeau says Alberta’s 100 million tonne “absolute cap on oilsands emissions” was a key factor in approving Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion” which will pipe oil from Alberta to B.C.’s coast for export. (b) He is also using this same cap as a reason to “exempt some oilsands projects from environmental assessments”. (c)

So, What has Alberta done?
(1) The carbon price has been removed by new Alberta premier Jason Kenney and Alberta has taken the federal government to court over the federal climate plan. (d) Alberta’s Technology Innovation and Emissions Reductions (TIER) fund “would target large industrial emitters, requiring them to reduce their emissions intensity — notably, this is different from their total emissions, as it is dependent on economic output — compared to their own recent annual averages”. (i) I suspect this is mostly window-dressing.
(2) “Coal-fired electrical plants which need to close by 2030 under federal law would be allowed to remain open indefinitely if federal rules change. The UCP would require coal facilities after 2030 to be as clean as the most efficient gas-fired plants.” (j)
(3) The 100 Mt limit is “43% above 2015 levels”, so room to expand and pollute. (e) According to a National Observer article the 100 Mt. Limit has very large loopholes. The Electricity co-generation is exempt, the primary oil production is exempt, Upgraders are exempt, all emissions in Saskatchewan are exempt, enhanced recovery is exempt, and experimental schemes are exempt. (h) There are, as yet, no regulations regarding who gets to pollute and who doesn’t when they hit the l00 mt limit. (d) So, as Ian Hussey, research manager at the Parkland Institute at the University of Alberta says “Alberta’s oilsands’s emissions cap is not operating in practice”. (i) In other words, so far, it’s just words on paper, a scam “Oil Sands Emissions Limit Act legislating the 100 megatonne emissions cap” is the law` (d) but when the 100 Mt limit has been reached, the “law” can be ignored or changed in a heartbeat. And the emissions numbers can also be “creatively” determined so they stay below 100 Mt.; scientific studies “show that AB oil & gas industry emissions are grossly under-reported”. (d) So, at this point, the “law” is just words on paper. Kenney has said he will remove the cap (j) and has said that he will “rapidly accelerate the approval of new drilling”. (c) But he really has no reason to remove the cap until it reaches the limit. In the meantime it’s a great con to get the pipeline approval and exemptions.
(4) methane gas emission – According to the Pembina Institute if Alberta follows the “federal methane regulations enacted earlier this year by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), they would only reduce methane gas emissions by 36%, not the 45% stated in their climate plan”. (f)
(5) Kenney has said he will “no longer provide subsidies to uneconomic wind and solar power generation”. (f) “Alberta too should get out of the subsidy business to ‘keep the door wide open’ for increasing wind and solar energy projects where they’re affordable.” (g); fine but then quit subsidizing the oil and gas industry because apparently they are not really affordable. (l) The oil and gas subsidies, I suspect, make it harder for renewable projects to be affordable when it’s competing on an uneven playing field. But, maybe that’s intentional.

So, what has Canada really gotten in return for the approval to expand the pipeline: NOTHING
Worse:
(1) We won’t be able to meet our Paris Agreement commitments, and unknown numbers of species, including us, will suffer and many will die
(2) The $4.5 billion cost of the Kinder Morgan pipeline PLUS the unknown billions more for an expansion
(3) Canada’s reputation. Trudeau said “Canada is back my friends”. (k) I thought that we would leaders in carbon emissions reduction and the new economy, exporting our knowledge and technology. Instead, we will be seen as the farcical hypocrites that we are.

And yet, despite the fact that we are getting nothing in return, Trudeau has recently approved the expansion of the pipeline (m). So, when “Prime Minister Trudeau says Alberta’s 100 million tonne “absolute cap on oilsands emissions” was a key factor in approving Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion” (c) and that the pipeline was necessary to get Alberta into the carbon tax program, he lied, he was conning us; it was just the cover story to get the pipeline expansion built.

Do I think the other parties would do better? NO.

(a) Alberta Climate Announcement Puts End to Infinite Growth of Oilsands – James Wilt, 23 Nov 2015, The Narwhal
(b) ‘Hard cap’ for oilsands climate pollution has loopholes the size of Nova Scotia – Barry Saxifrage, 20 Mar 2018, National Observer
(c) Ottawa will exempt some oilsands projects from environmental assessments – if Alberta keeps its emissions cap – John Paul Tasker, 02 May 2019, CBC News
(d) Alberta’s election platforms compared: Where the NDP and UCP stand on everything from child care to carbon taxes – Justin Giovannetti, 12 Apr 2019, The Globe and Mail
(e) Three years after promising to cap oilsands pollution, Notley government still needs more time – Carl Meyer, 14 Dec 2018, National Observer
(f) Alberta’s methane regulations will fail to meet provincial reduction target – 13 Dec 2018, Pembina Institute
(g) Kenny’s pledge to end wind and solar subsidies would ‘roll back the clock,’ says energy expert – Helen Pike, 22 Feb 2019, CBC News
(h) ‘Hard cap’ for oilsands climate pollution has loopholes the size of Nova Scotia – Barry Saxifrage, 20 Mar 2018, National Observer
(i) Eight environmental issues at stake in the Alberta election (that are not pipelines) – Sharon J. Riley, 10 Apr 2019, The Narwhal
(j) Alberta’s UCP reveal platform that would reduce spending, replace carbon tax with levy on large emitters – Justin Giovannetti, 30 Mar 2019, Globe and Mail
(k) In Paris, Trudeau ‘Here to Help’ but Quiet on New Emissions Targets – Geoff Dembicki, 01 Dec 2015, TheTyee.ca
(l) How Much Are We Paying the Oil and Gas Corporations to Take Our Resources – http://hospitalsandprivacyandpolitics.noblogs.org
(m) Eight Hard Questions for the PM of Pipelines and Climate Emergency – Michael Harris, 19 Jun 2019, TheTyee.ca

FAXING HEALTH INFORMATION TO THE WRONG PEOPLE

Nova Scotia – 2006 – 2016

For over 10 years dozens of highly sensitive mental health records were faxed to Lisa Belanger’s Bedford spa; faxes which should have gone to a mental health referral office. “She estimates she receives between eight and 14 a year.” (1)  She contacted the doctors offices that sent the fax, and “an official at the former Capital District Health Authority, hoping someone there would take action to stop it.”(1)  They said memos were sent to all doctors offices telling them to carefully enter fax numbers and to have “the proper preset fax number on the fax machine” (1)  But Ms. Belanger continued to receive faxes.  Really, how hard is it to preset a fax number?

“She says she subsequently called Health Minister Leo Glavine’s office, the College of Physicians and Surgeons and the office of Nova Scotia’s privacy commissioner.” (1) * “Belanger was concerned about the personal information on the documents.” (5)  She said “she’s been repeatedly assured by health officials the problem would be fixed, but the faxes continued.” (5)  “She has even made suggestions on improving the way faxes are transmitted.” (1)  Finally, in 2016, in frustration she contacted the CBC. (5)

“Everton McLean, a spokesman with the Nova Scotia Health Authority, said doctors are independent and the authority can’t tell them what to do.” (1)   And yet, “Nova Scotia’s Personal Health Information Act says it’s an offence to fail to protect personal health information in a secure manner. Anyone found guilty may be subject to a fine of up to $10,000 or imprisonment for six months, or both.” (1)  I think if you start enforcing the law there would be change.  Also, doctors are paid from tax dollars so, I believe, the government can put conditions on receiving those funds.   “Halifax privacy lawyer David Fraser” said “‘The larger concern for me is the apparent casualness with which these documents are being faxed and also what seems to be the response when they’re told that they’re going to the wrong place,”‘ Fraser said. (1)

When this issue hit the media, the privacy commissioner started to pretend to do something (they do like their name in the media). Privacy commissioner Catherine Tully made recommendations (5) which the doctors are free to ignore.  In fact, I suspect that most doctors aren’t aware that a report was written much less read it.

 

“Tully said if the information had ended up in the hands of someone who knew the patient, the harm would be ‘close to irreparable.'” (5) We don’t know that some unreported mis-faxed information hasn’t gone to people who know, or will know, a patient and the patient just hasn’t heard about it.  We only know about the faxes reported to the media.

“Privacy commissioner Catherine Tully wrote in a report… that momentary inattention and human error by those sending the faxes are to blame for the three cases her office examined.” (5) But, between 80 and 140 faxes went to Ms. Belanger’s spa over 10 years.  Were all these human error?  And, at what point, does human error become incompetency or just disregard for people’s rights?

“The report says doctors notified each of the patients whose privacy was breached.” (5) Were these just the patients in the three cases Tully received or all 80 to 140 patients whose personal/health information was received by Ms. Belanger?  The report also does not say when or how the patients were notified, nor is there any verification that it is true.  A victim of the breaches, whose name was not given, said “he only learned of it this week when Belanger herself contacted him to say his information had been faxed to her last fall.” “‘This is pretty serious stuff,” he said. “This can ruin people’s relationships, careers, a whole myriad of things.'” (2)

As of June 1, 2013, “’The Personal Health Information Act does require that notification goes to somebody,’ (bolding mine) said Robert Bay” (a Nova Scotia privacy commissioner spokesperson).   “So the question is: Is the notification to the individual whose privacy has been breached or is the notification to our office? The determining factors are the degree of harm or embarrassment that would result from the breach.” “He says if the” ‘custodians’ “who hold the personal information”, the doctors, “determine there is no potential harm or embarrassment, then the person whose information was mishandled may not be told.”  “The commission said it has no way of knowing how many breaches resulted in notification to patients.” (2)  In essence, unless the commissioner has been notified, they have no way of knowing if anyone was notified.  And, why would you notify the commissioner if there is no potential of harm or embarrassment to the patient and not when there is?  Why are the doctors given the right to make this decision?  Isn’t that a conflict of interest?  How often do you think doctors will decide “no harm done” and not inform patients that their privacy was breached and not inform the privacy commissioner.  Not that notifying the privacy commissioner is any great help.  All they can do is write a report and/or encourage/recommend as they have no enforcement powers.

 

North West Territories – 2010

On four separate occasions, in a two month period, confidential files were mistakenly faxed to the CBC from the N.W. T.’s main hospital. If this weren’t so serious, it would be funny.

The hospital then imposed a faxing freeze “on any medical documents unless it is an emergency”. (4)

“In addition to the freeze, the hospital has also implemented a temporary policy requiring two staff members to oversee the faxing of confidential documents, Lewis said” (CEO of Stanton Territorial Hospital). (4)

“This ‘double-checking’ policy, which is meant to ensure the faxes reach the right destination, will stay in place until a permanent solution is found, she said.” But, as usual for the government, “she wouldn’t give specific details about any measures being taken”.(4)

In 2012 the CBC received its 6th sensitive medical fax in two years. (6) This came from Kugluktuk, Nunavut health centre.  “The fax included information about the patient and their sexual health history.”  “In a statement, the department said it’s investigating. It added that health centres are required to use pre-set speed dials for confidential patient referrals”.  (6)

“At the time, Health Minister Tom Beaulieu said a summer student sent that fax. The department has not yet said if any action was taken, or why the faxes continue to come to CBC North in Yellowknife.”  (6) It certainly illustrates how important privacy is – the faxes continue and very sensitive patient information is given to a summer student.  But the government/medical business will tell you that it takes your privacy very seriously — just propaganda.

 

Alberta – 2014

“Entering incorrect telephone numbers into fax machines is being blamed for more privacy breaches of personal health information by Alberta Health Services.” (3)

“Documents obtained by CBC News through access to information show that Alberta Health Services were regularly (bolding mine) sending faxes intended for Strathcona Home Care to a custom home builder in Sherwood Park over a two-year period.” (3) “At one point the builder was receiving as many as one fax each week.” (3)  “Despite repeated calls, the faxes continued until company owner Dianne Ingram sent AHS a fax of her own.” “She scrawled, “You have the wrong fax number!! Stop faxing us!!.” (3)  Also faxes were sent to a manufacturing company. (3)

“Patients often go uninformed when their information is disclosed.”  (3)

“While AHS is not obligated to report breaches, Hamilton (Brian Hamilton, with the Office of the Alberta Information and Privacy Commissioner) said his office encourages AHS to inform all patients whose privacy has been breached.” (3)  Sorry, but, in my opinion, “encourage” is essentially meaningless.

“’This is highly sensitive information and an issue of public trust,” privacy commissioner Frank Work said. “How can the public have faith in public bodies if they can’t provide security for personal information?”‘ (7) (Bolding Mine). He was referring to laptops but it is just as relevant to faxes.

‘”It’s surprising,” Hamilton said during an interview. “The health sector in particular, spends millions of dollars on information systems with secure access, and yet people keep faxing.”‘ (3)

“Sending personal information by fax is a less secure method of transferring information compared to encrypted emails, he said.” (3)

Dr. Verna Yiu, with Alberta Health Services said “We do rely on cooperation of the recipient to let us know that” (they have received a mis-fax), “and I would have to say that in general (italics mine) people are pretty co operative about that.” (3)  This is NOT a privacy policy.  This is NOT how you protect patient information.

 

Some Questions:

  1. In all these cases, the doctors offices, violating patients privacy, were not identified. Should they be? Would you want to know who is not taking care of your information?
  2. Most people who violate people’s privacy are either not disciplined, disciplined (ex. A day or more off without pay), or fired. Should the penalties be stiffer? Do we have a right to know what disciplinary action is taken under what circumstances so we can determine if this is sufficient or excessive?
  3. Don’t you think THE PATIENT should be notified in all cases so the PATIENT can decide the degree of harm in violating the patient’s privacy?
  4. Should there be a central phone number that people can call when they receive medical information that belongs to someone else?

You may have noticed the trend by the government/medical system: it’s someone else’s responsibility, there is nothing we can do, false promises to fix it or we’ll look into it but the people never hear if anything was ever done to fix the problem.  And if it hits the media, the “problem” is sent to the privacy commissioner, who writes a report.  The report may say “Order No.” but it is not an order, it is a recommendation which the medical system is free to, and I suspect in most cases does, ignore.  So what changes – NOTHING.  Mistakes are made, and I think people would be mostly forgiving, if they knew concrete steps had been taken to fix the problem.  Instead we get propaganda – we’ll fix it, trust us, trust us.  Save the money from all these useless, money-sucking,, reports and put it into software/training for something positive such as end-to-end encryption and enforcement; privacy might be protected and money saved.

And, these violations are only the ones that are reported to the media. These are, no doubt, the proverbial tip of the iceberg.  I suspect there are some medical people who are very careful about patient’s privacy.  But, we don’t know who they are, therefore all are suspect.

I am deeply grateful to Ms. Belanger and Ms. Igram for sharing the information with the media; and to CBC News for publicising the problem. It is the only way we are learning that our information is not protected.  And, until we know the truth, we cannot try to fix the problem.

* I contacted a Minister of Health, Victor Boudreau, twice and requested an organizational chart/description of the health system in a province (who reports to whom and what are their responsibilities). Never got a reply (see future post tentatively titled “My Story – Part II).

 

  1. Mental health records sent to Nova Scotia spa in error over last decade – Yvonne Colbert, 07 Apr 2016, CBC News
  2. Victim of mental health privacy breach in Nova Scotia feels “very exposed” – Yvonne Colbert, 08 April 2016, CBC News
  3. Unsecure faxes put health data of Albertans at risk – Kim Trynacity, 10 Feb. 2014, CBC News
  4. N.W.T. Hospital clamps down on medical faxes – 07 Jul 2010, CBC News
  5. Privacy commissioner says doctors should move faxing patient referrals – Yvonne Colbert, 23 Nov. 2016, CBC News
  6. CBC Yellowknife newsroom gets 6th medical fax in 2 years – 30 Jul 2012, CBC News
  7. Security on stolen laptops was inadequate: privacy commissioner – 24 Jun 2009, CBC News