People here should be gravely concerned about revelations earlier this month that the Canada Revenue Agency sent reams of private information belonging to two different Vancouver Island residents to a local man who lives in Thornhill.
The Canada Revenue Agency sent a Thornhill man home phone numbers, addresses, detailed information about lease holdings in Atlantic Canada, Social Insurance Numbers, credit card numbers and personal tax receipts belonging to two separate individuals living in Nanaimo and Victoria.
It’s a good thing he’s not the type of guy who would take advantage of the information to use for his own personal gain.
Instead he marched the private documents right down to the RCMP and to the office of Skeena Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen in hopes the information would get to the rightful owners.
Federal communication flaks say 99.9999 per cent of the time government mail gets to the intended recipient and mistakes such as this happen rarely. But for the 0.0001 per cent of the population that is hit by identity theft the consequences are severe.
The very idea that our personal information could be distributed to other citizens, by the government agency charged with keeping our personal information safely guarded, should be terrifying.
Nathan Cullen has asked for a full and complete investigation into the occurrence and wants the federal Minister of Finance Ralph Goodale to outline what went wrong. He also wants to see an accounting of how often this type of incident happens and a review of how government mail is distributed.
Canadians deserve to see exactly how their personal information is being handled.
It’s unfortunate this incident happened in the summer months when political representatives go on vacation, because Mr. Cullen has yet to hear back from the minister.
Let’s hope his reply doesn’t take much longer.