|For immediate release||September 28, 2016|
Law Society welcomes Privacy Commissioner’s report to Parliament
Vancouver, September 28, 2016 – The Law Society of British Columbia commends the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s annual report tabled in Parliament yesterday.
In his report Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien notes that many federal departments did not adequately assess the effect that the passage of Bill C-51 would have on the personal information of individuals.
The Law Society expressed its concerns regarding several aspects of Bill C-51 in its March 2015 submission to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. In particular, several aspects of Bill C-51 did not appropriately balance efforts to protect public safety with rights and freedoms guaranteed to all Canadians.
The Law Society is encouraged that the federal government recently announced that it is reviewing its national security framework, and urges the government to ensure appropriate changes are made that will preserve the rights and freedoms of Canadian citizens guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
“The Law Society of British Columbia is of the view that it is critical for the government to remain steadfast in introducing measures to protect and preserve public safety,” said Law Society President David Crossin, QC. “This responsibility presents great challenges. In addressing those challenges, however, care must be taken to ensure the rights and freedoms of our citizens are protected and remain constitutionally robust.”
The mandate of the Law Society is to act “to uphold and protect the public interest in the administration of justice” by, among other things, “preserving and protecting the rights and freedoms of all persons.” It upholds and protects the public interest in the administration of justice by ensuring the independence, integrity and competence of lawyers, establishing education and professional development standards for lawyers, and regulating the practice of law.
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