DOMINION, NS– Liberal Human Resources and Skills Development critic Rodger Cuzner sent the following letter today to Minister Diane Finley on the lost personal records of Canada Student Loan borrowers:
The Hon. Diane Finley, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development
Office of the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
140 Promenade du Portage
I am writing to you regarding the recent disclosure by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), that the department has lost the personal records of 583,000 Canadians who participated in the Canada Student Loans Program between 2000 and 2006.
Canadians are justifiably concerned by this alarming privacy breach and its potential ramifications. Those affected deserve answers from this government, as well as its support. Unfortunately, neither has been forthcoming.
In fact, your government has yet to explain why it took a full two months to notify the public about the loss of this sensitive personal information. Nor has it explained why so many of those affected have still not been contacted by your department. In addition, it appears that your government will unfairly saddle the victims of this breach with the full costs of protecting themselves against any resulting credit fraud or identity theft.
This is simply unacceptable. Canadians should not have to pay for the mistakes of this government.
To that end, I am requesting that HRSDC incur the full costs of any and all credit protection programs for affected Canadians and other measures required to solve this problem. Prompt and open communications with the public, particularly those directly affected by this breach, must also be improved immediately. Abandoning the victims in this situation would be a disgrace and entirely inexcusable. Finally, I am requesting that you undertake an investigation into what happened, and that a full report be made public. Only by understanding what went wrong will we be able to successfully prevent such a breach of Canadians’ privacy in the future.
Thank you in advance for your consideration, Minister. I look forward to your response in due course.
Rodger Cuzner, M.P.
Liberal Human Resources and Skills Development critic