Meeting of the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Information and Privacy Commissioners


Note:  The Commissioners and  Ombudspersons will be available for media interviews on Wednesday, October 9th  from 9:30 am to 10:30 am PST at the Hotel Vancouver, 900 West Georgia Street, Vancouver.

VANCOUVER— Canada’s access to information and privacy laws should be modernized in  order to protect these important rights in the face of dramatic technological  change and the demands of engaged citizens, said the country’s access to  information and privacy guardians in a joint resolution issued today.

In their resolution, Information and Privacy  Commissioners and Ombudspersons from across the country urge federal,  provincial and territorial governments to update their respective laws.

They noted that recent revelations about government  surveillance programs have heightened Canadians' concerns about the erosion of  their privacy rights and have prompted calls for increased transparency and  greater oversight.

Elsewhere in the world, privacy and access laws are  being strengthened to meet the realities of the 21st century and  Canada’s laws need to do the same, they added.

“We live in a world where technologies are evolving at  lightning speed and organizations are using our personal information in ways  previously unimaginable – creating new risks for our privacy. Our laws need to  keep up. Canadians expect and deserve modern, effective laws to protect their  right to privacy,” says Jennifer Stoddart, Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

“Freedom of information is the expression of  Canadians’ core values. It is fundamental to the functioning of democracy,”  said Suzanne Legault, Information Commissioner of Canada. “Canadian access laws  must reflect this important role and become the gold standard in access to  information worldwide.”

“We must ensure our laws are strong enough to address  the challenges we face today, while continuing to protect the right to privacy  and access to information rights for future generations,” said Elizabeth  Denham, Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia and host of  this year’s meeting of federal, provincial and territorial access to  information and privacy guardians.  

The  resolution outlines a number of possible reforms to consider:

  • Establishing when and how individuals should be  notified when their personal information has been lost, stolen or improperly  accessed;
  • Creating a legislated duty to document the  deliberations, actions and decisions of public entities to promote transparency  and accountability; and
  • Strong monitoring and enforcement powers for  regulators such as binding orders and  penalties for non-compliance.

The  resolution was issued during the annual meeting of Information and Privacy  Commissioners and Ombudspersons from federal, provincial and territorial  jurisdictions across Canada.

– 30 –

The resolution is  available on the website of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (

For more information or interview requests:

Cara  McGregor
Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for B.C.
(250)  217-5535

Valerie  Lawton
Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Josée Villeneuve
Office of the Information  Commissioner of Canada