Identity Theft Hearings at the Justice Committee

I was scheduled to appear before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights on Wednesday to discuss Bill C-27, the much-needed identity theft bill.  The witness list was packed – the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, the RCMP, Canadian Police Chiefs, CIPPIC, and ITAC were also on hand.  Yet the hearings did not happen.  For the third consecutive meeting, Conservative Committee chair Art Hanger walked out of the committee to ensure that there would be no vote on whether to conduct future hearings into the Cadman affair.  At the time, no one seemed particularly upset (or surprised) – the witnesses chatted with each other and with some of the MPs and then left early into a sunny spring-like Ottawa day.

However, when I mentioned this incident to several friends, they looked at me in total disbelief wondering whether our elected officials understood that these antics represented a complete waste of time and tax dollars.  Moreover, the delayed hearings placed an important piece of legislation at risk and left a professed "tough on crime" MP (Hanger) to walk out on police officers who literally flew across the country to explain why they need this law.  While I am no so politically naive as to not understand what was at work, this should be utterly embarrassing for both the government and the opposition and provides a powerful reminder about why none of the political parties have succeeded in convincing a majority of the Canadian public that they are fit to lead.


  1. Keith D Smith
    You might read “The Silent Crime” by Michael McCoy. He states that there are 5 major areas of identity theft which can not be prevented and financial is only a small percentage. On page 191 he does a comparison of services. He also states Pre-Paid Legal Services is “Most robust with complete restoration, credit monitoring and access to attorneys 24/7.” You can find out more about the service at [ link ]

  2. “Conservative Committee chair Art Hanger walked out of the committee to ensure that there would be no vote on whether to conduct future hearings into the Cadman affair.”

    Typical US-style politicking. Shows you how much Hanger cares about Canadian’s privacy…

  3. Bad mix
    What kind of respect does the (our?) government have for the Canadian people and a democratic process? Politics and government just don’t mix.

  4. Jack Robinson says:

    Having just finished Derrick Jensen’s and George Graffen’s book ‘Welcome to the Machine’ (Chelsea Green 2004) and reaching a point of convulsive gag-reflux over daily media accounts of CRTC sycophancy, broadcast providers’ Pay Pervue rapaciousness, un-encrypted credit transaction swipe hi-jacks, sanctioned RFID lemming-tracking and the Big Kahuna throttling of Internet access… I’m seriously inclined to trash-trade my sexy but arguably non-life-enriching tech toys for a sturdy skiff, sextant and a humble hut in Finlandia.