Blake Richards, Member of Parliament, Wild Rose

Wild Rose Report
Column
March 2, 2012

"Your Voice In Ottawa"

Striking the balance between online protection, privacy

Wild RoseBill C-30, our Conservative Government's Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act, will equip law enforcement with tools to ensure that criminals and terrorist groups do not exploit modern communication technologies to hide their illegal activities. But some Canadians have voiced concerns about the bill's potential impact on personal privacy and that, in turn, has sparked a great amount of discussion, mostly - and appropriately enough - on the Internet and through social media.

     In watching the debate unfold, I am sympathetic to people's concerns about privacy. I'd be just as concerned if some of what I'm reading online about the bill were actually true. But in fact it is not true, and I'm glad for this opportunity to address some of the persistent myths surrounding Bill C-30 so that people can have a balanced view of what the legislation actually will achieve.

     There is a fairly widespread consensus that our current laws do not adequately protect Canadians from online exploitation. Our Government wants to improve protection from online crime, and particularly our children from child pornographers, by updating our laws to reflect the reality of rapid changes in technology - all while striking the right balance to protect privacy.

     Bill C-30 essentially streamlines the process for obtaining warrants and orders related to the interception of private communications and modernizes investigative techniques for use against cybercrime. Yet the main argument I continue to hear from opponents of the bill is that it opens up Canadians' online activity to random snooping by law enforcement agencies.

     That simply is not the case.

     Let me be very clear: the police will not be able to read e-mails or view web activity unless they obtain a warrant issued by a judge. We have also constructed safeguards to protect the privacy of Canadians, including audits by privacy commissioners.

     This legislation has already been modified as a result of consultations held with various stakeholders, including privacy commissioners and privacy advocates. Those consultations led to significant changes designed to strengthen the privacy safeguards contained in the proposed Act.

     In addition to those changes, our Government is sending this legislation directly to a Parlia­mentary Committee before Second Reading debate for a full examination. That is not a typical step in the Parliamentary process and is another example of how our Government is committed to an open discussion about how to better protect Canadians from online crime while being mindful of Canadians' privacy concerns.

     If you have suggestions on how Bill C-30 can strike a better balance, I am very open to hearing them
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COMMUNITY OFFICE HOURS 
In addition to the constituency office in Airdrie, services are available at a series of Community Office Hours that are held across the riding each month:
FIRST THURSDAY OF EVERY MONTH
CANMORECivic Centre9 AM to 11 AM902 - 7 Avenue
BANFFRundlestone Lodge1 PM to 3 PM537 Banff Avenue

 

SECOND THURSDAY OF EVERY MONTH

COCHRANECochrane Dodge10 AM to Noon544 Railway Street
CREMONASomthin Somthin Cafe2 PM to 4 PM110 Railway Avenue

 

THIRD THURSDAY OF EVERY MONTH

CARSTAIRSAlcorn Insurance9 AM to 11 AM207 - 10th Avenue
CROSSFIELDMichelle's PlaceNoon to 2 PM907 Mountain Avenue
DIDSBURYMugs Coffee Shop3 PM to 5 PM1912 20 Street

 

FOURTH THURSDAY OF EVERY MONTH

CAROLINERavenwood Cafe9 AM to 11 AM5111 50 Street
SUNDRESundre Golf CourseNoon to 2 PM1 kilometre east of Sundre
OLDSTown Office3 PM to 5 PM4512 - 46 Street
Blake Richards
M.P., Wild Rose

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Blake Richards MP

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Poll question
"Do you agree that  Canada's laws dealing with the exploitation of communication technologies need to be updated in order to keep pace with the tactics of online criminals?"

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IN WILD ROSE 
16-620 1st AV NW
Airdrie, AB
T4B-2R3
TELEPHONE: 
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1-800-667-0410
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 (403)-948-0879
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Ottawa, ON
K1A-0A6 
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M.P. Blake Richards' Wild Rose Report commentary can be heard Saturdays at noon on Olds Radio, CKFM 96.5!

 

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