Respecting Privacy and Commmon Sense

Blog, Culture Wars, Marco Navarro-Genie

Some new MPs are complaining that they are finding empty filing cabinet in their new offices.  There is a serious policy vacuum in the handling of office files during transitions from one exiting MP to one entering office.

…a House of Commons spokeswoman said most outgoing MPs choose to trash constituency documents on their way out the door because the paperwork contains personal information about citizens.

Given the state of privacy rules, this is not surprising.  But there probably is no conspiracy against the Quebec neophytes.  Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition can hardly point fingers, however, since they themselves do not have policies for these occasions –and they have been winning seats for decades (and sometimes losing them), just like the rest of the parties.

Newly elected MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau

There is an easy and inexpensive remedy. Citizens already have to sign wavers for MPs’ offices to make inquiries and gather information about them every time they request help from an elected official. Let’s add a line with a check box: Do you consent that the files and information gathered by this office for the purposes of this individual case be released to another MP in the event of a change of representative in your riding?  Or something like that!

That would even cover boundary redistributions.