Law Union News
Periodical profile published 1980

Year Published:  1980
Resource Type:  Serial Publication (Periodical)
Cx Number:  CX1072

Two articles written by Paul Copeland highlight this issue. The first article, "Federal Human Rights Act Protect the Government" deals with part IV of the human rights act - "Protection of Personal Information." At the time of its legislation in March 1978 a listing of federal information banks was prepared; application forms to request access to individual federal information banks can be obtained at post offices. When the Act was passed Federal Minister Robert Andras said: "The act establishes for the first time a procedure to obtain records held about individuals by the Federal Government Institutions." The Author, Copeland, claims that any efforts he has made to retrieve information, including that pertaining to himself, have been in vain. He states that so far the protection of personal information legislation only protects the government from giving out information that it sees fit to accumulate.

Copeland's other article, "Disruption Mandate" poses the question - Do democratic rights exist in Canada? This article discusses investigations carried out by the R.C.M.P. security services on the activities of various groups. The author cites examples of security service surveillance of groups, for example: the "En Lutte" group in Quebec and a group of Vietnamese Canadians who demonstrated in Ottawa in 1979 against the Chinese invasion of Vietnam. The author states: "A truly democratic country must guarantee the right to dissent and engage in any activity short of violence. The political process rightly includes much more than casting one's ballot - it involves the freedom to advocate ideas and organize people in support of such ideas without government intervention."

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