After six months of hiding from questions, the Liberal government still fails to grasp that hiding the truth from Nova Scotians doesn’t mean they aren’t accountable for their failure to protect Nova Scotians’ personal information.
In a stunning lack of transparency, Internal Services Minister Patricia Arab issued an annual report about the government’s FOIPOP services that didn’t include a single reference to the massive FOIPOP breach.
“I’m not entirely sure why this government thought Nova Scotians would forget this colossal government failure,” says PC House Leader Chris d’Entremont who questioned Minister Arab during Question Period. “They have made it clear that they would rather hide a mistake than own up to it.”
The Information Access and Privacy Services Annual Report covers the time of April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018. By the government’s own admission, the government’s FOIPOP portal was breached between March 3 and 5, 2018 and the personal information of thousands of Nova Scotians was accessed.
“The fact that the Minister’s department didn’t uncover the breach until this fiscal year doesn’t change the fact the breach happened in the year covered in the report,” d’Entremont said. “The breach should have been addressed in the report. It’s appalling that it was omitted.”
At the time, the province said more than 7,000 documents were inappropriately downloaded through the breach. They admitted 369 of the documents contained “highly sensitive” personal information such as social insurance numbers, birthdates and personal addresses. The FOIPOP portal is still not fully functional six months later.
d’Entremont says under the McNeil Liberals, transparency and accountability are things of the past. Nova Scotians should be wary of anything this government says.
“They have literally tried to sweep a huge breach of privacy under the rug by failing to include it in this report,” says d’Entremont. “It’s truly disgusting that they continue to limit their own political liability without any regard for accountability.”