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                                                                                                      Newsletter 10
                                                                                                         Spring 2009

Ombudsman, Access and Privacy Newsletter


        tarting June 1, 2009, American authorities will require Canadian citizens 16 and
        over to have a passport or approved alternative to enter the U.S. by land or
        water. MPI and the Manitoba Government have introduced the Manitoba
        Enhanced Identification Card (EIC) as a voluntary alternative to a passport for
        this limited purpose.

The Ombudsman has published information on the following points for your privacy awareness:
 1. The EIC is voluntary and not necessary if you already have a passport.
 2. A person interested in an EIC should first read the Manitoba EIC Applicant’s Guide.
 3. A person should understand the consents and declarations that must be signed to qualify for an EIC before
    beginning the EIC application process.
 4. Up to five provincial, national and international authorities will handle the personal information of an EIC
 5. Third party information will not be collected or used in the Manitoba EIC program.
 6. The EIC’s technology (radio frequency identification) presents a risk of location tracking of the EIC cardholder.
 7. The protective sleeve issued with each Manitoba EIC prevents this risk, but the cardholder must always be vigilant.
 8. A damaged sleeve must be replaced immediately to maintain privacy and can be replaced, free of charge, at any
    MPI service location or Autopac broker office.
 9. Once a traveller’s personal information is shared with U.S. authorities (from EIC cards or passports), the Manitoba
    Government and MPI have no control over how it may be stored, used and further
    shared; it is retained in the U.S. Border Crossing Information system for 75 years.          In This Issue
10. To find out about privacy within the EIC Program or to raise concerns:
                                                                                                Privacy & The Manitoba    1
                                                                                                Enhanced ID Card (EIC)
                                                                                                Protected Disclosures–    2
MPI Access and Privacy Coordinator                                                              In the Public Interest
Phone: (204) 985-7525
                                                                                                Ottawa Conference         3

If any EIC privacy concerns cannot be resolved with MPI:                                        Community Outreach        3
Manitoba Ombudsman
                                                                                                Manitoba Ombudsman        3
Phone: (204) 982-9130 or 1-800-665-0531 (toll free in Manitoba)
                                                                                                Celebrates 200th
For more information, see the Ombudsman’s February 2, 2009 news release and fact sheet,         Anniversary of the
“Manitoba Enhanced Identification Card: 10 Points for Privacy Awareness” at                     Ombudsman Role.
                                                                                                Acknowledgements          4

                                                                                                Upcoming Events           4
                                                                                                       NEWSLETTER 10
   PAGE 2

  200 years ago, the first public sector   Act.                                      investigation, or if appropriate, refer
Ombudsman was appointed by the               Our 2008 Annual Report tells the        the matter to the Office of the Auditor
Parliament of Sweden.         Since its    public generally about our work           General.
origin, the public sector Ombudsman        involving disclosures of wrongdoing         Not all allegations should be
has been a valuable guardian of            under whistleblower legislation. But,     investigated as a disclosure of
citizens’ rights.                          helping the public really understand      wrongdoing. There may already be
  The public sector Ombudsman’s            what a disclosure of wrongdoing           an appropriate means of addressing
mandate has expanded significantly         means is a challenge because              them, and the Ombudsman will be
since 1809. Society’s expectation for      detailed information can’t be             careful not to undermine a review
transparency and accountability in all     reported. The law requires that the       process established by statute.
aspects        of     government           identities of persons making                As the title of the Act suggests,
administration has influenced              disclosures be kept confidential to the   there must be a public interest
governments to pass new laws to            extent possible. The Act states the       component revealed in the allegation
protect citizens’ rights.                  purpose of the law is:                    – not just an interest relevant only to
  The Manitoba Ombudsman’s Office          “to facilitate the disclosure and         the whistleblower. Could, for
was established in 1970 following          investigation of significant and          example, an employment related
the proclamation of The                    serious matters in or relating to the     disclosure ever be considered a
Ombudsman Act.         In 1988, The        public service, that are potentially      wrongdoing? These kinds of thorny
Freedom of Information Act was             unlawful, dangerous to the public         questions must be determined in
proclaimed giving every person the         or injurious to the public interest;      advance of any investigation of an
right of access to any record in the       and to protect persons who make           allegation of wrongdoing. However,
custody and control of a provincial        those disclosures.”                       employees and others should not be
government department or agency,             It is the Ombudsman’s duty to           discouraged from blowing the whistle
subject to certain exceptions. The         promptly and informally investigate       on wrongdoing which is defined as:
legislation incorporated an oversight      disclosures that she determines
role for the Ombudsman to receive          require investigation. The
complaints.                                                                          • an act or omission that is an offence
                                           Ombudsman can take any steps she
                                                                                       under an Act or          regulation
  Effective January 1, 1997, the           feels are appropriate to help resolve
                                                                                       (breaking the law)
Ombudsman’s jurisdiction was               the matter and that are in the public
extended to all urban and rural            interest.                                 • an act or omission that creates a
municipalities in Manitoba, and in                                                     substantial and specific danger to
2003, was further extended to                    “The purpose of an                    the life, health or safety of persons
include the City of Winnipeg. Also in      investigation into a disclosure             or the environment
1997, The Personal Health
Information Act (PHIA) was                  of wrongdoing is to bring the            • gross mismanagement, including
proclaimed. This was unique                  wrongdoing to the attention               mismanaging public funds or a
legislation in Canada, being the first
                                                                                       public asset (government property);
                                                  of the appropriate                   and
Act to provide access to information
and protection of privacy rights for       department, government body               • knowingly directing or advising
personal health information. In May         or office, and to recommend                someone to commit any
1998, The Freedom of Information               corrective measures that                wrongdoing described above
and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA)
replaced The Freedom of Information
                                                  should be taken.”
Act. This Act added personal                   Taking steps might mean notifying       Like all aspects of Ombudsman
information privacy protection to          senior government officials of the        work, the principles of fairness and
general access rights and the              allegation of wrongdoing, assuming        natural justice must prevail.     The
Ombudsman was given the oversight          they have not been named in the           O m b u d s m a n         m a k e s
role under this Act as well.               disclosure, and offering them the         recommendations designed to be
                                           opportunity to investigate the            corrective measures that will promote
  In June, 1998, a regional office of
                                           allegation and report the findings to     fairness and best practice in
the Ombudsman was opened in
                                           the Ombudsman. If the Ombudsman           government administration - in the
Brandon, Manitoba.
                                           is satisfied with the outcome of the      public interest.
 In April 2007, the Ombudsman’s            government office’s investigation, the     For more information or to make a
mandate expanded again with the            matter is concluded. If not, the          confidential disclosure, contact:
proclamation of The Public Interest        Ombudsman can begin her own               Manitoba Ombudsman at 982-9130.
Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection)
                                                                                                                            PAGE 3

                                              exercising discretion in disclosing             Ombudsman, Irene Hamilton,
                                              personal information.                         participated on a panel with
                                                Access and Privacy Division staff           Information and Privacy
                                              presented information on the duty to          Commissioners and Ombudsmen,
                                              assist an applicant seeking access to         and provided updates from their
                                              information.      The Freedom of              jurisdictions. The panel discussed
                                              Information and Protection of Privacy         legislative changes nationally that
                                              Act (FIPPA) and The Personal Health           impact on access and privacy rights
                                              Information Act (PHIA) require public         a n d M s H a mi lt o n d i sc u s s e d
                                              sector bodies and trustees to make            amendments to FIPPA and PHIA.
  In February, staff from our office          every reasonable effort to assist an            Following the conference, Ms
participated in a national conference         applicant and to respond without              Hamilton participated in meetings
held in Ottawa for investigators with         delay, openly, accurately and                 with her Federal/Provincial/Territorial
access and privacy oversight at the           completely. Some examples of this             colleagues on issues of mutual
provincial, territorial and the federal       duty include conducting thorough              concern, including enhanced drivers
levels. Topics discussed at the two-          searches for records, explaining              licences and electronic health
day conference included biometric             processes under the Acts and                  records.
identification, public education and          providing detailed reasons for access
outreach, case management and                 decisions.

  Our goal is to inform more Manitobans       School, Vincent Massey High School
about the Ombudsman’s role in the             (Brandon), and Carmen Elementary and
democratic process. This spring, our office   MPA students at the University of
participated in a number of community         Winnipeg.
events.       On Sunday, April 19th,
                                                The students’ knowledge of and interest
Ombudsman staff greeted almost 300
                                              in the Ombudsman’s role in the
visitors to our exhibit in the Winnipeg Law
                                              democratic process is an impressive
Courts as part of the annual LAW DAY
                                              testimony to Manitoba teachers’ efforts to
open house. Manager, Gail Perry staffed
                                              help students learn about their rights and
the Right to Know Information sessions
                                              responsibilities as citizens of Manitoba
running simultaneously. This year’s theme
                                              and Canada. The response to our offers
was “Celebrate Our Rights and Freedoms”.
                                              to speak with students, especially social    Margaret Hand (far right) and her grade 6
  We facilitated two half-day workshops       studies students has been very positive.     class at Carmen Elementary
for City of Winnipeg staff this April:        We look forward to continuing this
Working with the Ombudsman and FIPPA          relationship with Manitoba schools.           Manitobans of the free services we
& PHIA Work with the Ombudsman.                                                             provide to anyone who believes s/he has
                                                In April, we met with the staff of
  Our Joining the Herd school                 Welcome Place, Manitoba Interfaith            been treated unfairly by government
presentations continue to be popular. This    Immigration Council. We also spoke to         departments or agencies in Manitoba.
spring, we spoke with students and            newcomers at Adult Learning Centres in         To arrange for a presentation to your
teachers in Winnipeg: West Kildonan           Winnipeg and Brandon and to Blue Sky          organization or classroom, please call
Collegiate and Children of the Earth High     Youth Alliance and the Native Addictions      982-9130 or toll free: 1-800-665-0531.
School and other centres: Gimli High          Council of Manitoba to inform

  In April 2009, Manitoba Ombudsman staff                                          Innovative ideas, best practices, and philosophical
attended a joint conference in Montreal hosted                                   discussions - it was a meeting of the minds meant
by the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman, the                                          to look back and look forward, to provoke and
International Ombudsman Association, and the                                     inspire. With 320 delegates from around the world
Association of Canadian College and University                                   in attendance at the conference from as far away
Ombudspersons.                                                                   as Europe and South Africa, it was also an
                                                                                 opportunity to renew old acquaintances and make
  The conference, “Evolution of the
                                                                                 new ones.
Ombudsman [1809-2009]: A Rich History, A
Promising Future,” celebrated the creation of the
role of the modern ombudsman in Sweden in

We have appreciated having Devi Gobherdan assisting us for the past year with our outreach programs, especially
in our youth programs. Congratulations to Devi on her graduation in the Masters, Public Administration program
and success in her career.

This summer, Leila Francoeur-Gilbert, an Exchange student from Gatineau, Quebec, is helping us create French
language presentations to expand our outreach efforts into our francophone community.

            Winnipeg Office                                                 Brandon Office
            750 - 500 Portage Ave.                                  202 - 1011 Rosser Ave.
            Winnipeg, MB R3C 3X1                                    Brandon, MB R7A 0L5
            Phone: 204-982-9130                                       Phone: 204-571-5151
            Fax: 204-942-7803                                            Fax: 204-571-5157
                                                           Toll Free in MB 1-888-543-8230

                                WEB SITE: www.ombudsman.mb.ca

                                               UPCOMING EVENTS

            If you wish to subscribe to the Manitoba OmbudsNews or be removed from our
                            distribution list please send your e-mail address to

       June 17–        Brown Bag Talks, “Making Effective Representations in Responding to Complaints about
                       Refused Access”, 750-500 Portage Ave.
                       For Access and Privacy Officers and Coordinators

       September 2009 - The Business Case for Fair Decision Making -NEW!
                       A new 2 hour workshop offered by OSD & delivered by the Ombudsman’s Office for
                       new & experienced senior public servants. Please check the OSD online calendar
                       www.gov.mb.ca/csc/osd for more information and availability.

       September 28– October 2, 2009- Right to Know Week events in Manitoba
                      Stay tuned for 2009 information at http://www.ombudsman.mb.ca/righttoknow.htm

       November 30- December 1, 2009- Prairie Health Information Privacy Day
                    at the Hyatt Regency, Calgary
                      for Access and Privacy officers and coordinators, all health professionals and health
                      organizations, staff of provincial and municipal government, school divisions, universities

                      For more information and registration on Prairie Health Information Privacy events,

                Manitoba Ombudsman: Ombudsman and Access and Privacy Divisions

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