Saturday, January 30, 2016

BC Politics

NDP Slam Libs Over Lost Disk

Christy Clark’s government failed to protect personal information of 3.4 million students

Marielle Tounsi, NDP Caucus/Voice file photo


Premier Christy Clark speaks at Ruth and Naomi's in January 2013.


report from British Columbia’s privacy commissioner shows that Christy Clark’s government broke the law when they failed to protect the private information of 3.4 million students, say the B.C. New Democrats.


“This is just another example of Christy Clark putting our children at risk,” said Rob Fleming, New Democrat spokesperson for education. “The last thing that families and teachers want to be worrying about, is their sensitive information falling into the wrong hands.

“Even worse, Christy Clark’s government still haven’t managed to find the disk that was improperly stored in order to save a few bucks. It’s clear that Christy Clark doesn’t really care.”

In September 2015, Christy Clark’s government admitted that they had lost an unprotected hard drive which stored more than 3 million personal student records and thousands of other personal records – including information on health records and financial aid. A new report from the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner shows that this unprecedented loss of information was completely avoidable, that the hard drive was stored improperly as a cost-saving measure, and that the hard drive is still missing.

“Christy Clark’s government can’t seem to learn their lesson when it comes to protecting the personal information of British Columbians,” said Doug Routley, New Democrat spokesperson for citizen services. “This missing hard drive is just the latest in a long line of privacy breaches under the Christy Clark government, and it shows that protecting people’s sensitive information is not a priority for them.

“Their response is always to say that they will do better next time, but they have run out of next times, and it’s an unacceptable response to an unacceptable mistake.”



Payday loan spikes are a result of Christy Clark’s failure on wages and affordability

Marielle Tounsi, NDP Caucus

tagnant wage growth under the Christy Clark government and her constant fee increases have contributed to the growing reliance by working British Columbians on payday loans.

“Payday loans are a symptom of the way that the Christy Clark government has made life less affordable,” said Carole James, New Democrat finance spokesperson. “While families have to pay more for everything under Christy Clark’s government, wage growth has been the slowest in the country.”

Vancity reported this week that the number of payday loans in B.C. increased by 58 per cent between 2012 and 2014, with many working British Columbians left poor and relying on this expensive form of lending just to meet their necessities.

James cited the fact that British Columbia has seen the lowest wage growth in the country since Premier Clark launched The BC Jobs Plan, and that we have consistently had one of the highest rates of poverty.

Christy Clark’s government impose increases to taxes and fees year after year. Her government more than doubled the unfair medical services tax since 2001, increasing it every year since Christy Clark became premier. Meanwhile, they’ve increased the average hydro bill by over $520 and the average ICBC premium by $270.

James said that fee increases under Premier Clark haven’t ended there, “Ferry fares, park fees, tuition, tolls, transit, pharmacare and much more have all spiked upwards under the Christy Clark government.”

James said that the only people who have seen relief from Christy Clark’s government are the wealthiest two per cent who received a $270 million tax break they didn’t even ask for.

“The Christy Clark government has made it expensive just to live,” said James. “Relying on payday loans makes it too expensive to be poor.”

John Horgan and the New Democrats are calling on Christy Clark to follow the lead of every other province and develop a comprehensive poverty reduction plan.


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