Privacy Act concerns

I've been trying to learn more about the Independent Investigation Office, which has investigated (actions) by the RCMP in B.C. for the last 10 years.

Recently, I discovered that, repeatedly, the names of victims and police officers involved in these cases, are not revealed anymore, (even when a case is several years old). How can law enforcement (officers) shoot and kill someone and then bury the identities of those involved for years?

I believe it's all about how Canada's new privacy laws are interpreted.

"The purpose of the Privacy Act is to protect the privacy of individuals with respect to their personal information,” says the act. “This act governs the federal government's collection, retention, use and disclosure of that information."

In the case of a shooting near my home in September 2022, a woman known only as Joelle was shot twice by an RCMP emergency response team (ERT) and carted off with “life threatening" wounds. Her neighbours spent weeks trying to learn her full name, as we were concerned for her personal, legal and medical wellbeing.

We were beside ourselves when the police refused to give us her name, stating after shooting her they felt legally obliged to protect her personal information. This also went for her deceased partner, Gil, not to mention the RCMP (officer in question).

Why the legal interpretation of our privacy laws has not been addressed by the media or the government, is beyond me.

Ian Skinner, Keremeos

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