CANADA: A proposed national class-action lawsuit was filed in Federal Court in Vancouver on Monday seeking damages in an alleged privacy breach involving Health Canada mailing letters to 40,000 people — and identifying them as participants in the Medical Marijuana Access Program.
The action was filed by Vancouver resident Jason Wilcox on behalf of Canadians whose personal and health information was compromised.
“From what we understand, and of course this will be confirmed in the action, 40,000 people who were participants in the medical marijuana program had their private health and personal information breached by them or released by Health Canada when Health Canada sent out the letters with the medical marijuana return addresses on them,” said Kate Saunders of Branch MacMaster LLP, the law firm representing Wilcox and others in the proposed suit.
“Anybody could read it. It not only compromises the confidentiality of participants’ personal and health information, but it also compromises participants’ physical safety and security.”
According to the action, in July 2001, the federal government enacted the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations which, among other things, empower the Minister of Health to issue authorizations and licenses to people permitting them to possess or produce marijuana for medical purposes.