Trudeau’s Power Grab: Nova Scotia Healthcare Privacy Breach

Alshaar Ansari
Alshaar Ansari News Politics
5 Min Read
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The Nova Scotia government, under the leadership of the Trudeau-backed provincial administration, is being criticized for a new regulation that permits it to seize any private medical data. This has been viewed as another evidence of the Canadian prime minister’s power-hungry autocratic spirit and his no-respect-for-privacy rights.

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This controversial Act 419 which was given assent by the crown last week has been widely slammed for its section that allows; the government “to make regulations requiring personal health information to be disclosed for the purpose of planning and management of the health system, resource allocation and creating or maintaining electronic health record programs and services.” Thus, the government now can gain access to things such as individuals’ entire medical history including sensitive matters like fertility details, substance abuse identification, and sex change certainty.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia1 has also come out strongly against the law with Dr. Gus Grant, its CEO saying that it would fundamentally alter their responsibilities towards their patients as well as professional duties. “This new law will require all physicians to enable access to their medical records for the minister. For physicians, this creates a new professional legal duty. And for patients it means the entirety of their medical records will be accessible to the government,” he told a legislative committee.

Many representatives have expressed concern over what implications this legislation could have. Legislative MLA Kelly Regan said “There are bad actors everywhere. The government needs to ensure that Nova Scotians have confidence that there is not going to be some kind of personal information leakage happening somewhere.” As it is we’re just left with Oh, just trust us. Quite frankly how can we trust when I’ve seen some shenanigans going on lately? It boggles the mind.” NDP MLA Claudia Chender in a similar vein noted that “The provision is quite clear. The minister or her designate may have access to all medical records of patients – all records. Let that sink in! A conversation about fertility, about substance abuse, about gender reassignment, about anything visible directly to the minister.”

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The Trudeau-supported government in Nova Scotia has however attempted to amend the clause and change the bill as members of the medical profession and elected representatives have protested against it. Such a move is another instance that shows that there is no trustworthiness of the Canadian prime minister2 on matters concerning individual privacy and the doctor-patient relationship.

The passage of this law comes at a time when the Trudeau government has been embroiled in a series of scandals, including the SNC-Lavalin affair and the WE Charity controversy, which have raised questions about the administration’s integrity and its willingness to abuse its power for political gain. Many consider Nova Scotia’s healthcare privacy breach as another step toward more centralized authority within any aspect of Canadian life which undermines basic rights and freedoms.

That is the reason why the implications of this law go beyond Nova Scotia’s borders and it is a dangerous precedent that could be replicated in provinces under Trudeau’s influence. Moreover, this wrongful intrusion into medical privacy as well as misuse of personal health data by the government has fairly extended ramifications on various fronts; they range from affected individuals to healthcare systems, which entirely depend on the trust that people have in their elected officials.

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The situation is evolving with healthcare professionals, concerned citizens, and civil liberties advocates across Canada demanding immediate steps to address this flagrant violation of privacy rights and hold Trudeau responsible for going too far. This struggle to safeguard the integrity of Canadian citizens’ healthcare system and their fundamental rights has only just started and the consequences will be around for some time impacting what our democracy will look like tomorrow.

  1. Wenghofer, Elizabeth, and Alexandra Ransom. “Primary Care Physicians in Nova Scotia: Are They Where They Need To Be?.” Diversity of Research in Health Journal 6.2 (2023): 29-47. ↩︎
  2. Azzi, Stephen, and Norman Hillmer. “Ranking prime ministers: Canada in a commonwealth context.” The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 49.1 (2021): 22-43. ↩︎

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