Marie-Claude Blais brushes aside privacy boss's concerns

With respect, I was surprised to hear the minister's comments to this effect, as her comments do not accurately reflect the nature of the discussions that took place between our office and department officials on this matter,"

Liberals accused of playing politics with new law designed to help at-risk children

New Brunswick's minister of education is brushing off suggestions she misrepresented the views of the province's privacy watchdog.

Privacy Commissioner Anne Bertrand has complained that she wasn't consulted on a new law dealing with personal information, as Blais claimed earlier this week.

In debate about Bill 23, which will make it easier for government departments to work around privacy rules to share information about at-risk children, Blais said Bertrand appoved of the bill in principle and supported it.

But Bertrand wrote a letter to Blais saying that misrepresents her views.

"With respect, I was surprised to hear the minister's comments to this effect, as her comments do not accurately reflect the nature of the discussions that took place between our office and department officials on this matter," wrote Bertrand in a letter to Blais, legislature Speaker Dale Graham and Liberal MLA Chris Collins.

Blais says she welcomes any input from Bertrand and said there are also other privacy safeguards in place.

"We have our own lawyers who have privacy training," said Blais. "They look at the bill."

Blais accused Collins of politicizing a bill that has widespread support because it is designed to overcome obstacles to helping children.

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