It was the Liberals and it was an unfortunate circumstance. They essentially were going to allow Lockheed Martin to assemble private information on Canadians. If my memory serves me correct, the collected data was going to be assembled in Minneapolis. The contract was later amended and it cost Canada more money because the government realized it was a bad mistake. It was going to cost around $6 million to keep the data in Canada and we kept it here. The agency that would accumulate the data, which also outsourced a lot of government services, just has to give the information over under the Patriot Act. The law is considered broken if contact is made.
It is significant that we look at these issues. I find that since we do not have any full-on trade agreements under the current context of what is happening, it would seem that the sharing of Canadians' private information would come later rather than sooner. I want to touch on that for a moment because it is really important.
This summer I worked quite a bit on protecting Canadians from fraud. We have all seen this happen in our communities. My riding of Windsor West and other communities I consulted with have seen this happen. Fraudsters use basic information to call people either at homes, at their places of employment, or on their cellphones. They even use tactics on the Internet, which cost Canadians millions of dollars. I am speaking about organized crime.
I am sure many Canadians have received phone calls from people stating they are from the Canada Revenue Agency. They are being told they have to pay up because they did not make full payment on their taxes. For people listening today, I would urge them to never talk to people on the phone about their taxes. The CRA does not call people. They will be contacted by mail if there is a problem.
In fact, the fraud on this has become so sophisticated, that caller ID will show the Government of Canada or Canada Revenue. They will buy those types of signatures for when people call in and they will try to convince them. We have those telephone calls coming in all the time to communities and people buy it. They buy it not because they should feel ashamed, not because they are bad people, not because they are naive, but because it is organized crime.
Fraudsters are sustained through organized crime because they get information about people. They know where they live and details about people. I get to hear some of these things because my partner's name is Terry Chow, so they call in and ask for Mr. Chow. She spells it Terry, which is often the way a man's name is spelled. They will call asking for Mr. Chow and I hear the tactics and intimidation. When the caller finds out it is not Mr. Chow, they end it.
My point is that this is an immediate defence for us to know that people calling who try to pretend they are from the government or some other authority, that it is a phony call. I want to know and ensure that there are number of different supports for privacy breaches on information.
The date, time, and place of the departure is now going to be out there; the type of travel document used and the time of departure. All those things in the departure document create the probabilities in the snapshot of people and their consumer habits, as well as wealth and other things. That is one of the reasons why when people get phone calls, no one is there. It is a computer calling and it hangs up because it is recording the probability of someone being there when a telephone solicitor calls later. The point being is this information is important for that.
The type of travel documents and credit card uses are categorized and sold later as part of the credit card agreement to track purchasing behaviour. The sophistication of all those things can be used for fraud.
In terms of privacy breaches in the public service, it is not a conspiracy. Revenue Canada has had breaches. Families' children names and social data have been given up. We have heard of breaches in Citizenship and Immigration, indigenous affairs, correctional services, public services, defence. We have seen what has happened in Veterans Affairs, RCMP, just to name a few. The Privacy Commissioner has been clear on this as well.
I will be looking forward to getting a better understanding of how our privacy laws are going to protect these data, how the U.S. is going to protect it, and more important, how Canadians are going to have recourse for privacy data breaches.
We have not seen much of that in the bill and the responsibilities for it. It is unfortunate. One of the most important things we could have for Canadians is ensuring the government is not part of that information provided. Once it is out there, this will not just be credit card purchasing data information that is breached or some type of consumer related thing, this will be passport information. This is going to be data and information that is crucial.
In the past, we have seen misinformation used against Canadians even where there were laws in place. Maher Arar is a good example with regard to governments sharing information and not having the proper recourse in place. It took numerous debates in the House, notices of motions, and eventually a settled lawsuit to protect and correct eventually what the governments had done to an individual and his family. These issues are serious and significant.
I want to connect it back as well to the border with respect to the practicality of this because again it is about the delay and the processing that is necessary. What happens if there is a problem related to the collection of this information? Do we shut down the border? I hope that is not the case.