Author Topic: Decorated veteran says Ottawa violated his privacy  (Read 823 times)

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Decorated veteran says Ottawa violated his privacy
« on: April 02, 2012, 10:17:03 PM »
Decorated veteran says Ottawa violated his privacy

CBC News
Posted: Mar 28, 2012 8:03 AM ET
Last Updated: Mar 28, 2012 9:01 AM ET

The Current
Vets board member says privacy raided
Veteran alleges another privacy breach at department
The long, strange fight of Veterans Affairs crusader Sean Bruyea

One of Canada's most decorated veterans is speaking out for the first time about his claims that his personal privacy was violated by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Former sergeant Tom Hoppe served in Bosnia during the mid-1990s, and was decorated for bravery. He was active in veterans support organizations even before he left the military in 2001 after 25 years of service.

Hoppe became the head of the Ontario Peacekeeping Veterans Association, and later the president of the national organization. He is currently chair of the Veterans Ombudsman Advisory Committee.

A critic of the government's revamp of benefits for veterans, called the New Veterans Charter, Hoppe found out that his name appeared in an email that another veteran, Sean Bruyea, obtained through access to information requests when he was investigating violations of his privacy by Veterans Affairs.

Hoppe then did his own request for information, which confirmed that private medical information in his file had been shared by people in the department.

Hoppe doesn't want to get into the details of the personal information that was shared, but he said it had nothing to do with his advocacy work . However, he does want the people who have been violating the privacy of veterans to be held accountable.

"If someone's broken the law, then they need to be punished and they need to be disciplined," he told CBC's The Current.
Another veteran claims personal file accessed

Another injured veteran, Dennis Manuge, told a similar story. He is also a vocal activist and the point man in a class-action lawsuit trying to stop the government's clawback of disability payments for veterans.

Through an access to information request, Manuge found out his personal file had been accessed almost a thousand times.

He sought further clarification from the department, and was able to quickly determine which were legitimate accesses to his file by people working to provide him benefits, services, treatment authorizations and medications.

But he also found several cases of access to his files by people in the office of a senior assistant deputy minister.

Manuge thinks veterans who have had their privacy breached should take the government to court via a class-action lawsuit.
With files from Howard Goldenthal

Vets board member says privacy raided
Veteran alleges another privacy breach at department