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     June 2015        
Released on June  08, 2015 at 13:00
Tag #: 679

City has become a serial privacy abuser
Class action lawsuit looming against the City

Hundreds of City privacy violations go unreported
Personal information of the Sudbury Citizens held by the City in jeopardy 

Canapini: Bad legal advise

WikiLeaks Sudbury uncovered that property tax information of Sudbury Citizens are being secretly submitted to the Greater Sudbury Police service by the City's legal services department.

Kristen Newman, the City's assistant solicitor submitted property tax information under direct supervision of Jamie Canapini, City Solicitor. Canapini is fully responsible for the breach of privacy of Sudbury taxpayers.

This is totally "illegal", there is "no justification" for it and is a "deeply offensive" practice. 

According to the documents leaked, ( see Document 1, Document 2, Document 3, Document 4, Document 5, Document 6) from the Greater Sudbury Police Services, property tax information of various Sudbury residents' are utilized for policing purposes and Sudbury residents were arbitrarily hassled.  

The information police collect may show up on a criminal background check for a job or school placement. This will ruin the individual's life seeking a job and other activities required to be free from criminal records.

The Greater Sudbury police services did not serve search warrants requesting the information from the City. The City of Greater Sudbury never informed the taxpayers of the breach of their privacy that took place. They kept all incidents silent and attempted to sweep these issues under the rug. This is a totally invalid police tool and is a serious violation of the privacy of Sudbury taxpayers. These allegations against Sudbury’s police cannot be ignored. Additionally, this is one of the tactics utilized by the City's corrupted bureaucrats to hinder moderate voices against misusing and defrauding public funds. 

Michael Crystal, a lawyer currently representing thousands of Ontarians in five major privacy class actions, calls for legislative change and the City may also face a class action lawsuit in this regard.

Privacy breaches can range from loose lips in the coffee line to more odious examples, where city employees maliciously access sensitive personal information such as property tax details for purposes beyond that of the Assessment Act and Municipal Property Assessment Corporation Act. Property tax information of the individual's property details is “personal” and the City should give as much prominence to protecting privacy as they do to propaganda campaigns.

There are a number of laws in Canada that relate to privacy rights, and there are various government organizations and agencies responsible for overseeing compliance with these laws. The following provides an overview of privacy laws in Canada and the issues to which they may apply.

Canada has two federal privacy laws, the Privacy Act, which covers the personal information-handling practices of federal government departments and agencies; and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), the federal private-sector privacy law.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada oversees compliance with the Privacy Act. The Ontario Provincial legislation and the Municipal Information and Protection of Privacy Act directly apply to the City. The City is continuously violating Sudbury residents' privacy and there is no sign of corrective measures implemented in the near future.  This may result in a class action lawsuit against the city.

For this incident alone Canapini, the City solicitor, must step down and should provide taxpayers with answers. He has made news on many occasions giving controversial opinions. He has also clashed with former Auditor General Brian Bigger (now City's mayor)  when Bigger was auditing Sudbury Transit in 2011, during his department’s attempt to investigate a missing $800,000 in transit ticket money.  Canapini argued that the documents requested for the investigation were covered by solicitor-client privilege, were the property of city council and advised them not to turn them over to the auditor. Bigger’s office then proceeded in spending $20,000 on outside legal advice in an attempt to gain access to these documents. Canapini later disagreed with Bigger again regarding Healthy Community Initiatives (HCI) Funds. He told councillors that he had already reviewed the legal aspects of the funds and found no issues.

The public demands respect for civil rights now and will not wait too long on delivery before seeking more changes at the top. There is therefore no other option available; Canapini must step-down immediately.

Related documents

Lack of Accountability: "Gravy train" all over again
City hired private lawyer to cover-up for their assistant solicitor, Kristen Newman
City’s "cover-up" lawyer Khoraych, had her request denied in the Toronto case
Authoritarianism: City in crisis
Another conspiracy by City’s bureaucrats exposed
City did not submit original of fake affidavit to the court
Corruption: Inside and Out
Transit Ticket Scandal: Nadorozny’s Sorry Saga
CAO Nadorozny, City Solicitor Canapini and Director Human Resources, Fowke should step down

Released on June 08, 2015 at 13:00 

The original research article initially published on Notre Dame Law Review, 88(1) , 277-322. The excerpts and brief review as follows.

Court found that the employer intrusion of the employee's documents was wrongful

The appropriate historic analog in the common law context to searches of physical and electronic locations in the workplace is the intrusion upon seclusion tort fashioned by Dean Prosser in the Restatement (Second) of Torts.This intrusion tort required a showing that the employer intruded into a physical location where the employee had a reasonable expectation of privacy  and such an intrusion also had to be "highly offensive to a reasonable person."

It would appear then that in applying the "highly offensive" standard, the common law contains an additional requirement for the finding of liability for an invasion of privacy in physical or electronic locations in the workplace. Whereas the constitutional privacy law for government employees requires under O'Connor's plurality test the finding of a reasonable expectation of privacy and an unreasonable intrusion into that privacy interest,"  the common law goes a step further. It also requires a further finding that the employer's interference with a reasonable expectation of privacy would be highly offensive to a reasonable person."" This additional requirement is significant because as the Restatement points out, this additional showing requires that the "employer action meet the generally accepted societal norms for making such an intrusion." In other words, it puts an additional burden on the employee before he or she can hold the employer liable for an intrusion of a protected privacy interest in the workplace.

In this regard, consider how the Restatement legal approach might apply in the well-known workplace privacy case of K-Mart Corp. Store No. 7441 v. Trotti.1. Trotti involves a classic on-the-job privacy claim in the private sector involving a female K-Mart employee who had a locker at work. With her employer's permission, she had placed a personal lock on this locker and was not required to give the combination to her employer. Nonetheless, she found one day that her locker had been opened and her purse inside had been significantly disturbed. Although her manager initially denied going through her belongings, he later admitted to looking for stolen goods in her locker.

First, the court noted the legal standard for an intrusion upon seclusion claim: "'the intentional intrusion upon the solitude or seclusion of another that is highly offensive to a reasonable person."  In analyzing whether the employee had a reasonable expectation of privacy, the court commented that the employee could have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the locker, as the jury found, because even though the locker was K-Mart's property, it had permitted the employee to place her own lock on it.

The court also found that to avoid turning the privacy tort into a strict liability offense, it was essential that the plaintiff show that the intrusion into her locked locker without her permission would be highly offensive to a reasonable person.' Because the trial court had not required the jury to consider whether the intrusion would be highly offensive to a reasonable person, the court remanded the case for a new trial, but hinted that the female employee would likely be successful at trial on this point given the facts in the record. Applying the Restatement of Employment Law approach to Trotti would appear to yield the same outcome. This claim constitutes an employer intrusion upon a physical location where the employee had a reasonable expectation of privacy. This expectation of privacy was based on the fact that: (1) the employer had acted in a manner that suggested the employee's locker would remain private; (2) a locker with one's own lock on it is the type of location customarily treated as private space; and (3) the employee made more than reasonable efforts to keep the location private by keep the locker locked and not telling her employer the combination.

The employer intrusion of the employee's locker was wrongful because the employer did not have sufficient business justification for the intrusion as there was no reason to suspect that Trotti had stolen the items in question. Second, both the scope and manner of the intrusion would likely be highly offensive to a reasonable person under the circumstances because of the manner in which the employee's supervisor forced open her locker and because of the personal nature of the items which were rifled through in her locker by her supervisor. The intrusion would likely be considered "highly offensive" under the circumstances because in light of the justification for the search advanced by her employer, the employer's action did not meet generally accepted societal norms for making such an intrusion.

Indeed, the evidence which the employer in Trotti sought could have been obtained in less intrusive ways, including by merely questioning all employees about the whereabouts of the missing items. Finally, the use of deception in effectuating the intrusion in Trotti by first denying responsibility for the search "is particularly questionable" and does not seem "justified by legitimate business reasons [or] in line with the practices of other employers in like circumstances."

Such privacy rights promote productivity, positively impact employee morale, and support the recruiting and retention of highly competent employees. The proper level of privacy protection, this Article maintains, should be based on whether the search involves a public sector or private sector workplace. Public sector workers are entitled to greater levels of privacy protections than their private sector counterparts based on the text of the Constitution, the immense power of the government as employer, and the critical oversight role public employees play in a representative democracy. To ensure this higher level of workplace privacy protection for public employees, and to reverse the equalization of public and private workplace privacy rights post- Quon, this Article argues that public employer searches of employee physical and electronic locations in the workplace should be bifurcated based on the nature of the search. If the search is undertaken for routine, noninvestigatory purposes, the special needs exception to the warrant requirement should apply and such searches should be considered reasonable without a warrant if related to legitimate work reasons and reasonable in scope. On the other hand, investigatory workplace searches to uncover employee misconduct or wrongdoing should be treated like other targeted government searches where a sanction or penalty is possible. Such searches should require the employer to obtain a warrant based on probable cause in front of a neutral magistrate unless the employer can prove that special needs exist to conduct the investigatory search without a warrant.


Secunda , P.M. (2012). Privatizing Workplace Privacy, Notre Dame Law Review, 88(1) , 277-322

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Invasion of privacy and legal consequences




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