Métis Nation British Columbia Membership – Failure by Office of the Privacy Commissioner

BC Métis Federation friend and member Beth Goulet-Hillier has asked us to share her story and today we are releasing information about her struggle to get private personal information from Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) and the failure of the system. This statement is to raise awareness about the situation and you can review and form your own opinions.

Beth is resident in Merritt, BC and a few years ago discontinued her membership with MNBC after he frustration with that organization. In her decision she also decided to retrieve her parent’s information who applied for the original MNBC membership cards provided by the organization in the early years of 1998 when MNBC was known primarily as Métis Provincial Council of British Columbia (MPCBC).

Beth took several steps to address the requests for information and had all original documentation submitted to MNBC over the years. MNBC responded suggesting they never had information related to her parents although Beth had all documentation and MNBC had recognized he father as a decorated Métis veteran over the years at events where he participated on the MNBC’s own Métis veteran committee.

Beth took next steps with the Office of the Privacy Commission to address frustrations about retrieving her parent’s information which the MNBC was entrusted to maintain as far back as 1998 and additional information provided in 2008. The handling of the complaint by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner was inadequate and incompetent. Although there is Federal Laws about privacy of anyone’s personal information, which MNBC collected over the years, the investigation only was completed via letter correspondences. MNBC simply stated they never had Beth’s parent’s information despite the obvious original files submitted by Beth with her complaint.

The failure by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner to responsibly handle this complaint is obvious and should greatly concern individuals with the lack of tangible process to protect private information. The failure by MNBC to handle individual’s personal information for which they were entrusted is also quite startling. The enclosed information and MNBC responses appear to forget the thousands of cards handed out by the MPCBC in the early years of the organization. Where are these membership files? MPCBC and MNBC are one in the same and regardless of processes or changes in the organization over the years, MNBC had a responsibility not to lose this information. Moreover there is a response about updated application for the parents in 2008 which also seems to have vanished from MNBC.

Beth’s parents are now deceased but it is her demands that MNBC be held accountable for the manner in which they have handled her requests to provide information as requested.

I encourage members and partners to review the attachments to understand the situation and the seriousness of the matter.

We share today to support Beth and we hope people appreciate and support Beth in her efforts. The facts continue to demonstrate the lengths MNBC continues to go to protect their mishandling of individual’s private information.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner has failed Beth and her family.

Thank you,

Keith Henry 
BC Métis Federation

[ilink style=”download” url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/MNBC-and-BC-Privacy-Commissioner.pdf”]Click here to read the letter from MNBC and BC Privacy Commissioner. [/ilink]

[ilink style=”download” url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/My-Mom-and-Dads-MNBC-memberships-sent-to-Vancouver-head-office-1.pdf”]Click here to see Beth’s parents MNBC Membership.[/ilink]

[ilink style=”download” url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/MNBC-acknowledges-receiving-my-parents-Long-Form-Birth-Certificates.pdf”]Click here to download MNBC Acknowledges Receipt of Parents Information 2009 as a PDF. [/ilink]

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