FCA affirms order to provide home contact information to bargaining agent

On March 16th the Federal Court affirmed a Public Service Labour Relations Board order that requires the Canada Revenue Agency to provide the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (a trade union) with the home address and telephone numbers of its bargaining unit members on a quarterly basis.

The order under review was re-issued by the Board after being quashed in 2010 because the Board had simply blessed the parties’ consent order without considering the privacy interests of affected parties. In re-issuing the order (with some newly-imposed security features), the Board held that the disclosure did not breach the federal Privacy Act because CRA’s purpose for obtaining home contact information (contacting employees about the terms and conditions of their employment) was consistent with the use for which PIPSC would use it (discharging its statutory duties as bargaining agent by contacting employees about employment-related matters). The applicant sought review before the Federal Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal’s disposition is unremarkable, and turns mainly on the standard of review and other technical matters.

Bernard v. Canada (Attorney General), 2012 FCA 92.

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