OTTAWA — Public Security Minister Invoice Blair says he assumes safety authorities signed off on an association to permit an organization owned by a Chinese language police drive to run Canada’s visa software centre in Beijing.
Blair says he can solely make assumptions as a result of the association was put in place in 2008, below the earlier Conservative authorities.
Nonetheless, he says he’s been assured by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that the non-public info offered by visa candidates is safe.
He says the data is dealt with in line with Canada’s privateness legal guidelines, that no software or biometrically collected information is saved on the centre and that every one databases containing private info are positioned in Canada.
Questions have been raised concerning the centre since The Globe and Mail reported earlier this month that its operation has been subcontracted to Beijing Shuangxiong Overseas Service Firm, which is owned by the Beijing Municipal Public Safety Bureau.
Opposition MPs questioned Blair concerning the chance that visa candidates’ private info may very well be relayed to the Chinese language authorities and trigger detrimental repercussions, notably for dissidents attempting to flee the nation’s repressive Communist regime.
Bloc Quebecois MP Stephane Bergeron and New Democrat MP Jack Harris pressed Blair to clarify which of Canada’s nationwide safety companies signed off on the subcontract to the Chinese language police.
“I’ve some issue frankly answering your query Mr. Harris concerning the origins of this contract,” Blair instructed the particular committee on Canada-China relations Thursday.
“It was signed in 2008. So it’s been in place for 12 years now and so its origin and who really licensed this contract predates me or my authorities and admittedly my data.”
Blair stated there are “regular procurement processes” in place for contracting out providers and he assumes they have been adopted on this case.
“I need to ensure that it’s clear. I’m solely capable of make an assumption that these processes have been actually adopted as a result of it did happen 12 years in the past.”
“That’s not a lot consolation, I’ve to say,” Harris responded.
Blair acknowledged that IRCC is just not a safety company however he stated it does have an info know-how specialist division that has offered assurances that the visa info is safe.
He stated inspections and audits are frequently performed to make sure there isn’t any privateness breach of delicate info and there was no proof of an issue.
This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed Feb. 25, 2021.
The Canadian Press