Letter: Commissioner Supports Anti-Voyeurism Legislation

September 18, 2002

In a submission to Federal Justice Minister Martin Cauchon as part of the Public Consultation on Voyeurism, Information and Privacy Commissioner Frank Work reiterated his Office’s support of anti-voyeurism legislation.

In a letter sent Monday, Work said he supports “in principle the initiative to amend the Criminal Code and create offences to deal with sexually-motivated privacy invasion (voyeurism) that may be committed using new surveillance and recording technologies.”

The Department of Justice Canada invited interested Canadians and stakeholders to comment on whether new offences should be created to deal with voyeurism.

Work was responding to a Department of Justice Canada report called “Voyeurism as a Criminal Offence: A Consultation Paper 2002.” Work is concerned with the growing use of surveillance technology, particularly the proliferation of video recording devices. While the Commissioner’s mandate is limited to the public sector, recent high-profile cases reported in the media prompted Work to publicly respond and support Justice Canada’s initiative.

The Information and Privacy Commissioner is an independent Officer of the Legislative Assembly. The Commissioner’s mandate includes overseeing the access and privacy provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Health Information Act, and to inform and educate the public about access and privacy issues.