Canada Student Loan Privacy Breach

Canada Student Loans
Canadian Federation of Students

Equifax Canada
Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
RCMP - Identity Theft and Identity Fraud 
TransUnion Canada

Canada Student Loan Privacy Breach

Federal Courts Act, RSC 1985, c F-7
Federal Courts Rules, SOR/98-106
Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, S.C. 2000, c. 5 (“PIPEDA”)
Privacy Act, RSC, 1985, c. P-21

Case Law

Jones v. Tsige, 2012 ONCA 32 (CanLII) A year ago, in this important case, the Ontario Court of Appeal recognized a cause of action for the tort of "intrusion upon seclusion".

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Update Christian Brothers – United States Bankruptcy Proceedings Settlement

May 24, 2013

Bob Buckingham confirmed today a mediational agreement has been reached to settle the claims for sexual abuse by Christian Brothers in the Irish Christian Brothers Bankruptcy proceedings in the United States.

As a result of claims for sexual abuse initiated by many Newfoundland men the Christian Brothers of Ireland in Canada went into liquidation a number of years ago.  This was followed by the Christian Brothers of Ireland in the United States filing for bankruptcy.  There are about 150 Newfoundland men claiming relief in the United States proceedings.  Overall 400 survivors of sexual abuse have come forward in the United States proceedings.

The settlement agreement was reached after many Court appearances and intensive multi-day mediations in the United States.  One of the lead negotiators on behalf of the survivors was Mr. Geoff Budden, of Budden, Morris Mount Pearl, Newfoundland.  I want to thank Mr. Budden for the exemplary professional legal services he provided throughout this process.

At the present time approximately 16.5 million dollars of Christian Brothers’ assets have been identified for distribution to survivors.  We anticipate that amount will grow depending on final disposition of Christian Brothers’ property and a thorough analysis of available insurance funds. 

Mr. Buckingham says the process for resolving the claims will take some times.  There has to be an assessment of each of the claims and funds assigned to each individual.  An assessment process has also been reached in the settlement.  Mr. Buckingham does not believe funds will be distributed until 2014. 

For further updates on the settlement process and fund distribution please stay tuned to our webpage and facebook page

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Western Regional Health Authority  - Status Update

On August 17, 2012 Bob Buckingham Law commenced a class action against Western Regional Integrated Health Authority for patients whose privacy was breached by employee(s) of Western Regional Integrated Health Authority.

On August 24, 2012 the law firm of Brothers and Burden Law Office also commenced a similar class action against Western Regional Integrated Health Authority.

During a May 9, 2013 Case Management meeting in Supreme Court at Corner Brook, legal counsel for both law firms advised Justice William Goodridge they have decided to act together on the matter and they will be amending the pleadings to consolidate the two actions.

That decision means a carriage motion — which would have seen the two law firms competing over which one would handle the matter — will not be necessary.

The lawsuits were filed after a former employee of the Western Regional Integrated Health Authority illegally accessed the files of 1,043 patients from June 2011 to May 2012.

Bob Buckingham Law and Brothers and Burden Law Office are now working on amending pleadings which are to be filed by May 31, 2013.

The next Case Management meeting has been set for June 27, 2013.

At the May 9, 2013 Case Management meeting it was noted a certification application will likely take place in the fall. A certification hearing is a court proceeding where a judge decides if there is a distinct class to proceed with the class action. Both law firms have no doubt the class action will proceed.

A statement of defence in the matter has not been filed and that will not likely happen until after the class is certified by the court.

Meanwhile, as the class action moves ahead the privacy breaches are now subject to a matter currently before the Provincial Court. In late April, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner charged Ms. Donna Colbourne, a former Western Health employee, with violating the Personal Health Information Act in relation to the breaches. Ms. Colbourne is next scheduled to appear in court on May 28, 2013.

July 19, 2016 Update: The class action has now been certified to proceed on the basis of claims under negligence, contract, and both statutory and common law privacy grounds.  A copy of the certification order can be seen here.

The claims have yet not been proven in the law.  We are presently reviewing the Defence and documentary evidence provided by Western Health.  The process of discovering witnesses has also begun.

Schedule A of the certification order explains the process whereby a class member (one of the 1043 individuals who received a letter from Western Health advising of breach of patient confidentiality) participates in the action.  It also sets out the process to opt out.  You can read the Notice here:

Although no action need be taken at this time to remain a part of the class action, we are interested in hearing from anyone affected by any breach of patient confidentiality or other invasion of privacy at Western Health.  We encourage you to contact our firm: Bob Buckingham Law, 81 Bond Street, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

The statutory and common law relating to breach of privacy is a new area of law.  It is important to us that we understand the impact of the breach of privacy on our clients.  This will assist us in explaining to the court the meaning and legal significance of invasion of privacy relating to medical and other personal information.  We have prepared a questionnaire that we will provide to each claimant who contacts us.  We look forward to hearing from any and all of the 1043 individuals affected by the privacy breach at Western Health.

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Media Links & Office Publications


Central Regional Health Privacy Breach Class Action (2018-2020)

February 26, 2021 – VOCM – “Central Health Class Action Claims some 240 Patients suffered distress, humiliation after privacy breach

Daniel Leonard First Degree Murder Charge

October 13, 2020 – CBC NL – “Danial Leonard acquitted of 1st-degree murder in Dale Porter’s death

October 13, 2020 – NTV News – “Daniel Leonard acquitted of first-degree murder for Dale Porter’s Death"

October 13, 2020 – Saltwire Network – “Tossed statement leads to end of Daniel Leonard’s murder trial before it begins in St. John’s court

October 13, 2020 – The Guardian – “Tossed statement leads to end of Daniel Leonard’s murder trial before it begins in St. John’s court

October 13, 2020 – The Chronicle Herald – “Tossed statement leads to end of Daniel Leonard’s murder trial before it begins in St. John’s court


Sudden Death at Her Majesty's Penitentiary


Office Publications

Criminal Cases

Media coverage of current criminal cases under the representation of Bob Buckingham Law.

Gilbert Budgell - Second Degree Murder Charge

Raymond Stacey - Second Degree Murder Charge

Trevor Pardy - First Degree Murder Charge

Pamela Pike - First Degree Murder Charge

David Ryan - 2nd Degree Murder Charge (2nd Trial)


 Gemma Hickey

Dr. Stephen John Collins/United Church of Canada

Medical Records Privacy Breach

Canada Student Loan Privacy Breach

Christian Brothers – United States Bankruptcy Proceedings Settlement


Community/Local Media

Justice in Review

An overview of news stories relating to the renaming of Newfoundland and Labrador's Department of Justice in late September/early October 2014 including interviews with Lawyer Bob Buckingham.

Decriminalization of Marijuana

Lawyer Bob Buckingham speaks to the media about outdated laws and the decriminalization of marijuana.


Past News Stories

Nelson Hart

Youth Mental Health - Newfoundland Cases

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