Class Action Information Sheet

The purpose of this document is to provide information about the national Class Action filed by Bob Buckingham Law in the Federal Court of Canada on January 17, 2013 against the federal department of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.
This will be updated as more information becomes available.


On January 11, 2013, the Government of Canada issued press statements to inform Canadians that an external hard drive was lost from a Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) office in Gatineau, Quebec. The lost hard drive contained the sensitive personal and financial information of some 583,000 Canada Student Loan borrowers, constituting what may be the largest known privacy breach in Canadian history.

This sensitive personal and financial information consists of names, Social Insurance Numbers, dates of birth, addresses, phone numbers, the amount of money borrowed and other personal data. The loss affects students who obtained Canada Student Loans in the time period between 2000 and 2006 and potentially their parents and spouses. This matter is currently being investigated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

On January 17, 2013, Bob Buckingham Law filed a national Class Action on behalf of the students affected.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Class Action?
A Class Action is a type of lawsuit in which a large group of people can sue as a group.

Various law firms are filing Class Actions in relation to this privacy breach in courts across the country. What does this mean for me?
The law firms involved will ask for certification to lead the Class Action in the various courts in which they have filed. The courts will then make a decision on how best to hear the case and who best to lead the Class Action. Bob Buckingham Law, to date, is the only firm to have filed in Federal Court. We will provide additional information as the courts decide.

What are the details of the National Class Action launched against HRSDC by Bob Buckingham Law?
The purpose of this Class Action is multi-fold:

  • to have the court order the Government of Canada to initiate policies and programs to protect those affected from future harm;
  • to have the court order the Government of Canada to initiate policies and programs to monitor any misuse of the identification of those affected;
  • to have the court order the Government of Canada to assist those affected in dealing with financial institutions, credit monitoring agencies, etc., as may be required as a result of this loss;
  • to have the court order financial compensation for costs incurred by those affected, for example, for credit checks, identity protection insurance, loss of wages, etc.;
  • to have the court order financial compensation for stress, breach of privacy and hardships incurred by those affected;
  • to claim punitive damages on behalf of those affected (punitive damages are damages sometimes ordered by the court when a party's behavior is outrageous and reprehensible)

My privacy has been breached. Do I have to pay to participate in this Class Action?
No. There are no costs to the class members for participating in the class action.

If there are no costs, how are legal fees handled?
The legal fees will be paid from the proceeds of the lawsuit.

Do I need to register to be part of this Class Action?
No. You do not need to register to be part of the Canadian Student Loan Class Action. We strongly encourage you to complete our _Class Action Information Form_. This information will help us to understand the impact of this privacy breach and impress it upon the government and the court.

Can I expect to be contacted by Bob Buckingham Law?
All class members will be contacted as the case progresses.

I have seen the Statement of Claim and there are only half a dozen plaintiffs named. Why is this?
The rules of the court permit us to commence a claim with only one person. It is not possible to name all people as plaintiffs. The court would not want that, in any case. The named plaintiffs are considered representative of all the people affected. You will be included.

Can I expect monetary compensation from this Class Action?
We are seeking compensation for time, expenses, hardship, breach of privacy, stress incurred, and we will be seeking additional damages to impress upon the Government the seriousness of this loss of information. The funds will be shared amongst all class members. The amount we are seeking has yet to be determined.

How long does a Class Action take too complete?
This is a significant, complicated lawsuit. We do not know if the government is going to be cooperative or intransigent. If they cooperate, it will be a short period of time. If they are intransigent, it will take years. Bob Buckingham Law is in this for the long haul.

How do I keep up to date on this?
Bob Buckingham Law will keep you updated on the status of the Class Action as it progresses via our website, _Facebook_ and _Twitter_ pages.

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