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Data collection: Dr. Tam and Minister Duclos called to testify

Federal Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos and the head of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the DD Theresa Tam, were invited to testify before the Parliamentary Ethics Committee about the government’s desire to obtain geolocation data from Canadians for public health purposes.

• Read also: Personal data: the Ethics Committee invited to an emergency meeting

The session could take place as early as Monday.

The committee met urgently on Thursday, at the request of the Conservative Party and the Bloc Québécois, the latter wanting to better understand the ins and outs of a call for tenders to this effect published by Ottawa on December 17.

This call for tenders was initially due to end on January 21, ten days before the resumption of work in Parliament. However, the day before the meeting of the members of the committee, the deadline for application was postponed to February 2.

Elected officials also want to better understand why the federal government waited until the end of December to admit that it had already used data from 33 million cell phones to assess population movements after the imposition of certain health measures, such as confinement.

Bloc Québécois MP René Villemure submitted a motion to the committee to ask for the suspension of the call for tenders.

The vote was postponed until the next meeting, but already Conservative members, Bloc member and NDP member Matthew Green have announced their intention to support it.

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