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    Update in Canada: Acting Privacy Commissioner Named in British Columbia

    The Victoria Times Colonist has an update on problems at the privacy office in British Columbia. Last week, in a letter to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, the executive director of the B.C. Office of the Privacy Commissioner said that operations had ceased because Commissioner David Loukidelis’s resignation on Jan. 19 means “no one in the office can make valid delegations until an acting commissioner is appointed” because the delegation of powers has lapsed. The Times Colonist now reports that an acting commissioner has been named: Attorney Paul Fraser, who is currently Conflict of Interest Commissioner for British Columbia.

    Premier Gordon Campbell said the public should see Fraser as “an appropriate and sensible appointment,” and that an all-party committee to select a permanent replacement will be appointed after the legislature resumes Feb. 9. […]

    Campbell acted in the wake of criticisms from the NDP opposition that British Columbians are paying the price for the government’s failure to plan.

    “It’s pretty basic to make sure you have a replacement for the person you’re taking out into government,” B.C. NDP Leader Carole James said. “It shouldn’t take media attention and pressure on the government to do this.”

    Campbell said in an interview Monday that the whole thing has been overblown and there were no problems — only a letter from Carlson.

    “If the impression is trying to be made that suddenly everyone involved at the Freedom of Information and Office of the Privacy Commissioner’s office suddenly downed all of their projects and stopped work, I think that’s incorrect,” Campbell said. […]

    Fraser has practised law in British Columbia for over 40 years, specializing in civil and criminal litigation as well as commercial and labour mediation and arbitration.

    He was made Queen’s Counsel in 1982, and has been appointed as a special prosecutor in B.C. on several occasions.

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