Tony Clement says Ottawa needs to back off of Canadian’s privacy rights.

The Parry Sound-Muskoka MP is criticizing Justin Trudeau for defending a move by Statistics Canada to try and gather banking transaction data from half a million Canadians without consent.

“Conservatives are calling on the Liberals to make sure this proposal doesn’t proceed,” says Clement. “Protecting the personal information of Canadians is an integral role of the government.”

Trudeau and Canada’s Chief Statistician have said the data collection is necessary for StatsCan to continue following relevant trends in areas like housing and debt, because most transactions now happen online. The feds have promised any data collected would remain anonymous, with privacy being treated as the highest priority.

But, Clement says Canadians still have a right to know if their personal information is being accessed.

“The government’s proposed new Personal Information Bank represents a disturbing and unprecedented intrusion into the private lives of individual Canadians.”

Canada’s big banks have refused the request to provide any customer information to Statistics Canada. The country’s privacy commissioner has also opened an investigation into this proposed plan.

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