MPs return to Ottawa in wake of Desjardins breach — and for some, it's personal
At first, Liberal MP Frances Drouin thought he had made it through the Desjardins privacy breach unscathed.
Then the email he'd been dreading arrived.
"I can be mad about it, but I have to let the police do their work," he said.
The Glengarry — Prescott — Russell MP is one of nearly 2.7 million individual members and 173,000 business members swept up in the breach, thought to be one of the largest ever to hit a Canadian financial institution.
Last month, the Quebec-based bank revealed that an employee with "ill intention" collected information about almost three million people and businesses and shared it with others.
The leaked information includes names, addresses, birth dates, social insurance numbers, email addresses and information about transaction habits.
"From a personal perspective it means, you know, watch transactions, watch your bank accounts more closely. I tend to watch it every day now, as opposed to every three four or five days. I just want to make sure that nothing happens," said Drouin.
"Like everybody else, we're waiting for for answers from the investigation. We know that it's a rogue employee, but what that rogue employee did with that information I have no idea."
He'll join other parliamentarians in a rare summer committee meeting later today.
This emergency meeting of the House of Commons public safety and national security committee comes at the urging of the Conservatives, who want the committee to look into whether issuing new SIN numbers would be feasible and to examine ways to prevent future data breaches.
The committee's vice-chair Pierre Paul-Hus, the Conservative critic for public safety, was also swept up in the breach.
"Like everyone, we just want to know what's going on," he said. "People are scared and they don't know what to do."
The committee's Desjardins study dovetails with a report they've already published on cybersecurity and Canada's financial sector. It found that Canada's small- and medium-sized financial firms could be vulnerable to the constant barrage of cyberattacks.
"From a security standpoint, this is the new terrorism," committee chair John McKay told CBC News Network last week.
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and its Quebec equivalent also have launched investigations looking at whether Desjardins was in compliance with federal and provincial laws on personal information protection.