Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper nominated Daniel Therrien as the next Privacy Commissioner of Canada. If approved, Therrien would take over from the interim Privacy Commissioner Chantal Bernier, who has been serving in this role after the previous Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart’s term ended in December 2013.
Mr. Therrien is currently Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Public Safety, Defence and Immigration Portfolio, at the Department of Justice. He began his career as Counsel to the Department of the Solicitor General of Canada, the Correctional Service of Canada and the National Parole Board.
He subsequently went on to hold positions of increasing scope, complexity and responsibility, including Senior General Counsel and Director, Citizenship and Immigration Legal Services, at the Department of Justice; Director General, Refugee Policy, at Citizenship and Immigration Canada; and Manager, Legal Strategy and International Law, at the Department of Justice. Mr. Therrien holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Licence en droit from the University of Ottawa. He has been a member of the Quebec Bar since 1981.
As set out in the Privacy Act, this appointment must be approved by resolution of the Senate and House of Commons. In addition, pursuant to House of Commons Standing Order 111.1, the Government will be tabling this nomination for referral to the appropriate Standing Committee.
The fact that Stephen Harper has nominated Daniel Therrien as the next Privacy Commissioner of Canada makes me wonder where Mr. Therrien’s loyalties might be centred. He is certainly a well educated government candidate with a solid resume. But in view of the fact that almost every Bill recently passed by rubber stamping Conservative party minions has ended up in the courts, it might be more in the best interests of Canadians if the new Privacy Commissioner was appointed by someone other than Harper whose poor judgement in this realm is more than evident.