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Canada: Date of birth on voter rolls resisted by Senate

CanWest News Service reported last Friday: A bill proposing to put the birth dates of all federal electors on copies of the permanent voter registry given to political parties could cause an explosion of identity theft and invasion of privacy, Liberal and Conservative senators warned Thursday.

In a rare departure from the wrangling that has enveloped the Senate, members of the upper chamber from both sides questioned Government House leader Peter Van Loan over the proposal to release vital personal information so broadly.

"With the passage of this bill, everybody's date of birth is going to be known to everybody in Canada," said Liberal Senator George Baker, noting Elections Canada gives the political parties electronic copies of the permanent voters list three times a year as it is updated with new information on citizens.

Baker, who cited a series of court rulings saying compulsory release of birth information violates the Charter of Rights in certain circumstances, found support from Conservative Senator Pierre-Claude Nolin, who also raised concerns about violations of the charter. -- Birth dates on voter list could aid identity theft, senators fear

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