Tories defend choice of government insider for federal privacy czar

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OTTAWA - The Conservative government is defending its choice of a long-time insider as the next federal privacy watchdog.

Dan Albas, parliamentary secretary to the Treasury Board president, tells the House of Commons that Justice Department lawyer Daniel Therrien is a well-qualified candidate who would bring significant experience in law and privacy issues to the position.

Therrien, who has worked for several federal agencies, is assistant deputy attorney general for public safety, defence and immigration at Justice.

He co-led negotiations on privacy principles governing the sharing of information between Canada and the United States under the new perimeter security pact.

NDP deputy leader Megan Leslie says a parliamentary officer should not be auditing policies that he himself developed — especially when they're as controversial as the one concerning the Canada-U.S. security deal.

The privacy commissioner monitors compliance of government agencies and private companies with federal privacy laws, and handles complaints from the public about alleged violations.

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Organizations: Treasury Board, House of Commons, Justice Department NDP

Geographic location: Canada, OTTAWA, United States

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