They intercepted emails addressed to my former email . . .

Without legislative authority, court order, or warrant . . . without any legal authority to do so

Let me make it clear what I'm saying here:

I'm saying that for 11 months, emails specifically addressed to me at my former workplace were intercepted by someone else . . .

  • not 'bounced back' by a function of 'out of office assistant'
  • not 'bounced back' by reason of 'email does not exist'
  • not met with a NDR message (i.e. Non-Delivery Receipt)
  • not met with any kind of reply that I was no longer with the GNWT or receiving GNWT email

No, these emails, specifically addressed to me were intercepted by someone other than me, who had no legal authority to do so

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, at section 8, protects people against unjustified intrusions on their privacy interests:  

8. Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure

The Criminal Code of Canada, at section 184, makes the interception of private communications a criminal offence:

 184 (1) Every one who [...] wilfully intercepts a private communication is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years

So, did the GNWT intercept private communications?

I'd think that any email of personal content would be a private communication, for example:


As the result of an access to information request, the GNWT has provided me with information regarding hundreds of emails to my former email that they intercepted, but this personal email is most significant:

  • its content is entirely personal
  • it contains health information
  • they provided it to me entirely unredacted (I redacted it)
  • despite its obvious personal nature, they never forwarded it to me until I made an 'access for information request'

So, yeah, I'm willing to assert that the GNWT wilfully intercepted private communications

This Breaches Criminal Law, the Charter, and GNWT Policy:

GNWT Policy is that personal emails are to be re-directed upon receipt . . .


But, they didn't re-direct the personal email . . . instead they kept the personal email

In fact, they kept the personal email beyond the destruction date specified in their document retention schedule . . .

And that's how I was able to obtain a copy of the personal email 4 years later through an access to information request under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act  

The Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act:

Says when the GNWT can collect personal information and when they can disclose personal information

There are no provisions allowing for the interception of the email of former employees . . . and . . . given the fact that interception of electronic communications in Canada requires a special warrant, this is not surprising

There are limits to Government Power:

Government, and its people, can only exercise the powers conferred by, or allowed by, legislation

Unfortunately, when Government decides to ignore the limits imposed by legislation, remedies can be difficult to obtain

The Information and Privacy Commissioner has stated in her 2017/2018 Annual Report to the Legislative Assembly (at page 8):

"As my office has only recommendation making power, and the only recourse for an Applicant is an expensive, time-consuming and confusing appeal to the Courts, public bodies can easily avoid accountability when they refuse to follow recommendations made."


The Rule of Law:


The rule of law is the principle whereby all members of a society are considered equally subject to the law, and that includes government and its people

That means all members of a society are subject to the law . . . and the law here does not provide the ability for government to secretly extend and intercept email sent to an employee's former email account


If the interception of email without legal authority is what the Members of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories believe represents the fair and reasonable administration of government in a free and democratic society . . . 

then I suggest a better understanding of the rule of law is necessary . . .

Want to know the rest of the story?

 How the Government of the Northwest Territories took an alleged information breach and made it into a full-blown violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms