Privacy Breach Investigation in Fort Simpson continues

The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority is notifying 134 people whose health records were found in Fort Simpson’s community landfill. Meanwhile the privacy commissioner of the NWT continues her investigation into the validity of the sensitive health documents discovered by farmer and Nahanni Dene descendant Randy Sibbeston.

Sibbeston told CKLB they were in banker boxes and coloured folders at the village’s landfill, which is about five kilometres outside Fort Simpson, on the Mackenzie Highway going North to Wrigley.

Randy Sibbeston’s headshot from the TV Series Ice Lake rebels.

Sibbeston says he is experiencing “lateral violence,” after going to the media with his find, and feels he was threatened and intimidated by those in power with the government of the Northwest Territories after going public.

“I have dependents, I have a family to feed, and the nerve of those in the GNWT to come after me and threaten me when I was trying to do the right thing, is unbelievable,” he told CKLB on Thursday.

Nahendeh MLA Shane Thompson says he is getting updates from Health and Social Services Minister Glen Abernethy, who cannot confirm if these documents came from his department.

Community members from across Thompson’s riding and Dehcho region who travel to Fort Simpson for medical appointments have told Thompson they are worried about their privacy being breached.

Fort Simpson Mayor Sean Whelly says village staff who process waste at the dump say there is currently no sign of files or banker boxes.

“We’ll be having a discussion at Council and with administration to ensure we continue to do the best job of respecting citizens privacy,” he added.

Whelly also stressed the files found by Sibbeston were not property of the village. CKLB News has not seen the files, and is waiting to discuss the investigation further with Privacy Commissioner of the NWT, Elaine Keenan-Bengts.

She was not available for an interview, on Thursday, however Thompson told CKLB Thursday, “the files were given to the RCMP, who then delivered them to the Privacy Commissioner who is investigating where they came from, and the breach of privacy.”

Thompson also wanted to apologize to all his constituents who have been impacted or triggered by this turn of events.

About the Author

Josh Campbell
Splash is back as the host of Denendeh Sunrise, CKLB's morning current affairs program. Campbell was mentored by longtime host and Gwich'in entertainer William Greenland. Josh, as he's known professionally by folks across the broadcast industry has worked for CBC North, CKRW the Rush in Yukon, and at CJCD Mix 100. Before moving north for his love of radio and Indigenous culture in 2007, Campbell graduated from Loyalist College's Broadcast Journalism Program in Belleville, Ontario the traditional territory of the Tyendinaga Mohawks. Campbell is proud of his Scottish and Irish ancestry. He was born and raised along the Tobique River the home of the Wolastoqiyik, Tobique Maliseet Nation.

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