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Charlie Watt

The Hon. Charlie  Watt, O.Q. Appointed to the Senate by the late former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Senator Charlie Watt represents the province of Quebec and the Senatorial Division of Inkerman.

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Senate Committee amends Bill S-4 to strengthen protection for individuals against identity theft

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Posted on 09 June 2009

Ottawa, June 09, 2009 – The Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs tabled its report on Bill S-4, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (identity theft and related misconduct) today, proposing amendments that will further strengthen the bill.

Currently, the Criminal Code does not contain a specific identity theft offence. Bill S-4 will create several new Criminal Code offences specifically targeting those aspects of identity theft that are not already covered by existing provisions. The bill focuses on the preparatory stages of identity theft by making it an offence to obtain, possess, transfer or sell the identity documents of another person.

In its seventh report,the committee recommended amendments including:

• the addition of death certificates and government issued employee cards to the list of identity documents that it is illegal to possess, transfer, sell or offer for sale, and adding language to make that section responsive to changes in technology,

• expanding the language in the section regarding unauthorized use of credit card data to include passwords or other information used to  authenticate the owner of the credit card,

• the addition of a statutory review clause so that in five years a committee of Parliament can examine how these new sections of the Criminal Code are being applied and their success in curbing identity theft and fraud.

In presenting the report, Senator Joan Fraser, Chair of the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, stated that “Bill S-4 addresses growing concerns about identity-related crimes in this country and the committee’s amendments enhance the bill’s reach.”

“This bill is a good first step in addressing the need for processes to strengthen protection of individuals against identity theft,” said Senator Pierre Claude Nolin, Deputy Chair of the committee.

For a copy of the report, or to find out more about the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, please visit

For more information please contact:

Mona Ishack
Media Relations
Toll-free: 1-800-267-7362 or 613-944-4082

Jessica Richardson
Committee Clerk
Tel: (613) 990-6087

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