The material and articles provided on the Blais Legal Services Inc. website (or any other affiliated platforms) is for general information purposes only. It is not intended to provide legal or professional advice or opinions of any kind and may not be used for professional or commercial purposes. No one should act, or refrain from acting, based solely upon the materials provided on this website, any hypertext links or other general information without first seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice. The hypertext links, search mechanisms, portals, documents and information on this website are provided for your convenience only. These materials may have no evidentiary value and should be checked against official sources before they are used for professional or commercial purposes. It is your responsibility to determine whether these materials are admissible in a given judicial or administrative proceeding and whether there are any other evidentiary or filing requirements. Your use of these materials is at your own risk.
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Please note that the French version of the policy prevails. This English version published hereinafter is provided for information only.
1) Privacy is a fundamental right protected by the Charte des droits et libertés de la personne, RLRQ c. C-12 and by the Code civil du Québec.
2) This policy is adopted in accordance with the principles set out in the Loi sur la protection des renseignements personnels dans le secteur privé, RLRQ c. P-39.1, in order to ensure that the members of Blais Legal Services Inc. (hereinafter " BLS ") protects personal information held in the course of the firm's business.
3) This policy reflects the attorney’s obligations under the Loi sur le Barreau, RLRQ c. B-1 and the Code de déontologie des avocats, B-1, r. 3.1.
4) For the purposes of this policy, the following terms shall mean:
a) Attorney in charge of the mandate: BLS lawyer who is responsible for a mandate entrusted to BLS and who is designated as such in the file information sheet;
b) Privacy Incident: access to or use of personal information that is not authorized by law or the disclosure of personal information that is not authorized by law; or loss of personal information or other breach of personal information;
c) Mandate: Any work, task or request assigned to BLS lawyers or its staff in the ordinary course of business of a law firm.
d) Member of BLS: any person working within Blais Legal Services Inc.;
e) Personal Information: any information that relates to a natural person and allows that person to be identified;
f) Privacy Officier: the BLS member who is designated as the Privacy Officer (person responsible for the protection of personal information) for BLS or any person designated to act in the person's absence.
5) BLS members agree to abide by the rules and procedures contained in this policy.
6) BLS is committed to taking all necessary measures to ensure the protection of personal information held in the course of its activities.
7) BLS collects only the personal information that is necessary for the execution of the mandates entrusted to it by its clients or that is necessary for the administration of its affairs, including for the purpose of avoiding conflicts of interest. Depending on the circumstances, BLS may or must collect several types of personal information, including:
- Contact information, such as name, address, email address, telephone number, and fax number;
- Biographical information such as a job title, employer name, photos, and video or audio content;
- Marketing and communication preference information, as well as related information such as food preferences, feedback, and survey responses;
- Billing and financial information, such as a billing address, bank account information, or payment information;
- Service-related information, such as details of services we have rendered;
- Recruitment-related information, such as a resume, education and employment history, details of professional affiliations, and other information relevant to potential recruitment by BLS or association with BLS;
- Information about the use of the BLS website (or other site owned and controlled by BLS) and other technical information such as details about visits to BLS sites, your interaction with BLS's advertising and online content, or information collected through cookies and other tracking technologies;
- Information that is provided by or on behalf of BLS's clients or that BLS produces in the course of providing services and that may, where relevant, include special categories of personal information (including, but not limited to, racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, sexual health or orientation, etc.);
- Identification and other background check data, such as a copy of a driver's license, passport, or utility bill, proof of beneficial ownership, or source of funds information, necessary to comply with anti-money laundering laws and collected as part of customer relationship acceptance and ongoing monitoring procedures;
- Any other personal information provided. In the event that an individual provides information to BLS about other individuals (such as its clients, directors, officers, shareholders, beneficial owners or ultimate beneficiaries), BLS must ensure that the individual has given due notice that it is providing their information and that it has obtained their consent to such disclosure;
- If applicable, evidence of consent that has been given to BLS (date, time, means), in those circumstances where such consent is required for the processing of personal information.
8) BLS also collects personal information for the purpose of sending its publications and other communications of interest to its customers. It is always possible for any individual to unsubscribe from the mailing list used by BLS to transmit their publications.
9) When BLS collects personal information directly from the individual concerned or his or her representative, BSJ considers that the individual consents to the obtaining of that information and its use for the specific purposes of BLS's mandate.
10) BLS does not collect personal information from children or individuals under the age of 16. A minor under the age of 16 must provide BLS with the express consent of a parent or guardian before disclosing personal information.
11) Individuals should not provide confidential information to BLS until a duly authorized member of BLS has confirmed in writing the mandate for which BLS will provide professional services. Unsolicited e-mail sent to BLS by individuals who are not clients of BLS does not result in the establishment of a attorney-client or other professional relationship. Such emails may not be subject to attorney-client privilege and, therefore, may be disclosed to third parties.
13) No member of BLS shall use personal information or a document containing such information for any purpose other than that which is necessary for the performance of a client's mandate or for the administration of BLS's affairs.
14) If a BLS member wishes to use a document containing personal information for purposes other than those mentioned in the previous section, he or she obtains the consent of the individual concerned.
15) An individual may withdraw consent to the use of personal information at any time by contacting the Privacy Officer in writing; To this end, the individual must first request that the lawyer responsible for the mandate explains to him or her the consequences of this withdrawal on the execution of the mandate entrusted to BLS.
16) Any individual may access, obtain a copy, have rectified or request the deletion of personal information held by BLS concerning him or her by making a written request to the Privacy Officier; Such a request shall be free of charge, except for the cost of reproducing documents, if applicable.
17) A request for deletion of personal information may only be made for personal information that is out of date or the retention of which is not justified by the purpose of the file.
18) Unless the individual making the request opts out, any request for access, correction or deletion will be treated as confidential.
19) Personal information may be stored in a physical medium or in digital format.
20) Personal information held by BLS on physical medium is stored in secure locations that meet the standards applicable to members of the Barreau du Québec.
21) BLS takes appropriate measures to ensure the security of personal information held in digital format, including:
a) By complying with the standards applicable to members of the Barreau du Québec;
b) Using technological means of identification to limit access to information held;
c) Performing regular backups of information held;
d) Continuously updating BLS members' knowledge of computer and information technology security;
e) Using the services of specialized technicians to maintain security measures against viruses, intrusions or any other undesirable actions that may jeopardize the information held.
22) Personal information may also be contained in commonly used databases, in particular for the search for legal information in court decisions, opinions or various internal writings.
23) In the event that a transfer of personal information outside Quebec is necessary in the context of a mandate entrusted to BLS or in the context of the administration of BLS's affairs, this transfer will only take place if it is assessed that the information would benefit from adequate protection, in particular by considering the sensitivity of the information, the purpose of its use, the safeguards that would be afforded to the information and the applicable legal regime in the state or province in which the information would be disclosed. The transfer will also be subject to appropriate contractual arrangements to ensure this adequate protection.
24) When a project contemplates the modification of BLS members' work tools, including the computer and information technology network, or the modification of any work method or physical or digital layout used by BLS, the Privacy Officer is informed and consulted about the measures to be taken to ensure the protection of personal information.
25) Personal information held by BLS in the context of a mandate entrusted to BLS is retained for a minimum period of seven (7) years from the closure of the file for which it was collected, in accordance with the regulations to which members of the Barreau du Québec are subject.
26) Personal information held by BLS in the administration of BLS's affairs and other than pursuant to a mandate entrusted to BLS is retained for as long as necessary for the purposes set out in this policy and in accordance with BLS's legal and regulatory obligations.
27) In the interval between the end of a mandate or the closure of a file and the destruction of personal information, any individual concerned by personal information may request that it be anonymized by sending a written request to that effect to the Privacy Officer.
28) No member of BLS may disclose to third parties personal information obtained in the course of a mandate entrusted to BLS without the express authorization of the attorney in charge of the mandate.
29) No personal information is disclosed to a third party without the consent of the individual, except in the following cases:
a) In the normal course of the execution of the mandate entrusted to BLS, when required by the nature of the mandate;
b) In the normal course of the administration of BLS's affairs to the extent that disclosure of personal information is required. In such a case, BLS limits disclosure to third parties (such as a provider of website services, application development, hosting, maintenance and other services) to only the information that is reasonably necessary for the performance of the required services. Such third parties shall maintain the confidentiality of such information. Disclosure will also be subject to appropriate contractual arrangements to ensure adequate protection;
c) Where disclosure is required or permitted by applicable laws and regulations;
d) Where the disclosure is the result of an order of a court of competent jurisdiction;
e) When a BLS attorney believes disclosure is necessary or appropriate to protect the rights, property, or safety of BLS, BLS members, or other individuals.
30) When a BLS member discloses personal information to a third party in the context of granting a mandate, in particular for the purpose of conducting an expert appraisal, the following measures apply:
a) The mandate is given in writing;
b) The BLS member shall take appropriate measures to protect the confidentiality of personal information, including restrictions on the use of personal information;
c) The written mandate specifies that the mandatary must inform the mandated BLS member of any confidentiality incident involving the personal information entrusted to him or her;
d) The BLS member instructs the agent on the retention and destruction of the personal information entrusted, if applicable ;
e) The BLS member who granted the mandate shall immediately inform the Privacy Officer of any contravention of the instructions given to the agent.
31) At the end of the deadlines mentioned in sections 25 and 26 of this policy, BLS will destroy or anonymize physical or digital documents containing personal information, as long as the purposes for which the information was collected or used have been fulfilled.
32) The destruction of the documents referred to in the previous section is carried out in accordance with accepted practices to ensure that the confidentiality of the personal information contained therein is respected at all stages of this process.
33) When a BLS member has reason to believe that a confidentiality incident has occurred at BLS, the nature of the incident is identified as soon as possible and reported without delay to the Privacy Officer.
34) In the event of a confidentiality incident related to the equipment or computer and information technology network, the firm providing technical support is immediately informed by the Privacy Officer.
35) BLS takes reasonable steps necessary to minimize the risk of harm to individuals whose personal information is affected by the privacy incident.
36) The risk of harm to an individual as a result of a confidentiality incident is assessed based on the following criteria:
a) The sensitivity of the information involved;
b) The apprehended consequences of its use;
c) The probability that it will be used for harmful purposes.
37) BLS notifies any individual affected by the confidentiality incident or their representative of the occurrence of this incident.
38) BLS maintains an up-to-date registry of confidentiality incidents.
39) If the confidentiality incident presents a risk of serious harm, the Privacy Officer will promptly notify the Commission d'accès à l'information.
40) When a BLS member contacts a third party, such as a technical support firm, in order to reduce the risk of harm resulting from a confidentiality incident, the BLS member may disclose the required personal information to that third party without the consent of the individual, in which case the BLS member retains the disclosure.
41) The Privacy Officier or the individual designated by the Privacy Officer shall inform the individual affected by a confidentiality incident of any relevant subsequent developments concerning that incident.
42) The Privacy Officer also provides feedback on any confidentiality incidents to the relevant BLS members, if applicable, in order to make the necessary corrections to avoid a recurrence of the incident.
43) Any individual (the "Complainant") may file a complaint regarding the protection of personal information held by BLS in accordance with the procedure set out in this section.
44) The complaint must be forwarded in writing to the Privacy Officer using the form found in Appendix A of this policy or indicating on another document the information requested.
45) All complaints will be dealt with within 30 days by the Privacy Officer or any person designated to do so, as the case may be.
46) A written response is provided to the complainant indicating the steps taken to deal with the complaint and the corrective measures implemented, if any.
47) BLS provides ongoing training to all its members on this policy and on best practices for the protection of personal information.
48) BLS provides its members with information on the steps to be taken to maintain the confidentiality of personal information on an continuous and informal basis.
49) This policy is reviewed, updated and available at all times on the BLS website; any major changes to this policy will be announced separately on the BLS website.
50) The French version of this policy prevails. The English version of this policy is for information only.
Latest revision : November 16, 2023
A) Identification of the complainant
Me Simon Blais