Ontario: Ann Cavoukian, Ph.D. Information and Privacy Commissioner Ontario, Canada in special investigation report titled, ‘Crossing the Line:The Indiscriminate Disclosure of Attempted Suicide Information to U.S. Border Officials via CPIC’ has asked for greater scrutiny into CPIC disclosure practices relating to attempted suicides.
There have been cases where Canadians have been denied entry into US on the basis of attempted suicide information that US Border officials have through Canadian Police Information Centre( CPIC).
She began this investigation after there were reports of several Ontarians who had tried to cross the border into the United States and were denied access, apparently on the basis of their mental health history. More specifically, these individuals believed that previous incidents
of attempted suicide were known to U.S. border officials and had resulted in refusals of entry.
In late November 2013, Ellen Richardson, a paraplegic who was about to embark on a much anticipated cruise, was stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (U.S. border officials) at Toronto Pearson International Airport. Ms. Richardson was told that she could not enter the U.S. without medical clearance because of a mental health episode for which she had been hospitalized in 2012.
She had previously attempted suicide in 2001, and in 2012, while suffering from depression, she made what she considers to be a “half-hearted” attempt to take her own life. In relation to the 2012 incident,9-1-1 was called in order to seek assistance for Ms. Richardson, and the Toronto Police Service was the first responder. At the airport, Ms. Richardson’s photo was taken and she was fingerprinted by U.S. officials. She was told that she would need medical clearance from one of three approved doctors in Toronto in order for her to be able to enter the U.S., despite offering to have her own psychiatrist speak to them. Ms. Richardson was not allowed to go on her cruise and was left baffled as to how the U.S. border officials had obtained access to her sensitive mental health information.