Monday, March 31, 2014

--SPOG Post # 6-------PIPA or FOIP? How is personal private data regulated by oil and gas companies? How is it regulated by SPOG? and why do they want so badly to be in government? --------Sundre Petroleum Operators Group (SPOG), which represents more than two dozen oil and gas companies in the area, also has expressed reservations with the proposed directive. SPOG points out in a written summary of comments going to the ERCB that the directive notes provincial legislation assigns to a municipality the authority and responsibility for all aspects of emergency response within its jurisdiction. However typically, municipalities do not have the knowledge or experience with oil and gas operations to “deal appropriately with incidents within the EPZ,” says SPOG’s comments. Emergency planning and response should fall on the oil and gas company and the municipalities can help out through mutual aid agreements, the group says.------------

Directive 71 is the AER rules about the emergency alerts for the oil and gas industry. It is undergoing revision.
The most recent format is here:

http://www.aer.ca/rules-and-regulations/directives/directive-071

Directive 071: Emergency Preparedness and Response Requirements for the Petroleum Industry

VIEW PDF (1037.63 KB)
Current Edition: Nov 24, 2009
Replaces the previous edition issued Jun 01, 2005.

Emergency Preparedness and Response Requirements for the Petroleum Industry

If after careful study you have a specific question not covered in Directive 071 or available as a Frequently Asked Question, please contact the Emergency Preparedness and Assessment Section at:
Phone: (403) 297-2625
E-mail: EPAssessment@ercb.ca

- See more at: http://www.aer.ca/rules-and-regulations/directives/directive-071#sthash.2fuvrgAL.dpuf


***********************************************
It is interesting to me because it requires that oil and gas companies collect private citizen data for emergency notification as noted here:
http://www.aer.ca/documents/directives/Directive071_2005.pdf
2.2.4 Conducting Public Involvement Programs
A licensee is required to conduct public involvement programs for the development of an
ERP in conjunction with other notification or consultation programs covered in Guide 56.
This ensures that there is no confusion regarding the details of the project and the impact
that an emergency situation may have on the surrounding community.
Licensee representatives who have the necessary background to provide details of the
emergency procedures in place and to address questions and concerns that may arise must
conduct the public involvement program in person with all identified individuals. A
licensee representative must address any special request for modifications to the ERP and
for additional information.
A licensee is required to review key emergency response information with all members
of the public identified in the ERP or with the Disaster Services representative for urban
centres. This ensures that members of the public are familiar with potential emergencies
and corresponding public protection measures pertaining to emergency response
procedures.
If more than one licensee is conducting a public involvement program in the same area,
the EUB strongly encourages that a single licensee representative who has the
information and delegated authority represent the other licensees. All parties must be
provided with the opportunity for follow-up discussions with the appropriate licensee
representative if concerns arise.

The EUB recognizes that licensees may sometimes have difficulty establishing contact or
meeting in person with
• residents or other persons who may be away for extended periods of time, have “no
trespassing” signs posted on their property, or have unlisted telephone numbers; and
• nonresident persons, such as registered trappers, industrial operators, and recreational
property owners, operators, and occupants.
The EUB requires the licensee to make a reasonable effort to contact these parties and to
arrange a suitable meeting time or provide an information package by registered mail
with an offer to meet to address any questions and concerns regarding emergency
preparedness and response. If a licensee is unable to make contact with an individual, the
licensee must retain a record of the attempts made to contact that individual. It is the
licensee’s responsibility to show that reasonable efforts were made.
A licensee must provide all parties with a copy of the public information package, as
detailed in Section 2.2.3, along with an opportunity to discuss the information. Licensees
are expected to provide a reasonable amount of time, having regard for the specific
circumstances of the individual, for parties to review an information package and have
questions and concerns addressed.
A licensee is required to obtain the following information from all persons, residences, 
local authorities, and public facilities listed in Section 2.2.2.1: 
• exact location of the residence or place of business, including egress routes (legal 
description or address); 
• name of key contact and a 24-hour contact telephone number (home, business, cell 
phone, or other) and an alternate contact; 
• names of all family members in residence; 
• number of occupants, specifying adults and preschool and school-age children; 
• names of those with special needs, such as those who require evacuation assistance, 
request early notification/communication, have no telephones, require transportation 
assistance, or for whom there may be a language barrier; 
• any additional concerns or comments; and
• any other information deemed necessary to ensure that effective emergency response
procedures are developed.
While members of the public are not legally required to provide personal information, the 
licensee must clearly explain that the information is important to ensure an effective 
emergency response and thus provide public protection and safety. Personal information 
is protected by the privacy provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of 
Privacy Act (FOIP) and must be kept confidential at all times. 
In keeping with the spirit of FOIP, a licensee must only acquire information necessary to
the ERP, and this information should only be provided to key emergency responders who
require it for immediate response purposes in the event of an emergency and to the EUB.
If members of the public are unwilling to provide personal information, a licensee must
consider those residents to have special needs and include the appropriate emergency
response measures, such as early notification, in the ERP.
Public concerns about livestock and pets in emergency situations should be addressed
during the public involvement program. Although public safety is the primary purpose of
emergency preparedness and response, licensees should address livestock and pet safety
in the ERP when feasible.


*****************************************************
So I was curious about the FOIP business and I wondered if the information travels from the oil and gas company to the Synergy groups --such as SPOG.
Or does SPOG collect data by themselves?
And under what pretext is the data collected?
Is the data only used to inform folks when there is an emergency?

In addition --it appears as if the emergency notification is being put back into the municipalities' hands where it should have been all along. Why such work has been in the hands of the private sector and the SPOG type groups seems to this citizen to be a misuse of citizen data collection. I don't think such data should be in the hands of the oil companies or the Synergy groups.

But the municipalities don't want it because of the problem of money.
SPOG groups want to keep their role as do the oil companies. This seems rather odd to me. Why would they want in on government business?

In any case, I asked a few questions about the data collection business associated with emergency preparedness by the  oil and gas industry.

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: "jyali" <jyali@>
To: infoservices@ercb.ca, admin@spog.ab.ca, investigations@metronews.ca, edmonton@globalnews.ca, newsroom@globeandmail.com, "Margo Goodhand (Edm Journal)" <mgoodhand@edmontonjournal.com>, "Velvet Martin" <johnvel@>, "Diana Daunheimer" <dianadaun@>, info@oag.ab.ca, infomedia@oag-bvg.gc.ca, "rona ambrose" <rona.ambrose@parl.gc.ca>, minister@ec.gc.ca
Cc: generalinfo@oipc.ab.ca, "edmonton whitemud" <edmonton.whitemud@assembly.ab.ca>, "edmonton highlandsnorwood" <edmonton.highlandsnorwood@assembly.ab.ca>, "edmonton rutherford" <edmonton.rutherford@assembly.ab.ca>, "calgary elbow" <calgary.elbow@assembly.ab.ca>, "calgary greenway" <calgary.greenway@assembly.ab.ca>, "calgary west" <calgary.west@assembly.ab.ca>, "stephen harper" <stephen.harper@parl.gc.ca>, "james rajotte" <james.rajotte@parl.gc.ca>, "thomas mulcair" <thomas.mulcair@parl.gc.ca>, "justin trudeau" <justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca>, "elizabeth may" <elizabeth.may@parl.gc.ca>, "gerry protti" <gerry.protti@aer.ca>, "jim ellis" <jim.ellis@aer.ca>, "Bob Curran" <bob.curran@aer.ca>, "darin barter" <darin.barter@aer.ca>, "PeaceRiverProceeding" <peaceriverproceeding@aer.ca>, "jessica potter" <jessica.potter@gov.ab.ca>, "Stewart Shields" <lagran@shaw.ca>, "Jessica Ernst" <magog@sasktel.net>, gthomson@edmontonjournal.com, "Darren Boisvert" <elephanttimes@gmail.com>
Sent: Monday, March 31, 2014 4:11:11 PM
Subject: Draft directive 071: Emergency Preparedness and Response Requirements

Hi,

 I can't find your draft directive 071: Emergency Preparedness and Response Requirements on your website. Where is the entire draft directive?

I found this information:

http://www.aer.ca/rules-and-regulations/bulletins/bulletin-2012-21

Bulletin 2012-21: Invitation for Feedback – Revisions to draft Directive 071: Emergency Preparedness and Response Requirements
VIEW PDF (36.97 KB)

Invitation for Feedback – Revisions to draft Directive 071: Emergency Preparedness and Response Requirements

Oct 16, 2012
The Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) has prepared a draft update of Directive 071: Emergency Preparedness and Response Requirements for the Petroleum Industry. Stakeholder feedback on this draft is requested. The key changes are outlined in Attachment 1.

- See more at: http://www.aer.ca/rules-and-regulations/bulletins/bulletin-2012-21#sthash.xGlzXBa0.dpuf
*******************************************************************************
I also found attachment 1 here:

http://www.aer.ca/documents/bulletins/Bulletin-2012-21.pdf

Bulletin 2012-21
October 16, 2012
ERCB Bulletin 2012-21 • 1
Invitation for Feedback—Revisions to draft Directive 071: Emergency Preparedness
and Response Requirements

*************************************************

My interest in this document is with reference to data collection.

In the original directive there was a requirement to collect information on citizens as noted here:

http://www.aer.ca/documents/directives/Directive071_2005.pdf

2.2.4 Conducting Public Involvement Programs
A licensee is required to conduct public involvement programs for the development of an
ERP in conjunction with other notification or consultation programs covered in Guide 56.
This ensures that there is no confusion regarding the details of the project and the impact
that an emergency situation may have on the surrounding community.
Licensee representatives who have the necessary background to provide details of the
emergency procedures in place and to address questions and concerns that may arise must
conduct the public involvement program in person with all identified individuals. A
licensee representative must address any special request for modifications to the ERP and
for additional information.
A licensee is required to review key emergency response information with all members
of the public identified in the ERP or with the Disaster Services representative for urban
centres. This ensures that members of the public are familiar with potential emergencies
and corresponding public protection measures pertaining to emergency response
procedures.
If more than one licensee is conducting a public involvement program in the same area,
the EUB strongly encourages that a single licensee representative who has the
information and delegated authority represent the other licensees. All parties must be
provided with the opportunity for follow-up discussions with the appropriate licensee
representative if concerns arise.
The EUB recognizes that licensees may sometimes have difficulty establishing contact or
meeting in person with
• residents or other persons who may be away for extended periods of time, have “no
trespassing” signs posted on their property, or have unlisted telephone numbers; and
• nonresident persons, such as registered trappers, industrial operators, and recreational
property owners, operators, and occupants.
The EUB requires the licensee to make a reasonable effort to contact these parties and to
arrange a suitable meeting time or provide an information package by registered mail
with an offer to meet to address any questions and concerns regarding emergency
preparedness and response. If a licensee is unable to make contact with an individual, the
licensee must retain a record of the attempts made to contact that individual. It is the
licensee’s responsibility to show that reasonable efforts were made.
A licensee must provide all parties with a copy of the public information package, as
detailed in Section 2.2.3, along with an opportunity to discuss the information. Licensees
are expected to provide a reasonable amount of time, having regard for the specific
circumstances of the individual, for parties to review an information package and have
questions and concerns addressed.
A licensee is required to obtain the following information from all persons, residences,
local authorities, and public facilities listed in Section 2.2.2.1:
• exact location of the residence or place of business, including egress routes (legal
description or address);
• name of key contact and a 24-hour contact telephone number (home, business, cell
phone, or other) and an alternate contact;
• names of all family members in residence;
• number of occupants, specifying adults and preschool and school-age children;
• names of those with special needs, such as those who require evacuation assistance,
request early notification/communication, have no telephones, require transportation
assistance, or for whom there may be a language barrier;
• any additional concerns or comments; and
• any other information deemed necessary to ensure that effective emergency response
procedures are developed.
While members of the public are not legally required to provide personal information, the
licensee must clearly explain that the information is important to ensure an effective
emergency response and thus provide public protection and safety. Personal information
is protected by the privacy provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of
Privacy Act (FOIP) and must be kept confidential at all times.
In keeping with the spirit of FOIP, a licensee must only acquire information necessary to
the ERP, and this information should only be provided to key emergency responders who
require it for immediate response purposes in the event of an emergency and to the EUB.
If members of the public are unwilling to provide personal information, a licensee must
consider those residents to have special needs and include the appropriate emergency
response measures, such as early notification, in the ERP.
Public concerns about livestock and pets in emergency situations should be addressed
during the public involvement program. Although public safety is the primary purpose of
emergency preparedness and response, licensees should address livestock and pet safety
in the ERP when feasible.
****************************************************

This section of the current directive 71 makes it a requirement for oil and gas companies to retain information of residents in the area of their work. This requirement is of course dependent on the citizens who may not wish to provide their data and are not forced to do so.
I understand that such citizen information is protected by FOIP. This information is to be kept confidential. The company is required to handle this data carefully and it is my understanding --that only for the use of the company itself to notify citizens in an emergency. This appears to be the only purpose this data is to be used for--which is to contact residents in an emergency event.

The draft directive that is currently under review suggests some changes in the management of citizen data as noted in appendix 1:
http://www.aer.ca/documents/bulletins/Bulletin-2012-21.pdf

Public Safety and Awareness Programs
5) Methods and frequency of data collection and public safety awareness programs: Changes
have been made in what, and how, emergency contact information is collected.

*****************************************************************
I am curious about these changes. Can you tell me exactly what changes have been made to this area of the draft directive currently in genesis?

I am also at this time asking about the legality of transfer of any such data as held by oil and gas companies to groups such as SPOG.

What rules cover the transfer of sensitive personal data from an oil company to a group that oil company belongs to? Can an oil company transfer data that it originally collected as part of the ERP and give it to such groups as SPOG which are part of the Alberta wide Synergy system? The Synergy system is a system set up by government, the oil and gas industry and the public to ensure that we all get along.
I am not sure if this system has been very effective but I assume that the government of Alberta believes it is effective since we are paying for part of the costs (I believe).
So what are the rules governing transfer of company held citizen data to the Synergy groups?
Do the Synergy groups get the data from the oil and gas companies?
Or does SPOG collect this data independently?
What rules does the regulator have for the data held by NGO such as SPOG?

Please note that I am cc'ing this e-mail to SPOG and the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.
I am curious about the security of the data, the legality of NGOs holding such data for so called emergency contact purposes when we already have the government of Alberta administering a provincial emergency notification system. In addition the move is currently (and I believe it was in the past) for municipalities to hold the data of citizens for emergency contact purposes. So why do we have SPOG involved as well as Synergy?

Please provide the answers to the questions which I will summarize here:

1) The entire draft directive for Directive 71
2) Changes in "methods and frequency of data collection and public safety awareness programs: Changes have been made in what, and how, emergency contact information is collected."
3) Who holds this data? Is it the oil company? The AER indicates that such data is governed by FOIP legislation. Where does PIPA come in? Does PIPA apply to this data?
4) If the oil company holds the data, does the oil company have the legal right to transfer this information to SPOG?
5) Does SPOG collect the data independently of member oil and gas companies?  Who regulates the data collection activity of SPOG? Is it the AER or is it the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner?
6) What about the use of data collected by SPOG to make non-emergency visits to residents? If SPOG is collecting data just to contact residents in emergencies--why then does it need to make resident visits? What about the social work of the association? Is data collected ostensibly for the purpose of emergency contact to be used to "educate" residents?
7) If municipalities rather than oil companies are now to be given full responsibility for emergencies (as I believe they were always supposed to have been in charge) --then what happens to the data that is in the possession of SPOG?

I note that the AER is currently emphasizing that the municipal government is to do the work of emergency alerts (something they should always have been doing):

http://www.reddeeradvocate.com/news/County_worried_about_proposed_oilpatch_response_plans_186248272.html?mobile=true

County worried about proposed oilpatch response plans
By Paul Cowley - Red Deer Advocate

Published: January 09, 2013 6:42 PM
Share this story

 
Proposed changes to provincial regulations around oilpatch emergency response has raised concerns at Mountain View County council.

Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board is updating Directive 071: Emergency Preparedness and Response Requirements for the Petroleum Industry and has asked for public feedback.

Council recently reviewed proposed regulatory changes and was not reassured by what it saw in a section that deals with requirements for oil and gas companies to obtain emergency contact information for those living within the emergency planning zone (EPZ) around oil and gas installations.

“Directive 71 from our perspective takes a lot of the onus of oil companies and puts it on municipalities,” said Reeve Bruce Beattie.

“We’re not in favour of that.”

Beattie said in the past it has always been the role of companies to be responsible for the emergency response plan and ensure they are aware of all landowners and residents, including renters, in the area around an oil and gas facility.

“We, as a municipality, we keep track of residences.

“But we don’t keep track of who’s living in buildings, who’s living in a rental property, that type of thing,” he said.

Ultimately, municipalities are responsible for emergency response, but Mountain View County doesn’t have the resources — or perhaps not even the authority — to collect that kind of information, he added.

“Presently, the companies do. So we think it’s a step backward in terms of public safety.”

ERCB spokesman Bob Curran said they will review all of the responses after the deadline for feedback ends on Tuesday.

“Once we have all feedback in hand, we will review it and determine if changes are required,” he says in an emailed reply to a request for comment on the county’s concerns.

“It would be inappropriate to comment on any feedback until that process is complete.”

Sundre Petroleum Operators Group (SPOG), which represents more than two dozen oil and gas companies in the area, also has expressed reservations with the proposed directive.

SPOG points out in a written summary of comments going to the ERCB that the directive notes provincial legislation assigns to a municipality the authority and responsibility for all aspects of emergency response within its jurisdiction.

However typically, municipalities do not have the knowledge or experience with oil and gas operations to “deal appropriately with incidents within the EPZ,” says SPOG’s comments.

Emergency planning and response should fall on the oil and gas company and the municipalities can help out through mutual aid agreements, the group says.

SPOG also noted that municipalities don’t collect the resident information necessary to send out tax notices and the amount of contact information available was spotty.

For instance, when SPOG requested landowner contact information after the Plains Midstream Canada spill last June, only 98 of the 332 records provided by the county included phone numbers and 32 other numbers were not in use or incorrect.

SPOG also saw problems with a requirement that only phone numbers and physical location of a residence or other development be required in the emergency planning zone.

Based on SPOG’s past experience, even knowing phone numbers and visiting homes directly doesn’t work when trying to track down people.

pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com
******************************************************************

These are a few of my questions.
Please provide me with answers.
Sincerely,
Julie Ali





Sunday, March 30, 2014

SPOG Post # 5---I ask some questions about data collection activities of SPOG and if such data collection practices is subject to PIPA


----- Forwarded Message -----
From: "jyali" <jyali@>
To: admin@spog.ab.ca, investigations@metronews.ca, edmonton@globalnews.ca, newsroom@globeandmail.com, "Margo Goodhand (Edm Journal)" <mgoodhand@edmontonjournal.com>, "Velvet Martin" <johnvel@>, "Diana Daunheimer" <dianadaun@>, info@oag.ab.ca, infomedia@oag-bvg.gc.ca, "rona ambrose" <rona.ambrose@parl.gc.ca>, minister@ec.gc.ca, generalinfo@oipc.ab.ca
Cc: "edmonton whitemud" <edmonton.whitemud@assembly.ab.ca>, "edmonton highlandsnorwood" <edmonton.highlandsnorwood@assembly.ab.ca>, "edmonton rutherford" <edmonton.rutherford@assembly.ab.ca>, "calgary elbow" <calgary.elbow@assembly.ab.ca>, "calgary greenway" <calgary.greenway@assembly.ab.ca>, "calgary west" <calgary.west@assembly.ab.ca>, "draytonvalley devon" <draytonvalley.devon@assembly.ab.ca>, "stephen harper" <stephen.harper@parl.gc.ca>, "james rajotte" <james.rajotte@parl.gc.ca>, "thomas mulcair" <thomas.mulcair@parl.gc.ca>, "justin trudeau" <justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca>, "elizabeth may" <elizabeth.may@parl.gc.ca>, "don iveson" <don.iveson@edmonton.ca>, "bryan anderson" <bryan.anderson@edmonton.ca>, "tony caterina" <tony.caterina@edmonton.ca>, "gerry protti" <gerry.protti@aer.ca>, "jim ellis" <jim.ellis@aer.ca>, "Bob Curran" <bob.curran@aer.ca>, "PeaceRiverProceeding" <peaceriverproceeding@aer.ca>, "darin barter" <darin.barter@aer.ca>, "jessica potter" <jessica.potter@gov.ab.ca>, "Stewart Shields" <lagran@shaw.ca>, "Jessica Ernst" <magog@sasktel.net>, gthomson@edmontonjournal.com, "Darren Boisvert" <elephanttimes@gmail.com>
Sent: Sunday, March 30, 2014 10:22:34 PM
Subject: Questions on data collection by SPOG

Hi,
I wrote to you a while back.

I have a blog and I am writing about SPOG.
I am a stay at home mummy and I am curious.
I've never heard of SPOG before I found out that we had two pipeline spills a day in Alberta.
From that point on it was all downhill.
Who knew that best in the world regulations meant a worst in the world environmental record?
I never realized the Tories had kept all the information about the messes in Alberta under tight control but now that I have found out that we have a police state in Alberta I am curious why we have this matter.
I am also curious why we seem to have a third layer of government that isn't elected by citizens in a democracy.
Why do we have SPOG?
I mean who knew that we had a layer of government that was comprised of unelected oil and gas representatives who collect data on citizens?
I am very curious about your data collection business.
I've never heard of a private group of oil and gas companies keeping such close watch on a sector of rural Alberta but it seems as if this is what SPOG specializes in---citizen control.
Of course I may be imaginative here.
You can always correct me.
I haven't received an answer to my last e-mail but I will persist and ask some questions about the data collection efforts of SPOG.

As far as I can understand it --SPOG seems to be a special interest group with fertile connections with the energy regulator (now the AER), the Tories, the municipal government bigwigs and community leaders.
The group is also the creator of all things Synergy in Alberta.
What is Synergy?
Synergy is a web of SPOG like groups.
I am still not completely clear about the Synergy web and its many spiders---but it seems to be an indoctrination program that recruits cult-like followers to the cause of the oil and gas industry.
Of course, my impression of SPOG and the Synergy web may be erroneous and you may be able to correct this if you ever decide to answer my e-mails.
But I will leave Synergy for now and just look at data collection.
In this e-mail I am curious about your data collection activities.
I am curious because I want to know how you protect the privacy of the individuals whose data you collect.

1) Do you ask the folks for written permission to keep their data on file for a certain period of time?
2) Do you ask permission to provide their data to other groups such as CAPP or the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta or even to local municipalities for specific purposes?
3) Do you ask permission to contact the folks for specific purposes such as emergencies, social events, indoctrination information about the oil and gas industry, positive spin on fracking?
4) How do you keep the data? Is it in secure format?
5) How is this data used by your association?
6) Is this data used to follow cohorts of dissenters in the community? These might be folks you all call the environmental radicals.
7) Does your data collection activities conform to PIPA. I refer you to this website for PIPA information:
Are you a non-profit agency?
Do you have commercial activities?
You do appear to have commercial activities in that you seem to be sponsoring the efforts of the oil and gas industry with dinners and emergency notification work. Can you clarify your organization's status so that I can determine if PIPA applies to your group.
If PIPA does not apply to your group, I will then go ask the privacy folks why not.


admin@spog.ab.ca
Welcome to the Private Sector Privacy website

This website provides information to help businesses, non-profit organizations, and professional regulatory organizations to comply with Alberta's Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) that became law on January 1, 2004.
The Act protects individual privacy by requiring, in most cases, private-sector organizations to obtain consent for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information and providing individuals with a right of access to their own personal information.

Individuals wishing to make a complaint about an organization's response to their freedom of information request or the improper handling of their personal information by an organization should contact the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for Alberta by phoning 1-888-878-4044 or visit the Commissioner's website (external link) for more information.

http://www.qp.alberta.ca/1266.cfm?page=P06P5.cfm&leg_type=Acts&isbncln=9780779762507

(3) This Act applies to a non-profit organization in the case of
personal information that is collected, used or disclosed by the
non-profit organization in connection with any commercial activity
carried out by the non-profit organization.


8)  I am curious who pays for all of the work you do. Can you provide me with the financial documents of your association indicating what amounts are paid for by the oil and gas industry and what part are paid for by other external groups?

I have a great many questions.

These are just my second set of questions.
I appreciate your answers.
I am sending this e-mail to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner as I am planning to ask these folks questions about the legality of data collection by SPOG.

http://www.oipc.ab.ca/pages/home/contactus.aspx

Contact Us

The Information and Privacy Commissioner has offices in Edmonton and Calgary. Our Edmonton office deals with issues under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP) and the Health Information Act (HIA). Our Calgary office deals exclusively with issues relating to the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA).

Should you wish the Information and Privacy Commissioner to initiate a review or investigation under the FOIP Act, HIA or PIPA, please write to the appropriate office listed below. The Information and Privacy Commissioner does not accept requests for review or complaints via email at this time. If you are unsure of which piece of legislation applies in your case, please contact our Office through either of the numbers listed below and ask to speak with an Intake Officer.

General Contact Information

FOIP and HIA Issues (Please note that it is not possible to access our Edmonton Office without an appointment)

Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (Edmonton)
# 410, 9925 - 109 Street
Edmonton, Alberta
T5K 2J8
Phone: (780) 422-6860
Toll Free: 1-888-878-4044
Fax: (780) 422-5682
Email

PIPA Issues (Please note that it is not possible to access our Calgary office without an appointment)

Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (Calgary)
Suite 2460, 801 6 Avenue SW
Calgary AB, T2P 3W2
Phone: (403) 297-2728
Fax: (403) 297-2711
Toll Free: 1-888-878-4044
Email


News and Media Enquiries:

Phone: (780) 422-6860
Toll Free: 1-888-878-4044
Email

***********************************

I find it rather curious that SPOG can act as government when we haven't elected any of the members of SPOG. I am also amazed that you can act as emergency folks when we apparently don't need to have SPOG as emergency contacts since we already have an emergency system in place in Alberta. We pay for that emergency system as well and I see no reason for a duplication in services by a non-elected body that is comprised of entities from the private sector who hold large amounts of citizen data for a purpose it is says it needs it for--which is emergency contacts.  In other words, my feeling is that SPOG is not to collect private citizen data because we have an emergency system in the Alberta Emergency Management Agency. Thus your purported rationale for collecting data is false and you are collecting data using erroneous statements to citizens. This sort of false solicitation of private information by a group such as yours should be investigated and this sort of data collection (in my mind) should be prohibited by laws.

Of course I may be wrong and you may be entitled to collect private citizen information for the fake reasons you say, for whatever reasons the Tories allow you all to do this but in my mind it is plain wrong.

Sincerely,
Julie Ali


Dear Mr. Bhullar, When will I get some responses from Human Services and from the Child and Youth Advocate? Do I write e-mails into thin air? Why don't the folks I pay for answer me?

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Julie Ali <investigationsjyali@>
To: HS ADM CFS <HS.ADMCFS@gov.ab.ca>, Calgary Greenway <calgary.greenway@assembly.ab.ca>, roxanne.dubecoelho@gov.ab.ca, del graff <del.graff@gov.ab.ca>, calgary elbow <calgary.elbow@assembly.ab.ca>, investigations@metronews.ca, edmonton@globalnews.ca, newsroom@globeandmail.com, Margo Goodhand <mgoodhand@edmontonjournal.com>, Samanthas Law <johnvel@t>, info@oag.ab.ca, infomedia@oag-bvg.gc.ca, stephen harper <stephen.harper@parl.gc.ca>, ahs.corp@albertahealthservices.ca, john.cowell@albertahealthservices.ca, gerry.predy@albertahealthservices.ca, trevor.theman@cpsa.ab.ca, Rona Ambrose <rona.ambrose@parl.gc.ca>, lisa.raitt@parl.gc.ca, Minister@ec.gc.ca, edmonton whitemud <edmonton.whitemud@assembly.ab.ca>, edmonton highlandsnorwood <edmonton.highlandsnorwood@assembly.ab.ca>, edmonton.rutherford@assembly.ab.ca, edmonton.meadowlark@assembly.ab.ca, darin barter <darin.barter@aer.ca>, jessica potter <jessica.potter@gov.ab.ca>, Stewart Shields <lagran@shaw.ca>, Jessica Ernst <magog@sasktel.net>, don iveson <don.iveson@edmonton.ca>, Bryan Anderson <bryan.anderson@edmonton.ca>, tony caterina <tony.caterina@edmonton.ca>, james rajotte <james.rajotte@parl.gc.ca>, thomas mulcair <thomas.mulcair@parl.gc.ca>, justin trudeau <justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca>, elizabeth may <elizabeth.may@parl.gc.ca>, D Daunheimer <dianadaun@>, gthomson@edmontonjournal.com, Darren Boisvert <elephanttimes@gmail.com>
Cc:
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2014 21:12:56 -0600
Subject: Re: WHY THIS CHILD DROWNED




from: Julie Ali investigationsjyali@
to: HS ADM CFS <HS.ADMCFS@gov.ab.ca>,
 Calgary Greenway <calgary.greenway@assembly.ab.ca>,
 roxanne.dubecoelho@gov.ab.ca,
 del graff <del.graff@gov.ab.ca>,
 calgary elbow <calgary.elbow@assembly.ab.ca>,
 investigations@metronews.ca,
 edmonton@globalnews.ca,
 newsroom@globeandmail.com,
 Margo Goodhand <mgoodhand@edmontonjournal.com>,
 Samanthas Law <johnvel@>,
 info@oag.ab.ca,
 infomedia@oag-bvg.gc.ca,
 stephen harper <stephen.harper@parl.gc.ca>,
 ahs.corp@albertahealthservices.ca,
 john.cowell@albertahealthservices.ca,
 gerry.predy@albertahealthservices.ca,
 trevor.theman@cpsa.ab.ca,
 Rona Ambrose <rona.ambrose@parl.gc.ca>,
 lisa.raitt@parl.gc.ca,
 Minister@ec.gc.ca,
 edmonton whitemud <edmonton.whitemud@assembly.ab.ca>,
 edmonton highlandsnorwood <edmonton.highlandsnorwood@assembly.ab.ca>,
 edmonton.rutherford@assembly.ab.ca,
 edmonton.meadowlark@assembly.ab.ca,
 darin barter <darin.barter@aer.ca>,
 jessica potter <jessica.potter@gov.ab.ca>,
 Stewart Shields <lagran@shaw.ca>,
 Jessica Ernst <magog@sasktel.net>,
 don iveson <don.iveson@edmonton.ca>,
 Bryan Anderson <bryan.anderson@edmonton.ca>,
 tony caterina <tony.caterina@edmonton.ca>,
 james rajotte <james.rajotte@parl.gc.ca>,
 thomas mulcair <thomas.mulcair@parl.gc.ca>,
 justin trudeau <justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca>,
 elizabeth may <elizabeth.may@parl.gc.ca>,
 D Daunheimer <dianadaun@>,
 gthomson@edmontonjournal.com,
 Darren Boisvert <elephanttimes@gmail.com>
date: Sun, Mar 30, 2014 at 9:12 PM
subject: Re: WHY THIS CHILD DROWNED
Dear Mr. Bhullar,

When will I get some responses from Human Services and from the Child and Youth Advocate?
Do I write e-mails into thin air?
Why don't the folks I pay for answer me?

I would like to know if you are all going to make the independent reviews available to the public or do I have to pay for these reviews as I am now paying for the police report?
Why is it that I have to pay for information that the Child and Youth Advocate has?
It is shameful that I have to keep writing to you all and wait for ages to get any sort of response.
What do you all do at work?
How is it that you supposedly have a three day turnaround for a response at Alberta Connects but when I write to the ministers and the premier--I get the runaround?
Don't you have enough staff to answer my letters?
Why isn't Mr. Graff responding to my request?
I don't see why I have to keep writing to you all in this repeated fashion when you can simply say no --you are not going to give me the reviews online. When you respond to me with this answer, I will then post it on my blog.
I will then tell all the other mummies in Riverbend about your so called transparency that forces stay at home mummies to use their grocery money to pay for these dumb FOIP requests which are (in my mind) all about keeping information out of the hands of citizens who can't afford to pay for them.
I will then yap endlessly on my blog about how Mr. Bhullar promised us transparency with reference to the child deaths but this transparency requires that mummies buy the information.
I see no reason for me to buy this information since Mr. Graff has it.
Please respond to my questions as well as the request for the reviews.

I hope to get that police report soon and I will post it on my blog.
Then I plan to write to Mr. Bryan Anderson for the incident reports that presumably the City of Edmonton has with reference to 7 year old Jack. Hopefully I won't have to pay for them as well. 
As for these reviews that the child and youth advocate has, if you don't give them to us --I will tell the whole world and then I will FOIP them and put them on my blog.
I am not sure why there is so much secrecy in government but surely you understand that once I have gone through the hoops, that information will be on the blog and available to everyone?
So why not do the right thing?
Sincerely
Julie 


Sunday, March 30, 2014

In addition to the Advocate’s review, there were three separate independent reviews into this tragedy. One completed by the contracted agency who operated the group home; the second completed by the CFSA responsible for the contracted agency; and, the third completed by the municipality responsible for the leisure centre. All three reviews recommended changes to some administrative function, structure, policy, or strategy focusing on improving accountability, safety practices, standards, prevention, and awareness.


In addition to the Advocate’s review, there were three separate independent reviews into this tragedy. One completed by the contracted agency who operated the group home; the second completed by the CFSA responsible for the contracted agency; and, the third completed by the municipality responsible for the leisure centre. All three reviews recommended changes to some administrative function, structure, policy, or strategy focusing on improving accountability, safety practices, standards, prevention, and awareness.

it is best when you can't think
to soak within a bath of words
and forgive yourself
for not being able
to knit a piece of language
into a recognizable shape
it is best when you are dull
and grumpy
to watch the stars
as they blink their eyes
it is best to see the moon
hold up her ball of light
in the darkness
as we must do

that is
we must keep hoping
and hold up
our light up
so that others who are discouraged
will understand
that success
is simply
not giving in to failure
our success
such as it is
might be
to endure the silence
as we write to government
our success
might be our willingness
to persist
with our questions
that get no answers


our success
as citizens
is to demand
accountability
from our hires
in government
for we pay for their salaries
we pay for their expense accounts
and their travel bills
we pay for their fine wines
and their dining out
we pay for their lunches
and their gatherings
to socialize
but when will they understand
that the cost of the subsidies we pay
are the responses
we expect
when we ask
the government
at all levels
for answers to
our questions?


no government will endure
when they do not reply to citizens
we do not spend our time idly
we expect our questions to be answered
and so I ask the government at all levels
the same questions
over and over
for I do not give up
and I do not give in
and I tell all the other citizens
who are like me
to keep going
we are each only one
but each mother
who joins with another mother
and sends the data to the people
will succeed
even when we fail
for the silence from the government
at all levels
will be proof enough
that they are not accountable to us

when the citizens
ask questions of government
they must answer us
and when we ask them for the information
they have already
as in the case of the reviews
provided to the child and youth advocate
there is absolutely no reason
for a citizen
to reinvent the wheel
the information should become
public knowledge
so that we might evaluate
how poor 7 year Jack died
or must this mummy
spend her money
to find out what
the government of Alberta
fails to tell us?


http://advocate.gov.ab.ca/home/documents/OCYA_report_Jack_2014January.pdf


Appendix 3: Other Reviews

In addition to the Advocate’s review, there were three separate independent reviews 
into this tragedy. One completed by the contracted agency who operated the group 
home; the second completed by the CFSA responsible for the contracted agency; and, 
the third completed by the municipality responsible for the leisure centre.
All three reviews recommended changes to some administrative function, structure, 
policy, or strategy focusing on improving accountability, safety practices, standards, 
prevention, and awareness.
The contracted agency recommended:
 Administrative changes to the structure and policy for group home staff
accountability and development that included:
· Continued implementation of a “Team Lead Model”.
· Improved communication through the implementation of sign-off on all changes
to policy and procedure.
 Revised policy regarding transportation and recreational outings that included:
· The development of a safety plan for community outings.
· The submission of outing plans to management for approval.
· Outings must be based on the child’s developmental/cognitive abilities.
· Staff ratios for swimming outings were modified
- One staff member to two residents (previously one staff to three residents).
· Staff members who accompany children on swimming trips must be trained
in water safety procedures with a minimum of a current Bronze Medallion and
emergency first aid.
· Life jackets must be used at all times for children under the age of eight, and for
children that are unable to swim 25 meters on their own.
· Children eight years of age and under, or older with cognitive/developmental
delays will use the family change room with a staff member.
· Staff supervision must continue at all times.
· The CFSA recommended that the contracted agency:
 Implement a new recreational policy to increase supervision and responsibility
which included:
· Gender pairing for residents and staff is considered.
· A two staff to five resident ratio for community outings.
· Implement changes to draft swimming policy.

 Implement stronger communication strategies between staff and the administrative
team which included:
· The development of a sign-off process for staff members to acknowledge written
methods of communication.
· The development of adequate communication processes to ensure that staff
members are aware of supervision responsibilities.
· The development of increased communication processes between staff and
administration prior to community outings.
 Implement performance management and employee development strategies
which included:
· Staff evaluations should occur at timed intervals of employment.
· Development of staff job descriptions and responsibilities.
· Development of processes for staff to acknowledge that they are familiar with
their performance objectives and indicators during regular evaluations.
· Recommendations for staff training and development through the performance
management process.
 Develop guidelines for response to critical situations which included:
· Ensuring residents have timely access to identified supports after a critical
incident.
· Prepare and facilitate a discussion with other agencies at inter-agency meetings
to share learnings from the incident.
The municipality review led to a number of specific actions intended to increase safety
and water safety awareness at their aquatic facilities.
 Conducted an extensive review of their emergency response to the incident
resulting in:
· The reinforcement of critical incident response policies and practices.
· The implementation of new staffing ratios and practices.
· Facility enhancements at the aquatic facility.
 Engaged a third party to conduct an incident analysis:
· Contracted with the Lifesaving Society to review the incident and provide
recommendations.
· Accepted and implemented all of the Society’s recommendations.
 Conducted an internal best practice review of aquatic trends, research, and
approaches of other facilities in Canada and the United States.

http://media.treehugger.com/assets/images/2011/10/poppies.jpg



let the words be written

on the door of time
let the words be written
let the words say
that I have given out what I could

on the door of time
let the words say the heart that has been spoken 
let the words say I believed completely
in a god of small acts   and that I followed him

on the door of time
let the symbols say a magical new language
that is etched on the trees  where the birds sing 
let the songs caught in that forest     be my poems

on the door of time
let the signs I leave behind explain the matter
of the language I bred   on the petri dishes of the mind
as the cultures of small microorganisms   that I sent out to infect mankind

on the door of time
let the germ warfare that I practiced
be of the soul packaged     let the blue soul in the conquering hordes
of virions    overcome the other   so that the other is taken in that friendly shelter

on the door of time
let it be said     that I recognized no other
that the other is myself   let my words say that   we are all contained 
within the same family of human beings  

on the door of time
although I have been bad tempered
let it be gouged into the wood   these words of my heart
I was real  I was real enough to show myself   as I am 

mothers

The apple tree I planted outside is many limbed because of the hare that eats her every winter. On cold days, the hares on the field seem to become statues. They conserve their energies. The snow wraps about them and they vanish.
Today is a bright frosty morning. The firs are stagnant in the light. A child runs with another child. Their fluffy bag of a dog romps in between.They have a childhood that all children should and some do.
My childhood wasn't one of ice and snow.
In the desert, I would flog about with the trusty bike. I would pick into the refuse about the houses, picking up shimmering pieces of rags for haul. At the beach I would travel the length of that strip of shops seeking what I always found. A child is a piece of dough that life pummels into particular shapes and I was lucky in that I had very little hits and mostly made my own impressions on my own mind. A feral childhood is a very lucky matter and more of us should leave our supermothering and let our kids run wild.
You can't save anyone. You can't really alter anyone. You can only modify yourself and sometimes even this is hard to do or impossible in some cases. The end result of our efforts may be a place where I am now. The room is warm. The sun leaps over the marsh. The children play. Happiness might be a place you have made out of chaos to bridge to safety. Safety itself is tenuous and at best we might have a few days of peace before the bridge crumbles and we must make again.
I usually sit in the room and make small bridges. They fall of course.
We are not immortals.
Our bridges of words, might help someone or deteriorate the situation.
You never know what words will do.
In the morning, as the sun crouches in the small passageways between houses around the marsh, I watch the children in the playground. I think about my own happy childhood. I wonder at the luckiness of having had such a childhood. I think of the children everywhere in the world. All of them deserve such safe and wild times as I had. All of them deserve the ways out of the traps that each of them must traverse. Some of them will use the ways of the business world to navigate themselves to places of transient safety. Some of them will use the ways of language and the hard planks of words to row themselves to safety. They will find ---as I have -that the small rowboat of words may not be enough. They may find that other sailors are required--other hands to lift them out of the depths. They may find that good companions are required --no matter how lonely and singular the trip.

On the field the sun leaps and bounds about like the fluffy bag of a dog. The children harness themselves to him and they reach out in pursuit of their current aims.  A mother stands nearby and watches them as they play. A mother is the beginning of things. And her children are not the end but the continuation of the things she has decided to begin.  When you are a child you don't realize the power that mothers have. But without them who can say that they have had a happy childhood?


we pay and we pay and we pay

"These are huge, rich payouts that you don't see in the private sector unless you're a high level banker, and these guys are not high level bankers," said Derek Fildebrandt on March 21.


Inbox
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Julie Ali investigationsjyali@

12:54 AM (0 minutes ago)
to edmontoncalgaryinfoinfomediaedmontonnewsroomMargoSamanthasDedmontonedmonton.ruthe.edmonton.meado.Calgarycalgary.westdraytonvalley..ahs.corpjohn.cowellgerry.predystephenjamesthomasjustinelizabethdonBryan
Dear Mr. Hancock.

I have just read that we are paying $1.3 million in severance and holidays for the Redford's hangerons.



Former Redford staff members paid $1.3M in severance



EDMONTON – More than $1.3 million is being paid out in severance to the people who formerly worked for the premier’s office, and whose positions were terminated when Alison Redford resigned.
The termination payments include severance, 16 per cent in lieu of benefits and vacation balance payout for nine former staff members.



“These are contracts that were signed under the previous premier and I have limited ability to speak to their contractual arrangements,” said Craig Loewen, director of communications for Premier Dave Hancock, in an email on Friday.
“We have contractual obligations related to departing senior staff and we must meet these obligations.”

Thank you for voting!
 
 
 
The numbers, released by the government, show that six people received severance payments of more than $100,000 when vacation payouts are included.
The top four are Redford’s former chief of staff, Farouk Adatia, who was paid more than $400,000; Lee Richardson, a principal secretary (who was paid $264,000); Darren Cunningham, her former director of operations (who was paid more than $137,000); and Communications Director Stefan Baranski (who was paid more than $136,000).
“These are jobs that tend to carry less security than most and contracts tend to reflect that,” explained Loewen.
“Most political contracts reflect the fact that employment prospects for anyone leaving political jobs are limited due to restrictions associated with the required six-month cooling-off period.  The question of appropriate compensation for politically engaged senior staff is a difficult one.  We have to strike the right balance between what it takes to attract top talent while being responsible stewards of taxpayers’ dollars.”
Wildrose Municipal Affairs Critic says the premier’s office continues to draw up ”unacceptable contracts”, which allow for “these giant payouts to occur.”
“These contracts are simply outrageous,” said Jeff Wilson.
“They include everything from personal flight allowances to a severance liability of more than $1 million. Premier Hancock’s office must explain how these contract are negotiated, because it appears staffers can demand anything they want in PC wonderland. Money is no object.”
“Without some transparency, we’re sure to see another round of contracts just like these,” Wilson added.
Loewen said the severance information would typically be published through the salary disclosure list – or sunshine list – which is updated twice a year. However, he said the premier’s office felt it was important to release it now.
“Our office felt that it was important to have this information made available to you sooner to meet our responsibility for transparency and accountability during this transition period.”
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) previously predicted that severance for Redford’s former staff would be about $1 million.
“These are huge, rich payouts that you don’t see in the private sector unless you’re a high level banker, and these guys are not high level bankers,” said Derek Fildebrandt on March 21.
© Shaw Media, 2014
 Report an error
************************************************************************************

This is a disgrace.
What are we?
The bank of the failed Tories?


I am curious how the contracts are negotiated for staff hired by the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta.

I would like the procedure by which these contracts are made-- by the Tories--- transparent so that we --the paying public can provide our comments on the process.

I know the current amounts of severance pay---- are paltry amounts compared to the waste of money by Mr. Klein's error folks but it still rankles that such employees cannot work out the remainder of their term in other parts of the government and are instead being given cash for doing nothing.

Normally when  citizens are laid off from permanent jobs they get severance payouts dependent on the number of years worked in a company. 
Contract workers in the private sector get nothing.
And yet the Tories persist in telling citizens that these Tory insiders are special folks--not like ordinary citizens--and should get gold plated contracts.
Frankly this sort of baloney won't work any more.
Any contract signed by any hire needs to conform to the new reality.
The new reality is that there are no special hires of the Tory insider sort.The new reality is that we are sick and tired of paying these exorbitant payouts.
The new reality is that the Tories better get going making these sorts of contracts with their obscene payouts history.

This sort of extravagant living, the entitlement complex of the topdogs and the major ego problems of the Tory higher ups will ensure that the Progressive Conservative Party goes the way of the dodo.

I trust you ensure that any future hires for you or the future premier will not follow the ridiculous contract making schemes of Redford, Klein, Getty and Stelmach. We've had enough parasites doing nothing as leaders. We don't also need to be paying for the hanger-ons of the parasites.

All the money we waste on these sorts of indulgences could pay for the infrastructure deficit of Edmonton Public Schools. All the money we have lost--trillions of dollars--to the oil and gas industry could have ensured that our kids and grandkids had some money when the resources run out so that they could pay for the major environmental messes the Tories are ignoring such as the tailings ponds that won't get remediated--because guess what --the industry knows it can't do the work or it would have been done by now. All the money we have wasted in Alberta blowing up hospitals and then building them are a sharp indictment of the failures of the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta. We only have a few more years of this boom and bust economics creating havoc in citizen lives and I can assure you all that the economic messes that we have gone through will be history because this party will also be history. Any other party--even the Liberals --can't do any worse than the Tories have done in government.

Sincerely,
Julie Ali

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To: edmonton whitemud <edmonton.whitemud@assembly.ab.ca>, calgary elbow <calgary.elbow@assembly.ab.ca>, info@oag.ab.ca, infomedia@oag-bvg.gc.ca, edmonton@globalnews.ca, newsroom@globeandmail.com, Margo Goodhand <mgoodhand@edmontonjournal.com>, Samanthas Law <johnvel@t>, D Daunheimer <dianadaun@
Cc: edmonton highlandsnorwood <edmonton.highlandsnorwood@assembly.ab.ca>, edmonton.rutherford@assembly.ab.ca, edmonton.meadowlark@assembly.ab.ca, Calgary Greenway <calgary.greenway@assembly.ab.ca>, calgary.west@assembly.ab.ca, draytonvalley.devon@assembly.ab.ca, ahs.corp@albertahealthservices.ca, john.cowell@albertahealthservices.ca, gerry.predy@albertahealthservices.ca, stephen harper <stephen.harper@parl.gc.ca>, james rajotte <james.rajotte@parl.gc.ca>, thomas mulcair <thomas.mulcair@parl.gc.ca>, justin trudeau <justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca>, elizabeth may <elizabeth.may@parl.gc.ca>, don iveson <don.iveson@edmonton.ca>, Bryan Anderson <bryan.anderson@edmonton.ca>, tony caterina <tony.caterina@edmonton.ca>, gerry protti <gerry.protti@aer.ca>, jim ellis <jim.ellis@aer.ca>, Bob Curran <bob.curran@aer.ca>, PeaceRiverProceeding <peaceriverproceeding@aer.ca>, darin barter <darin.barter@aer.ca>, jessica potter <jessica.potter@gov.ab.ca>, Stewart Shields <lagran@shaw.ca>, Jessica Ernst <magog@sasktel.net>, gthomson@edmontonjournal.com, Darren Boisvert <elephanttimes@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2014 00:54:55 -0600
Subject: "These are huge, rich payouts that you don't see in the private sector unless you're a high level banker, and these guys are not high level bankers," said Derek Fildebrandt on March 21.