Charmaine “Borg MP”

Member of Parliament for Terrebonne-Blainville (Quebec)

After creating a drama program for at-risk youth, she won the Lieutenant Governor’s Community Volunteer Award in 2008. At the time of her election in 2011, she was a student studying political science and Latin American studies at McGill University and was also working as the Labour Relations Officer for the Association of McGill University Support Employees. She was also co-president of the student New Democratic Party club at McGill University. In Parliament, Borg was named to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, where she intervened against the Conservative government’s omnibus crime bill, C-10, and the closure imposed on its debate, as well as Bill C-30, the Conservative bill on warrantless online surveillance. In the Fall of 2012, Borg embarked on a tour across Eastern Canada and the Maritimes to increase pressure on the Conservative government to abandon the bill. After months of public backlash, the Conservative government finally scrapped Bill C-30 in February 2013. Borg called the death of this bill a “great victory and a way forward for politics.” In April 2012, newly elected NDP leader Thomas Mulcair appointed Borg to the Shadow Cabinet of the Official Opposition. She was given the position of Digital Issues Critic, and became the youngest full critic in the history of Canada. Simultaneously, she was transferred from the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights to the Standing Committee on Ethics, Privacy and Access to Information. In one of her first acts as Digital Issues Critic, Borg launched at study at the Ethics, Privacy and Access to Information Committee to investigate the privacy practices of social media companies. During the study’s hearings, MPs heard from numerous experts and industry representatives including Facebook, Twitter and Google. Borg presented Bill C-475 to the House of Commons in February 2013. The bill seeks to amend the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) to introduce mandatory data breach reporting and enforcement powers to the Privacy Commissioner. Bill C-475 has received the endorsements of several privacy and internet experts, along with consumer protection and civil liberties groups. A campaign called “myprivacy” was launched to support the progression of Bill C-475 through the House of Commons. The bill saw its first hour of debate at First Reading on May 23, 2013, the same day that the Privacy Commissioner of Canada released a position paper calling for similar reforms to PIPEDA.