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New B.C. information and privacy commissioner named

Former Newfoundland and Labrador information and privacy commissioner succeeds Michael McEvoy in the B.C. position in May.
Michael McEvoy is B.C.'s outgoing information and privacy commissioner.

B.C.’s new information and privacy commissioner taking office in May brings with him experience from his previous tenure in the role in Newfoundland and Labrador.

B.C.’s Legislative Assembly April 12 recommended Michael Harvey be appointed to the position to succeed outgoing commissioner Michael McEvoy. The appointment follows a recommendation of Harvey for the position by a parliamentary committee.

“The committee agreed that Michael Harvey’s experience as information and privacy commissioner of Newfoundland and Labrador will enable him to bring both relevant experience and new ideas to B.C.,” said committee chair Garry Begg. “We also appreciated his deep commitment to upholding information and privacy rights.”

Committee members expressed their appreciation to McEvoy for his commitment and public service to British Columbians as commissioner over the past six years as well as his ongoing service as acting commissioner until Harvey’s term begins.

The commissioner, who also serves as the registrar of lobbyists, is an independent officer of the legislature responsible for monitoring and enforcing B.C.’s public and private sector privacy and access to information legislation.


Harvey was appointed as the Information and Privacy Commissioner for Newfoundland and Labrador commissioner in August 2019 with a provincial public sector career starting in 2006 and has been spent divided between cabinet and ministries.

In early 2015, he was seconded from that role to another within cabinet secretariat to lead a transition team drawn together to spearhead a whole of government change management approach to the implementation of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2015.

While assistant deputy minister of policy, planning and performance management in the Department of Health and Community Services in August 2015, his interest in access to information and privacy continued to grow.

There, he was responsible for the ongoing statutory review of the Personal Health Information Act.

He also worked on Government’s eHealth agenda, including increasing data analytics capacity for clinical decision-making and decision support and advancing virtual care.

During Harvey’s term as commissioner, partly because of his professional background and partly because of the demands of the global health pandemic, he gave a significant priority to health privacy issues.

He has served as co-chair of Canada Health Infoway’s Privacy Forum, was appointed by the federal government to the expert advisory group on a pan-Canadian Health Data Strategy.

Harvey chaired the federal/provincial/territorial table of Information and privacy commissioners for more than a year, culminating in hosting the 2022 annual meeting in St. John’s.

Harvey holds an International Baccalaureate from the United World College — USA, a BA (Hons) in political science from Memorial University, a MA in political studies from Queen’s University, and an executive certificate in conflict management from the University of Windsor, Faculty of Law/Stitt Feld Handy Group.

He has lectured in political science and public administration at Memorial University, the University of Guelph, and the University of Toronto.