Boreal Wellness Centres is committed to protecting our clients’ personal information. Privacy is of highest priority and one of the keys to providing our clients with an exceptional counselling experience.
Our commitment to protecting personal information is based upon the British Columbia’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). PIPA, which came into effect on January 1, 2004, sets out the ground rules for how B.C. businesses and not-for-profit organizations may collect, use and disclose personal information.
We will inform our clients of why and how we collect, use and disclose their personal information, obtain their consent where required, and only handle their personal information in a manner that a reasonable person would consider appropriate in the circumstances.
This Personal Information Protection Policy, in compliance with PIPA, outlines the principles and practices we will follow in protecting clients’ personal information. Our privacy commitment includes ensuring the accuracy, confidentiality, and security of our clients’ personal information and allowing our clients to request access to, and correction of, their personal information.
Personal Information – means information about an identifiable individual. Personal information does not include contact information (described below).
Contact information – means information that would enable an individual to be contacted at home and includes but is not limited to name, telephone number and email. Contact information is not covered by this policy or PIPA.
Privacy Officer – means the individual designated responsibility for ensuring that Boreal Wellness Centres Inc. complies with this policy and PIPA.
Policy 1 – Collecting Personal Information
1.1 Unless the purposes for collecting personal information are obvious and the client voluntarily provides his or her personal information for those purposes, we will communicate the purposes for which personal information is being collected, either orally or in writing, before or at the time of collection.
1.2 We will only collect client information that is necessary to fulfill the following purposes:
- To assess suitability for treatment with Boreal Wellness Centres;
- To enroll the client in a program;
- To provide psychological wellness and after-care services;
- To communicate to clients, prospective clients and referral sources information about the services of Boreal Wellness Centres and other content that they may find interesting.
Policy 2 – Consent
2.1 We will obtain client consent to collect, use or disclose personal information except where, as noted below, we are authorized to do so without consent.
2.2 Consent can be provided in writing or electronically or it can be implied where the purpose for collecting using or disclosing the personal information would be considered obvious and the client voluntarily provides personal information for that purpose.
2.3 Consent may also be implied where a client is given notice and a reasonable opportunity to opt-out of his or her personal information being used for email campaigns or the marketing of new services, and the client does not opt-out.
2.4 Subject to certain exceptions (e.g., the personal information is necessary to provide the service, or the withdrawal of consent would frustrate the performance of a legal obligation), clients can withhold or withdraw their consent for Boreal Wellness Centres Inc. to use their personal information in certain ways. A client’s decision to withhold or withdraw their consent to certain uses of personal information may restrict our ability to provide a particular service. If so, we will explain the situation to assist the client in making the decision.
2.5 We may collect, use or disclose personal information without the client’s knowledge or consent in the following limited circumstances:
- When the collection, use or disclosure of personal information is permitted or required by law;
- In an emergency that threatens an individual’s life, health, or personal security;
- When the personal information is available from a public source (e.g., a telephone directory);
- When we require legal advice from a lawyer;
- For the purposes of collecting a debt;
- To protect ourselves from fraud;
- To investigate an anticipated breach of an agreement or a contravention of law
Policy 3 – Using and Disclosing Personal Information
3.1 We will only use or disclose client personal information where necessary to fulfill the purposes identified at the time of collection or for a purpose reasonably related to those purposes such as:
- To conduct client, customer, member surveys in order to enhance the provision of our services;
- To contact our clients directly about services that may be of interest.
3.2 We will not use or disclose client personal information for any additional purpose unless we obtain consent to do so.
3.3 We will not sell client lists or personal information to other parties.
Policy 4 – Retaining Personal Information
4.1 If we use client personal information to make a decision that directly affects the client, we will retain that personal information for at least one year so that the client has a reasonable opportunity to request access to it.
4.2 Subject to policy 4.1, we will retain client personal information only as long as necessary to fulfill the identified purposes or a legal or business purpose.
Policy 5 – Ensuring Accuracy of Personal Information
5.1 We will make reasonable efforts to ensure that client personal information is accurate and complete where it may be used to make a decision about the client or disclosed to another organization.
5.2 Clients may request correction to their personal information in order to ensure its accuracy and completeness. A request to correct personal information must be made in writing and provide sufficient detail to identify the personal information and the correction being sought.
5.3 If the personal information is demonstrated to be inaccurate or incomplete, we will correct the information as required and send the corrected information to any organization to which we disclosed the personal information in the previous year. If the correction is not made, we will note the clients’ correction request in the file.
Policy 6 – Securing Personal Information
6.1 We are committed to ensuring the security of client personal information in order to protect it from unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure, copying, modification or disposal or similar risks.
6.2 The following security measures will be followed to ensure that client personal information is appropriately protected:
- the use of user IDs, passwords, encryption, and firewalls;
- restricting employee and service provider access to personal information as appropriate (i.e., only those that need to know will have access);
- contractually requiring any employees and service providers to use commercially reasonable best efforts to securely and confidentially maintain the personal information of clients.
6.3 We will use appropriate security measures when destroying client’s personal information.
6.4 We will regularly review and update our security policies and controls as technology changes to ensure ongoing personal information security.
Policy 7 – Providing Client Access to Personal Information
7.1 Clients have a right to access their personal information, subject to limited exceptions.
7.2 A request to access personal information must be made in writing and provide sufficient detail to identify the personal information being sought.
7.3 Upon request, we will also tell clients how we use their personal information and to whom it has been disclosed if applicable.
7.4 We will make the requested information available within 30 business days, or provide written notice of an extension where additional time is required to fulfill the request.
7.5 A minimal fee may be charged for providing access to personal information. Where a fee may apply, we will inform the client of the cost and request further direction from the client on whether or not we should proceed with the request.
7.6 If a request is refused in full or in part, we will notify the client in writing, providing the reasons for refusal and the recourse available to the client.
Policy 8 – Questions and Complaints: The Role of the Privacy Officer
8.1 The Privacy Officer is responsible for ensuring Boreal Wellness Centres Inc. compliance with this policy and the Personal Information Protection Act.
8.2 Clients should direct any complaints, concerns or questions regarding Boreal Wellness Centres’ compliance in writing to the Privacy Officer. If the Privacy Officer is unable to resolve the concern, the client may also write to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia.
Contact information for Boreal Wellness Centres’ Privacy Officer:
Address correspondence to “BWC Privacy Officer” and send an email to: info [at] borealwellness [dot] com