Editor, The Times:
The use of “passive consent” by the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) goes far beyond the EDI and MDI surveys done in schools. HELP, together with Edudata Canada and Population Data BC (all located at UBC), collect and link private records of all BC residents “from pre-conception” on. BC residents have never been asked to give any consent at all to this massive tax-funded violation of privacy..
Our personal records they now hold include: school, medical, hospital, pharmaceutical, peri-natal, census, Work-Safe BC, birth, death, marriage, cancer, mental health, child care, foster care, etc. HELP’s late Director, Clyde Hertzman who has led the data- mining drive recommended linking personal income tax records also.
Pop Data BC ‘s website boasts that this has one of the largest linked data collections in the world. No other province does this. Statistics Canada does not use passive consent and requires written parental consent in their surveys involving children – although HELP’s Paul Kershaw claims they follow the same rules.
Neither the kindergarten EDI nor the Gr 4 MDI provide objective reliable information. HELP’s publication “A Toolkit for Change” explains that the purpose of the EDI is to change policy. HELP used the junk science from the EDI to bring in all-day kindergarten and cheaper daycare to BC and Ontario with claims that over 30 percent of kids are “vulnerable” or “not ready” for school. But the EDI website states that only 1 in twenty – 5 percent not 30 – are not ready for school at kindergarten age.
HELP’s claim that more time in school and away from parents improves children’s outcomes and reduces costs to taxpayers is a “jaw dropping gross misrepresentation of research” according to UBC economist Kevin Milligan.
See our website for more information www.kidsfirstcanada.org.
Helen Ward (in Burnaby BC)
Kids First Parent Association of Canada