At Martineau & Mindicanu – the Art of Immigration (also referred to as “the firm” in the current text) we commit to keeping each client’s information confidential, in accordance, in particular, with the obligations set by the Québec Act respecting the protection of personal information in the private sector (chapter P-39.1), the Act respecting the Barreau du Québec (chapter B-1) and the Code of Professional Conduct of Lawyers (chapter B-1, r. 3.1).
We consider that our obligations in respect to protecting personal information do not only apply toward our clients, but also toward any person who communicates or interacts privately with our firm.
What is personal information?
Personal information is any information which relates to a person and allows that person to be identified. As per our policy, a person can be an individual or a corporation or organization. It includes the person’s name, physical and email addresses, telephone number and occupation, among others.
How does Martineau & Mindicanu collect personal information?
In general terms, when a person interacts with our firm, the firm collects their information. When a person enters their information, there is an implicit consent that Martineau & Mindicanu will collect this information.
The personal information collected is not shared with any third party, unless obliged by law. Of course, as part of a mandate for representation, client’s personal information will be shared with the competent authority for the purpose of the requested procedure, always keeping in mind the client’s best interest. We hereby enumerate the main ways personal information is collected by the firm, aside from the context of a mandate given to the firm for representation.
- When a person enters their information in one of the online forms of the www.artim.ca website, for purposes such as programming a consultation, requesting a contract, or registering to the firm’s newsletter.
- When a person sends an email to the firm.
- When a person interacts with the firm’s social media – El Blog de Martineau & Mindicanu, including its versions in French and English; Facebook Martineau & Mindicanu – El Arte de la Inmigración; Instagram martineaumindicanu; WhatsApp Martineau & Mindicanu – El Arte de la Inmigración; X @ImmigrationArt; LinkedIn Martineau & Mindicanu – The Art of Immigration or attorney Yves Martineau; YouTube Martineau & Mindicanu and Google Martineau & Mindicanu.
What personal information cannot and will not be protected by the firm?
In respect to social media, the firm does not protect, and does not consider it should protect, personal information when a person interacts publicly, for example when publishing a comment or a question. The firm’s response to such published questions or comments will not include information acquired through other non-public means. For greater clarity, if a person publishes a question on the firm’s Facebook page, the person voluntarily exposes their own information; Facebook and other parties may collect the person’s information and the firm has no responsibility nor any obligation toward the person in that regard. However, if the firm collected the information of that person when they registered to the firm’s newsletter or sent a private chat message, this privately collected information will not be disclosed in the firm’s public response to the person.
When publishing articles or posts, the firm often provides the source of the information and refers to other websites; those other websites could possibly collect personal information and the firm will not take responsibility for the actions or practices of such third-party websites. For example, the firm may quote an article from an online newspaper and provide the link to the original article; the firm would then not be responsible for the practices of that newspaper. Notwithstanding this, the firm commits to quoting reliable and recognized sources.
Under which circumstances and at which conditions may the firm cease to protect personal information?
By law, the firm may disclose personal information, even of clients, in circumstances described in the Code of Professional Conduct of Lawyers (chapter B-1, r. 3.1), section 65, which is copied below.
65. A lawyer may communicate confidential information in the following situations:
(1) with the express or implied authorization of the client;
(2) if an express legal provision orders or authorizes him to do so;
(3) in order to collect his unpaid fees before a tribunal;
(4) in order to defend himself in the event of proceedings, complaints or allegations calling his professional competence or conduct into question; or
(5) to identify and resolve conflicts of interest arising from a change of firm by a lawyer or from changes to the composition or ownership of a firm, but only if the information necessary for this purpose, namely, the names of current and former clients and the summary nature of the mandates entrusted by such clients, will not jeopardize professional secrecy or if doing so will not result in prejudice to such clients;
(6) in order to prevent an act of violence, including a suicide, where the lawyer has reasonable cause to believe that there is an imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury to a person or an identifiable group of persons.
What does the firm do with personal information?
Martineau & Mindicanu collects and uses and discloses personal information mainly to provide legal advice and representation in immigration matters. The firm may also use personal information when directing certain messages deemed pertinent based, for example, on a person’s geographic location, nationality, educational or professional background or knowledge of languages. The firm may also use personal information for its communications and marketing needs. Under no circumstances would the firm sell personal information or take any direct or indirect benefit by sharing personal information with any third party. Should a third party provide services to the firm in relation to its servers, database, website, files management or any other element where personal information transits or is stored, the firm ensures that such third parties protect personal information. The personal information collected by or provided to the firm is confidential, is not shared with any third party except with the client’s consent or as permitted or required by law.
Storage and security of personal information
Personal Information is treated as confidential information. The firm strives to ensure that personal Information is always protected and kept secure. In particular, Martineau & Mindicanu stores Personal information on Canadian servers, which we believe are better protected against privacy breach. Information is periodically stored on back-up devices. Internal procedures are in place to secure both online and physical storage and access.
The communication of data by email and through forms on the firm’s website is protected by passwords and verification codes, though such communication can never be entirely risk free. The firm constantly monitors accesses and practices due diligence.
Destruction of personal information
Because of the nature of our services, though the firm has an obligation to keep closed files for at least 7 years, we usually do not destroy files. Immigration procedures may involve a series of events that will occur over many years. When we do destroy files, we keep track of the time it has been destroyed and do it in a secure manner.
Access to your personal information
When providing your personal information to the firm, you consent to the collection, use and disclosure of your information in accordance with the present Policy. You have the right to:
- verify your personal information collected by us;
- amend, review, edit, update or modify your personal information collected by us;
- withdraw your consent to the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information;
- access your personal information.
However, these rights are not absolute and are subject to conditions, mainly in regard to the rights to privacy of other persons who interact with Martineau & Mindicanu and in regard to the firm’s legal and professional obligations. Should the firm refuse your request in respect to your personal information, we will, as per our professional obligations, give the motives for such a refusal. Requests can be made by email or through the firm’s contact form on https://artim.ca/contact-us/
By Yves Martineau, attorney
Martineau & Mindicanu Inc.
H2R 2N3 Canada
Martineau & Mindicanu reserves the right to edit or modify the current Policy.