Canadian veterans outed as cannabis users by Blue Cross

Veterans Affairs Canada says it’s notifying the Office of the Privacy Commissioner after veterans were sent letters in envelopes that identified them as medical cannabis users.

The letter from Veterans Affairs arrived in Medavie Blue Cross envelopes with a window that made the bolded words “Re: Cannabis for Medical Purposes” visible for anyone to see.

Veterans and their families expressed concern about the letters, saying it breached their privacy.

Veterans Affairs said it had reviewed the case of the letters from Medavie Blue Cross a non-profit medical care insurance company.

“The review has determined that a material breach of privacy has occurred,” said Sarah McMaster, press secretary for Veterans Affairs minister Kent Hehr.

McMaster said the department is taking “corrective action” with Medavie Blue Cross so that letters sent to veterans in the future “respect and protect their privacy.”

There are approximately 3,000 veterans across Canada who use medical cannabis.