Attempting suicide is not a crime either in Canada or the United States. It's considered a mental health emergency and is treated as such.
Suicides or attempts are also generally private. News organizations don't report them unless publicity can't be avoided — in the case of a celebrity, say — or it's an incident that directly affects the public.
So it's disconcerting to learn police forces in Ontario have been sharing data on suicide attempts with U.S. border agents and the FBI via the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC), causing some travellers to be barred from entering the United States.
Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian published a report Monday into her investigation of several cases in which Ontario residents were barred from crossing the border apparently because of their mental-health history.
She specifically cited the Toronto Police Service as having a policy of automatically recording all incidents of suicide in CPIC's Special Interest PoliceRead More »from Privacy watchdog slams Toronto police for sharing suicide-attempt reports with U.S.