Our friends to the north have decided to start easing the public into an ID card, which is being hailed as a more secure CareCard.

Here are the gory details:

Health Minister Mike de Jong announced last May the government was developing new CareCards, with improved security features, to combat the millions of dollars lost to health insurance fraud.

Those cards should be available in November, and will roll out over the next five years. They’ll be free and mandatory for all British Columbians, requiring millions of people to re-enrol into the healthcare system. The project is expected to cost the government about $150 million.

People will also have the option of combining their new CareCard and driver’s licence into one B.C. Services Card.

The new government cards will have embedded security chips, similar to certain credit cards that allow customers to wirelessly make purchases by touching or waving their credit card in front of a terminal.

The government’s contract with SecureKey will develop B.C. card readers – key-sized devices that plug into a computer’s USB port. People tap their new CareCard or Services Card onto the SecureKey reader and enter a PIN number on a government website, to authenticate their identity.

They go onto discuss how government services will not be included on the card but it’s just a matter of time. This is just what I need, an all-in-one ID card to tap into the many wonderful government services that exist. Many fear these cards are just the beginning as a method to monitor everyone nationally and even internationally–as they could come to replace or co-exist with international travel and passports. One system, indistinguishable, for protection from ourselves for all.

The funny part of it all is that this was a no bid contract for SecureKey Technologies Inc., who apparently has the government on lock down for the ID monitoring technology. Check out what their website says though in a Press Release:

“We are thrilled to have been selected, through a competitive process, by the Government of Canada to provide this unique service”, said SecureKey Technologies Inc, CEO Greg Wolfond, “This partnership between government and industry lays the foundation for an ecosystem that will offer increased choice and ease of use for consumers and businesses accessing secure online services.”

A “competitive process” is the claim and “increased choice” for consumers is the ill-fated logic behind the power grab. Who believes this stuff?

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