Class Action


Canada Student Loan Class Action


On January 11, 2013, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development announced that an external hard drive containing the private details of some 583,000 Canadians went missing.  The Government of Canada has known about this since November 5, 2012, but it has taken them more than 2 months to notify the public.

If you were a student loan borrower between the years 2000-2006 from any province besides Quebec, or the territories of Nunuvut or the Northwest Territories, you may be entitled to compensation.

Charney Lawyers, together with Sutts, Strosberg LLP and Branch MacMaster LLP have commenced a national class action on behalf of all persons whose private information was lost by the Government due to this incident.  Bob Buckingham Law also commenced a proposed class action against the Attorney General of Canada with respect to the same matter.  The four law firms have agreed to work together.

Borrowers may be entitled to compensation for the breach of their privacy, damages for identity theft and/or damages to their credit reputation, damages for the costs incurred to prevent identity theft, damages for the time spent changing your personal information such as your Social Insurance Number, damages for emotional distress/inconvenience, and/or compensation for out of pocket expenses.  Punitive damages will also be claimed because the Government failed to disclose the breach of privacy for 2 months.

A class action will allow everyone who has sustained damages to band together in one lawsuit across Canada against the Government of Canada.

Update - July 27, 2018 - Notice of Settlement Approval

The Canada Student Loans class action settlement has been approved by the court. For information about the settlement, please go to the Notice of Settlement Approval (the English version can be found here, and the French version can be found here).

IMPORTANT UPDATE - December 22, 2017- the Student Loans class action has settled, subject to court approval

The Canada Student Loans class action has settled, subject to court approval. For information about the settlement, please go to the Notice of Settlement (the English version can be found here, and the French version can be found here), and the FAQ page, which can be found here.

Update - August 11, 2016 - Notification to Class Members in the Student Loans Class Action

Notification to Class Members in the Student Loans Class Action Lawsuit

The Government of Canada recently sent out letters attempting to contact all persons whose student loan information was contained on a government hard drive which was lost in November 2012. The letter advises that a class action lawsuit was recently certified by the courts and attaches a court-approved notice. You can view a copy of the letter and the notice here.

If you received the letter, then the government believes your information was on the lost hard drive. If you wish to remain as part of the class action lawsuit, then you will not have to pay anything out-of-pocket, but legal fees will be deducted from any settlement or court judgment award. Please register your name and contact details with class counsel at so that we may send you updates and any future notices. If you do not wish to be part of the class action lawsuit anymore, then you must opt out by August 31, 2016. Detailed opt-out instructions can be found at

For more information, visit

UPDATE - July 20, 2016 - Federal Court Certifies Student Loans Class Action

Justice Jocelyne Gagné has certified the Student Loans Class.

Click here for the Certification Order.

All class members who wish to opt-out of the class action must do so on or before August 31, 2016, failing which they will be bound by the result of the common issues trial. For more information, review the Notice to Class Members.

UPDATE - July 7, 2015 - Federal Court of Appeal Allows Plaintiffs' Appeal and Reverses Motions Judge's Decision in Student Loans Class Action

The Student Loans Class Action will now include claims for negligence and breach of confidence. Ted Charney and Samantha Schreiber represented the plaintiffs on the appeal.

The decision means that privacy cases will be certified in common law provinces where pecuniary damages, such as costs incurred in preventing identity theft or out-of-pocket expenses, are pleaded. Proof of the actual damages sustained by the class will be irrelevant at the certification stage, which makes the test in common law Canada provinces more liberal than the test in Quebec and the United States.

Click here for the decision.


UPDATE - January 18, 2013 - Canada Student Loans Class Action Launched

Click here for press release.




If you are a potential claimant and wish to support the Class Action and be included in our Class Action database, you may complete a register by one filling out an on-line questionnaire.

Please click here to complete the questionnaire.

There is no financial obligation to register. Once you register we will notify you of all important developments via email. See Class Action Fees.

Charney Lawyers is experienced in litigating class actions including national class actions.



The site is not designed to answer questions about your individual situation or entitlement. Do not rely upon the information provided on this website as legal advice in respect of your individual situation nor use it as substitute for individual legal advice.

The information collected about potential class members will assist counsel in prosecuting the class action and assessing what damages were suffered by the class as a whole. Providing the information requested does not make you the client of Charney Lawyers. The court will ultimately decide who will be included as a class member.

This website will be updated from time to time to provide potential class members with information as it becomes available.




"Missing governemt hard drive also contained buisness plans, financial information of thousands of Canadians, emails suggest" National Post, April 9, 2013.


"HRSCD privacy breach letters sent to wrong people" CBC News, February 8, 2013

"HRSDC faces critcism for handling of student loan privacy breach", Canadian University Press. January 31, 2013.

"New class action over Ottawa's data breach." Winnipeg Free Press, January 19, 2013.

"Federal Government faces third class-action lawsuit over privacy breach." CTV News, January 18, 2013.

"Feds face 3rd class-action lawsuit over privacy breach." Global Regina,  January 18, 2013.

"Third lawsuit filed over privacy breach." Metro, January 18, 2013.

"Ottawa face third class-action lawsuit over loan privacy breach." Globe and Mail, January 18, 2013.

Hard Drive Containing 583,000 Loan Records Missing The Toronto Star, January 11, 2013

Federal Agency Loses Data on 583,000 Canadians CBC, January 11, 2013

Feds Lose Student Loan Data for 583,000 people Reuters, January 15, 2013


Case Law

Jones v. Tsing The Ontario Court of Appeal recognized a cause of action for "intrusion upon seclusion" in Ontario. 





"Charney... is unquestionably qualified to act as counsel.”


                          Ison T Auto Sales v. Zurich Insurance

          Ontario Court of Appeal, November 25, 2011

(Ted Charney acted for Ison T Auto Sales i.e. Toronto Honda on the appeal)



“The Whiting Group Counsel Team consists of 11 law firms from 7 provinces across Canada and includes some of the most experienced class action firms in Canada with a broad range of experience in class actions with particular expertise in product liability class actions and personal injury. Four of these law firms are in Ontario where the action will be based and includes counsel who are very experienced in class action litigation and have the resources and experience to advance this claim in Ontario or on a national scale. This fact favours the Whiting Group.”

Whiting et al v. Menu Foods Income Fund [2007]

(The Charney Group of Lawyers was a member of the Whiting Group and appeared as counsel on the motion to decide carriage)



“The Settlement Agreement in the case at bar has undergone the court's scrutiny, and it appears to me that in entering into the Settlement Agreement and in seeking certification on consent for settlement purposes, the plaintiffs and the defendants, with the assistance of their legal counsel, have provided the social good of access to justice and adequate compensation in accordance with Canadian law for perhaps thousands of citizens who may have been harmed by the Listeriosis outbreak...”

Bilodeau v. Maple Leaf Foods Inc. [2009]

(The Charney Group of Lawyers represented Ms. Bilodeau for this class action)



“Although I am not formally required to approve it, I believe it is relevant that, when the risks and expenses of continuing the litigation are considered, the settlement appears to fall well within a zone of reasonableness.”

Yordanes v The Bank of Nova Scotia, December 2006 

(The Charney Group of Lawyers were counsel for Yordanes)