Privacy Policy


Distress Centres Privacy Policy

Our commitment to protecting your privacy

Distress Centres is committed to protecting the privacy of its donors, service users, volunteers and other individuals from whom we collect personal information. This policy applies to Distress Centres and to any person providing services on our behalf. A copy of this policy is provided to any person upon request.

Personal information means information about an identifiable individual. This includes an individual’s name, home address and phone number, age, sex, marital or family status, an identifying number, financial information, educational history, etc.

Distress Centres embraces the principles of the Canadian Standards Association Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information to ensure that all personal information is properly collected, used only for the purposes for which it is collected, and is disposed of in a safe and timely manner when no longer required.


Our Privacy Principles 

Our mandate is to maintain and enhance long-term relationships with our donors, service users and other stakeholders. We also recognize that information is precious, and our donors, service users and other stakeholders trust us to treat that information appropriately; we are committed to protecting the confidentiality of this data. The following principles reflect our pledge to safeguard personal information:

1.     We are accountable for your personal information

We are responsible for all personal information in our possession.

All employees, agents and authorized service providers of Distress Centres are required to protect the confidentiality of your personal information. We take every precaution to ensure its confidentiality. The data you provide to us is only for Distress Centres purposes, as outlined in section 2.

We keep your personal information and the transactions you have with us in strict confidence. 

We never disclose your personal information to a third party unless we have your consent or it is a life-threatening situation.


2.     We collect, use and disclose personal information only for certain purposes that we identify to you

We collect, use or disclose information only for use by Distress Centres to:

o    Administer your donation and contact you about renewal

o    Respond to your information requests

o    Know who our donors are

o    Periodically, as we are able, send you literature on Distress Centres or invite you to recognition events and information sessions

o    Thank you and, with your consent, recognize your gift

o    Obtain emergency services in the case of a life-threatening situation

o    Support and supervise our volunteer responders

We obtain personal information about you lawfully and fairly.

Personal information collected will be limited to that required for the purposes identified by us.

Distress Centres holds various special events to build public awareness and raise additional funds. Some of these events require the gathering of personal information, and we will inform you of the purpose for which the information is being requested. We use this information only for purposes related to this event.


3.     We will obtain your consent

We collect, use or disclose your personal information with your permission. Your permission may be expressed orally, in writing or may be implied, and you may give it to us orally, electronically or in writing.

You may withdraw your permission to collect, use and disclose your personal information at any time, subject to legal and contractual restrictions and reasonable notice.


4.     We keep your personal information accurate and up-to-date

We maintain appropriate procedures to ensure that personal information in our possession is accurate and up-to-date. You are entitled to seek a correction of your personal information if you believe that the information in our possession is not correct.

If you believe any of the information we have collected about you is incorrect or incomplete, you have the right to ask us to change it or delete it.

If your personal information is inaccurate or incomplete, we will make the necessary changes.


5.     We do not sell your personal information

We do not sell your personal information.


6.     We will limit how long we keep information

We will keep your personal information only as long as it is necessary to satisfy the purposes for which it was obtained, or as required by law.

When we destroy personal information, we will use safeguards to prevent unauthorized parties from gaining access to that information during the process.


7.     We safeguard your personal information

Distress Centres will protect your personal information by safeguards that are appropriate to the sensitivity of that information.

Access to your personal information is restricted to Distress Centres employees, volunteer supporters and authorized service providers who need it to do their jobs.

We maintain appropriate technical and organizational safeguards to protect your personal information against loss, theft, unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification.

We have developed security procedures to safeguard and protect personal information against loss, theft, unauthorized disclosure, copying, and unauthorized use or modification. We will maintain appropriate safeguards and security procedures that reflect the types of documents, including electronic or paper records, organizational measures, including security clearances and limiting access on a "need-to-know" basis, and technological measures, such as the use of passwords and encryption.

We collect only the domain name (e.g., Sympatico, Hotmail, etc.) and not the email address of visitors to our website. Donors on the site are linked to an industry-standard secure payment service for credit card transactions. Our site uses “cookies” — small files containing information that track a visit to a website. These temporary files follow the flow through the site in order to improve service to visitors and cannot be used to obtain any personally identifiable details.

Your browser can be set to notify you before receipt of a cookie, so that you can decide whether or not to accept it (you can also set your browser to turn off cookies, but if you do so, some areas of our site may not function properly).


8.     We will be open about our privacy practices

Distress Centres will make readily available to you specific information about our policies and practices relating to the management of personal information.


9.     We allow you to access your personal information

You may ask whether we hold any personal information about you, ensure that it is accurate, and see that information, as provided by law.

You also have the right to know:

o    How we collected your personal information

o    How we are using it


10.  You may register a complaint

You may register a privacy-related complaint by contacting Distress Centres. We will explain our procedure and inform you about other complaint procedures available. We will investigate all complaints. If an objection is justified, we will take all appropriate steps to repair the situation, including changing our policies and practices if necessary. Personal information relating to volunteers, job applicants and employees is subject to similar protocols.


For more information, please contact Distress Centres at 416-598-0168 or