February 2018 CBA Privacy and Access Law Section Update

  • February 01, 2018

Dear members,

On behalf of the Privacy & Access Law Section, I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year!

Lots has happened since our last update in mid-October.

For starters, the Section sold out its annual Access to Information & Privacy Law Symposium held in Ottawa on October 27 - October 28, 2017 with over 100 participants. We would like to thank all the volunteers who made the Symposium a success and all the participants – you are a testament to the value the Symposium continues to bring to our Section. Planning is already underway for the fall 2018 Symposium. Stay tuned for more information!

The Section hopes to launch a law student essay contest later this year. More information to come.

The Section executive held its annual in-person meeting on October 26, 2017 in Ottawa. We also met with the federal Privacy and Information Commissioners and their staff, as well as the BC Acting Information and Privacy Commissioner to discuss ongoing developments in privacy and access law. These meetings are often informed by the Section’s law reform work.

Be sure to check out the list below of recent and upcoming activities and events.


Law Reform

Given the ever increasing activity and to tap into the breadth and depth of knowledge out there, we would like to establish a roster of individuals who are interested in taking part in our ongoing law reform activities. Your enthusiasm is greatly appreciated and is essential to the continued success of your Privacy and Access Law Section.

Please provide Gillian Carter, Law Reform lawyer, with the following information:

  1. Expression of interest
  2. Your areas of interest or focus (if any). This will not limit you to these areas but may be helpful for us to reach out for specific issues. Examples include PIPEDA, Privacy Act, Access to Information Act, CASL, GDPR, anti-terrorism, borders, etc.
  3. Any suggestions of others in your networks who may be interested in working with this Section.

Symposium Planning

If you are interested in being part of the Symposium planning committee, have ideas, or would like to get involved with the Section, please contact Crystal Lam, our CBA Liaison Officer.

Get published

The Section is always looking for articles for Privacy Pages – you can send your completed articles to Crystal Lam.

Please also feel free to reach out at any time to any member of your Executive.


Suzanne Morin
Chair, Privacy & Access Law Section


  • Justice Canada: Continuing with an annual tradition, representatives of the Section met with representatives from Justice Canada on October 25, 2017 to discuss ongoing and expected legislative activities that included national security and anti-terrorism, privacy at the border, access to information and privacy reform, CASL and EU adequacy for Canada.
  • Bill C-58: On October 31, the Section filed a joint submission together with the Ethics and Professional Responsibility Subcommittee and the Judicial Issues Subcommittee related to Bill C-58, An Act to amend the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.
  • Breach Regulations: In October, the Section also submitted a joint response with the CCCA to the proposed Breach of Security Safeguards Regulations under PIPEDA.
  • CASL: Regarding the mandatory review of Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation, the Section developed a joint submission with the CCCA that was filed on October 23 with the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology. Suzanne Morin together with Gillian Carter appeared on behalf of the CBA Sections on October 24. The Committee released its report in December with significant reference to the CBA’s submission.
  • OPC Guidelines: In December, the Section filed a joint submission with the CCCA in response to the OPC’s proposed Meaningful Online Consent Guidelines under PIPEDA.
  • Section webinar: 148 people participated in the webinar Solicitor-Client Privilege Reaffirmed: What it Means for Access to Information on November 9, 2017.

All our past submissions are posted on the Section’s Submissions and Resolutions webpage.


This year continues to be an exciting and fulfilling year of law reform and consultation in all matters relating to privacy and access law. Here are some of the activities and events we see coming down the pike.

  • OPC Guidance: We expect to participate in the development and review of proposed guidance from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) as clearly indicated in the OPC’s 2016-2017 Annual Report and Report on Consent published in September 2017.
  • ATIA and Bill C-58: The Senate will commence its review when Parliament returns and the Section will seek to provide written and oral submissions.
  • Political parties and the Canada Elections Act: The Section is working on a joint submission to Bill C-50.
  • Privacy Act reform is likely to be the topic of discussions with the Section.
  • Bill C-59: The Section is working on a multi section submission on Bill C-59, An Act Respecting National Security Matters.
  • May 16: Save the date. The Section will present a webinar titled Update on National and Provincial Privacy Law on May 16, 2018. Stay tuned for updates on the speaker panel and program description.

For other webinars, be sure to check the CBA Law Series, which brings together a faculty of experienced practitioners from diverse areas of practice to present substantive law webinars on new developments and case law, best practices, legal ethics, and current events.



Jan. 18- Jan. 19: The CBA-MB held its 2018 Mid-Winter Conference where the Section held a session on Business Law Issues Arising from Internet Transactions. A variety of issues including the protection of confidential information and legal consequences of an online breach confidential information. Another session, Technology Skills Every Lawyer Should Master, touched on the proposed technological competence professional standard and how that might affect lawyers.


Feb. 7: Register for the 2018 CBA-ON Institute. The Privacy and Access to Information Law Section will unpack some of the most nascent and compelling current issues in this area, including commercial contracting in light of SCC’s Douez decision, the impending legalization of marijuana, big data and more.

Apr. 12: Register for the Privacy Law Summit 2018 to ensure you have the expertise and insights to tackle a wide array of current issues in privacy law.

Jan. 18: The CBA-ON held a webcast on Privacy and Data Security Class Actions: A Roundtable on what’s to Come.