Coming up this Fall: Our Online Symposium

  • September 15, 2020

The area of privacy and access law is very active and the work of the Section has never been more relevant. If you would like to be involved, please let us know!

The Access to Information and Privacy Law Symposium is Back!

October 30, November 6, November 13

For Fall 2020, we’ve brought our annual Access to Information and Privacy Law Symposium online. Our popular Canadian Update and International Update will return. These sessions are designed for you to catch up on significant developments in the past year. The Hon. Robert Sharpe (Ret. Justice of the Ontario Court of Appeal) will speak on the Common Law Privacy Tort – Its Development and Its Future.

The Regulator’s Perspective panel is not to be missed. We are delighted that we will have participation of six Privacy Commissioners!

  • Daniel Therrien, Privacy Commissioner of Canada
  • Caroline Maynard, Information Commissioner of Canada
  • Jill Clayton, Information and Privacy Commissioner for Alberta
  • Diane Poitras, Presidente, Commission d’accès à l’information du Québec
  • Tricia Ralph, Information and Privacy Commissioner for Nova Scotia
  • Patricia Kosseim, Information and Privacy Commissioner for Ontario

In addition, we have many other individual sessions on important developments. Register now!

On the Advocacy Front

At the National Level

The Section is currently examining the issue of whether the RCMP are or should be subject to provincial freedom of information and protection of privacy laws when performing contracted police services. This issue arose due to the enactment of the Interpersonal Violence Disclosure Act also known as “Clare’s Law” which came into force in Saskatchewan on June 29th, 2020. Similar legislation (Disclosure to Protect Against Domestic Violence Act) has also received Royal Assent in Alberta. The RCMP has taken the position that it is unable to fully comply with this legislation due to the federal Privacy Act.

The Section is also getting ready to participate in the Access to Information one-year review announced by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat in June 2020. The Section has previously been very active in commenting on policy and legislative development for Access to Information and is always ready for federal consultations on PIPEDA. You can find previous submissions here.

Around the Country

Will the Canadian government propose amendments to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act? The provinces are certainly moving forward. Bill 64 has been tabled in the Quebec National Assembly to modernize Quebec’s laws regarding the protection of personal information in the public and private sector. Ontario has recently announced a consultation on a new privacy law for the private sector.

On August 14, 2020, CBABC made a submission to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia Special Committee to review the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). A Special Committee of the British Columbia Freedom of Information and Privacy Law Section prepared the submission. Section members recommended changes in the following areas: 1) Personal health information considerations, emergency measures and PIPA; 2) Importance of maintaining consistency with developments in national and international privacy legislation; 3) Protecting solicitor-client privilege; and 4) Mandatory privacy breach notification.

You can hear all about these developments at the Online Symposium.

Recent Member Articles

Do blocked Twitter handles amount to personal information? Ontario and Alberta went separate directions on this issue. Check out Member-at-Large Katelyn Smith’s article Blocked Twitter handles and the identifiability standard: decisions from Alberta and Ontario on our resource page.

If you have an article you would like to submit, please contact us.

In Case You Missed It

If you’re looking for more professional development, please consider two of our past programs that are available for purchase:

An In-House Guide to Privacy & Access Law featured our insightful panelists, Keri L. Bennett, Caroline Deschênes, David Fraser and David Goodis, with Sabrina Anzini moderating. This program will serve as a helpful guide to in-house lawyers newly dealing with privacy issues and privacy law as part of their mandates.

Managing Privacy Breaches While Maintaining Privilege, featuring Alexis Kerr as moderator, and Alex Cameron, Sinziana Gutiu and Julie Himo as speakers. This program provides lawyers in all areas of practice with practical guidance on how to prevent and respond to privacy breaches in the COVID-19 era, as well as guidance on the topic of privacy and solicitor client privilege.

Thank You

I hope you will also join me in thanking Alexis Kerr our Past Chair for her tireless work last year to continue to make the Privacy and Access Section relevant to our members. Thank you, Alexis.

Finally, let me express how honoured I am to be the in-coming Chair for 2020-2021 and have the opportunity to work with our talented Executive Committee. If you have any suggestions for the Section or would like to get involved, please get in touch with us.

Timothy Banks
Chair, CBA Privacy and Access Law Section