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Further Change in the Air

September 9, 2021 - Ron Kruzeniski, Information and Privacy Commissioner

In my annual report, I talked about legislative change occurring across the country. That change continues. Nova Scotia’s recently elected Premier has announced that Nova Scotia’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act will be updated. The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act has not had a significant update since 1993.

It appears the Commissioner in Nova Scotia will be given order-making power and other changes will be made to the Act.

The promise to change was made by the Premier in the recent campaign and repeated after an interview given by the Premier.

In my last blog, I noted that Ontario had issued a white paper proposal for a provincial private sector privacy law in Ontario. The Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner, Patricia Kosseim, has issued a response to that white paper. The submission applauds the government for initiating dialogue on these important questions.

The Ontario Commissioner in her response concluded:

At the end of the day, it continues to be our view that Ontario should proceed with a made-in-Ontario private sector privacy law whether or not PIPEDA reform eventually happens federally. Doing so will ensure a more timely response to the ever-increasing risks Ontarians are facing as they increase their digital activities in all aspects of their lives. It will also introduce a much-needed human rights-based approach to privacy, privacy protections for employees, enhanced focus on youth and children and coverage of a far broader spectrum of organizations that currently hold significant amounts of personal information without any general privacy obligations. This will also enable government to craft an Ontario-focused law that takes into account the needs of local businesses struggling to survive post-pandemic and looking for opportunities to compete, grow and thrive in a data-driven economy. And most importantly, it will allow Ontario to design a world-leading data governance model that supports respectful and sustainable innovation, in a manner that protects the privacy of Ontarians and earns their trust and confidence for the future.

I will continue to keep you aware of changes in legislation across this country.

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