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Groundhog Day Selfie with Punxsutawney Phil 2015 by Anthony Quintano (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/r2EuJg

The Groundhog Day Privacy Bill: The Government Waited Months to Bring Back Roughly the Same Privacy Plan?!

Innovation, Science and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne yesterday unveiled Bill C-27, the updated privacy reform law. While Champagne described it is a “historic day”, the bill is better described as a case of Groundhog Day, since it looks an awful lot like the last privacy bill that died with last year’s election call and which never even advanced to the committee stage. I wrote earlier this week about the government’s seeming indifference to privacy and this bill doesn’t do much to change the analysis as the bill raises many of the same questions and will likely face similar opposition.

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June 17, 2022 3 comments News
Democracy by Mike Andrews (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/4BS1bB

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez Betrays Democratic Norms To Rush Bill C-11 Through Committee

The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage conducted the one day of debate on Bill C-11 yesterday that Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez and the Liberal government – aided and abetted by the NDP – required under a House of Commons motion. The result was an embarrassment to the government that leaves a stain that will not be easy to remove. Despite the absence of any actual deadline, the government insisted that just three two hour sessions be allocated to full clause-by-clause review of the bill featuring debate and discussion (MPs on the committee were all open to extending each session by 30 minutes for a total of 7 1/2 hours). With roughly 170 amendments proposed by five parties, there was only time for a fraction of the amendments to be reviewed. Instead, once the government-imposed deadline arrived at 9:00 pm, the committee moved to voting on the remaining proposed amendments without any debate, discussion, questions for department officials, or public disclosure of what was being voted on. The voting ran past midnight with the public left with little idea of what is in or out of the bill. The updated bill will be posted in the next day or so.

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June 15, 2022 9 comments News
Wat is Privacy graffiti, door, Shoreditch, Hackney, London, UK by Cory Doctorow (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/pgokPc

Why is the Canadian Government So Indifferent to Privacy?

Over the past several weeks, there have been several important privacy developments in Canada including troubling privacy practices at well-known organizations such as the CBC and Tim Hortons, a call from business organizations for privacy reform, the nomination of a new privacy commissioner with little privacy experience, and a decision by a Senate committee to effectively overrule the government on border privacy rules. These developments raise the puzzling question of why the federal government – led by Innovation, Science and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, and Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez – are so indifferent to privacy, at best treating it as a low priority issue and at worst proposing dangerous measures or seemingly hoping to cash in on weak privacy laws in order to fund other policy priorities.

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June 14, 2022 7 comments News
facebook-g87055ec0a_1280 by Pixaline https://pixabay.com/vectors/facebook-whatsapp-youtube-snapchat-5445671/

The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 130: In Their Own Words – What the Canadian Heritage Committee Heard About Bill C-11 Harms

The debate over Bill C-11 – the Online Streaming Act – seems likely to come to an end this week, at least in the House of Commons. Last week, the government introduced a motion to put an end to committee debate and set tight timelines for any further review or discussion. Before it becomes forgotten, this week’s Law Bytes podcast is devoted to the House committee hearings on the bill with clips from a wide range of digital creators, interest groups, and independent experts on the potential Bill C-11 harms to user content.

The episode features (in order of appearance): CRTC Chair Ian Scott, Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, Morghan Fortier, Oorbee Roy, Justin Tomchuk, JJ McCullough, Jeanette Patel, Scott Benzie, Patrick Rogers, Matt Hatfield, Michael Geist, Rachael Thomas, John Lewis, Stephane Cardin, Monica Auer.

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June 13, 2022 3 comments Podcasts
What type of a democracy ... by Tim Green (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/8SqVb9

Defending the Indefensible: If Bill C-11 Won’t Pass Until the Fall, Why is the Government Cutting Off Debate and Review Now?

The government’s motion to cut off Bill C-11 debate will head to a vote on Monday as it seeks to wrap up submission of amendments, voting on all amendments, the House of Commons report stage, and third reading within a week. Liberal MPs argue that Conservative filibustering at committee necessitates the motion, yet with Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez acknowledging that a Senate review of the bill will likely have to wait until the fall, there is no deadline and no obvious need to curtail proper review of amendments and House debate. Indeed, by rushing through the amendment review of the bill, the government undermines the credibility of the committee process and makes a full Senate review even more essential.

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June 12, 2022 6 comments News