Skip To Content

Canada’s freight train of privacy legislative reform continues

Author(s): Adam Kardash, Michael Fekete, Maryna Polataiko

Dec 13, 2021

Over the past year, legislative reform was the key focal point in the highly dynamic Canadian privacy arena. The Provinces of Québec and British Columbia enacted legislative amendments, while other Canadian jurisdictions were also active in legislative reform efforts. The new Québec privacy law — and what appears to be the inevitable amendment to the federal and provincial private sector privacy regimes — will expose companies across Canada to severe financial penalties, enhanced litigation risk and significant compliance costs. It is more important than ever for companies to have a thorough understanding of their personal information practices and their privacy obligations, all with a view to identifying and mitigating the expanding array of privacy, legal and reputational risks associated with the collection, use and disclosure, and other processing of personal information.

Here is how the privacy legislative arena is changing.

Québec: Bill 64 overhauls Canada’s first private sector privacy law

The most significant legislative development in the Canadian privacy arena occurred in the province of Québec. Bill 64An Act to modernize legislative provisions as regards the protection of personal information, received royal assent on September 22, 2021, following its introduction at the Québec National Assembly on June 12, 2020 and subsequent amendments by the Committee on Institutions. The bill introduces sweeping changes to Québec’s existing privacy regime (the Québec Privacy Act), which was Canada’s first private sector privacy law, enacted in 1994...