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Results: 1 - 15 of 106
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2022-12-09 12:00 [p.10731]
Madam Speaker, it is -40°C. Welcome to the first week of December in the Prairies. Cold winters do not shut us down, and driving long distances is something we have to do even when it is freezing cold outside. However, something we should not have to do is wear our winter coats inside our homes.
When will this Liberal government stop forcing its failed carbon tax plan on Canadians?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2022-12-09 13:32 [p.10746]
Madam Speaker, Bill S-219, an act respecting a national ribbon skirt day, was introduced in the Senate by the Hon. Mary Jane McCallum on November 24, 2021. I was blessed to have the opportunity to attend and participate in the study of the bill at the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs this past Monday, where it passed, and now here we are in third and final reading. I want to thank Senator McCallum for being at the heart of creating a national ribbon skirt day throughout Canada, which, upon the passing of this bill, will be celebrated every January 4.
The Cote First Nation and the community of Kamsack are neighbours in my riding of Yorkton—Melville. On December 18, 2020, 10-year-old Isabella from the Cote First Nation wore a ribbon skirt to her school in Kamsack. She knew the special meaning behind her ribbon skirt. She knew it was a centuries-old spiritual symbol of womanhood, identity, adaptation and survival, and is a way for women to honour themselves and their culture. That day, Isabella was told that her outfit was inappropriate for formal day, that it did not match and that next year she should wear something different.
I want to say directly to Isabella that I am so sorry she was exposed to such a hurtful and devastating experience and that it was embarrassing and humiliating. I note how she, her sisters, her mom and dad, Chief George and their Cote First Nation family chose to respond to such a grievous experience, how she responded to international attention and how she chose to respond to the Good Spirit School Division, her school and the wrong that she experienced. She did it with fortitude wrapped in a giving heart and with a mind that saw the good that can come out of a place of sorrow.
As I listened to Chief George and Isabella's dad speak at committee, their words brought to light the source of her strength, and I think it best for me to share some of those words with Isabella today and the people who are listening so we understand where her strength comes from.
Chief George said, “In the spirit of truth and reconciliation, talking with Chris and Lana, we decided to make this have a positive impact on our nation.” They decided that they would have a ribbon skirt day and Isabella would wear a ribbon skirt, along with all of the women and her peers, on a special day to specifically acknowledge what she went through.
Chief George described the ribbon skirt as:
...something that our community and our ladies have been wearing in ceremonies. It represents a lot of issues with regard to what our people have been going through, with murdered and missing women, suicide and a lot of the addictions that are in our community. It's a way of us coming together and healing.
He spoke of the participation of the Good Spirit School Division, the Cote First Nation and the Kamsack Comprehensive Institute in deciding to come together and come up with a day when this young girl, Isabella, could tell the world her story in a manner that was supported by her dad Chris and her mother Lana. He also spoke of the opportunity with the Good Spirit School Division that opened a door regarding the curriculum to put Cote's language, history and all the things that first nations have gone through into the non-first nations schools; to introduce land-based training, which is about bringing schools out to Cote First Nation to give them an opportunity to participate in cultural activities; and to introduce a cultural room in the school, which some of the elders can visit to share their stories with those who are interested. He shared the desire to ensure that all cultures represented in the school are proud of who they are and can wear their attire at any time, not just on January 4.
Isabella's dad also shared heartfelt comments, saying that the director of education at Good Spirit School Division was very gracious and gave the impression that she believed what he shared about what Isabella experienced. He said:
We were immediately working on solutions.... I remember how we were speaking about faith and belief. I remember speaking about the coat of many colours, and how the Creator made such a wondrous variety of people that we might have fellowship and be close together, learn each other's ways, learn to be tolerant of each other and love each other. These are all values that my family stands very firmly on. We have to be the change that we want to see in the world.
Clearly, those values are represented in who Isabella is and how she behaves.
He continued to say, “I'm raising seven girls”, which is amazing all on its own, “with this in their hearts. I get the strength to do this as a father through my wife and my family's culture. We are just so humbled to be honoured in such a way and to stand for all the first nations and indigenous peoples”.
I do not have a lot more to say, but I want to make sure that I end with at least a final comment by Isabella's father. It truly speaks to why she has been able to turn ashes into beauty and why ribbon skirt day will be remembered as a significant turning point in reconciliation in so many ways. He said:
I think the advocacy that my daughter displayed was definitely through the hand of the Creator. Nothing is by mistake, and the divine nature of what's going on here shows that the Lord is in all things and guiding us all here today to do the right thing and show some unity and some respect and to realize that our mistakes of the past can be righted and that we need to do the best thing for the youth of Canada now. I believe that's what we're doing today.
I want to say to Isabella that I am looking forward to being home on January 4 no matter what. I do not know what else is going on. I will have to talk to the whip possibly because I do not know, but I will be there. I am so grateful for the invitation. Again, this is an amazing achievement of reconciliation, and I am very pleased to represent the Cote First Nation and the communities of Yorkton—Melville.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2022-12-05 15:24 [p.10424]
Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present today.
The first one is expressing that the increasing concerns of many Canadians about international trafficking in human organs removed from victims without consent have not yet led to a legal prohibition on Canadians travelling abroad to acquire or receive such organs.
The petitioners are also concerned that there are currently two bills before Parliament proposing to impede the trafficking of human organs obtained without consent or as the result of a financial transaction. Those are Bill C-350 in the House of Commons and Bill S-240 in the Senate. The petitioners are urging the Parliament of Canada to move quickly on the proposed legislation so as to amend the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to prohibit Canadians from travelling abroad to acquire human organs removed without consent or as the result of a financial transaction, and to render inadmissible to Canada any and all permanent residents or foreign nationals who have participated in this abhorrent trade in human organs. It is definitely worth our consideration quickly.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2022-12-05 15:26 [p.10425]
Mr. Speaker, Louis Roy of the Quebec college of physicians recommended expanding euthanasia to babies from birth to one year of age who come into this world with severe deformities and various serious syndromes.
Recently, the college sent another witness to AMAD, the Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying, to double down, claiming further that this is not a moral issue and society has evolved past ethics conversations. This is deeply troubling, and petitioners find this proposal for the legalized killing of infants deeply disturbing and unacceptable in Canadian society. Petitioners believe that killing children is always wrong and they call on the House to block all attempts to legalize infanticide.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2022-12-05 17:13 [p.10445]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand today to speak to the fall economic statement.
I know the members across the way will struggle with the first thing I have to say, but it is true. This plan does nothing to address Canada's cost of living crisis. As a matter of fact, the economic update shows that the government revenues have increased by $40.1 billion in this year alone. This means that the inflation that is being created is not only increasing costs for everyday essentials that Canadians need on a day-to-day basis, but also increasing taxes for Canadians.
The economic update released by the Liberal and NDP coalition fails to address the cost of living crisis that we are in right now. It was created by the out-of-control spending of the Liberal government, with the support of its members on this side of the House.
The Prime Minister's inflationary deficits, to the tune of half a trillion dollars, have sent more dollars chasing fewer goods. This inflationary scheme is hiking the price of absolutely everything that Canadians need, and it is causing incredible duress in every home, or perhaps not in every home. I am taking that back because, obviously, there are people who are in a state of wealth, who may not have to go without food or wonder if they are going to be able to afford their rent next month. It might simply mean they put a little less fuel in their yacht and take one less trip, I do not know, but the truth of the matter is that for the majority of Canadians, these are very difficult times.
Canadians have never paid more taxes than they do under the Prime Minister. With that as the backdrop, we on this side of the House just asked the Liberals to consider two things. We said that if they would do these two things, it would make a huge difference to the quality of life of Canadians who have suffered more and more, year after year under the federal government.
The first was, simply, no new taxes. We did not even ask them to stop some of the taxes they had already introduced; we simply asked that there be no new taxes.
This included cancelling all planned tax hikes and the tripling of the carbon tax. This is what we were asking them to do, on behalf of Canadians, I might add. I know that quite often they lose perspective on what we are doing on this side of the House. We are representing the hearts and minds of Canadians, who are saying they cannot afford the heavy tax burden they are under. They are struggling to heat their homes.
Let us think about that. I never in my life dreamed that once we got past the development of this country to the point we are at now, we would have trouble in this nation paying to heat our homes and put food on the table.
I know this personally from the young people in my own life, who have children and who are trying to make those dollars stretch further than they have had to before. The level of desperation is growing.
Part of that is also the tripling of the carbon tax. We have heard it over and over again today: What is the big deal there? This is not an environmental plan. This is simply a tax plan.
On top of the carbon tax, the government has also put the GST. That is a source of revenue of millions and millions of dollars, yet it expects Canadians to turn around and say, “Oh, thanks so much for doubling the GST rebate for me on a temporary basis.”
No, this is not an environmental plan. It is a tax plan.
There is no question that the environment is an important concept, something that we need to work on, but I would like to say that what the government fails to understand or simply chooses not to look at is the reality of where we are in the world as Canadians. I want to say, right now, that the best thing we can do as Canadians is to give the world what it needs, and the world needs more Canadian best practices, more Canadian research and more Canadian innovation.
I have to tell members that in Saskatchewan, we are very proud of what we do. I have a map. I cannot show it in the House right now, unfortunately. It is too small. It shows Saskatchewan and the resources that we have in mining.
The resources are uranium, base metals, gold and major peat resources, which are desperately needed to grow anything. There are clean coal fields, helium, oil, gas, bitumen, potash and commercial forestry, and they cover the entire province. Nowhere is there not the potential and continuing ability to have a strong economy. If we add to that our agriculture and the manufacturing going on in the province, it is stellar.
The amazing thing is that it is always done with, in the backs of our minds, the importance of protecting our economy and our environment. The two do go hand in hand, but the government is stifling the economies of this nation. It is destroying our ability to maintain our own level of subsistence and to help the world. It it is shutting down our economic engines simply because it wants to navel-gaze and virtue signal on the environment, when it does not need to do that.
In mining, agriculture and manufacturing, in everything that is done in the province of Saskatchewan, the environment is paramount. There is an amazing opportunity to go to Agribition and Ag in Motion in Saskatchewan, two amazing programs that show off what is done in Saskatchewan, and there is no recognition by the government of the incredible work that we have done and, even more importantly, that we continue to do.
I saw at Ag in Motion this amazing drone that was over 12 feet wide and lightweight. It carried its own gas and the product needed to treat the weeds in the fields, so that farmers are not running machinery over the fields and not spraying everywhere they go. It has been programmed to know exactly where it needs to spray. The environmental footprint is minimal, and the impact on the ground is also minimal. That innovation was created by a local farmer and is going to become the next amazing thing that farmers provide to this nation.
As a matter of fact, there is research at the University of Saskatchewan. I went to a carbon event put on by APAS, where it talked about what Saskatchewan does and needs to continue to do. That was four years ago, when it said that within a decade, increased innovation in agriculture in Saskatchewan would offset the entire oil sands. That is just one example of so many things Saskatchewan does.
Just recently, a private member's bill went to the industry committee on how to green the Prairies. When I went home, I went to an RM event and told them about this, that the government wanted to come and green our Prairies. I would suggest that it come to my riding and say that out loud. We have this wonderful thing called the grasslands, where cows roam, big animals, and they are sequestering more carbon now than when the buffalo roamed. The Cattlemen's Association talked about it at the industry committee, and I have to give credit where credit is due. Individuals made the comment that it was something they did not understand or know about in the past, yet they were bringing forward a bill on greening the Prairies.
I appreciate the time I have had today to talk about why this economic update serves no good purpose. It puts band-aids on wounds that the government has opened up in Canadians' lives and does not solve the problems it has created.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2022-12-05 17:25 [p.10446]
Mr. Speaker, the reality is that Canada is one of the breadbaskets of the world on so many levels. I am touting Saskatchewan today, there is no question, but I want to say that when I go home I talk about this entire nation, and I have a different perspective from the one I had before I became a member and found out, as I say to my communities back home that are very rural, that it is not east versus west at all.
Rural Ontarians are facing the same challenges my constituents are. They are struggling with the fertilizer requirements. They are struggling with the carbon tax, and all of the things that are impacting my constituents as farmers in Saskatchewan are impacting them there, even as far as firearms go. There is no question that as a whole nation, we are not impacted by the ongoing war. These are things that do not impact our ability to produce and share with the world.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2022-12-05 17:26 [p.10447]
Mr. Speaker, I have to say my colleague and I agree on more than just one thing, because we serve on the veterans affairs committee together, and I really appreciate what he brings to the table there.
Are these important issues? Absolutely they are. I have to say my concern is for seniors who require assistance. It is always really important that we make that clarification. Sometimes I have trouble believing I am talking to myself about that particular age group, but the truth of the matter is that it is very important that the individuals who need the assistance in our society get it, and unfortunately a lot of those things are being put in jeopardy because of the way the government has handled the fiscal responsibility Canadians have entrusted it with.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2022-12-05 17:28 [p.10447]
Mr. Speaker, my frustration is that the member opposite and her party are choosing to prop up the government. Removing the GST is one small part of what that party should be doing to ensure the government does not continue on in power.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2022-11-29 14:14 [p.10159]
Mr. Speaker, how do we encourage someone when they are discouraged? Can hope be restored when everything feels broken? So many Canadians have given so much in the worst of these recent times.
Our nurses and doctors put their lives on the line, sacrificed time with their families, and were championed as heroes by this government until they revealed their personal medical choice.
Farmers across Canada, who are cutting edge and the best in the world, are burdened with Liberal high taxes and tariffs. Veterans who were promised that they and their families would be cared for are now being informed by VAC employees that they can use MAID to end their lives.
Canadian Armed Forces members served for all of our freedoms, until the Liberal election call, when they were forced to retire. Our truckers became a voice of pride for millions of Canadians although they were labelled fringe, racists, misogynists by the Prime Minister.
There is a wonderful proverb that says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
Everything feels broken. Do not lose hope. We will fix it.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2022-11-28 13:55 [p.10072]
Madam Speaker, for the average citizen in the digital age, we have entered uncertain times. To almost everyone, at face value, the convenience of our time is remarkable. Access to any piece of information is available at our fingertips. Any item imaginable can seamlessly be ordered and delivered to our doors. Many government services can be processed online instead of in person. Canadians have taken these conveniences for granted for many years now.
The pandemic accelerated our ascent, or descent, depending on who you ask, into the digital age. The inability to leave our homes and the necessity to maintain some rhythm of everyday life played a significant part in that, but around the world, we saw governments taking advantage of the plight of their citizens. Public health was used as a catalyst for implementing methods of tracking and control, and social media platforms, which have been putting a friendly face on exploiting our likes, dislikes and movements for years, continue to develop and implement that technology with little input or say from their millions of users.
Canadians no longer can be sure that their personal information will not be outed, or doxed, to the public if doing so would achieve some certain political objective. We saw that unfold earlier this year with the users of the GiveSendGo platform.
The long-term ramifications of our relationship with the digital economy is something Canadians are beginning to understand. They are now alert to the fact that organizations, companies and government departments operating in Canada today do not face notable consequences for breaking our privacy laws. As lawmakers, it is our responsibility to ensure that Canadians’ privacy is protected and that this protection continues to evolve as threats to our information and anonymity as consumers unrelentingly expands both within and beyond our borders.
That brings me to the bill we are discussing today, Bill C-27. It is another attempt to introduce a digital charter after the previous iteration of the bill, Bill C-11, died on the Order Paper in the last Parliament. My colleagues and I believe that striking the right balance is at the core of the debate on this bill. On the one hand, it seeks to update privacy laws and regulations that have not been modernized since the year 2000 and implemented in 2005. It would be hard to describe the scale of expansion in the digital world over the last 22-year period in a mere 20-minute speech. It is therefore appropriate that a bill in any form, particularly one as long-awaited as Bill C-27, is considered by Parliament to fill the privacy gaps we see in Canada’s modern-day digital economy.
Parliament must also balance the need for modernization of privacy protection with the imperative that our small and medium-sized businesses remain competitive. Many of these businesses sustain themselves through the hard work of two or three employees, or perhaps even just a sole proprietor. We must be sensitive to their concerns, as Canada improves its image as a friendly destination for technology, data and innovation. This is especially true as our economic growth continues to recover from the damaging impact of pandemic lockdowns, crippling taxes that continue to rise and ever-increasing red tape.
That extra layer of red tape may very well be the catalyst for many small businesses to close their operations. No one in the House would like to see a further consolidation of Canadians’ purchasing power in big players such as Amazon and Walmart, which have the infrastructure already in place for these new privacy requirements.
In a digital age, Canadians expect businesses to operate online and invest a certain amount of trust in the receiving end of a transaction to protect their personal information. They expect that it will be used only in ways that are necessary for a transaction to be completed, and nothing more.
In exchange for convenience and expediency, consumers have been willing to compromise their anonymity to a degree, but they expect their government and businesses to match this free flow of information with appropriate safeguards. This is why Bill C-27, and every other bill similar to it, must be carefully scrutinized.
As many of my colleagues have already indicated, this is a large and complex bill, and we believe that its individual components are too important for them to be considered as one part of an omnibus bill.
There are three—
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2022-11-28 15:39 [p.10091]
Mr. Speaker, as many of my colleagues already indicated, this is a large and complex bill, and we believe that its individual components are too important for them to be considered as one part of an omnibus bill. I am pleased with the ruling of the Speaker.
There are three separate pieces of legislation to this bill. In part 1, the consumer privacy protection act would repeal and replace decades-old measures concerning personal information protection. In part 2, the personal information and data protection tribunal act would strike a tribunal to administer penalties for violations of the CPPA. In part 3, the artificial intelligence and data act is brand new to the bill and sets up a framework for design and use of AI in Canada, which is almost entirely unregulated.
Long before the widespread use of the Internet, our Supreme Court was clear that privacy is at the heart of liberty in a modern state. The government should be taking every opportunity possible to enshrine privacy in our laws as essential to the exercise of our rights and freedoms in Canada. As Daniel Therrien stated in the Toronto Star earlier this month, “democracies must adopt robust solutions anchored in values, not laws that pretend to protect citizens but preserve the conditions that created the digital Wild West.”
The value of privacy should anchor the bill. Instead, the bill fails right out of the gate. The preamble states:
the protection of the privacy interests of individuals with respect to their personal information is essential to individual autonomy and dignity and to the full enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms in Canada
Placing this value in the preamble of the bill where it has no teeth raises distrust rather than confidence that the government truly respects Canadians' privacy rights. The CPPA would require organizations, companies or government departments affected by the bill to develop their own codes of practice for the protection of personal information. While these codes must be approved and certified by the Privacy Commissioner, one can only imagine the variation of protection that would result. This requirement would add significant red tape and would be yet another onerous task borne on the backs of small and medium-sized businesses, which employ most Canadians. It would also create more work for the Privacy Commissioner in parsing through complicated codes created by larger, wealthier, powerful corporations, companies or government departments that have legal teams whose sole purpose is to find creative ways to perhaps game the system.
Although it would take more time and investment up front, the better option, in my mind, would be to create a standard code of practice that all entities have to follow. This could certainly be taken on as one of the first responsibilities of the expanded Office of the Privacy Commissioner in defining the universal code of practices, where confidence in the process would be greatest and where the greatest level of concern for individual privacy actually exists.
This bill states that personal information can be transferred without Canadians' consent for purposes ranging from research to analysis to business purposes, but it must be de-identified before this can take place. At first glance, this is a positive measure until it is compared with anonymization as an alternative. According to the bill, de-identify means “to modify personal information so that an individual cannot be directly identified from it, though a risk of the individual being identified remains.” That leaves much to be desired when compared to the anonymization of personal information. In the bill, anonymize means “to irreversibly and permanently modify personal information, in accordance with generally accepted best practices, to ensure that no individual can be identified from the information, whether directly or indirectly, by any means.”
Any attempt to identify individuals from de-identified information is prohibited, except in approved circumstances. While many of these approved circumstances relate to the ability of an entity to test the effectiveness of its de-identification system, the potential for abuse still exists. This bill would be improved by eliminating those chances for abuse. We should examine replacing de-identification with anonymization wherever possible.
In comparing Bill C-27 to the EU regulations, we see there are several ways in which the CPPA does not live up to what is widely considered to be the international gold standard of privacy protection, which is the European Union's 2016 General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. There is a glaring example of Bill C-27's inferior protections: The GDPR processes personal data in such a manner that it can no longer be attributed to a specific individual without the use of additional information kept separately, subject to technical and organizational measures. This is a security and privacy-by-design measure of the GDPR.
Regarding what Bill C-27 considers to be sensitive information, there is nothing to indicate what sensitive information actually entails. It is also limited in its application. Only the personal information of minors is considered to be sensitive. All information Canadians surrender to any entity should be considered sensitive. On the other hand, the GDPR possesses a particular regime for special categories of personal data, including racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, genetic data, biometric data and data concerning health, sex life and sexual orientation.
We are happy to see that consent is better defined in Bill C-27. However, exceptions for activities not requiring consent would remain in place. Some of them are so broad that an entity could interpret them as never requiring consent. These are loopholes that Canadians should not have to endure when they are required to check the box that they have read and accept terms before they are able to interact with a digital site.
For example, legitimate interests in a given situation may be used by companies to disregard consent. There is a danger that these interests will outweigh potential adverse effects on the individual. Attempting to define legitimate interests allows for too much interpretation, and interpretation is not something that lends itself to privacy laws. The use of personal information could also be exempt from consent if a reasonable person would expect the use of their information for business activities. There is no definition as to what a reasonable person is.
The bottom line is that there are far too many loopholes and vague terms. For the savvy, wealthy or well-lawyered, the potential for abuse exists. The GDPR, conversely, is unequivocal on consent. It must be freely given, specific, informed, unambiguous and in an intelligible and accessible form, and is only valid for specific purposes. Canada should have followed that example. Canadians cannot help but wonder why Bill C-27 does not.
Under the proposed CPPA, there is no minimum age for minor consent, nor is “minor” defined. In the EU, the GDPR sets out a minimum age for a minor's consent at 16 years of age. Member states also have the flexibility to allow for a lower age, provided the age is not below 13 years.
If a breach of personal information does take place, Bill C-27 would make Canada slower to respond than its international counterparts. This bill mandates that a notification be made to the Privacy Commissioner of any breach that creates a real risk of significant harm as soon as it is feasible. The individual affected would also need to be informed, but, again, as soon as feasible.
The GDPR sets out that a mandatory notification must be made to the supervisory authority without undue delay, or 72 hours after having become aware of the incident in certain circumstances. Prior to the introduction of this bill, Canada was lagging behind internationally, and it still is, even after. The GDPR is already six years old. That is six years of extra time during which the Liberals have failed to develop this legislation to meet the robust international standard.
In Bill C-27, the Privacy Commissioner would be empowered to investigate any certified organization for contravening the act. The commissioner has been rightly asking for increased powers and responsibilities for some time, and this goes beyond a mere recommendation to violators to stop their actions. The commissioner would be able to recommend greater penalties of no more than $20 million or 4% gross global revenue for a summary offence, and no more than $25 million or 5% gross global revenue for an indictable offence.
These penalties should add more bite to what the Privacy Commissioner can do and impact how Canadians’ personal information will ultimately be treated. The penalties would also apply to a greater number of provisions, such as actions that contravene the establishment and implementation of a privacy management program and failure to ensure equivalent protection for personal information transferred to a service provider.
However, these new powers for the Privacy Commissioner hit a dead end when taken in context with the second part of this bill, which establishes a tribunal. The personal information and data protection tribunal would consist of no more than six members, and only half of those members must have experience in information and privacy law. The Privacy Commissioner would have order-making authority and the ability to make recommendations to this tribunal regarding penalties. However, the tribunal would have the power to apply its own decision instead, which would be final and binding. Except for judicial review under the Federal Courts Act, the tribunal's decisions would not be subject to appeal or to review by any court. These are powers equivalent to a superior court of record.
The existence of this tribunal would dull the new teeth given to the Privacy Commissioner. While the commissioner could recommend that a penalty be levied for violations of the CPPA, it is the tribunal that would have the power to set the amount owed by these organizations.
The cost associated with striking this tribunal is also a concern. Despite the fact that its work would likely be limited to a handful of times per year to determine penalties, it would apparently require a full-time and permanent staff of 20. I am deeply concerned as the government also has a bad habit of striking advisory councils, or so-called arm's-length regulatory bodies, in advance of bills being debated and passed in the House, long before the ink on the legislation is dry.
My memory is drawn to when a bill was being debated in the House, and I inquired about the details of the proposed environmental council. I was told with great zeal that it had already been established, and the members had been appointed before the bill was even debated in the House.
Can the current Prime Minister tell us if this tribunal would be struck only after Parliament has dealt fully with this bill? Will the Liberals be transparent with Canadians on how the appointment process would be undertaken? Can they assure Canadians that a full-time and permanent staff of 20 has not already been determined? After seven years of Liberal power, the level of patronage in this place run deep.
Part 2, which is the personal information and data protection tribunal act, should be removed as it is a bureaucratic middleman with power that would conflict and create redundancy with the Privacy Commissioner's new powers. The new powers would mean little if they were not coupled with quick and effective consequences for violators. It would prolong decisions on fines and harm Canada's reputation of holding violators accountable.
It would also not align with our friends in the EU, U.K., New Zealand and Australia that do not use a tribunal system for issuing fines. It goes to show Canadians that when it comes to making big government needlessly bigger, the Liberals do it well.
The third and final part of this bill is the only entirely new component. The artificial intelligence and data act seeks to regulate an entity, artificial intelligence, that has not been regulated before in this country.
It would set standards for the creation and use of AI systems in Canada by both domestic and international entities. More specifically, international and interprovincial trade and commerce in artificial intelligence systems would be regulated through common requirements for the design and use of those systems.
It would prohibit certain conduct pertaining to AI systems that could lead to harmful results for individuals and their personal data. There is that mention of personal data. This is a massive undertaking, attempting to regulate something that, up to this point, has been almost entirely unregulated.
I also understand that consultations on this were only initiated in June. Logic would dictate that such a bill requires careful scrutiny and time to get it right.
Requiring record keeping and human oversight are positive developments. What we find difficulty with is getting a clear picture of what the final framework would look like, as the minister alone would be empowered to establish these regulations. The minister would be able to act independently of Parliament in making rulings and imposing fines. In an age of uncertainty and new horizons for our relationship with AI, this is unacceptable. Parliament, at the very least, and independent experts and watchdogs should be central to the creation and enforcement of these rules.
It appears that once again the government has chosen to simply tack on a crucial area of concern to Canadians to an already complicated bill, and it wishes to again entrust sweeping powers to a minister to act independently of parliamentary oversight.
My final thoughts today on Bill C-27 are as follows. The Conservatives are considering this bill through a reasoned approach, and appreciate that stakeholders who have been calling for this legislation for years are watching today's debate closely.
It is absolutely clear that modern-day protection for the personal information of Canadians is required. They must have the ability to access and control its collection, use, monitoring and disclosure, and the right to delete it or the right to vanish.
How can we ensure that data is protected through watertight regulations and strict fines for abuse while also realizing that not every business affected by this bill would have the resources of Walmart or Amazon? Small and medium-sized businesses should be shielded from onerous regulation that stifles their growth. This is not to say that business interests should weigh equally with personal privacy, but there is a balance to be had, and I believe the Liberals do not have it right here.
Furthermore, in a cynical attempt to move their legislative agenda forward, the Liberals have bundled changes to privacy laws with a first-of-its-kind framework for artificial intelligence that once again intends to govern through top-down regulation and not through legislation.
The Liberals should commit today to splitting this bill up to allow Canadians a clear view of its intended impact. With that commitment, the Conservatives will be looking to do the hard work at committee to improve the long-awaited but flawed elements of this legislation. Even in an age of convenience, the world in which we live grows even more complicated by the day. Canadians deserve privacy protection worthy of 2022 realities and beyond.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2022-11-28 15:56 [p.10094]
Madam Speaker, I do not know if, throughout my speech, members heard my concerns around the fact that this falls short of what our international colleagues have created. It is so much stronger in the European Union's 2016 general data protection regulation, or GDPR.
Obviously, we have indicated on this side of the House that we have a lot of concerns, especially with the lack of definition of so many terms that are included in this legislation. They need to be clarified. Otherwise, it is going to create all kinds of additional problems. What we need more than anything is clarity so that Canadians can have confidence that their privacy is being protected.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2022-11-28 15:58 [p.10094]
Madam Speaker, I agree that this is an area in which Canada is way behind. It is absolutely crucial that we get started on creating that framework. However, what disturbs me is the fact that it was tossed into this bill that also deals with other issues, which are significant on their own. Consultation on this did not even begin until June. It is very rash of us to consider it in this legislation. I am thankful that it is going to be voted on separately.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2022-11-28 15:59 [p.10095]
Madam Speaker, there are many areas where Canada is on the short end of the stick. I think of our ability to have Wi-Fi and cellphones at a reasonable price compared with other countries. In this case, it is really important that we do the due diligence needed. Canadians need to have the same level of ability to have their privacy protected that any other nation has. I would encourage members to look at the EU version of this and do a far better job of incorporating in this what is needed to function internationally with our allies.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2022-11-28 16:01 [p.10095]
Madam Speaker, that is my deepest concern as well. We have seen the government, in other pieces of legislation, give itself the authority to create a situation that is out of the hands of Parliament and into the hands of a minister as to how things will be developed or implemented.
I certainly agree with the member. We need to do a lot more work and make sure that Canadians are truly protected, and not by just one individual at a certain point in time who has a great deal of power. In some cases in that situation, I would say too much power. We need to ensure that it is done properly with Canadians in mind.
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