Canadian Lawyer

December/January 2021

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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www.canadianlawyermag.com 7 tion on the possible enactment of a private sector privacy law. "I still think there is a need for Ontario to have its own private sector privacy legislation to address the regulatory gaps between federal/ provincial legislation," says Lifshitz. In Alberta and British Columbia, there are currently no legal reforms in the works, but with a new NDP majority in B.C., that could soon change. "Before the provincial election, we had a statutory review of the private sector Privacy Act," says Ryan Berger, a Vancouver lawyer who leads the privacy group at Lawson Lundell LLP. "And that came to an end as a result of the dissolution of the government. But I would expect that to pick back up and complete." Berger said he expects the federal bill will also help to pave the way for updates in the province. "The new federal law highlights how B.C.'s law is an anachronism." James Swanson, a technology and intellec- tual property lawyer in Calgary, says that while his province has not indicated any intent to reform privacy laws, any changes in B.C. and federally will likely prompt Alberta to move. "What I hear in my practice constantly and what we've experienced over the last few years of GDPR is companies saddled with compliance burdens that really dampen business and innovation." Kirsten Thompson, Dentons "If you have a distinctly different legal regime than the province next door, whether it's east to west or other provinces with which you do business for that matter . . . that becomes a high compliance cost for Alberta business, and it acts as kind of a barrier to competitiveness," he says. Swanson also says there may be constitu- tional issues with the new federal bill about how far the law can go in regulating the private sector for organizations within a province that are not "federal works or undertakings." Kirsten Thompson, a partner and national lead of transformative technologies and data strategy group at Dentons in Toronto, says that whatever the final reforms look like, they need to be in the service of driving business and facilitating innovation, not a "knee-jerk reaction based on technophobia." "What I hear in my practice constantly and what we've experienced over the last few years of GDPR is companies saddled with compli- ance burdens that really dampen business and innovation," Thompson says. "The trick is going to be in getting that balance right." — with files from Elizabeth Raymer PRIVACY COMMISSIONER ENFORCEMENT MODEL The proposed federal Consumer Privacy Protection Act includes the following provisions: • The ability of the commissioner to force an organization to comply with requirements and to stop collecting data or using personal information • The ability of the commissioner to recommend that the Personal Information and Data Protection Tribunal impose a fine • Administrative monetary penalties of up to three per cent of global revenue or $10 million for non-compliant organizations • Expanded range of offences for certain serious contraventions of the law, subject to a maximum fine of five per cent of global revenue or $25 million

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