Private Member’s Bill C-293: Domestic Implementation Of International Pandemic Treaty

Remember the hype in 2022 about a a proposed Global Pandemic Treaty? This was supposed to be an agreement that would give the World Health Organization binding legal authority over elected Governments. That seems to have stalled, at least to the casual observer.

Of course, the W.H.O. already has binding legal authority over Member States, which includes Canada. Anyone who’s ever read their Constitution would know that. That said, it doesn’t stop politicians from slipping in their rules in domestic legislation.

Private Member’s Bill C-293 was sponsored by Liberal M.P. Nathaniel Erskine-Smith (Beaches—East York). The content of which is interesting, to say the least.

Most Private Bills don’t become law. However, their content may become embedded into other legislation, and rammed through without proper debate and consideration.

Erskine-Smith isn’t a big player in Canadian politics. So, it’s strange that he would introduce something like this. Have to wonder if he wrote any of it.

Preamble
Whereas the costs of prevention and preparedness measures are insignificant in comparison to the human and economic costs of a pandemic;

Whereas Parliament is committed to making efforts to prevent the risk of and prepare for future pandemics and to promote transparency and accountability in relation to those efforts;

Whereas it is critical to build on the lessons learned from previous outbreaks of serious diseases, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Ebola virus disease (EVD), Zika virus disease, tuberculosis, H1N1 flu and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19);

Whereas a One Health approach — a multisectoral and multidisciplinary collaborative approach that focuses on the human, animal, plant and ecosystem health and welfare interface — is central to preventing the risk of future pandemics;

And whereas this approach requires sustained collaboration among various ministers, all levels of government and Indigenous communities;

Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

There is something of a bait-and-switch here. While the Bill is presented as cooperation between various Governments in Canada, it’s clear that it also involves supra-national control.

Plan — contents
(2) The pandemic prevention and preparedness plan must

(a) set out a summary of mitigation strategies that the Minister of Health intends to implement in order to prevent the risk of and prepare for disease outbreaks that could lead to pandemics, as well as a projected timeline for their implementation;

Should we just state the obvious? They aren’t preparing for future outbreaks. Instead, this is laying the groundwork to erase more of people’s rights under the pretext of an outbreak.

(iv) the surge capacity of human resources required for the testing and contact tracing of persons exposed to infectious diseases, and

Contact tracing is just a means to implement mass surveillance.

(i) the manufacturing capacity in Canada with respect to any product relevant to pandemic preparedness, including vaccines, testing equipment and personal protective equipment, and the measures that the Minister of Industry intends to take to address any supply chain gaps identified, and

Expect more taxpayer money to be pumped into “building up reserves”, regardless of whether such items would ever be used. Think of the millions of vaccines that are going to waste.

(ii) the communications capacity and infrastructure for electronic platforms and tools, including electronic applications that enable contact tracing of persons exposed to infectious diseases that could lead to pandemics;

Building the infrastructure for electronic monitoring of “infected” people?! Canada already has a system in place to track people on parole and probation. Why would such an expansion be necessary, unless they were anticipating a massive influx?

(ii) regulate commercial activities that can contribute to pandemic risk, including industrial animal agriculture,

(iii) promote commercial activities that can help reduce pandemic risk, including the production of alternative proteins, and

Going back to the 2017 Federal Budget, millions were pumped into the “alternative protein” industry. Considering that this Bill also talks about reducing natural agriculture, a cynic may wonder if this is done to force citizens to take these alternative “foods”.

(iv) phase out commercial activities that disproportionately contribute to pandemic risk, including activities that involve high-risk species;

The suggestion has been made many times before, that this can be used as an excuse to attack the food supply. As such, the public would be forced to starve, or seek other alternative foods.

(m) include the following information, to be provided by the Minister of the Environment:
(i) after consultation with relevant provincial ministers, a summary of changes in land use in Canada, including in relation to disturbed habitats, that could contribute to pandemic risk, such as deforestation, encroachment on wildlife habitats and urbanization and that were made, in the case of the first plan, since the last report on changes in land use published under the Federal Sustainable Development Act or, in the case of the updated plans, during the reporting period for the updated plan,

This is essentially merging the U.N. Sustainable Development Agenda with the W.H.O.’s goals. Sorts of sounds like the GREAT RESET, which was just a conspiracy theory.

(ii) a summary of the measures the Minister of the Environment intends to take to reduce the risk that the commercial wildlife trade in Canada and abroad will lead to a pandemic, including measures to regulate or phase out live animal markets, and

Phase out live animal markets? Is this a way to help manufacture a food shortage? Could this be done by claiming that entire farms are “at risk”, and then culling them to protect the public?

(n) include a summary, to be provided by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, of the measures that that minister intends to take to support global health equity, including measures to increase public health capacity around the world and to ensure equitable access to vaccines, testing equipment and treatment;

(o) set out, in consultation with relevant ministers, a summary of key cooperative measures or agreements on disease outbreak prevention and preparedness between the Government of Canada, other foreign governments and key international organizations, including the World Health Organization, the United Nations Environment Programme, the World Organization for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; and

Here’s where it hits home. This will not simply be a Canadian system. Instead, it will be done in collaboration with:

  • Foreign Governments
  • World Health Organization
  • United Nations Environment Programme
  • U.N. Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organization

Read the entire Bill to make sure that nothing is being taken out of context. But this looks like a way to slip even more draconian measures onto the public.

And again, there has been — to my knowledge — any debate or reporting on this Bill. Why exactly is that? Isn’t this in the public interest?

1908: International Public Health Office to be created
1926: International Sanitary Convention was ratified in Paris.
1946: WHO’s Constitution was signed, and it’s something we’ll get into in more detail.
1951: International Sanitary Regulations adopted by Member States.
1969: International Health Regulations (1st Edition) replaced ISR. These are legally binding on all Member States.
2005: International Health Regulations 3rd Edition of IHR were ratified.

Without regurgitating the whole thing, the W.H.O. Constitution has been covered before, including the fact that it’s legally binding on Member States.

As has been outlined here before, the 2005 Quarantine Act, Bill C-12, was really just domestic implementation of the 3rd Edition of the International Health Regulations.

We’ve also gone heavily into the creation of PHAC, which is essentially just a branch of the World Health Organization. It was created at WHO’s instigation. It takes over (to a large degree) what Health Canada had been doing. The timeline is laid out, and worth a read.

Why does an unknown like Nathaniel Erskine-Smith introduce such a Bill? According to his Wikipedia page, he’s actually brought forward several pieces. This included (in the last Parliament) Bill C-235 to delete the drug possession offence from the Criminal Code. He also brought Bill C-236, to expand diversion alternatives for criminal cases involving drugs.

Whether or not this “Pandemic Treaty” ever goes ahead, this legislation seems designed to carry out the goals it was intended for. Perhaps this should be put to a public debate.

Again, why is this being done quietly in a Private Member’s Bill?

(1) https://eppc.org/publication/the-whos-pandemic-treaty/
(2) WHO Constitution, Full Document
(3) https://www.who.int/about/governance/constitution
(4) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bills?chamber=1&page=3
(5) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/44-1/c-293
(6) https://www.ourcommons.ca/Members/en/nathaniel-erskine-smith(88687)
(7) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathaniel_Erskine-Smith
(8) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/43-1/c-235
(9) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/43-1/c-236

Private Member’s Bill C-219: Introducing “Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights”

Private Member’s Bill C-219 has a number of interesting parts, which should make people wary about the intent and purpose of it. It was introduce by N.D.P. M.P. Richard Cannings. As always, it can’t be assured that this won’t become law, or be embedded into other legislation at some point.

This Bill is to enact the Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights. Sounds harmless enough, doesn’t it? Let’s see what it says.

Paramountcy of Principles of Environmental Law
Environmental law principles
5 Every enactment must be interpreted consistently with existing and emerging principles of environmental law, including

(a) the precautionary principle according to which where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage to the environment, lack of full scientific certainty must not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation;

(b) the polluter-pays principle according to which polluters must bear the cost of measures to reduce pollution according to the extent of either the damage done to society or the exceeding of an acceptable level of pollution;

(c) the principle of sustainable development according to which development must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs;

(d) the principle of intergenerational equity according to which present generations of Canadians hold the environment in trust for future generations and have an obligation to use its resources in a way that leaves that environment in the same, or better, condition for future generations; and

(e) the principle of environmental justice according to which there should be a just distribution of environmental benefits and burdens among Canadians, without discrimination on the basis of any ground prohibited by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

To be blunt, this sounds somewhat Communistic. It gives the Government the right to act, even if there isn’t really a scientific or informed basis for doing so. Taken to its logical outcome, property could be seized, or businesses could be shut down in the name of protecting environmental rights.

The “polluter pays” is a reiteration of the climate change/Carbon tax initiatives that are ongoing, and is just wealth redistribution. If Carbon Dioxide is considered pollution, then almost anything can be.

All of this talk about equity and environmental justice also sounds like redistribution, but with language designed to conceal what’s really going on.

Things get interesting when you realize that anyone (at least in theory) can bring a Court challenge to protect their “environmental rights”.

Right of access to courts
9 (1) Every person residing in Canada has the right to bring a matter regarding the protection of the environment before a court or tribunal regardless of whether or not they are directly affected by the matter.

No challenge to standing
(2) The Government of Canada must not challenge the standing of a person residing in Canada to bring a matter regarding the protection of the environment before a court or tribunal on the sole ground that the person is not directly affected by the matter.

Right to request review
10 Every person residing in Canada has the right to request the Auditor General to review, in accordance with section 22 of the Auditor General Act, any Act of Parliament respecting the environment, any instrument made under the authority of such an Act or any environmental policy of the Government of Canada to determine whether, in order to ensure respect for the rights conferred under this Act, it should be amended, repealed or revoked.

Anyone familiar with the Court system knows that you need “standing” to bring a challenge. This means private interest standing (impacts you directly), or public interest standing (impacts society). This Bill would imply that public interest is automatic, so there’d be no need to prove a direct impact.

Also worth noting is that it says anyone “residing in Canada”. It doesn’t specify Canadian citizens. It also doesn’t say that people bringing such challenges have to be in country legally.

It would also amend the Canadian Bill of Rights by adding this section:

Canadian Bill of Rights
37 Paragraph 1(a) of the Canadian Bill of Rights is replaced by the following:
(a) the right of the individual to life, liberty, security of the person, including to a healthy and ecologically balanced environment as defined in section 2 of the Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights, and enjoyment of property, and the right not to be deprived thereof except by due process of law;

But here’s where that may get tricky: yes, the Bill of Rights mentions property rights. However, when anyone has public interest standing to bring a legal challenge, how secure are your property rights? How would we realistically decide which rights prevail?

And what happens if the Government decides to appropriate your property in some way on the grounds that it violates other people’s rights to a healthy environment?

The Bill’s sponsor, Richard Cannings, is listed 375 times in the Lobby Registry of Federal officials. In fairness though, many of these have nothing to do with the issue at hand.

Cannings’ recent meetings include representatives from:

  • Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment Foundation
  • Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
  • Climate Action Network Canada
  • Ecojustice Canada
  • Environmental Defence Canada
  • Greenpeace Canada
  • Nature Canada
  • The Nature Conservancy of Canada
  • World Wildlife Fund Canada

There’s considerable overlap with Rosa Galvez’s Bill S-243.

It’s fair to ask who wrote Bills C-219 and S-243.

As we’ve seen with the 2005 Quarantine Act, and various Provincial Public Health Acts, harmless sounding legislation can be used as a basis to trample rights. While this environmental “Bill of Rights” seems great at first glance, how would things actually work?

(1) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bills?chamber=1
(2) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/44-1/c-219
(3) https://www.ourcommons.ca/Members/en/richard-cannings(89327)
(4) https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/bill/C-219/first-reading
(5) https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-12.3/page-1.html
(6) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/advSrch
(7) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/advSrch?V_SEARCH.command=navigate&time=1675642237504

Senate Bill S-243: Enacting The Climate-Aligned Finance Act, Changing CIB & Bank Of Canada Acts

This is Senate Bill S-243. It was introduced by Rosa Galvez to enact the “Climate-Aligned Finance Act”, and to permanently alter banking in this country. Few people outside Ottawa have heard of this, making it all the more frightening.

Keep in mind, Senators in Canada are not elected. They aren’t accountable to the public, and it’s virtually impossible to get them removed prior to the retirement age of 75. Heck, Patrick Brazeau, Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin only got suspensions for taking advantage of their Senate accounts.

According to Wikipedia, Galvez was born in Peru in 1961, and worked for the Peruvian Government in the Ministry of Housing, before coming to Canada in 1986. Not only is Galvez not beholden to any electorate, but she’s a foreign national who worked for another country.

Going through the Federal Lobbying Registry, there are even more red flags. Galvez has been in contact with various N.G.O.s who have financial interests in seeing this pass. More on those connections later.

Now, what is this all about?

Climate-Aligned Finance Act
Enactment of Act
Enactment
2 The Climate-Aligned Finance Act is enacted as follows:

An Act to require certain financial and other federally regulated entities to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change

Whereas there is a broad scientific consensus and high confidence that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions cause global climate change and present an unprecedented risk to the environment — including its biological diversity — to human health and safety, to economic prosperity and to the stability of the Canadian financial system;

Whereas the impacts of climate change — such as coastal erosion, thawing permafrost, increases in heat waves, droughts and flooding — and related risks to critical infrastructure and food security are being felt throughout Canada and are impacting Canadians and disproportionately affecting Indigenous peoples, low-income citizens and northern, coastal and remote communities;

Whereas the Parliament of Canada recognizes that it is the responsibility of the present generation to minimize the impacts of climate change on future generations;

Whereas the United Nations, Parliament and the scientific community have identified climate change as an issue of international concern that is unconstrained by geographic boundaries;

Whereas Canada has ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, done in New York on May 9, 1992, and in force as of 1994, and the objective of that Convention is the stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system;

Whereas Canada has ratified the Paris Agreement, done in Paris on December 12, 2015, and in force as of 2016, and the aims of that Agreement include holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius (2°C) above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.‍5 degrees Celsius (1.‍5°C) above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change;

This would embed Treaties from the United Nations — including the Paris Agreement — into the financial sector. In it’s most blunt form, “climate change” could be used as an excuse to harm or cripple people or organizations that don’t play along.

Of course, this is one of those Bills that does not stand on its own. Instead, it will change other existing legislation in order to more broadly demand compliance. S-243 also amends:

  • Bank of Canada Act
  • Export Development Act
  • Financial Administration Act
  • Public Sector Pension Investment Board Act
  • Canada Infrastructure Bank Act
  • Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act

Bank of Canada Act
3 The preamble to the Bank of Canada Act is amended by adding the following after the first paragraph:
.
And whereas the Bank of Canada must act in alignment with climate commitments;
.
4 The Act is amended by adding the following after section 18:
Alignment with climate commitments
18.‍01 The Bank may only exercise its powers under this Act in a way that permits it to be an entity that is in alignment with climate commitments as described in section 4 of the Climate-Aligned Finance Act.

Canada Infrastructure Bank Act
13 Section 7 of the Canada Infrastructure Bank Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (2):
Climate commitments
.
(3) The Board may only exercise its powers in a way that enables it and the Bank to each be an entity that is in alignment with climate commitments as described in section 4 of the Climate-Aligned Finance Act.

If passed in this form, the Climate-Aligned Finance Act would permeate all throughout the banking and finance sectors in Canada. In short, the financial sector would be subordinate to whatever the climate cartel demanded, at any given time.

Now, who’s pulling Rosa Galvez’s strings?

A quick search of the Federal Registry flags 167 hits for Rosa Galvez. Many of the them are climate related. Consequently, it’s fair to assume that these groups have had at least some influence in S-243.

  • Nature Canada lobbies for: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change-Kyoto protocol The Government of Canada is required to: prepare a Climate Change Plan; prepare a statement on GHG emissions; and ensure that Canada meets its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol
  • Ecojustice Canada lobbies for: A Biodiversity Accountability Act, and for a Canadian climate change accountability framework
  • Greenpeace Canada lobbies for: Policies to encourage Canadian financial institutions, including banks, to divest from fossil fuel, and Canada to move forward with a comprehensive plan to meet or exceed the Paris Accord Climate targets
  • Environmental Defence Canada lobbies for: Strengthening current government climate change plan, increasing resources for renewable energy and conservation and enacting regulations to reduce GHG from industry in Canada

Mark Carney, former head of the Bank of Canada, infamously said a few years ago that businesses that ignore climate change will go bankrupt. It wasn’t taken as the threat that it really is.

And from the looks of things, it will apply to the investments that pension plans make as well. Good to know that people’s retirements are tied up in all of this.

Now, we have an unelected Senator from Peru bringing in legislation that would considerably help make that threat a reality. Remember, even if this Bill doesn’t pass, it may one day be merged with a larger piece. How is any of this democratic?

(1) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bills?chamber=2
(2) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/44-1/s-243
(3) https://sencanada.ca/en/senators/galvez-rosa/
(4) https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/bill/S-243/first-reading
(5) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_Galvez
(6) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/advSrch
(7) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/vwRg?cno=441&regId=930717&blnk=1
(8) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/vwRg?cno=222662&regId=929510&blnk=1
(9) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/vwRg?cno=61&regId=924380&blnk=1
(10) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/vwRg?cno=13022&regId=924930&blnk=1
(11) https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/13/firms-ignoring-climate-crisis-bankrupt-mark-carney-bank-england-governor

Private Member’s Bill C-207: Creating The “Right” To Affordable Housing

It’s always interesting to at least check out the Private Members’ Bills that are introduced in Parliament. Although most fail to pass, there’s always the chance that they will be incorporated into some other legislation.

Here, we have Bill C-207, introduced by N.D.P. M.P. Rachel Blaney. This Bill, if passed, would amend the Bill of Rights to include affordable housing as a right.

Canadian Bill of Rights
1 Section 1 of the Canadian Bill of Rights is amended by adding the following after paragraph (b):
(b.‍1) the right of the individual to proper housing at a reasonable cost and free of unreasonable barriers;

Coming into Force
First anniversary
2 This Act comes into force on the first anniversary of the day on which it receives royal assent.

Of course, some logistical questions have to be asked:

If there simply isn’t enough affordable housing available, will the Government be able to expropriate others’ private property in order to make some room? In theory, decisions could simply be made that there are better uses of someone’s property without the input or consent of the owners.

If there is a shortage of housing, shouldn’t there be a moratorium on immigration, or at least a serious reduction, until this problem is alleviated? The laws of supply and demand would seem to dictate that closing the borders would be beneficial.

Will previously protected lands — like the Green Belt in Ontario — have to be torn up in order to make space for new housing?

Considering the Bill of Rights applies Federally, what would happen in the event of issues that arise at the Provincial or Municipal levels?

While this may sound well meaning on the surface, it has the potential to create all kinds of headaches and strife. How would these new “rights” be paid for? While this is just a Private Member’s Bill — for now — it could always be stuffed into an omnibus Bill at some later point. True, it hasn’t gone past the initial stages, but it might one day.

(1) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bills
(2) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/44-1/c-207
(3) https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/bill/C-207/first-reading
(4) https://www.ourcommons.ca/Members/en/rachel-blaney(89354)
(5) https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-12.3/page-1.html

Bill C-27: Digital Charter Implementation Act Returns, With AI Provision

Bill C-27, the Digital Charter Implementation Act (or Dee CIA), has been brought back. In the last session, this was Bill C-11.

Contrary to what many might assume, this is not about gun control. Instead, it concerns digital privacy, and the way and means that personal information will be shared.

In fact, a lot of the Bills in this current session are recycled versions of legislation that died in previously. This is no exception.

One major difference here is something that was created:

The Artificial Intelligence and Data Act

[Section 2: definitions]
artificial intelligence system means a technological system that, autonomously or partly autonomously, processes data related to human activities through the use of a genetic algorithm, a neural network, machine learning or another technique in order to generate content or make decisions, recommendations or predictions.

[Section 3] Interestingly, this Act, and the limitations, do not apply to:
(a) the Minister of National Defence;
(b) the Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service;
(c) the Chief of the Communications Security Establishment; or
(d) any other person who is responsible for a federal or provincial department or agency and who is prescribed by regulation.

The legislation then gets into how the Act would be applied, and what the limitations would be. There’s a provision to prevent “biased outcomes” from being determined by artificial intelligence.

[Section 5(1)]
biased output means content that is generated, or a decision, recommendation or prediction that is made, by an artificial intelligence system and that adversely differentiates, directly or indirectly and without justification, in relation to an individual on one or more of the prohibited grounds of discrimination set out in section 3 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, or on a combination of such prohibited grounds. It does not include content, or a decision, recommendation or prediction, the purpose and effect of which are to prevent disadvantages that are likely to be suffered by, or to eliminate or reduce disadvantages that are suffered by, any group of individuals when those disadvantages would be based on or related to the prohibited grounds.

For reference, the Canadian Human Rights Act lists: “race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics, disability and conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered”, as protected grounds

In other words, AI can be used to pander to specific groups of people. However, “noticing” things would presumably violate the law.

[Section 6] lays out a requirement to add safeguards to anonymized data, which actually a really good idea. Guess we’ll have to see what those protections are later.

[Section 11] states that anyone or group that is involved in running a high-impact system must publish information — in plain terms — how the system works, and what safety protocols are in place.

(from the Bill) High-impact system means an artificial intelligence system that meets the criteria for a high-impact system that are established in regulations. However, the regulations haven’t been established yet.

[Sections 13, 14] allows Cabinet Ministers to require the disclosure of certain records, particularly if there is the risk of “biased outcomes” in what the AI is generating.

[Section 26] lists others who may be able to access confidential information, including:
(a) the Privacy Commissioner;
(b) the Canadian Human Rights Commission;
(c) the Commissioner of Competition;
(d) the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission;
(e) any person appointed by the government of a province, or any provincial entity, with powers, duties and functions that are similar to those of the Privacy Commissioner or the Canadian Human Rights Commission;
(f) any other person or entity prescribed by regulation.

[Section 28] gives the Minister the authority to publish information about people or a group (without their consent), if it’s believed that doing so will prevent harm from coming to them. However, it’s not stated what “reasonable grounds” actually means.

[Section 29] gets into Administrative Monetary Penalties, and the stated goal of ensuring compliance with the The Artificial Intelligence and Data Act.

[Section 30] states that it’s an offence to violate Sections 6-12, as well as providing misleading information to the Minister, or anyone acting for the Minister.

[Section 36] is a backdoor provision, which exists in many pieces of legislation. It allows the Governor in Council to make regulations without the need to Parliamentary oversight.

[Sections 38-40] lay out penalties, both monetary and potential prison time, for violations of this Act. Fines can be up to $25,000,000 + 5% of revenues. Prison time can be up to 5 years (if proceeded by indictment), and 2 years less a day (if proceeded summarily).

Aside from the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act being included, this legislation is essentially just Bill C-11 from the last session of Parliament.

Consumer Privacy Protection Act

The Consumer Privacy Protection Act was the bulk of the last version of this Bill, and was in this one as well. While name appears to take privacy seriously, it’s worth noting that that Section 4 states that it doesn’t apply to:

(a) any government institution to which the Privacy Act applies;

(b) any individual in respect of personal information that the individual collects, uses or discloses solely for personal or domestic purposes;

(c) any organization in respect of personal information that the organization collects, uses or discloses solely for journalistic, artistic or literary purposes;

(d) any organization in respect of an individual’s personal information that the organization collects, uses or discloses solely for the purpose of communicating or facilitating communication with the individual in relation to their employment, business or profession; or

(e) any organization that is, under an order made under paragraph 122(2)‍(b), exempt from the application of this Act in respect of the collection, use or disclosure of personal information that occurs within a province in respect of which the order was made.

In other words, personal information can be shared with just about anyone.

[Section 8(1)] requires that organizations designate someone to be responsible for the security of this information, and that their contact information be furnished if requested.

[Sections 9-11] outline how a privacy safety management program must be established, and some considerations in setting it up.

[Section 18] lists how and when businesses can collect personal information, or disclose it, and when consent isn’t required to go through with it.

[Section 19] says that no consent or knowledge is required from the individual to share personal information with a service provider in the course of business.

[Sections 20-22] permit research to be done using customer information as data, although it’s expected that it would be anonymized. It’s also okay to do this for prospective business transactions that haven’t yet been approved.

[Sections 23-24] are about disclosure during the course of employment. This has been the norm for a long time, as companies routinely share data for things like payroll.

[Sections 25-28] says information can be shared without knowledge or consent for the purposes of disclosure to a notary, obtaining witness statements, suspected fraud, and debt collection.

[Section 35] allows information to be disclosed without the person’s knowledge or consent if it’s being done for statistical purposes, study or research, if obtaining consent is impractical.

[Section 36] gets into the disclosure of “records of historic or archival importance”, which again, can be done without knowledge or consent.

[Section 38] allows journalists, artists and people performing literary purposes to disclose information without the knowledge or consent of other parties involved.

[Sections 43, 44] mean that Government employees would be able to access personal records without the knowledge or consent of others, if done for the purpose of administering laws.

The Act then goes on at length about procedures that would be in place if these other rules were violated.

Bill C-27 would make various changes to other acts such as: the Canada Evidence Act; the Access to Information Act; the Aeronautics Act, the Competition Act; the Telecommunications Act; and the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act.

While it sounds great to enshrine digital privacy, there are so many exceptions written in that one reasonably has to wonder what protections are really offered.

Of course, there is a bit of a conflict of interest here. Reporters and journalists require access to information in order to do their jobs. While doxing isn’t acceptable, the ability to dig deep is essential in order to properly prepare a broadcast or newspaper.

Bill C-11, (the last version of this), didn’t get far in the last session, and it doesn’t appear to be urgent now. Who knows if this will actually pass?

(1) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/43-2/c-11
(2) https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/43-2/bill/C-11/first-reading
(3) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/44-1/c-27
(4) https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/bill/C-27/first-reading
(5) https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/h-6/page-1.html

Bill S-248: Removing Final Consent For Assisted Suicide Requests

Remember how people were warning that assisted suicide (medical assistance in dying or MAiD) wouldn’t be the limited measure that was initially laid out? Those alarmists worried that safeguards and conditions would be rolled back to further expand this “procedure”.

Well, here we go again. Senate Bill S-248 would allow people to enter into contracts that would permit the euthanasia, even if the person isn’t capable of giving that final consent.

Supporters of MAiD had always claimed that the patient would always have the option to change their mind, and to back out. This would allow for contemplation, and for cooler heads to prevail.

From the description of the Bill:

This enactment amends the Criminal Code to
.
(a) permit an individual whose death is not reasonably foreseeable to enter into a written arrangement to receive medical assistance in dying on a specified day if they lose the capacity to consent to receiving medical assistance in dying prior to that day; and
.
(b) permit an individual who has been diagnosed with a serious and incurable illness, disease or disability to make a written declaration to waive the requirement for final consent when receiving medical assistance in dying if they lose the capacity to consent to receive medical assistance in dying, are suffering from symptoms outlined in the written declaration and have met all other relevant safeguards outlined in the Criminal Code.

Of course, the usual questions will come up. Did the person fully understand and support this decision? Was their undue influence? Did they ever change their mind? How do we determine whether or not they are capable of giving that final go-ahead?

There is still a provision that the person can speak or gesture to indicate that they no longer wish to go through with this. However, if they are incapacitated, that obviously won’t help.

This Bill was brought by Pamela Wallin. A decade ago, she became infamous for playing fast and loose with her expenses and got suspended, along with Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau.

In her capacity as a Senator, Wallin has had some interesting visitors recently.

Wallin brought this Bill on June 2, 2022. The day before, the Alzheimer Society of Canada had paid a visit. Among the topics listed in their lobbying profiled was: “Parliamentary review of medical assistance in dying with respect to advance requests”. In other words, go ahead, even if final consent can’t be obtained.

Field Trip Psychedelics Inc. has also been in touch with Wallin. This was concering the: “regulation of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy that would give Canadians access to medical, non-recreational, psilocybin therapy.”

The Canadian Palliative Hospice Care Assocation also has contacted Wallin. Although their profile does mention end of life care, it doesn’t specify assisted suicide.

In any event, these are probably just coincidences, right?

Shouldn’t be any surprise that Wallin brought this Bill. But seriously, how far back do we keep pushing the line, or is there a limit?

(1) https://www.parl.ca/legisinfo/en/bill/44-1/s-248
(2) https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/bill/S-248/first-reading
(3) https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/senate-moving-to-suspend-pamela-wallin-mike-duffy-1.2101305
(4) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/cmmLgPblcVw?comlogId=533156
(5) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/vwRg?cno=367664&regId=905218&blnk=1
(6) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/cmmLgPblcVw?comlogId=533156
(7) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/vwRg?cno=14475&regId=923718&blnk=1
(8) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/cmmLgPblcVw?comlogId=523500
(9) https://lobbycanada.gc.ca/app/secure/ocl/lrs/do/vwRg?cno=15059&regId=917004&blnk=1

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