Skip to Content

Making AI legislation work for Canadians

The Privacy and Access Law Section of the CBA argues for artificial intelligence legislation that that safeguards Canada’s competitiveness.

Ai Legislation

In a nutshell: Canada must develop a legal framework for artificial intelligence (AI) that aligns with those of its major trading partners, says the CBA’s Privacy and Access Law Section. The Section proposes a number of measures that would encourage leading AI companies to establish themselves in Canada. Among the suggestions is that foreign companies deploying AI products in Canada should be considered compliant with the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA) if they adhere to their home country's regulations, provided those are deemed to be substantially similar to those outlined under AIDA.

Thinking of government

The Section also raises concerns about the exclusion of government institutions and ministerial offices from the bill’s application, as these could significantly complicate and increase the costs for the public seeking judicial review of AI decisions made by federal departments. For example, in immigration matters involving temporary resident visa applications, government AI operations risk going unchecked in government contexts due to the Bill’s exclusions.

The CBA Section further suggests amending AIDA sections 31-34 to assign the roles and responsibilities therein to the Artificial Intelligence and Data Commissioner, ensuring they act as an independent regulator rather than as an appointee of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. There are also recommendations aimed at strengthening the Minister’s Advisory Committee on matters related to AI and data.

Inclusion of R&D

Citing concerns that the contemplated regulatory scheme “is burdensome and documentation-intense” the CBA Section recommends that pure R&D activities without AI deployment in a public-facing manner and without a real risk of harm be removed from the scope of the Bill, so as not to hinder Canada’s ability competitiveness in an emerging field.

CBA’s previous work on Bill C-27

In November 2020 the government introduced Bill C-11, the Digital Charter Implementation Act, 2020 that died on the Order Paper when the 2021 elections were called. The CBA’s Privacy and Access Law Section was generally supportive of that Bill and offered comments on its provisions in anticipation that a similar one would be introduced after the election.

In October 2022 the CBA’s Privacy and Access Law Section made comprehensive comments on Bill C-27, the Digital Charter Implementation Act, 2022, focusing on changes it said were urgently required to the Consumer Privacy Protection Act and the Personal Information and Data Protection Tribunal Act parts of Bill C-27.

Read the full submission on the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act portion of Bill C-27.