Were you hoping to put your hat in the ring to become Canada's next privacy commissioner, but you ran out of time? Well, you might be able to thank the federal election. Since the writ dropped before the Aug. 31 deadline, presumably, there will be a renewed opportunity to apply once the election is over.
Governor-in-Council appointments appear to be on hold. To respect the Caretaker Convention, the government says job postings have been taken down during the writ period. You can see the notice has been archived, along with those for other processes. A caretaker government must act "with restraint" during an election because you can't assume the same party will be back in power. This, in part, means deferring appointments. You can read this post to learn what else happens (or doesn't) during the writ period.
The election is well underway; we can now vote on advance polling days starting today (Friday) and, if you follow news coverage, the outcome isn't obvious, which should make things interesting.
One pretty cool thing is that privacy has become an election issue in Canada. I remember a time when privacy wasn't even close to being on the election radar, so I think this, in and of itself, is progress — for privacy and our profession.
What are the different parties saying about privacy? You'll probably want to interpret their platforms yourself, but I'll share a few tidbits. The conservatives speak about the fundamental right to privacy and state, with some urgency, that they'll replace what they call a "weak" Bill C-11 with something stronger. Liberals remind us they introduced the Digital Charter. They suggest they'll move ahead with C-11, a law they feel effectively balances individuals' rights and competitiveness in the online marketplace, to implement the charter. The NDP talks about updating privacy legislation to include a digital bill of rights and stronger powers for the OPC, including orders and fines. The Green Party also highlights privacy in its platform, with a focus on following the EU's lead and enshrining digital rights, with a particular emphasis on protecting citizens from profiling and misinformation. I couldn't see anything from the BLOC, maybe because Quebec is already moving ahead with its privacy law.
Anyway, this election should be an important one for privacy pros; the outcome can directly affect the way we do our day-to-day work. There are lots of ways to vote, so make sure to have your say. You can read about how Elections Canada treats voters' privacy here.
In the meantime, as we continue to watch this 44th federal election play out, you can also check out the recent privacy news we've gathered from different parts of the country. Have a wonderful weekend!
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