Divisions 6, 10 and 11 of Bill C-43, the Economic Action Plan No. 2.

Submission to the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology

November 17, 2014

David Sweet, M.P.
Chair, Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology
131 Queen Street, Sixth Floor
House of Commons
Ottawa ON  K1A 0A6

Dear Mr. Sweet:

Thank you for the invitation from the Committee to present the views of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) in connection with Divisions 6, 10 and 11 of Bill C-43, the Economic Action Plan No. 2. We regret not being able to appear before you at Committee and hope that our written comments will assist in your study of the Bill. The specific provisions before you would amend the Radiocommunication Act (under Division 6), the Broadcasting Act (Division 10) and the Telecommunications Act (Division 11).

The amendments to the Radiocommunication Act concern, among other things, restrictions on the use of jammers (cl. 174 - 175), information sharing between the Minister and federal, provincial and international agencies with respect to the administration and enforcement of the Act (cl. 177), changes to powers of inspectors (clauses 178-179), exemptions from prohibitions relating to jammers and interfering with radiocommunications in certain circumstances (cl. 181), and a new administrative monetary penalty regime (cl. 182). The amendments to the Broadcasting Act appear to deal exclusively with prohibiting broadcasting undertakings for charging for paper bills (cl. 191-192).

The amendments to the Telecommunications Act deal with a number of issues, including allowing the CRTC to impose conditions of service directly on any person (other than a Canadian carrier) providing a telecommunications service (cl. 193), prohibiting charging for paper bills (cl. 194), disclosure of information by the CRTC to the Competition Bureau that is relevant to competition issues (cl. 195), changes to the regime for telecommunications apparatus (cl. 196 – 199), changes to the powers of inspectors (cl. 200), and provisions relating to a new administrative monetary penalty regime (cl. 201 – 208).

We have reviewed the provisions and do not consider that they raise significant privacy concerns.

Indeed, we are pleased to see the amendment in Division 11 (clause 193) to the Telecommunications Act that would allow the CRTC to impose conditions on persons who provide telecommunications services, other than Canadian carriers, to, among other things, protect the privacy of persons using those services. We consider this a positive move from a privacy perspective and we are pleased to see it.

I would be pleased to follow up with whatever information you may require. Thank you once again for the opportunity to present the Committee with our views on these specific aspects of the bill.

Sincerely,

(Original signed by)

Daniel Therrien
Privacy Commissioner of Canada

c.c.  Roger Préfontaine, Clerk

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