OTTAWA — The Security of Canada Information Sharing Act, ushered in by the previous Conservative government as part of the C-51 anti-terrorism legislation, expanded the exchange of federally held information about activity that "undermines the security of Canada."
In its recently published consultation paper on the national security framework, the Liberal government poses several questions about the sharing provisions:
— The law explicitly states that the activities of advocacy, protest, dissent, and artistic expression do not fall within the definition of activity that undermines the security of Canada. Should this be further clarified?
— Should the government further clarify that institutions receiving information must use that information only as the lawful authorities that apply to them allow?
— Do existing review mechanisms, such as the authority of the privacy commissioner to conduct reviews, provide sufficient accountability for the sharing act provisions? If not, what would you propose?
— Should the government introduce regulations requiring institutions to keep a record of disclosures under the sharing provisions?
— Should the list of agencies eligible to receive information through the provisions be reduced or expanded?