October 3, 2023 – The federal government must reconsider its approach to regulating artificial intelligence through the proposed Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA) in Bill C-27, says the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF).
Last week, LEAF joined numerous other expert organizations and individuals in writing to Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry François-Philippe Champagne about AIDA. This joint letter set out serious concerns regarding AIDA, requesting that it be removed from Bill C-27 to allow for adequate study, consultation, and improvement of the proposed Act. In the absence of separating AIDA from Bill C-27, at least five recommendations must be implemented:
- Recognizing privacy as a fundamental human right;
- Removing AI regulation from the sole jurisdiction of Industry, Science, and Economic Development (ISED), given ISED’s mandate to bolster the AI industry conflicts with the public interest in regulating the potential dangers of AI;
- Addressing poorly defined language in AIDA that creates loopholes and a lack of enforceable rules;
- Committing to far more active consultation with stakeholders beyond industry insiders; to ensure AIDA and subsequent AI rules are well balanced and rights-protecting; and
- Expanding AI regulation to apply to both the public and private sector, including government security agencies.
LEAF has also made a submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry and Technology, which is currently studying Bill C-27. This submission expresses serious concerns about the absence of a human rights approach within AIDA. As a leading national organization with a mandate to advance substantive gender equality, LEAF urges the government to centre substantive equality and human rights as the guiding principles when regulating the growing use of AI. With this goal in mind, LEAF submits that the scope of AIDA must – at least – be substantially expanded in order to enable regulations that can better protect against present and emerging harms from AI.
Learn more by reading the full submission on Bill C-27. The submission was co-authored by Rosel Kim (LEAF Senior Staff Lawyer) and Dr. Kristen Thomasen (Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia Peter A. Allard School of Law, and Member of LEAF’s Technology-Facilitated Violence Advisory Committee).
For media inquiries, please contact:
Executive Director & General Counsel, LEAF
416-595-7170 ext. 2002
Dr. Kristen Thomasen
Assistant Professor, UBC
The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) is a national not-for-profit that works to advance the equality rights of women, girls, trans, and non-binary people in Canada through litigation, law reform, and public legal education. Since 1985, LEAF has intervened in more than 130 cases that have helped shape the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. To find out more, visit www.leaf.ca.