Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
The Information and Privacy Commissioner advised committee that the rights of individuals to privacy are set aside in several instances in Bill 48 without justification. Committee sought clarification and worked with the department to address several of the privacy-related matters flagged by the Information and Privacy Commissioner, as outlined below.
The educational institutions contemplated in Bill 48 will have to collect, use, and disclose significant amounts of personal information. Most, if not all, Canadian jurisdictions include public post-secondary institutions under their public sector access and privacy laws. Committee understands that public post-secondary institutions in the NWT will continue to be subject to the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (ATIPPA) as designated public bodies under that act, whereas private educational institutions will not, consistent with the practice elsewhere.
Section 55 allows the Minister to request information from either a post-secondary institution or a department or public agency "for the purposes of fulfilling his or her role under the act." The provision goes on to say in subsection (2) that, "notwithstanding the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act," an entity that receives such a request must provide that information in the form and within the time specified. Similarly, subsection 56(1) of Bill 48 authorizes the Minister to collect personal information "directly or indirectly" under section 55 and that such collection and use is "notwithstanding the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act."
Committee was advised that the "notwithstanding" phrase in subsections 55(2) and 56(1) provides a wide scope for the collection and use of personal information under Bill 48. The unintended effect of this phrase was the removal of the right of the individual to seek an independent review by the Information and Privacy Commissioner, making the Minister the sole arbiter of whether or not personal information collected, used, or disclosed under section 55 and 56 was necessary or appropriate. As such, committee and the Minister collaborated to develop Motions 15 and 16, set out in Appendix A, to remove the references to "notwithstanding the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act" from subsections 55(2) and 56(1).
Part 7, Private Training Institutions, and Part 8, Private Vocational Training, of Bill 48 both refer to "student contracts," agreements between a student and their vocational training program or private training institution. There was concern that the term "student contract" could be interpreted as referring to a private agreement between a student and his or her institution, and that these contracts may be subject to review by the Minister. Committee determined that the intent of the term "student contract" in Bill 48 is to refer to an institution's standard contract with its students rather an individual student's contract with his or her institution. As such, committee collaborated with the Minister to develop Motion 18, set out in Appendix A, to provide more clarity around the intended meaning of the term "student contract" in Bill 48.
Part 7, Private Training Institutions, and Part 8, Private Vocational Training, of Bill 48 contain provisions requiring an institution to "provide to the Minister as soon as possible a list of the names and addresses of the students registered at the institution." The Information and Privacy Commissioner flagged for committee that any limitations on the use of this personal information are not clear from the bill. Committee worked with the Minister to develop Motions 10, 11, 13, and 14, set out in Appendix A, to clarify that subsections 31(5), 33(2), 39(5), and 41(2) require a post-secondary institution to provide the Minister with student names and addresses only for the purposes of giving notice to those students.
Mr. Speaker, I would now like to turn the reading over to the honourable Member for Mackenzie Delta. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.