The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) has weighed in on the progress of Bill C-27’s passage through readings in the House of Commons, saying Canada’s politicians should make its passage a priority.

“Strong and modern privacy legislation is critical for public confidence, and to enable innovations and adaptations to technology that can better protect personal information,” the CLHIA’s president and CEO, Stephen Frank said in a statement after the bill received its first reading on June 16. “We believe that finalizing and passing this legislation must be a top priority for parliamentarians when parliament resumes in the fall,” he adds.

The legislation, “to support and promote electronic commerce by protecting personal information that is collected, used or disclosed in the course of commercial activities,” makes only limited reference to the sale of insurance specifically.

It states that an organization may collect personal information without the knowledge or consent of the individual if it is contained in a witness statement and the collection is necessary to assess, process or settle an insurance claim. 

The bill, however, is quite extensive, spanning more than 100 pages. “We look forward to reviewing this legislation in detail,” Frank adds, saying the association will also work with the government to advance changes “that can promote modern and consistent privacy protections for Canadians.”