Episode 61: Senator James Cowan on the Extraordinary Battle for a Genetic Anti-Discrimination Law in Canada

October 28, 2021 00:38:37
Episode 61: Senator James Cowan on the Extraordinary Battle for a Genetic Anti-Discrimination Law in Canada
Law Bytes
Episode 61: Senator James Cowan on the Extraordinary Battle for a Genetic Anti-Discrimination Law in Canada
/

Show Notes

As the broad availability of genetic testing has mushroomed over the past two decades, privacy and potential discrimination concerns associated with testing results has increased. Until recently, Canada lagged behind other countries in this regard with no specific national legislation. That changed in 2017 with the enactment of the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act. The Act was quickly challenged on constitutional grounds, but earlier this month a divided Supreme Court of Canada upheld its validity.

The law underwent a remarkable parliamentary journey featuring opposition from successive governments, lobbying against the bill by the insurance industry, passage in the House of Commons despite objections from then-Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, and a court challenge in which the government supported the effort to declare the law invalid. Senator James Cowan, who was the lead proponent of the legislation, joins me on the podcast to discuss what prompted him to take on the  issue and the unlikely path of Canada’s genetic non-discrimination law.

The podcast can be downloaded here and is embedded below. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcast, Google Play, Spotify or the RSS feed. Updates on the podcast on Twitter at @Lawbytespod.

Show Notes:

Supreme Court of Canada, Reference re Genetic Non-Discrimination Act

Credits:

CTV News, Genetic Non-Discrimination Law is Constitutional, Supreme Court Says

Other Episodes

Episode

October 28, 2021 00:34:15
Episode Cover

Episode 89: A Special Episode on Debating Bill C-10 at the Canadian Heritage Committee

With yesterday’s Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage meeting with experts on Bill C-10 and its implications for freedom of expression, this is a special Law Bytes episode featuring my opening statement and engagement with Members of Parliament. The discussion canvassed a wide range of issues including how regulating user generated content makes Canada an outlier worldwide, the impact on net neutrality, and why discoverability requirements constitute speech regulation. There is a second post that features my opening statement to the committee. The podcast can be downloaded here, accessed on YouTube, and is embedded below. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcast, Google Play, Spotify or the RSS feed. Updates on the podcast on Twitter at @Lawbytespod. Credits: Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, May 17, 2021 ...

Listen

Episode

October 22, 2021 00:44:51
Episode Cover

Episode 30: "It's Only Going to Get More Important" - Amanda Wakaruk and Jeremy deBeer on Crown Copyright in Canada

The Canadian copyright review conducted earlier this year heard evidence on a remarkably broad range of issues. One issue that seemed to take committee members by surprise was crown copyright, which captured considerable attention and became the subject of two supplemental opinions from the Conservative and NDP members as well as the basis for a private members bill from NDP MP Brian Masse. Why all the interest in crown copyright? This week’s Lawbytes podcast digs into crown copyright with two guests. First, Amanda Wakaruk, a copyright librarian at the University of Alberta and one of the country’s leading advocates on the issue joins me to explain the concept of crown copyright and why she thinks it needs to be abolished. I’m then joined by my colleague Professor Jeremy DeBeer to discuss the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision on Keatley Surveying v. Teranet, which was on the first opportunities for Canada’s highest court to grapple with the scope and implications of crown copyright. The podcast can be downloaded here and is embedded below. The transcript is posted at the bottom of this post or can be accessed here. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcast, Google Play, Spotify or the RSS feed. Updates on the podcast on Twitter at @Lawbytespod. Show Notes: Copyright Act Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology Copyright Review Library and Archival Community Letter on Crown Copyright Keatley Surveying v. Teranet Credits: Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, May 30, 2019 House of Commons, June 3, 2019 Transcript: ...

Listen

Episode

October 22, 2021 00:38:51
Episode Cover

Episode 21: Why Canada Has Some of the Worlds Highest Wireless Data Prices

Canada has a well-earned reputation for some of the highest wireless prices in the world with numerous comparative studies finding that consumers pay relatively high prices for low amounts of data. There are obviously many factors behind pricing, but for many consumers the top line issue is how much does the wireless service cost and how much data do I get? Rewheel Research, a Finland based consultancy, has been at the forefront of pricing comparisons with extensive analysis of  mobile data pricing in countries around the world. Its reports have often called out Canada, recently noting that prices are “a world apart” from more competitive markets. With Canadian telco giant Telus commissioning a study to challenge the Rewheel research, I’m joined this week on the Lawbytes podcast by Antonios Drossos, managing partner of the firm, who talked to me from Helsinki about their findings, what lies behind Canada’s wireless pricing, and the Telus-backed study. The podcast can be downloaded here and is embedded below. The transcript is posted at the bottom of this post or can be accessed here. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcast, Google Play, Spotify or the RSS feed. Updates on the podcast on Twitter at @Lawbytespod. Episode Notes: Rewheel Research: The state of 4G pricing – 1H2019 – Digital Fuel Monitor 11th release Credits: House of Commons, June 10, 2019 Transcript: ...

Listen