On October 30, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada extended the deadline for the province of Alberta to amend its Personal Information Protection Act (“PIPA”). In November 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada declared PIPA invalid because it interfered with the right to freedom of expression in the labor context under Section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Supreme Court of Canada gave the Alberta legislature 12 months to determine how to make the legislation constitutionally compliant, which it apparently failed to do. The new deadline for amending PIPA is May 2015.
Alberta’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Jill Clayton applauded the extension of the deadline. Commissioner Clayton had sent a letter to Alberta’s Premier, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, and Minister of Service in September 2014 expressing her concern that the Alberta legislature would “not be able to act to preserve PIPA before it lapses.” She also highlighted the “unique benefits” of PIPA in the letter, including breach notification to affected individuals, local enforcement without the involvement of courts, and the protection of employee privacy rights.