Nova Scotia Granted Authority to Enforce Personal Health Information Act

    May 11, 2016

    Nova Scotia’s health privacy laws are substantially similar to the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), so the province can enforce its own law governing the collection, use, and disclosure of health information. That was the decision of the Spectrum, Information Technologies and Telecommunications Canada in an order published in the Canada Gazette on April 20.

    The order grants Nova Scotia an exemption from PIPEDA and grants the province the authority to enforce its Personal Health Information Act (PHIA), which became effective on June 1, 2013.

    According to the order, the exemption demonstrates the federal government’s commitment to ensure that a patchwork of legislation of differing standards does not occur. It ensures that Nova Scotia health information custodians meet the same standards as other provinces and provides a level playing field for personal information protection.

    British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador have also been recognized by order as having legislation substantially similar to PIPEDA.

     This monthly advisory contains brief summaries of recent legislative and regulatory issues that may affect the management of records and information in Canada.

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