ontario news watch

First Nations, Jim Balsillie slam government over lack of consultation on AI bill

OTTAWA — The Assembly of First Nations is warning it could take the Liberal government to court over its proposed privacy and artificial intelligence bill.

And former tech executive Jim Balsillie is telling MPs studying the bill that he considers the legislation “anti-democratic.”

The government has already been criticized for failing to consult widely enough on Bill C-27, which updates privacy laws and introduces the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act.

Balsillie, the former co-CEO of BlackBerry pioneer Research In Motion, says the government did no public consultations and relied too heavily on feedback from industry rather than civil society.

And Indigenous leaders say First Nations weren’t consulted at all.

The AFN says the bill infringes the rights of First Nations, including on data sovereignty, and that litigation is “likely” if the government doesn’t meet its obligations.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 14, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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