Under bill S-201, it would be illegal to force Canadian citizens to undergo genetic testing or provide results to insurance companies or employers. As with GINA, the main opposition is that the bill would be a blow to insurance companies and could raise premiums across the board, if insurers are required to assume more risk. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has opposed the bill, telling reporters that “one of the elements in the proposed bill is unconstitutional,” according to Global News.
Specifically, some members of Trudeau’s Liberal Party believe the bill is an act of government overreach. They have proposed taking less drastic steps, such as amending the Canadian Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on genetics in place of passing new legislation.
Advocates of genetic nondiscrimination legislation have said that insurance companies shouldn’t be using genetic information alone to make decisions anyway. “Genetic testing is being applied quite broadly without us necessarily understanding the implications clinically,” Shubhayan Sanatani of the British Columbia Children’s Hospital told The Scientist earlier this month.