Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a form of automation that simulates human intelligence. Its purpose is to fulfill complex decision-making tasks by collecting large quantities of data.

AI use is rapidly transforming the workplace. In certain contexts, federal government workers are already authorized to use AI in their work. And, some PIPSC members are even working to develop AI systems. 

AI can be used in the public service to perform several tasks and it has the potential to positively impact fields such as healthcare by performing procedures that are unattainable by humans. 

That said, AI needs to be integrated into workplaces and workflows with caution. 

The government needs to assess how AI can be of assistance to federal public servants doing their jobs more efficiently – without the loss of quality – and with the assurance that jobs and employment rights stay protected.

Federal workers have been burned by technology replacing human oversight before. If we move too quickly towards AI we could see repeated disasters. And, if AI is developed with the purpose of shedding workers, reducing costs, and exploiting opportunities for profit, it could lead to greater inequality, insecurity and discrimination.

PIPSC stands firmly behind the properly regulated use of AI. 

This means the federal government needs to consult with unions and be transparent when it comes to AI use.

The Artificial Intelligence and Data Act

The federal government’s introduction of Bill C-27, which includes The Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA), was a welcomed step toward regulating the development and adoption of AI use in Canada. 

However, the regulation was developed without consultation from unions or members of the community or indigenous peoples. Only AI academic researchers and business representatives were consulted. In addition, the act is bundled into a larger Bill for reforming commercial sector privacy laws – which makes AIDA inconsequential. These issues have resulted in glaring gaps in the regulation of AI use.

In a brief submitted to the House of Commons, PIPSC has outlined recommendations to improve the regulation of AI use within Bill C-27. The recommendations include – but are not limited to the following:

  • Expand the application of this act to all federal departments, agencies, and crown corporations, including national security institutions, to avoid the risk of privacy and human rights violations.
  • Clarify the purpose of the act to recognize the potential broader harms to society, not just individual harms.
  • Establish a specific federal government agency to deal with AI issues, conduct research, and monitor AI use and its regulation.
  • Strengthen the Advisory Committee on AI to include unions and members of the community, as both groups are directly affected by AI use.
  • Provide complete transparency on how AI is being used with government employees for recruitment and staffing, performance management, security screening, and visitor access.
  • Mandate the inclusion of AI use in the collective bargaining process so that employers and unions can bargain on how AI affects an employee’s work life.
  • Mandate a +1 year advance warning of job layoffs due to AI, and guarantee new jobs or retraining programs for employees affected by layoffs.

We are headed towards a future where jobs may be radically changed or even eliminated by AI. The federal government has a long way to go to make AI regulations fair and equitable. With collaboration and consultation with unions, we can maximize the positives of AI use within the federal government and eliminate potential negative effects on public service workers and Canadian society. 


There is no avoiding AI in workplaces entirely. Workers everywhere will have to keep up with the pace of the upcoming changes. They will have to acquire new skills to adapt successfully to AI use in the workplace. Even the most highly skilled individuals are projected to be impacted by the evolution of work due to AI use. 

With Navigar, there is an opportunity for PIPSC members to learn and grow in their jobs.

Navigar is a smart online skills development planning tool that’s free for PIPSC members. PIPSC created Navigar to help provide outstanding career advancement and support to our members so they can thrive in the workforce today and in the future. 

 Get ready for the future with Navigar