Prof. Michael Hoy

The Supreme Court of Canada has upheld a federal law preventing third parties, such as insurance companies and employers, from demanding genetic information from individuals.

The University of Guelph has an expert who can offer comment on the legislation.

Michael Hoy is a professor of economics at U of G’s Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics. He studies insurance markets and pricing and has done extensive research on genetic discrimination.

Canada passed the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act in May, 2017, with the aim of preventing third parties such as insurance companies from requiring genetic testing or clients or using the results of genetic tests to determine coverage or pricing.

Many insurance companies opposed the law, arguing if Canadians used genetic testing to learn about their risk for critical illnesses, high-risk people would start buying up insurance, driving up prices so high that many would not be able to purchase coverage.

As Hoy wrote in a commentary for Conversation Canada, that scenario seems unlikely, with no evidence that Canadians are likely to purchase substantially more insurance due to the increased availability of genetic testing.

Hoy is available to discuss the legislation further.


Prof. Michael Hoy