Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
Ms. Cianfarani, I would like to start with you.
We've heard that this treaty is going to establish a new global standard for the import and export of arms. I'm sure that in your line of work you have to deal with different export and import regimes, and that you want to ensure that the legitimate businesses have confidence when working in other countries.
I liken your organization to the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe. If you look at what they've tried to do as an organization, you'll see that they have tried to raise the level to say that corporate responsibility in many ways brings a competitive advantage, that their industries are trying to seek a level playing field, and that an ATT regulating legal trade in conventional arms will be an important step in levelling that playing field.
My question for you is what this kind of global standard means for your ability to do business in other parts of the world.
View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
I'm going to read a quote. It's what U.K. foreign secretary William Hague said when they were getting towards the end of the negotiations for the ATT in 2013. What he said about this treaty was that it:
will not stigmatise the legitimate trade in arms. Instead, it will protect it, establishing global commitments on national arms export controls and a baseline for robust controls that ensure countries can defend their citizens without undermining human development.
I have two questions. Do you agree with this assessment, this statement that this treaty will not really affect any kind of domestic commerce? In fact, will it add legitimacy to an industry that sometimes is misunderstood or where there's sometimes no clear understanding of what certain companies do?
View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
Going back to my original point, I was talking about the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe. They felt that accession to the ATT would be a necessary step to increase their profile and their social responsibility, but also, it would add legitimacy, it would create a framework where they were better understood, and it would create a level playing field globally.
From what I read from your industry, it seems that the idea is almost the same. You want to sign on to the ATT to create that level playing field, not that your industry is illegitimate, but more in the sense that when you're dealing with global partners and global commerce, the countries that deal with Canada would have a higher level of understanding of exactly what we do.
View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
Do I have any more time?
View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
It's a big question. You know that I don't ask long questions. Should I ask it?
View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you.
I have one more question, a small question. One of the things that the treaty obviously is trying to do is prevent the diversion of arms. If you could familiarize us with your industries, what specific things do you currently have in place to combat that, and how do you feel that the successful adoption of this treaty on a global scale will prevent the spread or the diversion of weapons?
View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you very much.
View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
In a minute and a half I'll ask a very simple question and you can give me an answer in a minute and a half.
Obviously there's going to be some commonality among the general pool of offenders. One of the things I heard you speak of in the previous hour is that there are mental health issues and there are also addiction issues. If you're really going to help somebody, if those two issues are not dealt with, then no programming or anything else is going to help. Is there a checklist? Are there criteria?
When you go to a physician, there's a checklist. They check your cholesterol, your blood pressure, your blood sugars. They go through that checklist to know exactly how to analyze the problem.
If an offender appears and you go through a checklist, there has to be some commonality over the course of time, especially with your experience, whether it be mental health or addictions. If those two issues are not dealt with, in my understanding or experience, going down the line, you're not going to get the best of what you're trying to offer. Is that done, or should more resources be applied to it? Give me an idea of how it works.
View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
I want to make sure that the department will have a very narrow power to decline a request to release information. I think this may answer some of the questions that have already been discussed.
View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
The amendment reads:
That Bill C-58, in clause 6, be amended by adding after line 34 on page 3 the following:
Limitation(1.1) The head of a government institution is not authorized under paragraph (1)(b) to decline to act on a person's request for a record for the sole reason that the information contained in it has been published under Part 2.
View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
Good morning, gentlemen.
Thank you very much for coming. I think it's very important that we hear your perspectives.
I want to pick on what my colleague Mr. Wrzesnewskyj said, and I will follow up with what Mr. O'Toole said.
We have three major articles in our regime right now. Article 5 of the ATT requires a state party to “establish and maintain a national control system”, which we're already doing. We have been following article 12 since 1947 and article 13 since 1993.
I'm wondering what you think, because you talk about a gun registry and you're talking about regulation maybe. I'm unclear where you see anything extra happening when it's already being followed.
View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
I would like to read something for you, because I think it's important. The United States, as you know, has signed the treaty. They have not yet ratified it, but former U.S. secretary of state John Kerry said:
I also want to be clear about what this treaty is not about. This treaty will not diminish anyone’s freedom. In fact, the treaty recognizes the freedom of both individuals and states to obtain, possess, and use arms for legitimate purposes. Make no mistake, we would never think about supporting a treaty that is inconsistent with the rights of Americans, the rights of American citizens, to be able to exercise their guaranteed rights under our constitution. This treaty reaffirms the sovereign right of each country to decide for itself, consistent with its own constitutional and legal requirements, how to deal with the conventional arms that are exclusively used within its borders.
Also, during that negotiation process—and Mr. Torino may have more information because he was the adviser—there were certain key U.S. red lines during that time. One of them, as you are quite aware, is:
The Second Amendment to the Constitution must be upheld. There will be no restrictions on civilian possession or trade of firearms otherwise permitted by law or protected by the U.S. Constitution.
You know how important this issue is in the United States. I'm just wondering how you would comment on that when they were quite clear in their comments that this would not affect anything domestically in their country.
View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
I'm glad you mentioned that because Canada's also part of the Wassenaar Arrangement which, I think, has been very beneficial.
I know I have very limited time, but I just want to correct the records. My friend, Mr. O'Toole, said that the top four countries have not signed the treaty, but that's actually incorrect. Germany and France, which are two of the top five exporters, have signed and ratified the treaty.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you.
Ms. Nycholat, you said something very interesting. It brought back my years in science when you talked about the coefficient of variance. You said something interesting. You used the numbers 0.04 and 0.06. I don't remember my statistics from 20 years ago, but you're talking about a p-value of 4% to 6%. Is that roughly right?
View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
No, no, that's okay. I'm not either, but I remember that. I'm getting excited because what I learned 20 years ago is coming back to me.
Voices: Oh, oh!
Mr. Raj Saini: You talk about the coefficient of variance, and I just want to get an idea, having also been in business. When five companies bid on a project, for example, and you're saying the coefficient of variance in the bid amount is between 0.04 and 0.06, you're dealing with companies that are probably mature and also are big companies that do this consistently. You're not going to invite new companies or disparate companies from other economic areas. You're dealing with a very small number of companies. Would you not expect a mature company that has been in business for such a long time to be somewhat in the same ballpark? I'm just wondering, because you mentioned that that coefficient would in some ways contribute to some amount of collusion. However, for me, having been in business for a certain amount of time, I think that after a certain period of time you would have an understanding of where the numbers should be, especially with the companies that you're dealing with that are large companies that do this on a continuous basis, and would be expected by their experience to have a ballpark that would be within that variance.
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