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38th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

Standing Committee on Justice, Human Rights, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness


EVIDENCE

CONTENTS

Wednesday, April 6, 2005




º 1600
V         The Chair (Hon. Paul DeVillers (Simcoe North, Lib.))
V         Mr. Richard Marceau (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, BQ)
V         Hon. Roy Cullen (Etobicoke North, Lib.)
V         The Chair
V         Hon. Roy Cullen
V         Mr. Richard Marceau
V         The Chair
V         Hon. Roy Cullen
V         The Clerk of the Committee (Ms. Diane Diotte)

º 1605
V         Hon. Roy Cullen

º 1610
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Vic Toews (Provencher, CPC)

º 1615
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Serge Ménard (Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, BQ)

º 1620

º 1625
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Serge Ménard
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Serge Ménard
V         The Chair
V         Hon. Roy Cullen
V         Mr. Vic Toews
V         Hon. Roy Cullen

º 1630
V         Mr. Vic Toews
V         The Chair
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, CPC)

º 1635
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz
V         The Chair
V         Hon. Roy Cullen
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz
V         Hon. Roy Cullen
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz
V         The Chair
V         Hon. Roy Cullen
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz
V         Hon. Roy Cullen
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz
V         Hon. Roy Cullen
V         The Chair
V         Hon. Roy Cullen
V         The Chair
V         Hon. Paul Harold Macklin (Northumberland—Quinte West, Lib.)

º 1640
V         The Chair
V         Hon. Paul Harold Macklin
V         The Chair
V         Hon. Paul Harold Macklin
V         The Clerk
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Vic Toews
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Vic Toews
V         The Chair
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Mark Warawa (Langley, CPC)
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Mark Warawa
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Mark Warawa
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Mark Warawa
V         The Chair
V         Ms. Anita Neville (Winnipeg South Centre, Lib.)
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Mark Warawa

º 1645
V         The Chair
V         Hon. Roy Cullen
V         The Clerk
V         Hon. Roy Cullen
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Richard Marceau
V         The Chair
V         Hon. Roy Cullen
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Philip Rosen (Committee Researcher)
V         Mr. Philip Rosen
V         The Chair
V         Hon. Roy Cullen
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Mark Warawa
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Mark Warawa
V         The Chair
V         The Clerk

º 1650
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Richard Marceau
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz
V         Hon. Paul Harold Macklin
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz
V         Hon. Paul Harold Macklin
V         Mr. Garry Breitkreuz
V         The Chair
V         Mr. Richard Marceau
V         The Chair
V         The Chair










CANADA

Standing Committee on Justice, Human Rights, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness


NUMBER 028 
l
1st SESSION 
l
38th PARLIAMENT 

EVIDENCE

Wednesday, April 6, 2005

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

*   *   *

º  +(1600)  

[Translation]

+

    The Chair (Hon. Paul DeVillers (Simcoe North, Lib.)): We have to discuss three motions. Mr. Marceau.

+-

    Mr. Richard Marceau (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, BQ): Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. It's a pleasure for me to be...

[English]

+-

    Hon. Roy Cullen (Etobicoke North, Lib.): Excuse me, Mr. Chairman, but I'm confused. We're not in camera now.

+-

    The Chair: No.

+-

    Hon. Roy Cullen: Thank you.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Richard Marceau: I didn't know Roy was so serious about signage. I assume the parliamentary secretaries do all kinds of things.

    Mr. Chairman, it's quite simple. Following the meeting that was held in the week preceding the break week, when the Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and representatives of the Customs Excise Union and the RCMP Association came and testified, we had occasion to inquire into the reasons—or the lack thereof—for the closing of the RCMP detachments in Quebec. I wasn't convinced, nor I believe were the majority of the members of this committee. That's why I introduced this motion. If it is passed, as I hope, we'll refer the motion back to the House in the form of a report. The House will consider it because we believe it is so important that the House must take a position on it. If my colleagues opposite sincerely want to fight what their leader calls the democratic deficit, they surely won't have any problem with the House taking a stand on this motion.

+-

    The Chair: Yes, Mr. Cullen?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Roy Cullen: Mr. Chair, I hate to have to go into all these arguments again, but I'm going to because I need to make sure it's on the record that Mr. Marceau's motion.... First of all, I don't think it's in order. Maybe the clerk could check that. I'm just trying to make sure I have the right version. Could I ask the clerk to read the motion so I can make sure I have the correct one?

+-

    The Clerk of the Committee (Ms. Diane Diotte): The motion is that the committee draw to the attention of the House the fact that the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the senior management of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have not taken into account the opinion expressed by the committee in its fourth report but rather have continued the process of closing nine RCMP detachments in Quebec, and that the committee demand that the minister and the RCMP put a stop to its personnel redeployment plan and reopen the detachments concerned.

º  +-(1605)  

+-

    Hon. Roy Cullen: It's the same old motion, I guess.

    First of all, I don't know how the inference could be drawn that the government has not taken into account what has been said at committee. The RCMP may well have taken into account what has been said, but whether the RCMP's going to change its decision on this is another point.

    I think that really gets to the heart of the issue. The Parliament of Canada enacted the RCMP Act, which establishes that the commissioner has the control and management of the force in all matters connected therewith. So I don't know how we would propose that this committee of the House of Commons manage the day-to-day operations of the RCMP, because that's essentially what this committee is asking for. It's very unfortunate that this event has been politicized.

    In fact, Monsieur Ménard and I chatted about this last night. He might dispute this, but the Province of Quebec went through an almost identical process of realigning the Sûreté du Québec. At one of the meetings, I read into the record the very words of the minister at the time. He talked about the fact that it was not a budget matter; it was a matter of realigning the Sûreté du Québec with a more strategic focus so it could be better able to deal with the safety and security of Quebeckers. So that was done in Quebec for the Sûreté du Québec. It was done in Ontario with the RCMP some years ago.

    The point I find flabbergasting and absolutely amazing is that the Commissioner of the RCMP and his Quebec lieutenant have come here to the committee time after time and said that this decision was in the best interest of Quebeckers and Canadians, and that it actually increased and enhanced the security of Quebeckers. I can understand the politics of it. You have a bunch of mayors beating down your doors. This is life in politics. But to sort of ignore the very strong recommendation of the RCMP that this is required and will actually enhance the security and safety of Quebeckers, and to still insist that these detachments be reopened.... I can tell you one thing, Mr. Chairman; these detachments will not be reopened. I'd be very surprised if they were, because the RCMP is following its legislation. The RCMP has said very clearly that this is in the best interest of the security and safety of Quebeckers and Canadians.

    What we are doing is taking up time in the committee and the House of Commons to deal with an issue that is really outside the scope and mandate of a committee of the House of Commons. It is clearly within the scope and mandate of the RCMP, according to their own act that was passed by this Parliament. So again I have to say I think it's astounding that Mr. Marceau would again come forward with this motion.

    We've had the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness here. We've had the Commissioner of the RCMP here twice, I think. There have been meetings and briefings with members of Parliament. There have been countless discussions about this. The Commissioner of the RCMP, who should know what's going on in the RCMP, says this is required.

    I know there might be contacts.... I've heard the comment that the people on the front lines are telling us something different. If we talked to a whole range of different people from different organizations at different levels, they might have differing views. But the point is that the commissioner is charged by Parliament to run the operations of the RCMP, and he has said that this is the best way to deal with organized crime and terrorism. Rather than having small deployments of RCMP officers scattered thinly, it's best to bring them into more of a critical mass so they can deal most effectively with these very serious issues.

º  +-(1610)  

    The other point I find astounding is that the Bloc Québécois is arguing for a stronger federal presence in Quebec. There are no lengths they won't go to to basically be hypocritical. The Bloc Québécois has argued on many other fronts that they don't want a federal presence in Quebec. For the Bloc to come forward to argue for a stronger federal presence in Quebec I find totally astounding.

    I believe the federal government should have a strong presence in Quebec, but the Bloc doesn't. This particular case has nothing to do with a federal presence in Quebec; it has to do with the safety and security of Canadians. That's why the commissioner has said that it's better to have people strategically located to deal with crime and law and order.

    We've been around this so many times before. It's unfortunate it's taking up so much time of the committee, the government, and the RCMP to try to respond to these motions that will lead nowhere.

    Mr. Marceau, while you might get some positive political vibrations in your own particular area--maybe that's all you're trying to accomplish, I don't know--this is not going to change. You're taking up valuable time of the committee, the RCMP, and the government to deal with something that really fails to understand the role of Parliament, the role of the RCMP, and the role of government. What you're proposing is that this committee manage the day-to-day operations of the RCMP. That's not going to happen.

    I certainly will be voting against this motion. I urge colleagues, even those on the other side--I know you've all worked on this together--in the interest of the way we're spending our time and the priorities of Canadians, to defeat this motion so we can get on to the real business of government.

+-

    The Chair: Thank you, Mr. Cullen.

    I think your comments address the substance of the motion, but the procedural advice I've received is that there's no reason to hold the motion not receivable as it is.

    Mr. Toews.

+-

    Mr. Vic Toews (Provencher, CPC): I listened to Mr. Cullen's arguments, and what frustrates me so much is that I've heard the RCMP say these things to me directly, face to face. I've heard commissioners and assistant commissioners saying this reorganization will enhance security within the province. I specifically speak of the Manitoba experience.

    As a provincial official, I worked with the RCMP and I took their word at face value. But then I read in the Gomery inquiry about 2,200 positions being downsized during the exact time when RCMP officers in Manitoba were telling me they were not downsizing. So I'm getting one thing from the RCMP, and we learn years later that what was being said was not accurate, that security was not being enhanced. So if there isn't some accountability here at this committee, where is it? We're not getting it from the government.

    I have very deep, grave concerns about the way the RCMP is structured in this country. We have a commissioner who is essentially a deputy minister in the government. Who does that individual answer to, Mr. Chair? Mr. Cullen says the commissioner manages the affairs of the RCMP. I'm very suspicious that he does. In fact, I'm very concerned that he simply received direction from the minister, saying that this is how we're going to have to cut down this number of positions and he is to find out where to cut them. To me, that is becoming the pattern. That is what is in fact happening here.

    I think I might have stated the other point ironically as well, because I do find it somewhat ironic that the Bloc is asking for a greater federal presence in the province of Quebec. In fairness, under our present Constitution, what we have to understand on that issue is that Canada as a government is responsible for the border crossings, not the Province of Quebec. I'm working within the appropriate constitutional framework right now. Canada has an obligation to maintain those border crossings.

    We heard from any number of not just mayors, not just political people who are feeling the heat in their own constituencies, but from police officers who are telling us cars are blowing by unmanned checkpoints. I'm concerned about that.

    If the parliamentary secretary says it really doesn't matter what this committee says, that it's not going to change, that it's just going to go on, I find that arrogant and I find that irresponsible. I also find it frustrating not only personally, I find it frustrating on behalf of the all the provincial attorneys general who rely on the statements of officials in the RCMP and of the minister in charge of the RCMP, at least administratively.

    And I frankly am confused here. What alternative do I have but to support the Bloc motion, given that there has been no good faith on the part of the government on this issue over the course of many years of personal experience? It's not good enough to say it's the RCMP who are in charge of this. We know there's a very close connection between the commissioner, as a deputy minister, and the minister. If it's not the commissioner who can give us these answers and he's not going to change it, maybe the minister should come back and start explaining all of the discrepancies over the last ten years, the promises made and the promises broken.

    Thank you.

º  +-(1615)  

+-

    The Chair: Monsieur Ménard.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Serge Ménard (Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, BQ): I'll be brief because I wasn't here when I was supposedly quoted. I'd like to know what was quoted because I absolutely don't understand how the reform I carried out in Quebec could have been referred to in backing the kind of decision made by the RCMP.

    The reorganization of police officers in Quebec did not reduce the number of officers. If my memory serves me, I'm virtually certain that no Sûreté du Québec detachments were closed. Furthermore, the number of Sûreté du Québec officers increased considerably following that reorganization, as a result of which I don't see where we could have closed Sûreté du Québec detachments, as we explained, as is claimed.

    The purpose of that reorganization was to reduce the number of police forces because there were too many. If memory serves me, there were nearly 130 in Quebec. We wanted there to be about 40 at most, so that we would have police forces that would ensure there were enough police officers in every area across Quebec to fight most of the crime there, making it a rare phenomenon. For example, when murders are committed—thank God there are fewer in Canada than in the United States—special agents from the Sûreté du Québec conduct investigations in areas where, as a result of population density, there may be one murder every 10 years. We see the same thing in drug trafficking.

    That's why I don't at all see how my words could have been interpreted in a way that would support what the RCMP's doing, particularly since this is a totally different problem. All of Quebec is covered by police forces as a result of the reorganizations I had the honour of directing in Quebec as minister.

    Here a commissioner is abandoning some of his duties, which are a purely federal jurisdiction, that is to say border surveillance, to move staff and conduct major investigations. I don't know whether I previously said it here, but I think it's quite typical of the RCMP—I noticed this in many joint cases in Quebec—to have an elitist conception of police. They say they're the best so they only want to handle the biggest cases. They take more time and need more investigators.

    I acknowledge that the new case law requirements, particularly since the Stinchcombe decision by the Supreme Court of Canada, require much more thorough investigations in order to secure convictions. Consequently, that requires additional staff. I completely understand the Commissioner when he says he wants to send more investigators and group them together in order to target certain criminal organizations. I understood perfectly well that he had to make a choice even among the criminal organizations he was already familiar with and that he wants to target them in order to try them on solid evidence.

    However, by completely destaffing the border, the Commissioner is, to all intents and purposes, abandoning day-to-day surveillance. He's directing his efforts at the criminal organizations he knows, but he's ignoring and dismantling the system that enables him to uncover new organizations, criminals who are not members of organizations or people who become criminals when they realize that the borders are not being guarded because opportunity makes the thief.

    The purpose of the reform I carried out in Quebec was to instill this synergy everywhere among patrolmen and investigators: patrollers living in the community and providing surveillance, and investigators, with additional training, particularly in law, building cases and gathering evidence which they present in court.

º  +-(1620)  

    Our hearings revealed that our land boundary is a veritable sieve. The efforts that are focused on entry points at airports are incredible.

    In another line of thinking, I recently read in the Auditor General's report that a great deal of effort was being put into improving coastal surveillance, whereas anyone can easily move large quantities of weapons and drugs across land boundaries. I believe my colleague, Mr. Toews, who was also a minister in his province, observed that as well. Under the present Constitution, border surveillance is the responsibility of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

    I wanted to correct that impression. I missed a meeting. I don't remember the reason why, but it was no doubt a good one, because I really have to be unable to appear in order to miss a meeting. I'd be quite curious to read those quotations, and I'll try to read the transcripts. But I don't see how he can base his remarks on my reorganization, the effect of which was exactly the opposite from what we're seeing now: a police commissioner who drops one important meeting to focus on another.

    I understand he needs more personnel to focus on that other duty. His admission is significant: he tells us that if he had more personnel, he could handle more cases. So he's aware of criminal organizations. He can't target them all, but he's focusing his efforts on those he's targeting so he can be sure he has enough evidence to take them to court.

    What's he doing about local knowledge? What's he doing about the officers he had posted in order to make contact with the local population and who knew the field and identified new directions organizations were taking to enter the field easily?

º  +-(1625)  

+-

    The Chair: Thank you, Mr. Ménard.

+-

    Mr. Serge Ménard: I believe I've said enough for you to understand that I want to read the statements you've attributed to me.

[English]

+-

    The Chair: Mr. Cullen.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Serge Ménard: Here's the last thing I wanted to say. I won't be very long.

    We're also discovering the background to the RCMP's presence at the borders. Previously there were the Flexible Response Teams provided by the department responsible for customs. From what I understand, following a scandal, a decision was made to remove them from the department that handled customs and to transfer them to the RCMP.

    The RCMP accepted that mandate, but decided not to exercise it so it could focus its efforts solely on certain criminal organizations it was already familiar with.

    I know this is a matter of major general interest. Moreover, colleagues who are not in government are very concerned as well, and rightly so, by the fact that the land boundaries are being left unguarded, while so many efforts are being made to reinforce other ports of entry.

+-

    The Chair: Thank you, Mr. Ménard.

    Mr. Cullen.

[English]

+-

    Hon. Roy Cullen: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

    I'm trying to track down the transcripts of your remarks in the National Assembly. They are in the transcripts of this committee, I think, having read them myself--and by the way, it's not to justify what the RCMP is doing, just to show what I believe is some irony that in the province of Quebec, the very same thing that was done in Quebec with the Sûreté du Québec is now being proposed by the RCMP and enacted by the RCMP. I will get you those comments, Mr. Ménard. In fact, I read them here. I would have preferred to have read them here when you were here, but it is on the transcript, and I'm seeing if I can get hold of them now.

    I'd just like to come back to a couple of points. First of all, I'll come back to Mr. Toews. We've had some questions in the House. We've had some questions raised by you, I think, Mr. Toews, and perhaps others in those provinces where we have, as you well know, contract policing with the RCMP. We've answered a number of those questions.

    If the RCMP is a contract police force in Saskatchewan or Manitoba or wherever it might be, there is a cost-sharing formula. The province kicks in so much, and the federal government kicks in so much. If the province decides to reduce the head count of the RCMP in a province where there's contract policing, then it has nothing to do with the decision of the RCMP.

    You're nodding no, Mr. Toews, but we've had questions in the House. Questions have been raised, and we have followed them up. We have responded to members, and what you're suggesting is that in your particular case, this was not the case.

+-

    Mr. Vic Toews: We kicked in extra money, but the feds could never fill the positions. That still continues to this day in Manitoba.

+-

    Hon. Roy Cullen: I'm not so sure of that, Mr. Toews. I'd like to see the particulars. We have done some follow-up on these issues, and it has actually turned out to be a cost-sharing formula. These are independent decisions of provinces, either to scale back or relocate. The job of the RCMP is not to question those decisions. It is to support the decisions of the provincial and territorial governments when the policing is contracted. You mentioned, Mr. Toews, the resources. The commissioner pointed out that in the last few years the annual budget allocation to the RCMP has increased from $2 billion to $3 billion. As a result of decisions made in budget 2005, it is growing again.

    With respect to head-count reductions, the RCMP commissioner said clearly that this realignment in the province of Quebec has not reduced, and will not reduce, the head-count in Quebec. So it baffles me why you would continue to talk about head-count reductions and budget reductions when the facts do not bear you out.

    Mr. Ménard, you raised points about our border. You know we have an 8,000 or 9,000 kilometre border with the United States. If one followed the logic of your argument to its fullest, we'd have police officers every few hundred yards. I know you're not suggesting that, but at some point you have to make some decisions about where you're going to locate police. In this case, the RCMP has decided that it makes more sense to centralize police than to maintain small, scattered detachments. Some years ago when you were the minister, this is the rationale you yourself used in the Quebec national assembly to propose strategic alliances with the Sûreté du Québec.

    We're failing to acknowledge that on-the-ground policing is the responsibility of the provincial police force—in Quebec, the Sûreté du Québec; in Ontario, the OPP. These are the front-line police. The RCMP is a federal police force. It deals with a number of issues, but it is focused on intelligence-gathering and major crime. It's up to local police, the Sûreté du Québec, the OPP, and the municipal police to be the front-line police force.

    It's not the role of the RCMP to be in every place at all times and do everything for all people. They have to make decisions about how to deploy resources strategically—precisely what you did, sir, in the province of Quebec some years ago with the Sûreté du Québec.

    We need to acknowledge that the federal government, working with other orders of government, has set up integrated border enforcement teams across Canada. I think there are about 15 of them. The provincial authorities, local authorities and the U.S. authorities are working collaboratively to solve crimes and share intelligence. Significant resources have been deployed to make this happen. This way we can work more closely with our U.S. law enforcement partners, coordinate efforts, and share intelligence. I recently participated in what's called a cross-border crime forum, in which law enforcement agencies from the U.S. and Canada worked together to crack some major cross-border drug operations.

    The position of the RCMP and the government needs to be on record. It's unfortunate, however, that we're taking up the committee's time to deal with day-to-day operational decisions of the RCMP, a practice that is actually in contravention of the provisions of the RCMP Act.

º  +-(1630)  

    If you think that parliamentarians and committee members should run the day-to-day operations of the RCMP, then I would suggest that you put some amendments into the House to the RCMP Act. I think they'd be laughed out of the House, when it became clear that the members of this committee were trying to run the day-to-day operations of the RCMP. What you're proposing just runs contrary to an act of this Parliament.

    With that, Mr. Chairman, I'll--

+-

    Mr. Vic Toews: You almost had my vote. Now I think you lost it.

+-

    The Chair: Then with no further interventions, I'll put the question.

    (Motion agreed to)

+-

    The Chair: Next on our agenda we had a notice of motion from Mr. Breitkreuz.

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, CPC): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    I think the notice is self-explanatory. I don't think we need a lot of discussion on this. I'm inviting the Solicitor General to come before the committee to report to us on the budget items. I have the different votes listed there. I think at the first opportunity we have to invite the minister, we should do so.

º  +-(1635)  

+-

    The Chair: The minister is coming on May 17.

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz: Of May?

+-

    The Chair: May 17. We already have confirmation of that date.

    Yes, Mr. Cullen.

+-

    Hon. Roy Cullen: Could I just raise a general point about estimates? We have this committee and we have the subcommittee. The subcommittee was designed primarily to deal with those matters as they relate to public safety and emergency preparedness.

    I know, Mr. Breitkreuz, you want to focus on the gun registry, I suspect.

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz: No.

+-

    Hon. Roy Cullen: Say it isn't so.

    What I'm going to suggest is that it's unreasonable for the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to come to both this committee and the subcommittee. I think it also ties in with Mr. Toews' motion, because if it has to do with SIRC, that would be under the purview of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

    What I would suggest is that we could have the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness come to this committee and do all estimates, which I think runs counter to what was envisaged with the subcommittee, or take the items that relate to the minister's portfolio--the gun registry, SIRC, anything else that you want to review within Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness—and review that at the subcommittee.

    I can tell you right now that it will be a bit of a stretch to get the minister to come to two committee meetings to deal with estimates.

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz: Can I ask for clarification?

    The minister is coming on May 17 to this committee.

+-

    The Chair: Yes, to this committee. We have confirmation from her office.

    Mr. Cullen.

+-

    Hon. Roy Cullen: The problem is for her to come here...as long as we understand then that she won't go to the subcommittee.

+-

    The Chair: I don't think there would be any obligation for her to go to the subcommittee. This is the committee that--

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz: I'm asking for her to come to this committee.

+-

    Hon. Roy Cullen: As long as we understand that if the subcommittee asks the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to come to the subcommittee, she's probably going to decline. So we want to get all that dealt with then at the main committee. That's all I'm saying.

+-

    The Chair: I think that's clear enough.

    There is a motion that pursuant to Standing Order 81(7) and (8), the committee consider andreport recommendations on the future expenditure plans and prioritiesof the department.

    That was in your motion, Mr.—

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz: I put 81(4) here. You said 81(7). I don't know whose number is right.

+-

    The Chair: The motion that is before us says 81(7) and (8).

    The clerk is asking about the question of time management, whether one meeting is going to be sufficient to cover this.

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz: At this point, it's almost impossible to tell. If we can't cover it all at one meeting, can we pass a future motion to have her come back?

+-

    The Chair: Surely we can get it done in one meeting.

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz: We can try.

+-

    Hon. Roy Cullen: I think we'd better try hard.

+-

    The Chair: We have a motion before us that the committee hold these meetings, and we have a date from the minister's office of May 17. Is everyone in agreement with the motion?

+-

    Hon. Roy Cullen: That's focused on the votes that are under the purview of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

+-

    The Chair: Yes.

+-

    Hon. Paul Harold Macklin (Northumberland—Quinte West, Lib.): Privy Council vote 30 would move over to the Solicitor General. In Mr. Toews' request, he has it under Minister of Justice. Would that be when Minister McLellan comes?

º  +-(1640)  

+-

    The Chair: Yes, but first we need to dispose of Mr. Breitkreuz's motion.

+-

    Hon. Paul Harold Macklin: It should be amended to include that as well.

+-

    The Chair: Are you moving an amendment to Mr. Breitkreuz's motion?

+-

    Hon. Paul Harold Macklin: I will if you wish.

+-

    The Clerk: It's vote 30, Department of Public Safety. The other one is vote 30, Privy Council.

+-

    The Chair: Okay. They're different.

    Do you accept that as a friendly amendment?

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz: Okay.

    (Amendment agreed to)

    (Motion as amended agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])

+-

    The Chair: We'll now deal with Mr. Toews' motion.

+-

    Mr. Vic Toews: I think this is basically straightforward. There's nothing contentious here.

+-

    The Chair: We have a date of May 10 for the Minister of Justice.

+-

    Mr. Vic Toews: That's fine.

+-

    The Chair: All in favour of the motion as amended, removing vote 30?

    (Motion as amended agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])

+-

    The Chair: That brings us to Bill C-17. We have two items there. One deals with the budget. We had already passed a budget, but because we're in the new year, it needs to be passed again for the new fiscal year. The clerk has prepared it with an amount of $39,400 on Bill C-17, thinking that it should be enough to cover the work on Bill C-17. In the event that there's more, we'd have to go to the liaison committee for anything over $40,000. We're suggesting and putting forward for consideration that we pass it at this level. If we need more, we'll have to deal with it at that time.

    Yes, Mr. Warawa.

+-

    Mr. Mark Warawa (Langley, CPC): We're dealing with the budget, Mr. Chair. If we change the list of witnesses, it would possibly change the budget.

+-

    The Chair: There's some leeway, but at this point this is the limit that we can pass without going to the liaison committee.

+-

    Mr. Mark Warawa: Do we want to deal with the list of witnesses first and find out if there are going to be changes, or do we want to deal with the budget first and then find out that we may not have enough?

+-

    The Chair: There's some latitude in that figure to allow for a few additional witnesses. But if we go well over it, we're going to have to go to liaison in any event.

+-

    Mr. Mark Warawa: Will we be speaking to the list?

+-

    The Chair: Yes.

+-

    Mr. Mark Warawa: Thank you.

+-

    The Chair: Can I get a motion to pass the budget at the $39,400 figure?

+-

    Ms. Anita Neville (Winnipeg South Centre, Lib.): I so move.

    (Motion agreed to)

+-

    The Chair: We go now to the witness list that was circulated. Mr. Warawa, you wanted to speak to it.

+-

    Mr. Mark Warawa: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

    On page two, we have the name Darryl Plecas, about halfway down. I just wanted to elaborate on his title and credentials. He is Dr. Darryl Plecas. He's a professor and head of the criminology department at UCFV—that's University College of the Fraser Valley. He is also the author of a number of papers written on this topic and the co-author of a report that's recently been done for the RCMP. It was released and deals with marijuana grow-ops and their impact. He was a guest panellist at a forum that I had—a town hall—a week ago, and he is well spoken. This is just a clarification on his title, as he's not really an “individual”.

    The other one I would suggest, who was a panellist at the town hall and was well recommended, is RCMP member, Corporal Dave Fleugel. He is a front-line officer who has dealt with marijuana grow-ops for about the last 12 years and was released to be a panellist at this town hall. He's very intelligent and very informative, and I think he'd be a good witness for this committee.

º  +-(1645)  

+-

    The Chair: I think that's something he would have to take up with his superiors. I suppose the committee could invite him, if it's of a mind to do so.

    Yes, Mr. Cullen.

+-

    Hon. Roy Cullen: I have a question. First of all, I didn't see the organization—the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. Are they not on the list? These are the only ones that have requested, that I see--

+-

    The Clerk: Yes, we'll get more from....

+-

    Hon. Roy Cullen: Can we get back to you, then, to make a more...?

+-

    The Chair: Yes. The purpose today was just to review those that we've received, if we're in agreement on hearing from these.

    Monsieur Marceau.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Richard Marceau: We're going to contact the people who appeared during the last Parliament.

[English]

+-

    The Chair: Yes.

    Mr. Cullen.

+-

    Hon. Roy Cullen: I just had a question that may be tied in, Mr. Chairman, to your previous comment.

    If we have people proposed as witnesses.... For example, I notice they have Gary Bass and Paul Nadeau from the RCMP. These are witnesses proposed by Randy White. I'm just wondering, we may get back to you with some of our own, so....

+-

    The Chair: These are the ones where the people have asked. There's still the opportunity for members to submit a further list.

    Yes, Mr. Breitkreuz.

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz: Right now you're asking for approval of this list?

+-

    The Chair: For this list.

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz: That doesn't mean we can't have future people?

+-

    The Chair: No, you can have...obviously, yes. But on the individuals, many of these people took the initiative themselves. I see a lot of them are recommended here, with the names of members of Parliament who are recommending them. Whether we want to invite people who don't come recommended, if we know anything about them....

    Phil, do these names mean anything to you, the ones who have no MP recommending them?

+-

    Mr. Philip Rosen (Committee Researcher): Some do and some don't. I don't see any people with unique points of view. I don't see any crackpots, let's put it that way. Poor choice of words.

    A voice: No pun intended.

+-

    Mr. Philip Rosen: It was accidental, I can assure you.

+-

    The Chair: So it's agreed we'll invite the witnesses.

+-

    Hon. Roy Cullen: With the RCMP, the only reason I flag it is that I know I've seen the name Gary Bass—I think he might have even been here before—and Paul Nadeau. I don't know whether they are the experts in the RCMP to deal with this. So I'd like the chance just to come back and say here are the people from the RCMP they're proposing to put up.

+-

    The Chair: Which you'd have, in any event; we can submit further....

    I'd suggest that maybe you contact the RCMP and put these names forward and see if they are the ones they would want to....

    Yes, Mr. Warawa.

+-

    Mr. Mark Warawa: Mr. Chairman, I have further clarification on page 2. Ed Doerksen has indicated that he wanted to speak on Bill C-16.

+-

    The Chair: Okay, we'll remove him from list and put him on the list for Bill C-16.

+-

    Mr. Mark Warawa: Thank you.

+-

    The Chair: The clerk will send out the invitations.

    The next item is a certificate of nomination. I'll ask the clerk to give us the background on that.

[Translation]

+-

    The Clerk: Good afternoon.

    This is the first time the Justice Committee has received a certificate of nomination. We're normally informed of an appointment by an Order in Council. The difference is that

[English]

a certificate of nomination is an appointment made by a minister and those nominations must be tabled in the House. They may be subject to review, but not revoked by a committee. And the options that we have are the same as with the other types of nominations, but there's only one difference. You can invite the individual to appear and discuss his qualifications and you can report to the House, or you can choose to not invite him. In that case the government will have to wait the 30 sitting days before putting the process into place. Contrary to a nomination, an order in council is automatic; it's in place. And the third option is to say that you don't want to invite...but write a letter to Privy Council telling them. That way they can put the process in place before the end of the 30 sitting days.

º  -(1650)  

[Translation]

+-

    The Chair: This concerns the nomination of Yves Le Bouthillier to the position of President of the Law Commission of Canada. Are we interested in inviting him to our committee?

+-

    Mr. Richard Marceau: Mr. Chairman, this is the first time we've done that here in the Justice Committee.

    Perhaps we should see about it. I'm always curious to inquire about what we can do as a committee. As far as I'm concerned, I'd invite him to appear.

[English]

+-

    The Chair: Okay. Mr. Breitkreuz, and then Mr. Macklin.

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz: We also would like to review this whole process. We have some concerns on how this all came about--the panel, and how that was.... So we would support Mr. Marceau's protocol.

+-

    The Chair: The purpose of him coming would be to deal with his qualifications.

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz: Yes, of course.

+-

    Hon. Paul Harold Macklin: So the question that's been raised here--and I think the clerk has pointed out what we can and cannot do--is that you just simply wish to affirm that this is correct in relation to this particular--

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz: My understanding is that he will come before this committee and answer questions on his qualifications.

+-

    Hon. Paul Harold Macklin: If we request, that's correct. And you wish to do that?

+-

    Mr. Garry Breitkreuz: Yes.

+-

    The Chair: Okay.

[Translation]

    Mr. Marceau, the motion is to invite Mr. Le Bouthillier to come and answer the committee's questions.

+-

    Mr. Richard Marceau: The motion is seconded by Gary Breitkreuz.

[English]

+-

    The Chair: Okay. All in favour?

    (Motion agreed to)

[Translation]

-

    The Chair: Very well, we're going to send the invitation.

[English]

    The last item is “Other”. On the “Other” items, I think we've exhausted the list here.

    Thank you very much, everyone.

    We'll adjourn this meeting.