Mr. Chair, let me open by thanking members of the committee for permitting me to appear before you this afternoon to present a commentary on Bill .
Let me say at the outset that Bill C-41 contains a number of very useful changes. I recommend your support of these legislative measures. However, I also have a number of serious concerns about Bill C-41, most of which are addressed in my 12-page submission. I believe all members have received a copy of it.
Turning first to concerns, I personally find it very troubling that here we are, in 2011, and the government has still not implemented all of the recommendations that the late Mr. Justice Lamer made in September 2003. What's more, the government has ignored, without any explanation or justification, the central recommendation made by Justice Lamer--namely, the creation of a permanent military court.
What I find even more troubling is that DND appears to be in breach of its statutory obligation to conduct a second five-year review of Bill . The first review was in 2003, and the second review should have taken place in 2008. We are now three years past that date, and to my knowledge there's been no independent review along the lines of what Justice Lamer recommended.
Let me address, in rapid succession, four concerns I have with Bill .
Firstly, and of great concern, Bill C-41 is silent on summary trials. For a force of approximately 65,000 regulars, they have almost 2,000 summary trials every year. That's one trial for every 34 soldiers every year--a significant number. To put it into perspective, we have a total of 65 court martials a year. Despite the overwhelming number of charges heard at the summary trial level, and despite the fact that the summary trial proceedings are in need of repair, Bill C-41 ignores summary trial. It's almost as if it did not exist.
I strongly believe that the summary trial issue must be addressed by this committee. There is currently nothing more important for Parliament to focus on than fixing a system that affects the legal rights of a significant number of Canadian citizens every year. Why? Because unless and until you, the legislators, address this issue, it is almost impossible for the court to address any challenge, since no appeal of a summary trial verdict or sentence is permitted. As well, it is almost impossible for any other form of legal challenge to take place, since there are no trial transcripts and no right to counsel at summary trial.
From where I stand, I find it very odd that those who put their lives at risk to protect the rights of Canadians are themselves deprived of some of those charter rights when facing a summary trial. If Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland have seen fit to change the summary trial system, it begs the question: why is Canada lagging behind?
The second issue is grievances. The grievance system as it currently operates is inefficient and unfair, because it fails to address the legitimate grievances of soldiers within a reasonable period, let alone within the statutory delays. Given that there are 700 grievances filed every year--one for every 95 soldiers--this has a large impact upon the rank and file.
Bill addresses the grievance process, but it does so largely for cosmetic reasons. In my view, if the committee were to approve the recommendation made by the department in Bill C-41, the grievance system would become worse. Why? There are two reasons.
First, one major flaw in Bill C-41 is that it will allow the Chief of the Defence Staff to become almost totally disengaged from the grievance system. From where I stand, fundamentally a commander cannot lead his staff, lead his troops, lead his soldiers if he is not personally interested in and aware of what ails his troops.
Another flaw is that the current grievance structure does not grant the Chief of the Defence Staff authority to approve any monetary remedy--not a red cent. Despite a suggestion by the Lamer report in 2003 to the contrary, it appears that DND is happy with the status quo. Considering that the CDS is in charge of protecting the lives of Canada's sons and daughters, and that the annual budget of National Defence is roughly $17 billion a year, I find it odd that the CDS has no authority to grant pecuniary remedies.
Before I leave the subject of grievances, as much as we need a Canadian Forces grievance board as an oversight committee, I believe that such a committee must be external and independent. More importantly, it must be seen as being external and independent. To be seen as being external and independent requires that the members of the grievance board be drawn from civil society, which is certainly not the case at present.
Third, through no fault of its own the Military Police Complaints Commission is as weak and toothless as an oversight committee can be and still be referred to as such. This is because care has not been taken to provide them with the required legislative provision empowering them to act as an oversight body.
I am surprised at the amount of attention being paid in Bill to military judges, compared to the absence of any mention of summary trial, or the banal changes to the Canadian Forces Grievance Board. As discussed in my paper, with a population of 65,000 regulars the Canadian Forces has a total of four judges handling a total of 65 court martials per year.
Court martial judges have been compared in the past to provincially appointed judges; however, when we compare them to provincially appointed court judges, court martial judges have a disproportionately low caseload. For such a very low number of trials--65--I would be hard pressed to substantiate such a number of judges, let alone increasing it by forming a panel of reserve judges. That's particularly so when we consider that at National Defence at the moment there are four defence lawyers overall. So you have four judges and four defence lawyers to look after the trial system.
In conclusion, in order for me to play a part in your examination of this bill there is much to think about and much that deserves careful study and contemplation before Bill can be voted into law.
I appreciate your attention, and I'm now available for questions.
Thank you very much, Mr. Bernier. I am delighted and very proud to be here. It's rather unfortunate that Mr. LeBlanc couldn't be here, as he is my member of Parliament.
I am, as the chairman said, the dean of law at the University of Western Ontario. I've been the dean there since 2000. Before becoming dean, I spent 21 years in the Canadian Forces. I was a chief petty officer. In other words, I was the subject of the system of military justice, and to that extent perhaps I offer a view that one doesn't often hear: the perspective of someone who has legal training but also was an enlisted person in the Canadian Forces.
As we all know, context is all-important when it comes to the interpretation of legal regimes. We hear over and over again that our Constitution is a living tree. That's a notion bequeathed to us by Lord Sankey and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council 80 years ago now, and it has remained a core principle of understanding our Constitution and our legal system generally.
The adoption of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was one of our crowning achievements as a country, but I think it's fair to say that we know much more about the pressures placed on an armed force through modern military operations than we knew in 1981. In 1981-82 we had not been in a hot—as they say in the service—situation since Korea. The fact is that since 1991-92 we've been perpetually in hot situations through the Gulf War, the Balkans, and most recently Central Asia. It seems to me that all of us who have an interest in and care about the system of military justice share a duty to try to breathe life into and try to fertilize the living tree that is the system of military justice, in the context of what we know now about the strains placed on a military organization by modern operations.
It is trite—and I know you've heard this before—that the purpose of a system of military justice is to preserve efficiency, and because that's trite, it makes it easy to overlook what's really embedded in that. Really what we are looking at is a system that will allow a commander to blow a whistle and to cause a bunch of young Canadian men and women willingly to go over the top, even though they know that most of them will be gone in a short period. That's the context of the system of military justice. Thankfully, it's not put to that litmus test very often, but that is still the litmus test to which we have to put it: how well would this suit our armed forces in the time of extreme peril?
Another thing that lawyers often talk about is the notion of purposive interpretation, that we should give our laws an interpretation that would best meet the purpose for their existence. I think it's important for us to remember that a system of military justice exists for very different reasons from a system of civil justice. The regular justice system, the one that all of us who are private citizens live under, exists to preserve our freedom, to keep the government out of our lives as much as possible—what the late philosopher Isaiah Berlin described as negative liberty. That's mostly what the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is ensured to do, to ensure that I've got as much freedom as I can have to say and do what I want.
The purpose of the system of military justice is very different. It exists not to preserve freedom, but to preserve unit cohesion, to ensure—to repeat myself—that young men and women will willingly place themselves in situations of extreme peril because someone told them to and for no other reason. In other words, the system of military justice doesn't exist to reflect Canadian values; it exists to give us an instrument with which we can project Canadian values. That's what we're doing in Central Asia; that's what we did in the Balkans; that's what we did in the first Gulf War; that's what we did in Korea. We need an instrument as a country with which we can project Canadian values.
As someone who was subject to this system for 21 years, for more than an adult lifetime, I can say that the real key from the perspective of the men and women in the trenches, so to speak, is a sense of fairness. It's not whether it's the same as what civilians have. It's whether people think they're getting a fair shake, whether they think that their commanding officers will listen to them when they have a story to tell, whether they think that their commanding officers will give a contextual interpretation to whatever happened. That is why the vast majority of people who can choose between a summary trial and a court martial choose a summary trial. For the most part, they have confidence in the fairness of the system.
As someone who teaches administrative law, I would say the real core of the system of military justice is the doctrine of natural justice. If people think they're going to have a fair shake, that they're going to have the opportunity to tell their side of the story, that's really what's important.
I'll finish by saying that the Canadian system of military justice is probably the most studied system of military justice in the world, certainly in the western world. We had the Somalia inquiry; Chief Justice Dixon did a study; Chief Justice Lamer did a study; we have this meeting today. The truth is that our system of military justice, though not perfect, is pretty darn good. We do not have instances of mutiny, insubordination, or violent insurrection by people in the service. Our service people, in the main, have confidence in the system of military justice.
I think that Mr. Drapeau and I agree on some things, but we have a different view on others. This is the third attempt that Parliament has had at trying to introduce some amendments. I urge you to pass this legislation so that we can move on to other legislation.
The discussion appears to be well under way. We have with us two former members of the military who hold very different views. We will try and draw on both sides of the argument to come up with the best possible bill.
I'll start with you, Mr. Holloway. I admire those who have the courage to say that once a person joins the Canadian Forces, he no longer has the same rights as others. I agree with you in part, because most NATO member countries see a major difference between civilian and military justice. I can appreciate that there is a difference, but just how far does it extend? I disagree with you on this point. As I see it, there are two major issues here. There are summary proceedings, for which there are no transcripts, where decisions are not based on evidence, but rather on hearsay. Sometimes, a soldier faces a commander against whom he has filed a grievance. Having worked for 20 years in labour relations, I do not think that makes a lot of sense.
I also note that you are the dean of the Faculty of Law and a professor at the University of Western Ontario. Do you not think there would be a revolution in Canada if we were to apply all military rules to civilian society?
I wouldn't make too much on the issue of having a right to trial. First, until very recently, until the Trépanier decision in 2006, that right in fact was exercised by the crown, not by the soldiers themselves.
Secondly, it's not because someone decides between two forces that are really not very pleasant--a court martial or summary trial--that he opts to and enjoys the exercise. It's like pleading guilty to a traffic ticket. You may do it just because you want to get it over with. The fact that 95% will elect to have a summary trial doesn't give legitimacy or authenticity to the process itself. I don't think it does.
One of the comments that I need to make to some of the discussion that took place between Mr. Bachand and the professor, what I almost understand to be on the table here, is that it's almost as if we have a Charter of Rights for civilians and a Charter of Rights for military. No, we don't. Any derogation in the application of Canadian law between the civilian tribunals and the military tribunals ought to be put together. A court martial is in fact subject to review, and some of them are before the Court Martial Appeal Court. Those civilian judges who sit at the Court Martial Appeal Court do precisely that in order to make sure that all of the Canadian law and all of its changes are applied as perfectly and fairly to military members as they would be to a civilian.
So there is no different system of laws, and derogations, where they are applicable, are to be restrained. In fact, Bill C-41 does exactly that. As a result of discussion before this committee and in the Senate before, when we said that up to now, because of a fairly restricted, outdated military system, we have a specific system of punishment in the military--dishonourable discharge, reprimand--but we don't have things like conditional sentences, Bill C-41 provides for that, and I agree with that. Why does it do that? It does that because of recommendation, and recommendation has been accepted by the defence department that those flexibility issues available to a civilian trial sentencing judge are now to be made available in a court martial, and I think we should applaud that.
The aim is to reduce the difference between the two, and that's the way we should be going.
Thank you, gentlemen, for appearing and for your interesting presentations.
Dean Holloway, I have to say we've been struggling here as a committee with this notion of the difference between a summary trial and the lack of procedural fairness, and that's the first time I've heard it justified the way that you have here. I will agree with you that what's important here is fairness and the doctrine of natural justice, which you refer to. As someone who has also practised law for many years--administrative law and criminal law--I would say the essence of natural justice is procedural fairness--not to be judged by someone who is biased, the right to know the case against you and to make full answer and defence, etc. We have problems with disclosure, we have problems with the judges knowing the witnesses, etc. So I don't think you can really say that procedural fairness operates in that way.
What I do want to ask is this. As a way of dealing with this, I've thought about the different options. Given the fact that we do have a procedure, and accepting that morale and efficiency are important considerations in this, is there not a way of ameliorating some of the downside--if you have less fairness or less procedural protection, having the consequences be a little different as well? Mr. Justice Lamer also said that soldiers are not second-class citizens.
So if you have a civilian who is charged with a particular offence, goes to court, has all the protections, etc., ends up being convicted, and has a criminal record as a result of that--that's under all of the protections that you have--isn't there a way of saying, in the military courts...? If you have a summary trial that meets the test of efficiency and does all of that, can we not ameliorate the sentencing side and say you're not going to get a criminal record for something you go through a summary trial on?
There's a stab at it here, in clause 75, removing some of the offences, but there's an awful lot left--for example, making a false statement in respect of leave. You said your mother was sick and she really wasn't that sick, so you get a criminal offence for that. Or there's making a false accusation or suppressing a fact, signing an inaccurate certificate, section 108--the Bev Oda offence. These things are all listed there as things that a summary conviction trial in the military can do. Take improper driving or use of vehicles, for example. Why should they end up with a criminal record that they carry with them the rest of their lives, with the consequences that flow from that? And there are more and more consequences, as time goes on, with cross-border traffic, etc. Can we not do that? Can we say yes, there's a different level of procedural fairness, for pragmatic reasons, but let's take away the sting and treat them more fairly by doing that?
Let me say this, though. The conviction rate in summary trials is actually lower than it is in civilian proceedings. Rather than there being a sort of railroad where we're going to, as they used to joke, “march the guilty bastard in”, I don't think the evidence actually bears that out. There is a higher acquittal rate in summary military trials than there is in civilian proceedings.
Leaving that aside, I agree with you in principle, but the challenge will be resolving this. As a service person, if I.... And some of the things the system deals with are charges like drunk and disorderly, when two people get into a fight in a bar, which is assault. Under the current system, I have a right to elect for a summary proceeding. If I were convicted through that, presumably most people would say there should be a criminal record, because if I thumped someone on civilian street, I'd get a criminal record for assault causing bodily harm. I agree with the premise. The challenge will be finding the right sort of language to allow us to determine which sorts of offences we think should attract a criminal record versus those we might call pure service offences--to take a silly example, having filthy shoes or something like that. That would be the drafting challenge. The principle I agree with.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, gentlemen, for coming.
This is the third attempt at this piece of legislation, and obviously we're trying to balance the rights of individuals within a military context.
Mr. Drapeau, you made some very compelling arguments. The question I would have is in your view what immediate changes would you suggest to Bill versus those that may come in future legislation, which I hope wouldn't be in the far distant future? In other words, after the third time, I think we need to get this legislation through, but if there are useful amendments that you think would be helpful, specifically in addressing the current summary trial process, could you provide those?
I think so. I didn't say this in the introduction, but after leaving the Canadian Forces I became an officer in the Royal Australian Navy. I wasn't a legal officer, but I did advisory work for the director of Australian naval legal services.
I can say, and I know this is going to be on the record, that the Australian approach to the reform of military justice is much more visceral, much less reflective than our approach in this country. That's why, as some of you may know, they've just gone through an awful time. There's been a constitutional challenge that has pretty much neutered the whole Australian system of military justice. It has undercut much of what Colonel Drapeau said they were trying to do.
We've not done that in Canada. We've had the chance, several times, to reflect and so on.
I think that is not perfect, and if I were the parliamentary drafter there are things I might do differently. But I do think that in a reflective way, with almost 20 years now of hot operational experience to inform it, it has come a long way.
Merci, monsieur le président.
My name is Jason Gratl, and I am the vice-president of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association. In my private life, non-volunteer life, I act as a criminal and constitutional litigator.
The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, as many of you know, has taken an interest in the last decade in affairs involving national defence, and Bill is no exception. We are a non-profit, non-partisan, public interest organization devoted to the protection of civil liberties and human rights within British Columbia and Canada, and in addition in circumstances where some of our citizens are acting off Canadian soil.
I can say at the outset that the B.C. Civil Liberties Association takes the position that many of the amendments proposed by Bill do represent an improvement over the status quo, and we would support many of these provisions in Bill C-41. Where the bill is in our view found to be lacking is in its absence of attention to procedural fairness issues arising from the summary trial process. While many of those are beyond the scope of any improvements or amendments to Bill C-41, we believe that the principal problems or the greatest problems can be rectified with two small amendments to the National Defence Act.
The first amendment would be the removal of the provision allowing detention to be imposed as a sanction following a conviction under a summary trial. The relevant sections are found in section 163(3)(a) of the National Defence Act, in respect to commanding officers at summary trial, and 163(4), which involves a summary trial presided over by a delegate of the commanding officer. The first sets out the potential for detention for a period not exceeding 30 days, and the second detention not exceeding 14 days. In our view, those ought to be repealed. They are simple provisions to address in Bill . As a pragmatic political question, it's available to the membership of this committee to address that particular issue within this session.
The second issue is that we would recommend an enactment of a restriction of the creation of a criminal record arising from summary trials.
The remainder of my remarks will be oriented to the question of how these proposed amendments or additions to Bill can be supported.
We begin from the principled stance that the Constitution of Canada is the supreme law of Canada as set out in section 52, part VII, of the Constitution Act. It's the supreme law of Canada. It's supreme over the National Defence Act, and absent any justification under section 1 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms it can't be abridged. The larger analysis of the summary trial process for the B.C. Civil Liberties Association is informed by section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which, as the committee will be well aware, protects an individual's right to liberty and security of the person. There's a wealth of case law supporting the proposition that detention represents an abridgement of liberty.
That brings us into the question of whether the deprivation of liberty can be justified in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice. The principle of fundamental justice that has sway in this context is the principle that the greater the consequences to an individual resulting from a process, the greater the procedural protections must be. We see in the case of Charkaoui the possibility for deportation to face torture, so the level of procedural protection must be as high as possible. We see in a case called Rodgers from the Supreme Court of Canada that in cases where individuals have been convicted, the DNA can be taken even retroactively because the interest in that context is not that great.
So the greater the abridgement of interest, the greater the procedural protection might be, and here, with the deprivation of liberty, with the possibility of detention for 14 or 30 days, we fall somewhere along the high range of the requirement for procedural protection.
The committee is familiar with many of the problems with the summary trial process, the restrictions on access to counsel and the limited training opportunities for advising officers. One of the best sources for information regarding the problems with the summary trial process is found in the annual JAG survey of the summary trial process, where surveys were distributed to participants in the summary trial process.
The 2007 report—just to choose one, for example—reveals some troubling trends. Approximately 5% of persons tried by summary process reported that they were not offered an election to court martial. Those are not cases where no court martial option was available, but rather where, by statute, court martial was to be available and the individual was to be put to an election. Fully 5% of individuals who were tried say they weren't even given that option.
Only 76% of persons tried by summary trial process indicated they'd been given their choice of advising officer. That means the presiding officer dictated, contrary to the people's wishes, who their advising officer would be. And 49% of persons tried by summary trial process reported that their advising officer did not explain to them their right to speak with military defence counsel. As well, 70% of persons tried by summary trial process reported that the advising officer did not assist them with examining witnesses during the trial.
Mr. Chair, members of the committee, I would like to thank you for your invitation to join you today to discuss the proposed amendments to the National Defence Act. I am honoured to appear, and I hope my remarks are worthy of your consideration.
My name is Jean-Marie Dugas, and I was a lieutenant-colonel with the Canadian Forces up until almost three months ago, when I retired. Some of you may remember that I appeared before this committee previously, when I was the director of Defence Counsel Services. That was the last position I held.
Based on my reading of the recommendations you made in your initial report and of the bill, you appear to have been paying close attention to what my colleagues and I have to say. I stand before you today with great humility and with the utmost respect for those who hold opinions that differ from mine.
The context does not lend itself to calling into question the relevance of the court martial system in 2011, so I will confine myself to addressing the proposed amendments, or lack thereof. I will focus mainly on amendments to the court martial system, its administration and the process that leads up to a sentence being handed down, if indeed this occurs.
Intermittent sentences are one item that deserves a closer look. In such instances, the offender's family situation and place of residence should be taken into consideration.
The six-month limitation on jurisdiction for the summary trial should be considered as the rule, not the exception. Another item for consideration is Reserve Force military judges and if they are excluded from the treatment.
With respect to the rules governing practice and procedure, power should be shared with the panel and the judicial branch.
The composition of the court martial panel should be taken into consideration, along with the requirement that an officer serve in the CF for at least three years before being eligible to sit on a court martial panel.
Furthermore, not extending the delay for producing rules of evidence can—and that is how it is phrased in the bill—result in rules that today are largely no longer valid. Another issue that should be looked at is the availability of sentences in the community for offences that are similar to civil offences.
The mandate of the director of Defence Counsel Services should be automatically renewed at the director's request. With respect to the appeal committee, the decision should be left to the discretion of the director—by this, I mean the director of Defence Counsel Services—according to recognized established criteria, as is done for the determination of legal action. Lastly, regarding the maximum fine of $500, few fines are below this amount, which makes this provision obsolete. The amount should be adjusted to at least $1,000, or perhaps to a figure that corresponds to a percentage of the member's pay.
I would like to draw your attention also to the following items, which were not addressed in the bill. There is the matter of the significant discretion given to the court martial administrator when selecting members of the court martial panel, the lack of transparency in the selection process for panel members, the lack of indication that there is a choice as to where a court martial must be held, the fact that the court martial administrator reports to the chief judge and the issuance of a subpoena.
Once again, thank you for your attention.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, gentlemen, for coming today.
Mr. Dugas, in your former role as director for defence counsel services you had mentioned that officers in the chain of command have often intervened inappropriately. You cited the case of a general who had spoken directly to the chief military judge on a particular case, etc.
This committee heard from the JAG a few weeks ago about the issue of judicial independence, specifically with reference to a section of the bill allowing the VCDS to issue instructions in reference to particular issues. He testified that he felt this power would be used sparingly and outlined several scenarios where instructions should be issued, including security and logistical concerns.
From your experience, do you see any potential dangers in this clause? If you do, how could the language be adjusted in order to account for the need for the chain of command to retain power over the JAG--for example, in logistics and security--and the need for judicial independence in terms of the respect for rule of law?
Yes, I did, actually. There's nothing to report. I was away on vacation.
There is an issue even with the actual proposal you're making there. If it is a summary trial, there should not be consequences, because we know that some of the offences are treated the same way. Section 129 includes almost everything. It goes from almost nothing to very serious offences for which higher fines will be requested.
At the end of the day, there are some issues. For example, if someone can choose to go to summary trial, he will not get any criminal record. If he believes he should get a better trial and for his defence he elects court martial and is found guilty, then he will end up with a criminal record. I believe it's unfair. It's the same offence that would have mandated.... It's justice, and as my colleague mentioned, it's fundamental. Even in those cases where the accused is given a choice, it should be treated the same way as an offence that goes straight to summary trial. Otherwise, it doesn't make sense to me. Why would you or I be prosecuted in one way and end up in worse jeopardy than we would otherwise?
Thank you. That's a good point.
Mr. Gratl, perhaps you could address that as well. One of your comments was that there's nowhere in the act that says you get a criminal offence. I would suggest to you clause 75 of Bill C-41, which proposes that
A person who is convicted of any of the following offences...has not been convicted of a criminal offence...for the purposes of the Criminal Records Act.
The implication is that if you are convicted of other offences, they are criminal offences for the purposes of the Criminal Records Act, so I think we can assume that they are. I assume you would agree with me.
Would you comment on what Colonel Dugas has just said about the distinction that for the same offence, if you go to summary trial, in your proposal there would be no criminal record, but if you go to a court martial and are convicted, perhaps you'd end up with an offence?
We now continue with the 50th meeting of the Standing Committee on National Defence.
Before starting, I want to inform the members that I will table tomorrow in front of the House our report, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2) and the motion adopted by the committee on Wednesday, February 16, 2011, that the committee recommends
That the Committee condemn the stoning of young women and men in Afghanistan and call on the government to take the necessary action to put an end to these stonings as as soon as possible and that it be reported to the House at the earliest opportunity.
That will be tabled tomorrow at 10 o'clock.
I'll also inform the members that you have until tomorrow, Tuesday, at noon, to give your amendments for Bill to the clerk, because we will start to work on this bill this Wednesday.
Do we have agreement on that? Jack?
Yes, I have a motion that's pursuant to the statement the deputy minister made before the committee, that the department would cooperate in making information available to the committee. This is a list of a number of papers and reports that we understand are available. Many of them, if not most, were actually part of the bibliography of the NRC report that we had before our committee. I think most, if not all, of them are already available in both official languages. Those that need to be made available I guess will have to be translated.
A number of these documents are referred to in various reports and they have information that could be useful to the committee. My concern is that we won't be able to use them unless they're actually tabled before the committee, and we can't distribute them unless they're in both official languages. If they have copies in both official languages right now, well then table them with the clerk and have them distributed. If some of them need to be translated, then so be it. I think that's the nature of the beast. Is it not, Mr. Bachand?
Mr. Claude Bachand: It is.
Mr. Jack Harris: I'm sure most of them are available already. We were told by one of the witnesses that they're all available in both official languages and can be made available. Which ones aren't, I don't know. Maybe Mr. Hawn could help us with that.
I would move that we request that these documents from the deputy minister or the Department of National Defence be made available to the committee.