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Minutes of Proceedings

42nd Parliament, 1st Session
Meeting 164
Monday, May 27, 2019, 3:30 p.m. to 5:33 p.m.
Presiding
Hon. John McKay, Chair (Liberal)

• Paul Manly (Green Party)
• Elizabeth May (Green Party)
House of Commons
• Philippe Méla, Legislative Clerk
• William Stephenson, Legislative Clerk
 
Library of Parliament
• Tanya Dupuis, Analyst
• Julia Nicol, Analyst
Parole Board of Canada
• Brigitte Lavigne, Director, Clemency and Record Suspensions
• Ian Broom, Acting Director General, Policy and Operations
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
• Amanda Gonzalez, Manager, Civil Fingerprint Screening Services and Legislative Conformity
Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
• Lyndon Murdock, Director, Corrections and Criminal Justice Unit
Department of Justice
• Ari Slatkoff, Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel
Pursuant to the Order of Reference of Monday, May 6, 2019, the Committee commenced consideration of Bill C-93, An Act to provide no-cost, expedited record suspensions for simple possession of cannabis.

The Chair called Clause 1.

The witnesses answered questions.

Clause 1 carried.

On Clause 2,

Matthew Dubé moved, — That Bill C-93, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 13 on page 1 with the following:

“to an application referred to in subsection 4(3.1) and the powers, duties and functions of the Board under section 2.21 shall be”

Debate arose thereon.

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was beyond the scope of the Bill, as provided on page 770 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Third Edition.

Clause 2 carried on division.

The Chair ruled that the following amendment was consequential to the previous amendment and therefore it was also inadmissible:

That Bill C-93 be amended by adding after line 15 on page 1 the following new clause:

“2.1 The Act is amended by adding the following after section 2.2:

2.21 (1) The Board shall take all reasonable measures to identify records of conviction contained in the automated criminal conviction records retrieval system maintained by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police that relate to an offence referred to in Schedule 3.

(2) The Board shall, in respect of each record that it identifies under subsection (1), cause inquiries to be made to ascertain whether the person to whom the record relates would be eligible to make an application referred to in subsection 4(3.1) and, if the person is eligible, shall order that the record in respect of an offence referred to in Schedule 3 be suspended.”

Whereupon, Matthew Dubé appealed the decision of the Chair.

The question: "Shall the decision of the Chair be sustained?" was put and the decision was sustained on the following recorded division:

YEAS: Julie Dabrusin, Jim Eglinski, David de Burgh Graham, Glen Motz, Pierre Paul-Hus, Michel Picard, Ruby Sahota, Sven Spengemann — 8;

NAYS: Matthew Dubé — 1.

On Clause 3,

Julie Dabrusin moved, — That Bill C-93, in Clause 3, be amended by

(a) replacing line 16 on page 1 with the following:

2012, c. 1, s. 112

3 (1) Subparagraph 2.3(a)(i) of the Act is replaced by

(b) adding after line 20 on page 1 the following:

(2) Paragraph 2.3(b) of the Act is replaced by the following

(b) unless the record suspension is subsequently revoked or ceases to have effect, requires that the judicial record of the conviction be kept separate and apart from other criminal records and removes any disqualification or obligation to which the applicant is, by reason of the conviction, subject under any Act of Parliament other than

(i) section 109, 110, 161, 320.24, 490.012, 490.019 or 490.02901 of the Criminal Code,

(ii) section 259 of the Criminal Code, as it read immediately before the day on which section 14 of An Act to amend the Criminal Code (offences relating to conveyances) and to make consequential amendments to other Acts comes into force,

(iii) subsection 147.1(1) or section 227.01 or 227.06 of the National Defence Act,

(iv) sections 734.5 or 734.6 of the Criminal Code or section 145.1 of the National Defence Act, in respect of any fine or victim surcharge imposed for any offence referred to in Schedule 3, or

(v) section 36.1 of the International Transfer of Offenders Act.

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Julie Dabrusin and it was agreed to on the following recorded division:

YEAS: Julie Dabrusin, David de Burgh Graham, Michel Picard, Ruby Sahota, Sven Spengemann — 5;

NAYS: Matthew Dubé, Jim Eglinski, Glen Motz, Pierre Paul-Hus — 4.

After debate, Clause 3 carried on division.

On Clause 4,

Julie Dabrusin moved, — That Bill C-93, in Clause 4, be amended by

(a) replacing line 1 on page 2 with the following:

4 (1) Subject to subsections (3.1) and (3.11), a person is ineligible to

(b) replacing lines 13 to 16 on page 2 with the following:

(3.11) A person who has been convicted of an offence referred to in Schedule 3 and other offences may only apply for a record suspension after the expiration of the period referred to in subsection (1), without taking into account any offence referred to in Schedule 3.

(3.2) A person is ineligible to make an application for a record suspension referred to in subsection (3.1) or (3.11) until after the expiration according to law of any sentence imposed, other than the payment of any fine or victim surcharge, for any offence referred to in Schedule 3.

(3.21) For greater certainty, subsection (3.2) does not apply to fines and victim surcharges imposed for both an offence referred to in Schedule 3 and for other offences, in which case a person is ineligible to make an application for a record suspension referred to in subsection (3.11) until after all fines and victim surcharges have been paid.

(c) adding after line 29 on page 2 the following:

(4.11) For the purpose of subsection (3.11), a person referred to in that subsection has the onus of satisfying the Board that the person has been convicted of an offence referred to in Schedule 3.

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Julie Dabrusin and it was agreed to on division.

Matthew Dubé moved, — That Bill C-93, in Clause 4, be amended by replacing line 9 on page 2 with the following:

“(3.1) A person who has been convicted of an offence”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Matthew Dubé and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 1; NAYS: 8.

Matthew Dubé moved, — That Bill C-93, in Clause 4, be amended by replacing lines 12 to 16 on page 2 with the following:

“period referred to in subsection (1), regardless of whether or not any sentence imposed for that offence, including a sentence of imprisonment, a period of probation and the payment of any fine, has expired according to law.”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Matthew Dubé and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 1; NAYS: 7.

Pursuant to the order adopted by the Committee on Tuesday, May 3, 2016, the following amendment, submitted by Elizabeth May for the consideration of the Committee, was deemed moved:

That Bill C-93, in Clause 4, be amended by replacing lines 12 to 16 on page 2 with the following:

“period referred to in subsection (1), regardless of whether or not any sentence imposed for that offence, including a sentence of imprisonment, a period of probation and the payment of any fine, has expired according to law.”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Elizabeth May and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 1; NAYS: 7.

Jim Eglinski moved, — That Bill C-93, in Clause 4, be amended by adding after line 12 on page 2 the following:

“(3.11) A person who makes an application referred to in subsection (3.1) may do so using electronic means in accordance with regulations made under paragraph 9.1(d).”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Jim Eglinski and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 4; NAYS: 5.

Matthew Dubé moved, — That Bill C-93, in Clause 4, be amended by deleting lines 26 to 29 on page 2.

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Matthew Dubé and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 4; NAYS: 5.

Clause 4, as amended, carried on division.

On Clause 5,

Ruby Sahota moved, — That Bill C-93, in Clause 5, be amended by replacing line 3 on page 3 with the following:

pended, without taking into account any offence referred to in Schedule 3, if the Board is satisfied that

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Ruby Sahota and it was agreed to on division.

Matthew Dubé moved, — That Bill C-93, in Clause 5, be amended by replacing lines 8 to 12 on page 3 with the following:

“record in respect of that offence be suspended.”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Matthew Dubé and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 1; NAYS: 8.

Matthew Dubé moved, — That Bill C-93, in Clause 5, be amended by adding after line 12 on page 3 the following:

“(1.2) An order of the Board to suspend an applicant’s record in respect of an offence referred to in Schedule 3 sets aside any sentence that was imposed for that offence that, on the day on which the order is made, has not expired according to law.”

Debate arose thereon.

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was beyond the scope of the Bill, as provided on page 770 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Third Edition.

Whereupon, Matthew Dubé appealed the decision of the Chair.

The question: "Shall the decision of the Chair be sustained?" was put and the decision was sustained on the following recorded division:

YEAS: Julie Dabrusin, Jim Eglinski, David de Burgh Graham, Glen Motz, Pierre Paul-Hus, Michel Picard, Ruby Sahota, Sven Spengemann — 8;

NAYS: Matthew Dubé — 1.

Pursuant to the order adopted by the Committee on Tuesday, May 3, 2016, the following amendment, submitted by Elizabeth May for the consideration of the Committee, was deemed moved:

That Bill C-93, in Clause 5, be amended by adding after line 12 on page 3 the following:

“(1.2) An order of the Board to suspend an applicant’s record sets aside any sentence that was imposed for the offence in respect of which the record is suspended and that, on the day on which the order is made, has not expired according to law.”

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was beyond the scope of the Bill, as provided on page 770 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Third Edition.

Pursuant to the order adopted by the Committee on Tuesday, May 3, 2016, the following amendment, submitted by Elizabeth May for the consideration of the Committee, was deemed moved:

That Bill C-93, in Clause 5, be amended by adding after line 12 on page 3 the following:

“(1.2) Paragraph 7(b) does not apply to the suspension of a record in respect of an offence referred to in Schedule 3.”

Julie Dabrusin moved, — That the amendment be amended

(a) by adding, before the words “Paragraph 7(b)”, the following: “A record suspension ordered under subsection (1.1) may not be revoked by the Board under”; and

(b) by deleting the words after “Paragraph 7(b)”.

The question was put on the subamendment of Julie Dabrusin and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 6; NAYS: 3.

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Elizabeth May, as amended, and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 6; NAYS: 3.

Matthew Dubé moved, — That Bill C-93, in Clause 5, be amended by adding after line 12 on page 3 the following:

“(1.2) In the case of an application referred to in subsection 4(3.1), the Board shall order the suspension of any record of the applicant in respect of any offence under any of subsections 145(2) to (5) or subsection 733.1(1) of the Criminal Code if it is satisfied that the applicant was found guilty of that offence only in relation to an offence referred to in Schedule 3.”

Debate arose thereon.

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was beyond the scope of the Bill, as provided on page 770 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Third Edition.

Whereupon, Matthew Dubé appealed the decision of the Chair.

The question: "Shall the decision of the Chair be sustained?" was put and the decision was sustained on the following recorded division:

YEAS: Julie Dabrusin, Jim Eglinski, David de Burgh Graham, Glen Motz, Pierre Paul-Hus, Michel Picard, Ruby Sahota, Sven Spengemann — 8;

NAYS: Matthew Dubé — 1.

Glen Motz moved, — That Bill C-93, in Clause 5, be amended by adding after line 12 on page 3 the following:

“(1.2) Despite subsection 4(4.1), if the applicant is not able to obtain documents that would provide evidence that the conditions referred to in subsection (1.1) are met, the applicant may submit a sworn statement or solemn declaration that explains the reasonable efforts made by the applicant to obtain the documents, and the reasons why they could not be obtained, including because they were lost or destroyed.

(1.3) On receipt of a sworn statement or solemn declaration under subsection (1.2), the Board shall cause inquiries to be made to ascertain whether the conditions referred to in subsection (1.1) are met.

(1.4) If the Board is satisfied that the conditions referred to in subsection (1.1) are met, it shall order that the applicant's record in respect of an offence referred to in Schedule 3 be suspended.”

Debate arose thereon.

At 4:50 p.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 4:53 p.m., the sitting resumed.

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Glen Motz and it was agreed to on the following recorded division:

YEAS: Julie Dabrusin, Matthew Dubé, Jim Eglinski, David de Burgh Graham, Glen Motz, Pierre Paul-Hus, Michel Picard, Ruby Sahota, Sven Spengemann — 9;

NAYS: — 0.

Matthew Dubé moved, — That Bill C-93, in Clause 5, be amended by adding after line 12 on page 3 the following:

“(1.2) The Board may not revoke a record suspension in respect of an offence referred to in Schedule 3 on a ground referred to in paragraph 7(a) or (b).”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Matthew Dubé and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 1; NAYS: 8.

Clause 5, as amended, carried on division.

At 4:59 p.m., Pierre Paul-Hus took the Chair.

On new Clause 5.1,

Matthew Dubé moved, — That Bill C-93 be amended by adding after line 12 on page 3 the following new clause:

“5.1 The Act is amended by adding the following after section 4.1:

4.11 (1) If the Board orders the suspension of a record in respect of which an application referred to in subsection 4(3.1) is made, it shall notify the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The Board shall also notify any superior, provincial or municipal court that, to its knowledge, has custody of any judicial record of the conviction for the offence to which the order for the record suspension relates.

(2) As soon as feasible after receipt of the notification from the Board, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police shall destroy or remove any judicial record of the conviction for the offence to which the order for the record suspension relates that is in its repositories or systems and shall notify the applicant in writing that the record has been destroyed or removed.

(3) As soon as feasible after receipt of the notification from the Board, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police shall provide notification of the order for the record suspension to any federal department or agency, and to any provincial or municipal police force, that, to its knowledge, has custody of any judicial record of the conviction for the offence to which the order relates.

(4) As soon as feasible after receipt of a notification from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a federal department or agency shall destroy or remove any judicial record of the conviction for the offence to which the order for the record suspension relates that is in its repositories or systems and shall notify the applicant in writing that the record has been destroyed or removed.

(5) Subsections (2) and (4) apply despite sections 12 and 13 of the Library and Archives of Canada Act, subsections 6(1) and (3) of the Privacy Act and any other provision of an Act of Parliament.

(6) For greater certainty, subsections (1) to (4) do not apply to documents submitted or produced in respect of an application referred to in subsection 4(3.1).”

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was beyond the scope of the Bill, as provided on page 770 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Third Edition.

Whereupon, Matthew Dubé appealed the decision of the Chair.

The question: "Shall the decision of the Chair be sustained?" was put and the decision was sustained on the following recorded division:

YEAS: Julie Dabrusin, Jim Eglinski, David de Burgh Graham, Glen Motz, Michel Picard, Ruby Sahota, Sven Spengemann — 7;

NAYS: Matthew Dubé — 1.

On Clause 6,

Glen Motz moved, — That Bill C-93, in Clause 6, be amended

(a) by replacing line 13 on page 3 with the following:

“6 Paragraph 4.2(1)(c) of the Act is re-”

(b) by deleting lines 15 to 18 on page 3.

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Glen Motz and it was negatived on the following recorded division:

YEAS: Jim Eglinski, Glen Motz — 2;

NAYS: Julie Dabrusin, Matthew Dubé, David de Burgh Graham, Michel Picard, Ruby Sahota, Sven Spengemann — 6.

Glen Motz moved, — That Bill C-93, in Clause 6, be amended

(a) by replacing line 13 on page 3 with the following:

“6 Paragraph 4.2(1)(b) of the Act is re-”

(b) by deleting lines 19 to 24 on page 3.

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Glen Motz and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 0; NAYS: 6.

Julie Dabrusin moved, — That Bill C-93, in Clause 6, be amended by replacing lines 13 to 24 on page 3 with the following:

6 Section 4.2 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (1):

(1.1) The inquiries referred to in paragraph (1)(a), made with respect to an application referred to in subsection 4(3.1) or (3.11), are not to take into account the non-payment of any fine or victim surcharge imposed for any offence referred to in Schedule 3.

(1.2) The inquiries referred to in paragraphs (1)(b) and (c) do not apply to an application referred to in subsection 4(3.1) and, with respect to all other applications for a record suspension, are not to take into account any offence referred to in Schedule 3.

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Julie Dabrusin and it was agreed to on division.

Julie Dabrusin moved, — That Bill C-93 be amended by adding after line 24 on page 3 the following:

2012, c. 1, s. 120

6.1 Subsection 6(2) of the Act is replaced by the following:

(2) A record of a conviction in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered that is in the custody of the Commissioner or of any department or agency of the Government of Canada shall be kept separate and apart from other criminal records. Subject to subsection (2.1), no record of a conviction is to be disclosed to any person, nor is the existence of the record or the fact of the conviction to be disclosed to any person, without the prior approval of the Minister.

(2.1) The prior approval of the Minister referred to in subsection (2) is not necessary for the purposes of sections 734.5 and 734.6 of the Criminal Code or section 145.1 of the National Defence Act for non-payment of a fine or victim surcharge that is imposed for an offence referred to in Schedule 3.

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Julie Dabrusin and it was agreed to on division.

Clause 6, as amended, carried on division.

On new Clause 6.1,

Jim Eglinski moved, — That Bill C-93 be amended by adding after line 24 on page 3 the following new clause:

“6.1 The Act is amended by adding the following after section 4.2:

4.21 (1) The Board shall, using electronic means in accordance with regulations made under paragraph 9.1(d), take all reasonable measures to identify records of conviction that relate to an offence referred to in Schedule 3.

(2) The Board shall, in respect of each record that it identifies under subsection (1), cause inquiries to be made to ascertain whether the person to whom the record relates would be eligible to make an application referred to in subsection 4(3.1) and, if the person is eligible, shall notify the person in writing.”

Debate arose thereon.

The Chair ruled the proposed amendment inadmissible because it was beyond the scope of the Bill, as provided on page 770 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Third Edition.

Clause 7 carried on division.

On Clause 8,

Julie Dabrusin moved, — That Bill C-93, in Clause 8, be amended by

(a) replacing lines 32 to 34 on page 3 with the following:

record suspension. (demande)

(b) replacing line 13 on page 4 with the following:

Act, is not to apply to an application made only with respect to an offence referred to in Schedule 3 of this Act if, on that day, the inquiries

The question was put on the amendment of Julie Dabrusin and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 5; NAYS: 2.

Glen Motz moved, — That Bill C-93, in Clause 8, be amended by adding after line 22 on page 4 the following:

“(4) In its annual report under section 11 of the Act for the year after the year in which this Act comes into force, the Board shall include information on the number of applications dealt with and disposed of in accordance with the Act, as amended by this Act, the associated costs and the number of suspensions that the Board ordered in respect of those applications, as well as the number that it refused to order.”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Glen Motz and it was agreed to on the following recorded division:

YEAS: Julie Dabrusin, Matthew Dubé, Jim Eglinski, David de Burgh Graham, Glen Motz, Michel Picard, Ruby Sahota, Sven Spengemann — 8;

NAYS: — 0.

Clause 8, as amended, carried on division.

Clause 9 carried on division.

On Schedule 1,

Sven Spengemann moved, — That Bill C-93 be amended by replacing, in the schedule, paragraphs (a) and (b) of Item 1 of Schedule 3, with the following:

(a) under subsection 4(4) or (5) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, as it read from time to time before October 17, 2018, for possession of a substance included in Item 1 of Schedule II to that Act, except for similar synthetic preparations of cannabis, other than any substance that is identical to any phytocannabinoid produced by, or found in, a cannabis (marihuana) plant, regardless of how the substance was obtained;

(b) under subsection 3(2) of the Narcotic Control Act, chapter N-1 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1985, as it read from time to time before May 14, 1997, for possession of a substance included in Item 3 of the schedule to that Act, except for similar synthetic preparations of cannabis sativa, other than any substance that is identical to any phytocannabinoid produced by, or found in, a cannabis (marihuana) plant, regardless of how the substance was obtained; and

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Sven Spengemann and it was agreed to on division.

Schedule 1, as amended, carried on division.

The Title carried.

The Bill, as amended, carried.

ORDERED, — That the Chair report the Bill, as amended, to the House.

ORDERED, — That Bill C-93, as amended, be reprinted for the use of the House at report stage.

Motion

Jim Eglinski moved, — That the Committee recommends that the Parole Board, which has a mandate to deliver services quickly, effectively and efficiently, use technology to enable them to better serve Canadians, and that the Minister has a requirement to provide high-quality services to all Canadians, reflecting past recommendations of the recommendations of the Auditor General on program delivery as well as his mandate from the Prime Minister to serve Canadians. Therefore, be it resolved that, the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security recommends the Minister immediately look to implement electronic submissions for record suspensions, in particular for those mentioned in C-93.

Debate arose thereon.

On motion of Glen Motz, it was agreed, — That the motion be amended by replacing the words “immediately look to implement” with the words “immediately look at the implementation of”.

After debate, the question was put on the motion, as amended, and it was agreed to.

Motion

Ruby Sahota moved, — That, after having studied Bill C-93, and having studied the Record Suspension Program pursuant to Motion 161, the Committee wishes to make the following recommendation to the Government:

That given witnesses have expressed concerns about additional financial costs in the pardon application process such as acquiring copies of court and police documents, and given that the Government has recognized the importance of reducing the financial burden of applying for a pardon as evidenced by C-93’s proposal to waive the $631 fee, the Committee strongly encourages the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to study further ways to reduce costs associated with applying for a pardon.

After debate, the question was put on the motion and it was agreed to.

It was agreed, — That, in relation to its study of Bill C-93, the Committee consider the recommendations contained in the two motions adopted on Monday, May 27, 2019, as one draft report.

It was agreed, — That the draft report be adopted.

It was agreed, — That the Chair, Clerk and analysts be authorized to make such grammatical and editorial changes as may be necessary without changing the substance of the report.

ORDERED, — That the Chair present the report to the House.

At 5:33 p.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.



Naaman Sugrue
Clerk of the Committee