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Minutes of Proceedings

42nd Parliament, 1st Session
Meeting No. 71
Monday, June 19, 2017, 3:38 p.m. to 6:07 p.m.
Televised
Presiding
Robert Oliphant, Chair (Liberal)

• John Brassard for Dianne L. Watts (Conservative)
• Cheryl Gallant for Larry Miller (Conservative)
• Hon. Rob Nicholson for Hon. Tony Clement (Conservative)
Library of Parliament
• Tanya Dupuis, Analyst
• Dominique Valiquet, Analyst
 
House of Commons
• Philippe Méla, Legislative Clerk
• Hon. Claude Carignan, Senator
• Hon. André Pratte, Senator
• Gérard Deltell, M.P., Louis-Saint-Laurent
Canadian Media Coalition
• Michel Cormier, General Manager, News and Current Affairs, French Services, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
• Jennifer McGuire, General Manager and Editor in Chief, CBC News, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
• Sébastien Pierre-Roy, Lawyer, Chenette, Litigation Boutique Inc.
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression
• Tom Henheffer, Executive Director
Department of Justice
• Jean-François Noël, Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section
• Normand Wong, Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section
Pursuant to the Order of Reference of Friday, June 9, 2017, the Committee commenced consideration of Bill S-231, An Act to amend the Canada Evidence Act and the Criminal Code (protection of journalistic sources).

Hon. Claude Carignan, Hon. André Pratte and Gérard Deltell made statements and answered questions.

At 4:30 p.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 4:40 p.m., the sitting resumed.

Jennifer McGuire, Michel Cormier and Tom Henheffer made statements and, with Sébastien Pierre-Roy, answered questions.

At 5:34 p.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 5:43 p.m., the sitting resumed.

The Committee commenced its clause-by-clause study of the Bill.

Pursuant to Standing Order 75(1), consideration of Clause 1, Short Title, was postponed.

The Chair called Clause 2.

On Clause 2,

Matthew Dubé moved, — That Bill S-231, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing lines 12 to 16 on page 1 with the following:

journalist means any person who contributes directly, either regularly or occasionally, to the collection, writing or production of information for dissemination by any media, including newspapers, magazines or other print media, or television, radio, online dissemination or other electronic media, or any person who assists that person in doing so. (journaliste)”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Matthew Dubé and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 1; NAYS: 6.

Pam Damoff moved, — That Bill S-231, in Clause 2, be amended by deleting lines 1 and 2 on page 2.

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Pam Damoff and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 7; NAYS: 1.

Pam Damoff moved, — That Bill S-231, in Clause 2, be amended by

(a) replacing line 26 on page 2 with the following:

in evidence by any other reasonable means; and

(b) replacing lines 29 to 31 on page 2 with the following:

dentiality of the journalistic source, having regard to, among other things,

(i) the importance of the information or document to a central issue in the proceeding,

(c) replacing lines 2 to 5 on page 3 with the following:

source and the journalist.

(8.1) An authorization under subsection (8) may contain any conditions that the court, person or body considers appropriate to protect the identity of the journalistic source.

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Pam Damoff and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 7; NAYS: 1.

Clause 2, as amended, carried by a show of hands: YEAS: 8; NAYS: 0.

On Clause 3,

Pam Damoff moved, — That Bill S-231, in Clause 3, be amended by

(a) replacing lines 14 and 15 on page 4 with the following:

(2) Despite any other provision of this Act, if an applicant for a warrant under section 487.01, 487.1,

(b) replacing line 17 on page 4 with the following:

under section 487, an au-

(c) replacing lines 19 to 24 on page 4 with the following:

order under any of sections 487.014 to 487.017 knows that the application relates to a journalist’s communications or an object, document or data relating to or in the possession of a journalist, they shall make an application to a judge of a superior court of criminal jurisdiction or to a judge as defined in section 552. That judge has exclusive jurisdiction to dispose of the application.

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Pam Damoff and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 7; NAYS: 1.

Pam Damoff moved, — That Bill S-231, in Clause 3, be amended by

(a) adding after line 2 on page 5 the following:

(4.1) Subsections (3) and (4) do not apply in respect of an application for a warrant, authorization or order that is made in relation to the commission of an offence by a journalist.

(4.2) If a warrant, authorization or order referred to in subsection (2) is sought in relation to the commission of an offence by a journalist and the judge considers it necessary to protect the confidentiality of journalistic sources, the judge may order that some or all documents obtained pursuant to the warrant, authorization or order are to be dealt with in accordance with section 488.02.

(b) replacing line 3 on page 5 with the following:

(5) The warrant, authorization or order referred to in subsection (2) may contain any

(c) by replacing line 8 on page 5 with the following:

rant, authorization or order referred to in subsection (2) has the same powers, with

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Pam Damoff and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 7; NAYS: 1.

Pam Damoff moved, — That Bill S-231, in Clause 3, be amended by adding after line 10 on page 5 the following:

(7) If an officer, acting under a warrant, authorization or order referred to in subsection (2) for which an application was not made in accordance with that subsection, becomes aware that the warrant, authorization or order relates to a journalist’s communications or an object, document or data relating to or in the possession of a journalist, the officer shall, as soon as possible, make an ex parte application to a judge of a superior court of criminal jurisdiction or a judge as defined in section 552 and, until the judge disposes of the application,

(a) refrain from examining or reproducing, in whole or in part, any document obtained pursuant to the warrant, authorization or order; and

(b) place any document obtained pursuant to the warrant, authorization or order in a sealed packet and keep it in a place to which the public has no access.

(8) On an application under subsection (7), the judge may

(a) confirm the warrant, authorization or order;

(b) vary the warrant, authorization or order to impose any conditions that the judge considers appropriate to protect the confidentiality of journalistic sources and to limit the disruption of journalistic activities;

(c) if the judge considers it necessary to protect the confidentiality of journalistic sources, order that some or all documents that were or will be obtained pursuant to the warrant, authorization or order are to be dealt with in accordance with section 488.02; or

(d) revoke the warrant, authorization or order if the judge is of the opinion that the applicant knew or ought reasonably to have known that the application for the warrant, authorization or order related to a journalist’s communications or an object, document or data relating to or in the possession of a journalist.

Sven Spengemann moved, — That the amendment be amended by replacing, in paragraph (8)(a), the words “confirm the warrant, authorization or order;”, with the words “confirm the warrant, authorization or order if the judge is of the opinion that no additional conditions to protect the confidentiality of journalistic sources and to limit the disruption of journalistic activities should be imposed;”

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

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Pam Damoff, as amended, and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 9; NAYS: 0.

Pam Damoff moved, — That Bill S-231, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing lines 12 and 13 on page 5 with the following:

rant, authorization or order issued in accordance with subsection 488.01(3), or that is the subject of an order made under subsection 488.01(4.2) or paragraph 488.01(8)(c), is to be placed in a packet and sealed by the

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Pam Damoff and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 7; NAYS: 0.

Pam Damoff moved, — That Bill S-231, in Clause 3, be amended by

(a) replacing lines 20 and 21 on page 5 with the following:

part, a document referred to in subsection (1) without giving the journalist and relevant me-

(b) replacing line 23 on page 5 with the following:

produce the document.

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Pam Damoff and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 8; NAYS: 0.

Pam Damoff moved, — That Bill S-231, in Clause 3, be amended by deleting lines 22 and 23 on page 6.

The question was put on the amendment of Pam Damoff and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 8; NAYS: 1.

Clause 1, Short Title, carried.

The Title carried.

The Bill, as amended, carried.

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

At 6:07 p.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.



Jean-Marie David
Clerk of the Committee