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Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security


NUMBER 084 
l
1st SESSION 
l
42nd PARLIAMENT 

EVIDENCE

Thursday, November 9, 2017

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

  (0845)  

[English]

     Let us commence the 84th meeting of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security.
    We have as our witnesses Minister Goodale and a variety of departments represented by various people. I'll leave the minister to introduce them.
    We are under some time pressure, colleagues, as the minister has to be out of here at 9:45 sharp in order to be able to give a statement in the House on behalf of Minister Seamus O'Regan.
    We will turn it over to the minister, who needs no introduction and therefore will get none.
    Some hon members: Oh, oh!
    I'm very pleased, I think, to have the opportunity this morning to speak to the committee about my portfolio's supplementary estimates (B).
    Assisting me today is Malcolm Brown, who is the deputy minister of Public Safety.
    We have Gilles Michaud, deputy commissioner for federal policing in the RCMP.
    We have David Vigneault, who is the new director of CSIS.
    And I believe, David, this is your first appearance in that capacity before a parliamentary committee.
    Peter Hill is the associate vice-president in the programs branch of CBSA.
    Anne Kelly is the senior deputy commissioner for the Correctional Service of Canada.

[Translation]

    I am happy to have this opportunity to speak to you this morning on supplementary estimates (B). We are requesting these authorizations in order to continue to ensure the safety of Canadians, while protecting our rights and freedoms.

[English]

     Before I get into the estimates, though, Mr. Chair, I want to take a moment to recognize that we are meeting this morning only a few days after Constable John Davidson of the Abbotsford Police Department was shot and killed in the line of duty.
    In our jobs, we are privileged to meet police and other public safety officers and to deepen our appreciation of the difficult, dangerous, and absolutely indispensable work they do. We certainly share in the pain and in the profound sense of loss when an officer falls in the line of duty. I know that all of you join me in offering our sincere condolences to Constable Davidson's family and friends, to Chief Rich and his colleagues on the police force, and to the entire community at Abbotsford.
    Now we turn to the matter at hand. The public safety portfolio in these estimates is requesting adjustments resulting in a net increase in authorities of $223 million. As always, our objective is to keep Canadians safe, while at the same time safeguarding rights and freedoms. In my remarks this morning, I will briefly explain how the authorities we are seeking in these supplementary estimates would do that.
    The largest chunk of this funding will go to the RCMP, including over $60 million to implement the salary increases announced in April, which will be paid retroactively going back to January 1, 2015. We are also seeking over $28 million in integrity funding. I was pleased to note that the recent economic update also included an additional $100 million to support RCMP operations and the RCMP External Review Committee. This funding reflects some of the remedial measures that we took after the RCMP underwent over half a billion dollars in cuts between 2011 and 2015, to ensure RCMP members have the resources and support they need to keep doing their job of protecting communities and the country.
    As you know, we've also passed Bill C-7, to bring the RCMP labour relations regime into compliance with the charter and with a judgment of the Supreme Court of Canada. That will, for the first time ever, give members of the force the right to bargain collectively. That legislation received royal assent in June, and the process of certifying a bargaining agent is now under way.
    As all members will know, two studies on harassment in the force were completed earlier this year, one by the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission and the other by former Auditor General Sheila Fraser. Both of these reports are informing our way forward as we continue working to ensure the RCMP provides its employees with a safe and healthy workplace. Of course, that objective applies to every department and agency of the Government of Canada.
    We've stepped up recruiting, with the RCMP training academy in Regina graduating 938 new officers in the fiscal year 2016-17. That's almost triple the number from 2013-14. The current year should generate another 1,100 new graduates, and then more than 1,200 in 2018-19. I've had the privilege of attending several graduation ceremonies at Depot, and welcoming Canada's newest Mounties to an organization with a long and proud history. You can be assured that I will keep doing everything I can to make sure that the RCMP's best days lie ahead of it, despite its fantastic history.
    The RCMP is also included among the recipients of the $274 million over five years that we announced this past summer to support law enforcement bodies in their efforts to combat impaired driving.

  (0850)  

     In these estimates, Public Safety Canada, CBSA, and the RCMP are seeking a combined total of $20.1 million for the implementation of an initiative to build capacity to address drug-impaired driving.
     We also recognize the importance of public education. That's why my department is seeking an additional $2.5 million to raise awareness about the risks and consequences of drug-impaired driving. This funding will support an upcoming advertising campaign to discourage Canadians, especially young and new drivers, from driving after using drugs. It will also build on a social media campaign we ran last March targeting young drivers and their parents.
    Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is the leading criminal cause of death and injury in Canada. This funding and the important new legislative measures in Bill C-46 are important parts of our efforts to prevent, detect, and punish impaired driving and to keep our roads safe.
    Some $9.2 million is also being sought for the Department of Public Safety, the RCMP, and CBSA related to the new cannabis framework to be implemented next year. These include measures to ensure that organized crime is kept effectively out of the new legal system for dealing with cannabis and to beef up interdiction at the border.
    Mr. Chair, we are also seeking authorities related to some of the extreme weather events Canadians have experienced this year. Severe flooding caused a great deal of damage to homes and communities in several provinces across Canada this past spring, particularly in Quebec and Ontario. As well, this summer's wildfire season in British Columbia was, as we know, one of the worst in recent memory. We are deeply grateful to the brave firefighters and other first responders who answered the call, as they always do, as well as the many ordinary—or, rather, extraordinary—Canadians who filled sandbags, volunteered at shelters, and generally stepped up to help friends, neighbours, and strangers in need.
    When a natural disaster strikes, one of our key partners is always the Canadian Red Cross. The organization contributed greatly to a number of relief activities this year, including distributing immediate financial assistance to evacuees. We are pleased to contribute to the Red Cross, including $1 million to support its flood relief efforts across Canada this past spring and $38.6 million to support its relief efforts related to the B.C. wildfires. These transfers account for a portion of the total authorities we're requesting today.
    Finally, Mr. Chair, the Correctional Service of Canada is requesting $12 million to address the needs of vulnerable offenders in the federal corrections system. Over 70% of male offenders and almost 80% of female offenders meet the criteria for some type of mental disorder, including substance abuse and misuse. To ensure that they receive proper care, you will recall, budget 2017 proposed investing $57.8 million over five years, starting this fiscal year, and then $13.6 million per year thereafter. These funds are for the expansion of mental health care supports in federal correctional facilities and follow up very specifically on advice we have received over time from the correctional investigator. CSC's requests for additional funding in these estimates are part of upholding this important commitment.
    We also included in the budget over $110 million to support the reintegration of previously incarcerated indigenous people and to advance restorative justice approaches, and we have introduced, as you know, Bill C-56 on administrative segregation.
    As you can see, we are focused on ensuring that federal correctional institutions provide safe and secure environments conducive to inmate rehabilitation, staff safety, and the protection of the public.
    Mr. Chair, it's a big portfolio with lots of detail. I'll leave the detail at that and look forward to the next period with some questions.
    Thank you.

  (0855)  

    Thank you, Minister.
    Our first round of seven minutes goes to Mr. Spengemann.
    Thank you very much, Minister Goodale. It's good to have you with us, along with your senior staff. Thank you for taking the time.
    I would like to echo you personally and on behalf of my constituents in Mississauga-Lakeshore, in expressing my condolences on the death of Constable Davidson to his family, his colleagues, and his friends.
    Mr. Chair, this is a year that has been marked by several tragedies and attacks within or against faith-based communities, beginning with the shooting in Sainte-Foy in Quebec City earlier this year and ending most recently with the tragedy in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
    Minister Goodale, you have had the opportunity to address the committee on this issue before. It's an important issue. My community in Mississauga—Lakeshore has a very active faith-based dialogue at the moment, which my colleagues and I are engaged in along with the faith leaders. The security infrastructure program is one that remains of interest to many faith leaders, specifically, but not limited to, Jewish and Muslim leaders. Could you give the committee an update on the interest in this program, the recent expansion of this program, and where you see it heading in the months and years ahead?
     Thank you, Mr. Spengemann.
    The program you're referring to, the security infrastructure program, began several years ago. I think it's fair to say it began on a modest and experimental basis to see if it was of value for governments to invest in identifying community groups and organizations, often religious-based or culturally based, and other minorities that feel vulnerable, such as the LGBTQ community. It became clear that there was a very real need for this program to help the communities to identify their vulnerabilities and then to better protect their facilities.
    As a result of our analysis of the small program that had begun, we felt it was justified to expand that program. We broadened the criteria. We regularized the intake process for applications so that they occur twice annually on a regular cycle, and now the funding can be used for a broader range of security activities.
    We've now gone through two cycles of intake for applications, and I think it's fair to say that the program is fully subscribed if not oversubscribed.
    A great many communities are making very good use of this funding to improve their security whether that's through fencing, closed-circuit television, lighting, protective materials on windows and so forth or through training their own folks on how to deal with security issues. It has been very well received. Announcements have been made across the country to a broad range of groups and organizations.
    We will be monitoring the benefits of the investments to measure as much as we can how well those investments have served the community, but so far all of the signals are very positive except for the fact that it's probably oversubscribed, which is a good sign.

  (0900)  

    Thank you very much, Minister.
    Keeping our communities safe is one part of the equation. You're also involved in work to counter radicalization to extremism. On that front, I want to ask you a question.
    I recently had the opportunity to attend the 137th Annual Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in St. Petersburg, Russia. The assembly, comprising 156 nations, passed a resolution that is a declaration on promoting cultural pluralism and peace through interfaith and inter-ethnic dialogue.
    As I mentioned, my city of Mississauga is currently engaged in a very active interfaith dialogue alongside members of Parliament, my colleagues.
    How does interfaith dialogue and greater cultural understanding intersect with the work your department is doing through the Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence?
     It's a critical part of the whole effort, Mr. Spengemann. Every time we can get people from that vast Canadian mosaic to sit down with each other and learn more about each other and develop relationships with each other, broaden understanding, and reach out and work together, all of that makes our society that much stronger. The Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence is working with a broad variety of experts, agencies, academics, and community organizations across the country to encourage higher levels of understanding and also to do the hard work of identifying the factors that lead to radicalization and to violence as well as the kinds of steps that can be taken to intervene in the right way with the right people at the right time, before the fact, to try to head off tragedies before they happen. Will that succeed in every case? Obviously not. But it's an endeavour that is well worth undertaking.
    What your faith-based groups are doing is a natural complement to what the Canada Centre would be promoting and encouraging. I would also note that within the department we also have the Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security. It consists of about 15 representatives of various ethnocultural organizations across the country that come together on a periodic basis to learn about how our security systems function and to offer advice or to raise issues or concerns where they think there may be some issues to resolve. There was a meeting of the Cross-Cultural Roundtable last weekend, and it was a very useful session.
    Thank you, Mr. Spengemann.
    Thank you, Minister.
    Mr. Motz, you have seven minutes.
    I want to echo the comments of the minister and Mr. Spengemann with regard to the condolences to Constable Davidson's family and friends, to the policing community in Abbotsford, as well as to the policing community across this nation.
    Thank you, Mr. Minister, for being here, and thank you to your officials for being here.
    I want to focus part of my questions on the immigration end of things in CBSA. Your government is committed to admitting nearly a million immigrants in the next three years. We've seen the impacts of Operation Syrian Refugees. We've seen the impacts, this past year, of illegal border-crossers.
     Mr. Minister, you and I had some conversations at the immigration committee earlier this fall in which I suggested that the illegal border-crossers were causing significant pressures on staff, that the interview times had been reduced, that people weren't showing up for secondary interviews, that people weren't being located across the country, and that people were disappearing and were not able to be found. It caused some consternation, and people were curious as to whether public safety was at risk. You assured Canadians that public safety and national security were never at risk.
    Although I would like to believe you, I'm not naive enough to suggest that this is completely the case. CBSA front-line officers aren't completely convinced of that, and neither are some members of the Canadian public.
    Sometimes past behaviour is a predicator of future behaviour. A redacted version the CBSA's internal audit of Operation Syrian Refugees has been posted online. I've learned from those who have access to the unredacted version that there are some things that are somewhat troubling in there. Screening times have been reduced from 30 days down to 96 hours. Security screening was not done, or not done properly, in a number of those cases. Sometimes, the open source for screening was in fact social media; this was redacted from the document.
    The audit recognizes that there were extreme pressures placed on the teams involved in Operation Syrian Refugees and that resources were working numerous hours of overtime in order to ensure the operation's success.
     What is troubling is that removed from the report was the sentence that said there was a risk that the processing of Syrian refugees did not comply with key legislation or with the delivery instructions of OSR, which is the Operation Syrian Refugees program.
    If that's the case, we know from CBSA's internal audit that the illegal border-crossers have caused interview times to be reduced from the normal eight hours down to under two hours, and that question 2 on the form for those coming into the country, about why they are seeking asylum in Canada, isn't even being asked.
    With those things happening, Canada is expecting what some reports suggest will be a quarter of a million more attempted illegal border crossings.
     My question, sir, boils down to where are you expecting the resources to come from to address both the increased levels of immigration and the increased levels of illegal border crossings? Front-line officers are telling us that this is having an impact on the normal flow of legal immigrants into this country. As my staff tell me and other MPs' staff tell them, the normal processes are backlogged significantly.
    I'm just curious to know where in your budgets the resources are going to come from to try to meet the demands that we are being faced with in both the legal immigration process and the illegal immigration process.

  (0905)  

     Mr. Motz, I'll say two things.
    First of all, many of your comments were with respect to the Syrian project at the beginning of 2016. That project, as you point out, was a very large humanitarian effort, and it was undertaken in a very short time frame. In order to accomplish that objective of bringing that number of people out of the risk that they were in in Syria and bring them to Canada, we put together a security screening system that was designed by Immigration and Refugees Canada, the CBSA, the RCMP, and CSIS. Through that period of time, I was constantly in touch with the heads of all of those organizations to be assured that the screening system was strong and appropriate to meet that challenge.
    I remember specifically asking the director of CSIS and the commissioner of the RCMP, “Is this sound and solid and will it work?” and their answer in both cases was yes. In fact, they offered that at a news conference at the very beginning of the process, saying they were satisfied with the security elements that we had put in place to be able to do this humanitarian project and do it safely.

  (0910)  

    Mr. Minister, I guess I ask the question again. We know the pressures are there. We've heard from witnesses that they are under enormous pressure with the current regime of illegal border-crossers. I just don't know where the resources will be coming from. I don't see—
    They're not in supplementary estimates (B). That's not a part of this request, but as you know, under the parliamentary process, there are several supplementary estimates that come forward when they're required. You can be assured that these agencies—IRCC, CSIS, the RCMP, and CBSA—are constantly monitoring their resources, especially in relation to the border issues. To the extent that it is feasible, they reallocate and reassign within their existing budgets. When they need more, they are not bashful, let me assure you, about coming to ministers and asking for further supplementaries to be included, and then we go to Parliament and ask for the exact numbers.
    Nor are the rest of us.
    Thank you, Mr. Motz.
    Mr. Dubé.
    Thank you, Chair.
    Minister, thank you for being here. To the different agency heads and officials, thank you, as well.
    I just want to go back to an issue I've raised with you before in the House, Minister, with regard to the current workplace climate that exists at CSIS and the lawsuit that is ongoing.
    The last time I had the opportunity to ask you about it, you, of course, mentioned how seriously this was taken and you said that you would get to the bottom of things, which seems to me to contradict the submission that was made by CSIS essentially brushing away these allegations, saying the case should be thrown out, that there was no merit to it, or that the allegations were dealt with appropriately. Mr. Vigneault released a summary of a report that essentially says there is an issue, and employees do feel that management is not being accountable for these very serious allegations.
    The first thing I'll do, of course, is to renew the call that I believe there should be a broader investigation into this. I just want to hear from you how you square this circle. On one hand, you say to us that these are very serious allegations, while on the other hand, a submission in court states that they have no merit and that the case should be thrown out.
    First of all, Mr. Dubé, thank you for raising the issue. I know that you take this very seriously, and I appreciate that. That's part of our parliamentary accountability process.
    When this issue first emerged, the new director of CSIS was on the phone to me immediately to tell me what he was learning about that particular situation and to make his view abundantly clear that, although it had not yet been investigated, if the description that was emerging was, in fact, true and accurate, it was a situation that was unacceptable and that needed quick and effective correction.
    I believe very sincerely that Mr. Vigneault takes this subject matter with great seriousness and is taking all the necessary steps to get to the bottom of it as quickly as possible and to do what is necessary to remedy the situation. Bear in mind—
     Part of why it is difficult to provide elaborate commentary about this in the public arena is that there are legal proceedings under way, and while other participants in the legal proceedings are free to comment, we aren't. That's part of our dilemma. There are things perhaps we might like to say, but discretion says, “Not now”—
    —which is part of the challenge I have when I see the submission that essentially says the claims have no merit. If that's all we have to go on and nothing can be added to that, then essentially that is saying the allegations are being argued to be untrue or—
    Well, our legal system, through the courts, is an adversarial system, and each side says a lot of things in order to make their points—
    Of course. I understand that, Minister, but there is also the possibility of settling should the allegations be found to be true, instead of putting these folks through this process. That is an important point, but I appreciate the crash course on our judicial system.

  (0915)  

    The case has only just begun. There are steps under way....
    I want to ask you once again about the notion of investigating this behaviour more broadly beyond the allegations being made in this court case, because I believe it is of the utmost importance. I hope you share this sentiment with me, because the fact of the matter is that if there are allegations of things like Islamophobia, for example, and those communities are working with CSIS on a variety of public safety issues, as far as I'm concerned—and I'm sure for members of the committee and Canadians more broadly as well—that is deeply concerning. That's why I ask: will you initiate an investigation to ensure that this type of discrimination and behaviour is not seeping into any work being done by individual bad apples, though they may be in the agency?
    I will take every step necessary to make sure that the essential work of CSIS in defence of Canadian safety and in defence of Canadians' rights and freedoms is not in any way compromised.
    We're at the beginning of a process, Mr. Dubé. Bear with us. I think your objectives and ours are very much the same.
    We'll likely have a chance to talk about it again.
    With the time that's left, I want to go back to another topic we've had a chance to debate in the House recently, which is the no-fly list. Of course we can debate the legislation and the changes that are a part of Bill C-59, but I just want once again, on behalf of the families who were here in Ottawa on Monday, to ask you when we will see the money for that redress system. Beyond the legislative changes—which have merit, I will agree with you on that—the funds are required in order to put the system in place. That would be my first question. When will we see that money?
    The second question is where the dollar amount that's been floated out there comes from—it's escaping me—the $78 million or whatnot that was brought out at one point? What do you see as the costs associated with putting that system in place?
    Mr. Dubé, we need legislation. We need regulations. We need an entirely redesigned IT system, because this one was put together backwards, in my opinion, about seven or eight years ago, and it will cost money.
    They are not in these estimates, but as I said before to Mr. Mott, estimates come before the House on a regular basis, and when we're in a position to put an actual figure on it—and I won't comment on the media speculation about what the number is—we'll get there. The objective is to have an interactive system, so that when a false positive occurs once, a person will get a clearance number and be able to use that number to avoid the problem in future airline travel.
    Thank you, Mr. Dubé.
    Thank you, Minister.

[Translation]

    Mr. Picard, you have seven minutes.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Good morning, Minister and colleagues.
    As you know, we are conducting a study on the prevalence of first nations in the correctional system. In fact, the percentage of first nations people within that system is alarming. The comments that were shared with us in the first meetings of the committee on this matter were very concerning. I am thinking, among other things, about the growing number of first nations members in the correctional system, and about the challenges to be overcome. Mr. Zinger said that there were solutions but that they were difficult to implement because of the numbers.
    I would like you to talk to us about the department's initiatives with regard to first nations members in the correctional system.

[English]

     Mr. Picard, thank you. This is an issue that goes right back to the mandate letter that I and a number of other ministers received about finding better solutions for dealing with the experiences of indigenous people in the criminal justice system. When you look at the numbers in the federal correctional system, while indigenous people make up 4% to 5% of the general population of Canada, they make up about 27% of the people who are incarcerated in the federal system and, I think, over 35% in the case of women. It's a serious problem.
    The correctional system cannot deal with the intake of indigenous people. That's up to those who take previous steps in the judicial process, and my colleagues the Attorney General and Ministers Bennett and Philpott are focused on those issues. However, once a person arrives in the correctional system, the objective is to try our best to work with them and prepare them for a successful release from the system. Of course, the vast majority of people emerge from the system at some point. The critical question for public safety is whether they are ready and prepared to take up productive lives without further offending.
    This funding that was identified in the budget—about $110 million altogether—is intended to address the pre-release preparation for indigenous people, to make sure they have opportunities that are culturally appropriate to rehabilitate themselves and to get ready for their release in ways that make sense from their cultural perspective. Part of the money, as well, is to ensure that once release has happened and they have an opportunity for parole, they have access to the services and the support systems at that point to make sure the release is successful and that they don't find themselves reoffending and back in the system once again.
    The correctional investigator has looked at the statistics and concluded that generally speaking we do a better job of that process for non-aboriginal people than for aboriginal people. The investment that was announced in the last budget, consistent with the mandate letter, was intended to try to enhance our capacity to deal more effectively with indigenous offenders so that they can be rehabilitated more successfully, released appropriately, and can then have the kinds of experiences in their parole period that will ensure they are not in a position to reoffend.

  (0920)  

[Translation]

    It has been a very busy year for public safety. We've had to deal with pre-clearance, entries and exits, as well as a national security framework for Canada. A lot of efforts are being made to strengthen that framework. Generally speaking, the comments we hear refer to fears about the lack of surveillance. This led to the creation of a super SIRC, or SIRC on steroids. We want more specifics about the nature of this new surveillance organization and its scope. We want to know how it will fill certain important gaps in our national security.

[English]

    I will, and let me first of all, Monsieur Picard, congratulate Parliament and this committee specifically—there were a few different players before—which did the heavy lifting on Bill C-22. We now have the new committee of parliamentarians, which has passed through all stages in Parliament, and Monday the announcement was made regarding the formation of the committee and the members of Parliament and Senate who will be participating in the committee, a brand new aspect of Canada's national security and intelligence infrastructure in place for the first time.
     In addition to that, we now have Bill C-59, which you referred to, Monsieur Picard, which again enhances our national security and intelligence architecture. It clarifies a number of the powers and authorities of various agencies, including CSIS. There had been reports from the Federal Court, from commissions of inquiry, from the Security Intelligence Review Committee, and from others saying that there were doubts or ambiguities in the authorities of our various agencies, which needed to be clarified. In a field like national security, you don't want a lot of grey areas, so the law, the new proposal in Bill C-59, brings that clarity in a number of areas with respect to what our agencies can and cannot do. It also establishes new review and oversight mechanisms, including two things in particular. It's an elaborate—

  (0925)  

    Minister, you're going to have to get to those two things in another question, because Mr. Picard's time is up.
     I'll be glad to do it.
    Madam Leitch, you have five minutes.
    Thank you very much.
    As I think has been expressed already, we all share our condolences with the family of Constable Davidson.
    Minister Goodale, my questions will focus on drug-related issues. In the estimates, they're seeking $20 million for drug-impaired driving. What percentage of this is being directed specifically to front-line officers so that they can deal with this issue?
    We can get you the exact breakdown, Ms. Leitch.
    That's fine.
    There are just two or three elements that I would summarize.
    Training is part of it for field sobriety officers and for drug recognition experts. We need to train more of them to be in the system, and we're looking, roughly speaking, to double the number of those across the country today, so training is part of it.
    Another key part of it is investing in the equipment, the roadside testing equipment, which is new. We need to acquire that equipment so it's available to police officers in the field.
    Also, a line in that $20 million is $1.4 million for administration. I'd like to ask why that's not being placed with front-line workers? What is it being utilized for?
    I'm sure our officials can describe the—
    That would be officials—
    —the administrative.... But you obviously do need at least a little bit of the funding to run the program.
    Now, I think we all know that this is a serious issue. To your point, Minister, whether it is for research, appropriate training for front-line workers, or the equipment they need to do their jobs, could you please table that?
    Another item that's been raised is the number of new officers—about 6,000, I understand. Some of that training is potentially going to be done in the United States. I'm not sure if it's not available in Canada, but when you do the breakdown of the numbers, it's about $25 per day for a 100-day course. I can do math—not like how the Minister of Finance seemed to think the member from Milton couldn't—and the fact of the matter is that I don't think we can train our officers to do exactly what we need them to do for $25 a day. I'm not really sure how we got to that number based on training 6,000 individuals.
    Ms. Leitch, as I've said in response to other questions, not all of our financial asks are in these estimates, and there will be further estimates coming forward. The total commitment we've announced so far in support of Bill C-45 and Bill C-46 is for $274 million. At this stage, about $161 million is focused on needs with respect to Bill C-46. This is the first instalment. There will be more.
     We look forward to you tabling all of those so that we have an idea of how you are supporting the RCMP and our front-line workers.
    My other question has to do with cannabis and its relationship to Bill C-45. We know that the importation and exportation of cannabis in the past was illegal. In the new legislation, it's still illegal.
    Absolutely.
    What is the purpose of the over $3 million to deal with this issue in the current supplementary estimates if the law hasn't changed?
    Various analysts, including the Auditor General, have from time to time pointed to the need to improve our interdiction capacity at the border. There have been several comments made by the Auditor General in that regard.
     As you know, in Bill C-37 we've also given the new authority to intensify inspections. Previously, inspections applied to items that were over 30 grams. Now we have the capacity to inspect items under 30 grams.
    I have one more question.
    Let me just say, that's where the fentanyl comes in, because a pack of 30 grams contains enough opioid to kill 15,000 people.
    My last question has to do with your public education allocation, the $2.5 million.
    If that's to educate young people, as you stated previously, why is it that in Bill C-45 we're allowing children aged 12 to 18 to actually possess? If we didn't allow them to possess in that piece of legislation, wouldn't your public education issue with respect to driving and the use of this drug be irrelevant?
    Also, in Bill C-46, which contains provisions about random testing for alcohol, why are other drugs not included in that bill?

  (0930)  

    Unfortunately, Minister, Ms. Leitch has left you no time to respond to that question.
    I would dearly love to, Mr. Chair.
    I'll bet you would.
    Ms. Damoff.
    Minister, thank you for being with us again today.
    You and I have spoken in the past, as has this committee, about how sexual harassment in the workplace is simply unacceptable anywhere. We've all been troubled when we've read stories about places such as the RCMP or corrections, where it is still occurring.
    Certainly, there's new legislation that the government just tabled on harassment in the workplace, and I know you have been seized with this issue as minister, so there are two aspects.
    One is legislation, what we're doing about it. I also just have to comment that, as wonderful as it is to see Ms. Kelly here again, she remains the only woman at the table, and we know that changing the culture in all of the departments is critical. Having more women in leadership positions is critical to changing the culture within the whole organization. I wonder if you could speak to the legislation, as well as to what we're doing to attract and retain more women in positions of leadership in public safety.
     It's a very good point, Ms. Damoff. One of the things, though, that I immediately observed when I arrived in this portfolio two years ago is the number of women within Public Safety in very senior positions. My former associate deputy minister, for example, Gina Wilson, was, I think, the most senior indigenous woman in the public service. As you know, she's now gone on to be the deputy minister at Status of Women, and I've lost her from this table.
    Two of my ADMs are women. There are very senior women in the highest ranks of the RCMP. In my home town of Regina, Brenda Lucki, the assistant commissioner, is the commanding officer at “Depot” Division, in charge of all the training for RCMP officers across the country.
    My deputy reminds me that I have four ADMs who are women, not just two.
    I hear your point. We really do need to continue to focus on that. I'm sure you'll see that reflected as public service promotion decisions are made in the future.
    On the issue of harassment, whether it's in the RCMP, in CSIS, the Correctional Service, or any other part of my portfolio, it is abundantly clear to the entire portfolio that that behaviour is unacceptable, that we have to work together in a concerted way to demonstrate that there's just no tolerance for this sort of thing, that when incidents happen, they must be very thoroughly and professionally investigated, that there must be consequences for the behaviour that caused or contributed to the harassment, and that the victims need to be properly supported and handled in such a way that they're not discouraged or intimidated from bringing forward their complaints or concerns. Then there need to be long-term plans to make sure this behaviour is rooted out and prevented from happening in the future.
    Will we ever have absolute perfection? Sadly, given human nature, I suspect we won't, but we have to make it absolutely clear throughout the portfolio, throughout the department, and indeed in every aspect of government, which I think is the purpose of the legislation that was introduced by my colleague Patty Hajdu earlier this week, that this is a priority.
     We are in 2017, and people have every right to expect that their workplace will be safe, healthy, and respectful, and that has to be priority number one for all of us.

  (0935)  

    Thank you, Minister.
    I think I have 30 seconds left. Do you want to make a comment on the previous question? If you don't, that's fine.
    I don't think I can do it justice in 30 seconds. I suspect it will be coming back.
    In my last 10 seconds, I want to thank Minister Wilson-Raybould and you for joining me at the recent 30th anniversary of MADD Canada's red ribbon campaign. I also want to give them a shout-out and encourage everyone to practise sober and safe driving over the holiday season.
    Thank you.
    Thank you, Minister.
    They do amazingly good work. Thank you.
    Mr. Van Kesteren.
    Thank you, Mr. Goodale.
    We don't have much time, so I'm going to go through this rapidly.
    On October 30, a 50-year-old woman detained by CBS orders in a maximum-security jail in Milton passed away. We learned this from the media, who learned it from a brief news release from the agency. The agency, which has the power to arrest and jail non-citizens, would not disclose the woman's identity, country of origin, or cause of death. It is our understanding that detainees are under 24-7 observation while in custody.
    I have seven quick questions, sir.
    When did this woman enter Canada? Where did she enter Canada? Which agency first detained her? Was this death a result of shortage of staff? Did someone drop the ball? Why the big secret? When can we expect this information?
    It is secret at the moment, Mr. Van Kesteren, simply because it's under investigation. When it has been appropriately investigated.... As you note, the agency itself announced that the incident happened. It triggered all of the appropriate investigative steps, and those steps are under way. When the investigation is completed, the appropriate public commentary will be made available.
    Let me just say that immigration detention is something we've been working on very hard for the last year and a half.
     Mr. Goodale, with all due respect, sir, I have some other questions, and I know that you can probably—
    If you don't want the answer, that's fine.
    Well, no. I want those answers, and if you're not able to give those to me—
    It's being investigated, Mr. Van Kesteren. Police do this sort of thing.
    Okay.
    I would like to go to another question.
    Jesus Christ.
    You opened the door, and Ms. Leitch—
    Excuse me. I apologize.
    —walked through, so I'm going to go through that as well.
    I have in my hands here a document from Health Canada that talks about consumer information on cannabis. Amongst other things, it states that using cannabis or any cannabis product can impair your concentration, your ability to think and make decisions, and your reaction time and coordination. This may affect your motor skills, including your ability to drive. It can also increase anxiety, cause panic attacks, and in other cases, cause paranoia and hallucinations.
    There's also a segment here right on the top that says the product should not be used if you're under the age of 25.
    My question to you, sir, as the minister in charge of our public safety and national security, is how can you stand by and allow Bill C-45 to be passed?
    Because, Mr. Van Kesteren, after the very best and careful consideration and judgment, Bill C-45 and Bill C-46 with it will give Canada a better chance to deal with the very issues you have referred to than will the existing law.
    The existing law has failed. The existing law has resulted in a situation in which young Canadian people are the heaviest users of marijuana in the Western world.
    Do you think this is going to slow down that usage?
    Indeed, it has a better chance than the existing law does.
    We're spending—
    I can't believe this.
    —$2 billion a year trying to enforce a law that doesn't work.
    Your own police officers, the RCMP, are warning you not to do this. I can give you stacks of letters from former and retired members who are begging us not to do this.
    How can you ignore all that advice?
    There is some advice that disagrees, Mr. Van Kesteren, but if you look at the results of the task force that investigated this issue for the better part of last year and that talked to everyone, including the medical experts and the legal experts, and those with international experience, the task force demonstrated that what's embodied in Bill C-46 and embodied in Bill C-45 is the best way forward, and it has a greater likelihood to be successful than does the law you endorsed, which has failed.
    I'm going to pass my question on to Dr. Leitch.

  (0940)  

     Minister Goodale, let's be very clear. The Canadian Medical Association presented evidence that, at the least, age 21 should be observed as the age at which an individual should be able to use and possess.
    Your law is very clear, and you can tell me I'm wrong, but my understanding is that individuals 12 to 21 will be allowed to possess.
    Please explain to us, then, why you are stating that my physician colleagues have stated otherwise. They are on the record as saying age 21. You have placed in your bill 12 to 18. Where is the evidence being utilized for your bill?
    We're not changing the age of majority with this bill. It remains at 18. Provinces have the authority, if they believe it's appropriate, to vary that age, but the federal law is not changing the age of majority.
    No, it's changing the age of possession.
    As reluctant as I am to end this round of questioning, we are going to go to Mr. Fragiskatos now for five minutes.
    Thank you, Minister, for being here today.
    Mr. Motz raised fears over asylum seekers attempting to enter Canada illegally. The University of Calgary, which, to my knowledge, is not a friend of the Liberal party, has put together information based on analysis of IRCC data which I think puts things into context.
    In 2017 it's expected that Canada will have 36,000 individuals trying to enter Canada illegally at our borders. In 2008, however, that number was 37,000. In the year 2000, that number was 38,000. In the year 2001, that number was 45,000.
    What that says to me is that we have dealt with these challenges before, and I believe we're in a position to deal with these challenges again, but I want you to comment on that, sir.
     That's some very useful context and history. I don't have the chart in front of me, but in fact those numbers are broadly correct.
    We have dealt with numbers in this order of magnitude in the past, and our agencies—whether CBSA, the RCMP, or IRCC—have taken the steps that are necessary to put the resources in place to deal with the flow. It ebbs and flows. There have been some years as low as a couple of thousand and some years as high as 40,000. This year, it's obviously at the high end of that spectrum. We'll see what number we finally arrive at when we get to December 31.
    Our officials working at the border have done extraordinary work this year and in previous years, however, to make sure that they can do two things; first, enforce effectively every Canadian law, which they have done; and second, make sure that we respect Canada's international obligations at the border with respect to asylum seekers and potential refugees.
    The UN High Commissioner for Refugees was just in town earlier this week and was very positive about the manner in which Canada has shown real international leadership in dealing with a very difficult problem.
    Thank you very much.
    In my riding of London North Centre, we have the Ontario headquarters of the RCMP.
    You mentioned at the outset that between 2011 and 2015 the RCMP suffered deep cuts. Can you go into the nature of the cuts and explain how the money your department is requesting will be put to use to overcome the impact of the cuts?
    Well, it's a serious problem of financial erosion over time, and there are also escalating demands upon the RCMP.
    This is a unique and really extraordinary police force, unique in all the world because of all of the various things it's called upon to do. It's the federal police force. It provides national policing services to other police forces. In some parts of the country, it is the provincial police force. It's also, in some places, the local municipal police force. It has international obligations for national security. It's our entree into Interpol and so forth. No other policing organization in the world has that breadth of responsibility, and we manage to pile on more and more expectations all the time.
    The funding is aimed at addressing the erosion right across the system. As I mentioned, one of the things we're doing is accelerating recruitment and bringing new officers into the force, partly because there has been the natural baby boomer attrition, and those people who are reaching that age leave the force. We need to make sure that our compensation is as competitive as it can be to make the force an attractive place. Part of it is going toward paying for the salary improvements that we announced earlier in the year. It's aimed at every dimension of the force, to make sure it's properly resourced. My own view is that this is the first installment. There needs to be more to come.

  (0945)  

    Thank you, Mr. Fragiskatos.
    I see that it's 9:45, and the minister does need to leave, so I'm going to suspend.
    On behalf of the committee, I want to thank you for your appearance here today, Minister Goodale.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    The meeting is suspended.

  (0945)  


  (0950)  

     We now have the officials. We are under some time constraints, and I'd like to call for the vote at the end of the meeting. My intention is to end questioning at 10:40. We had a pretty free-ranging discussion earlier for the first hour.
    Colleagues, humour the chair and try to tie your questions to the supplementary estimates. What a novel idea that would be. I just also caution that there are some constraints on officials with respect to public policy.
    So, with that, we'll start a new round of questioning.
    Madam Dabrusin, you have seven minutes. Go ahead, please.
     I'm going to tie my questions directly to the supplementary estimates (B), because I was reading through them, and I found many items that were very interesting, particularly because we are now looking at indigenous incarceration rates. There are many issues within these supplementary (B)s touching upon indigenous communities as a whole, not just the incarceration piece.
    I'll start with the first nations policing program. I see that there is additional funding in here for the first nations policing program. Maybe you can give me an idea of where we are with first nations policing. What are our successes? What are the challenges going forward, and what are we doing to address them?
     I'll start and then perhaps share some of the response with Gilles. The government has undertaken a consultation process with indigenous communities across the country. The budget announced additional funding for first nations policing. The minister has continued, I would say, to meet with and engage with, and the departments continue to engage with communities.
    There is a lot of interest in a variety of issues, including the level of compensation, capacity building and training, and—I'll be very frank—many communities would like to see an expansion of services as well. That's all frankly....

  (0955)  

    An expansion—
    I mean an expansion of services either in communities where the services are already provided or in communities where the first nation policing program is not yet present. The government continues to consider how to respond to those needs, but I think they are quite well documented, and there is an important first tranche of it, I would say, in the 2017 budget, and as a consequence, there are other elements, as you mentioned, in the supplementaries.
    Gilles, do you want to add anything?
    Maybe I'll just add that the RCMP continues to be engaged with the communities in all communities that we serve. We're also fully engaged with the review of missing and murdered indigenous women that's ongoing right now, to ensure that we have that tight bond with the community, and we continue to support them.
    When you talk about expansion of services, are there new first nations policing programs being established as part of these?
    No, I was just describing the feedback from the consultation process. I think any objective observer would say that there are communities that are underserviced, and that's a policy decision that the government is going to have to deal with going forward. There are also issues around the level of servicing in some communities.
    Thank you.
    Another item that I was looking at that caught my interest was with respect to the Métis nation. There was funding to support Métis rights and Métis relationships with the federal government, with the RCMP. Specifically what issues are you seeking to address in supporting Métis rights and Métis relationships? Is this in relation to the Daniels decision? What is expected from that funding?
     From the funding itself, we're funding coordinators in Métis communities across the country. It's basically to build that bridge with the communities to understand what their needs are and how we can help. Those coordinators have been in place for a period of time now, and we've received some very positive feedback from the communities in which we're operating.
    Okay. Thanks.
    In the course of our study on indigenous incarceration, one of the issues that's come up a few times is differential funding for section 81 healing lodges. There is some funding in these supplementary (B)s that goes to issues concerning indigenous incarceration. Does any of that money go to start equalizing the funding between section 81 lodges and the ones that are run by the correctional services?
    I think it's important that Anne reply to your specific question. Then I can describe what the funding is for community-based reintegration of indigenous offenders.
    In terms of the healing lodges, as I mentioned at last week's committee, we've now created a stronger agreement framework in consultation with current section 81 agreement holders. We've also revised a formula for funding that recognizes the unique requirements of different healing lodges, including their size and where they're located.
    Actually, just a few weeks ago we entered into a new agreement with Waseskun Healing Center in Quebec. We received a letter from them that said how appreciative they were of the new framework and the revised formula.
    All right, but specifically to the question of equalizing funding—it seems to be an issue that has come up a few times when I've looked at the investigators' reports and the like—does any of that help get us toward equalizing that funding?
    Actually, on the revised funding formula, again, it's negotiations between CSC and the indigenous agreement holders. And yes, it will assist.

  (1000)  

    Thank you, Ms. Dabrusin.
    Mr. Motz, you have seven minutes. Go ahead, please.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Thank you to the officials for being here.
    This question will be directed to you, Mr. Hill, with regard to CBSA. In May of this year, the current government received a letter from business associations. These business associations raised the issue of CBSA IT problems along with staffing shortfalls at official ports of entry. Since that time, we've learned that the advance commercial information system suffered more than 200 outages in the last two years; that CBSA staff were being moved from the official ports of entry where they ensure the regular flow of goods, services, and people to the unofficial ports of entry to process illegal border-crossers; and that it has been causing delays.
    What has your department done to address the concerns raised earlier this year with respect to the IT issues as well as the staffing shortages?
    The agency has a number of consultation mechanisms, in particular the border commercial consultative committee, where we have representation from the senior leadership of many of our closest industry stakeholders. The particular pressures that arose as a result of the outages that you're speaking about were the focus of a discussion with that group. The agency and my colleagues from our information, science, and technology branch addressed the issues and clarified exactly why the issues were arising. They had to do with a change in practice by some of the industries in which they were putting multiple pieces of information on manifests that had not been part of the design of the new IT system.
     We resorted to a manual process for an interim period, in collaboration with the stakeholders, to address the issue. The issue has been addressed. The functioning of the system is now smooth.
     What about the staffing issues? What about moving border guards, CBSA front-line officers, from legal ports of entry, normal ports of entry, to illegal border-crossing locations to process people there? What about the backlog it's causing?
    The agency is quite adept at being agile in order to address the irregular flow. At the agency, working in collaboration with our partners at the RCMP, Immigration, and Public Safety, we're taking a whole-of-government approach. We established a pool of resources with the qualifications that can be moved from one region to another region in order to surge our capacity to ensure that the management of this irregular flow is orderly.
    So that is being done. It is being managed effectively. We will continue to do so to meet the need to ensure that the border is managed effectively.
    Thank you, Mr. Hill. I do appreciate that it's not CBSA's issue or fault, if you will, that the illegal border-crossing is still allowed to occur. You are responsible for managing that. I respect that and I appreciate your comments. I think it's important to recognize, though, that the front-line officers are telling us a different story, that there are significant touchpoints at legal points of entry and pressure to process individuals at the illegal ports of entry.
    I'm just curious to know, I guess from both you and the RCMP, how many officers have been moved across the country to deal with this 2017 wave of border-crossers and how many of your resources you're anticipating to move for the second wave that this country is anticipating in the near future.
    I'd be pleased to follow up to give you the exact number of officers we've moved.
    With respect to your second question, the agency, again with our partners in a whole-of-government approach, is well advanced in terms of its contingency planning. We would feel quite prepared in the eventuality of a surge in irregular claimants in the future. We would act accordingly to address that flow of irregular migrants in the event it materialized.

  (1005)  

    Mr. Michaud.
    Just to add to Peter's comments, from an RCMP perspective, I would need to go back as well to make sure of the exact numbers.
    But that's the business we're in. Be it wildfires or the border or significant issues that develop over the course of a year, it's about reassigning the required resources to the highest threats and to where the pressures are. We'll continue to do those assessments and basically work toward making sure we have enough resources to deal with the issues.
    As Mr. Hill indicated, can you provide in writing to the committee the reallocation of resources, how many were from both CBSA and RCMP to deal with the illegal border-crossers, and the attached costs to that as well, please?
    Yes, we can. Maybe just for precision, we reassigned resources not just in Lacolle but also in Manitoba and British Columbia, so we can give the national picture.
    That would be great. Thank you.
    You know what? I'll be generous with my last 30 seconds. I exceeded my time before, so I'll pass it over.
    I appreciate the nobility, Mr. Motz.
    Well, I know how much you are a stickler for time, Chair.
    Yes.
    Mr. Dubé, you have seven minutes. Go ahead, please.

[Translation]

    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    My question is for Mr. Brown or Mr. Hill. It concerns the amount allocated to the CBSA for the entire framework necessitated by the legalization of marijuana.
    Aside from these amounts, did you have discussions with your American counterparts about what will happen when people who have used marijuana want to cross the border? Did you discuss the questions that will be asked in that context?
    Obviously, I know that we cannot change American laws. We should nevertheless be concerned by the fact that marijuana will soon be legal in Canada, and this may impact people who want to cross the border and will be questioned by American officers.
    Have discussions taken place to ensure that Canadians who have legally consumed marijuana in Canada will be able to cross the border without issue?
    I will answer first, and then I will give the floor to Mr. Hill.

[English]

     First off, I think the minister's been clear on this question, recognizing, as you say, that every country has the right to establish the standards around which it lets anyone in. It wouldn't be appropriate, frankly, for us to counsel the U.S. about changing their approach, in the same way it probably would not be appropriate for them to counsel us on our approach on any of the issues we've discussed today or might discuss in the future about entry decisions that are made by the Government of Canada.
    I will say, though, that on a regular basis, our American counterparts are well briefed. These issues are discussed at the highest levels with DHS. They understand the approach. We're continuing to encourage them, as they do with us, to be as welcoming and supportive of Canadians crossing the border into the U.S. as we generally try to be with Americans coming into Canada.
    I'll turn to Peter on the specifics, if you want. That was just setting the broader stage that I think the minister has been on the record on quite clearly.
    Thank you.
    The agency, through supplementary estimates (B), is requesting $3 million to implement and administer the new federal framework to legalize and strictly regulate cannabis. The funding is going to several specific areas, including support to our port of entry and border service officers at the front line for their questioning and interdiction. There will be communications through social media and a digital approach to ensure that travellers are aware of the new legislation and the requirements. We're also providing some funding to our laboratory for it to conduct the analysis with respect to cannabis or cannabis-related products. We also have some funding to ensure that we can track and report our performance under this new framework.
    I would add that in terms of communication, it will include signage at our major ports of entry. At the ports of entry we'll also be introducing a mandatory question with respect to the cannabis legislation.
    Hopefully, that answers your question.

  (1010)  

[Translation]

    Yes, thank you.
    I will now move to another topic; my comments are addressed to Mr. Michaud from the RCMP.
    What is the exact purpose of the $60.1 million allocated to adjust remuneration?
    It is to cover the back pay for a two-year period, for the salary increase given to the regular members of the RCMP. That is the exact amount.
    Do you expect any other expenses following the outcome of ongoing discussions regarding the implementation of Bill C-7, and in light of what is going on currently, that is to say the fact that members wish to unionize?
    That will have to be negotiated, I believe, between the government and the new association.
    Thank you.
    I would like to raise one last matter.

[English]

    You have a little more than two minutes.

[Translation]

    That is fine, thank you.
    I'd like to discuss the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians. The first part of the funds is being allocated through these votes, but what is the long-term plan to ensure that this committee will have the necessary resources? Will there be a needs assessment following their first experiences?
    To begin, I can say...

[English]

    Where to begin? The short answer is, yes, a preliminary amount has been identified. It's really an issue for our colleagues at the Privy Council Office. They have the formal relationship with the new committee of parliamentarians. So I'm kind of mowing the Privy Council's front lawn here, but I'm doing so in an effort to be responsive.
    Funds have been set aside. There is a sense that it is an appropriate level for the new task. I'm quite certain, between the chair and the members, that if the funding level isn't deemed to be sufficient, the government will hear loud and clear from the members. The minister has been very clear that the strength and influence of the committee is directly related to its credibility, so I'm confident that it will be—
     The committee will be consulted on their budgetary needs as time goes on.
    They will, I'm sure, make their views known if they're feeling it's under-resourced. In some ways, frankly, the heavy resourcing will be the response of agencies like the ones here today, plus others, in responding to their requests.

[Translation]

    Thank you.

[English]

    Thank you.
    Ms. Damoff, you have seven minutes.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Thank you to our witnesses for being here for this hour with the committee. It's always very helpful.
    In the supplementary estimates, there's some additional funding to improve mental health services for inmates and to support reintegration programs for indigenous offenders. I'm wondering if any of the money in that investment will be used for screening when the person first arrives at a facility and, subsequent to the screening, for directing them into specific mental health services to deal with whatever issue may be found. As we know, an extremely high percentage of offenders are arriving with pre-existing mental health conditions.
    I guess, Ms. Kelly, this is probably directed at you. I wonder if you could share with us whether any of that money is being used for that.
    In terms of the monies we'll receive, right now we have a mental health strategy that's along a continuum of care. Screening is done at intake when an offender arrives. We have primary health care, intermediate mental health care, and also psychiatric hospital care. In 2015 we had a gap in terms of the intermediate mental health care. Through a reallocation of resources, we were able to establish that in some of our institutions.
    With the new funding, we'll be able to add this intermediate mental health care to more institutions and add intermediate mental health care to our maximum security prisons so that the services are better matched to the needs of the offenders.

  (1015)  

    How much of that funding will be dealing with fetal alcohol syndrome? We know that is an issue for inmates when they're arriving at the facility. It makes it difficult for them and for staff. I'm just wondering how much focus is being put on that particular issue.
    Oftentimes we see in offenders with challenging behaviours an underlying mental health need, such as FASD or a personality disorder. The funding that we'll receive will assist with those offenders.
    Thank you.
    My next question has to do with the funding you're receiving for indigenous offenders and their release and reintegration into communities. We heard testimony at our last meeting from the Union of Solicitor General Employees, and in particular parole officers, who were talking about challenges with people upon release having ID. They need it in order to find employment, housing, and pretty much everything else when they're released. They don't have identification, including status cards in many situations.
    I'm wondering if there's any ability, with the funding that you're receiving, to take a look at trying to integrate allowing these people to receive their identification prior to release, rather than relying on doing it ahead of time. I'm not talking about spending money to divert staff to take these people to a facility prior to their release.
    I know that I can renew my driver's licence online. You know who the person is. They have a federal ID. You know exactly who they are. I'm wondering if maybe some of this funding can be used to try to fill that gap in terms of providing ID to these people upon release.
    This is something we've been tackling for some time. I was a parole officer. The first thing you ask about, as soon as an offender arrives, is their ID and what's required. We actually help them. We provide them with the forms and help them complete them so that they have the proper ID upon release.
     I appreciate that. There must be a bit of a disconnect in actual operations. I'll leave it with you, but our understanding was that while this may be done, offenders are not able to actually get it before release. Maybe you could look into it. I'll leave this one with you.
    We talked a little about mental health, in particular about screening and FASD. Can you expand a bit more? You are receiving a significant increase in funding for mental health and some of the other programs you're able to deliver within Corrections in terms of mental health services.
    The monies we're going to receive will be to expand our mental health supports to offenders. This is going to provide a better continuum of care.
    For us, receiving funding means, for maximum-security offenders, that we can provide intermediate mental health care to both men and women where they are. Right now, for example, we have to transfer women to the regional psychiatric centre in Saskatoon.
    With the funding, being able to actually treat women with mental illness at their facilities and having the staff to do so is going to lead to a reduction of inter-regional transfers. It means they are with the same case management team that they know, and also that they are close to their community and family supports.

  (1020)  

    Thank you very much.
    Thank you, Ms. Damoff.
    Ms. Leitch, you may take five minutes.
    My first question is for the newest member of the panel here, Mr. Vigneault.
    We've had previous testimony at this committee with respect to the resources you would require to make sure that Canadians are safe. We recently had a professor from Wilfred Laurier University comment that the resources may be lacking for us and for you and your colleagues to do your jobs well.
    Could you outline for me whether you have the human resources, the right talent, the right funding, the right material resources to do your jobs well and, if there is something lacking, what it is you need to do your job well to make sure that Canadians are safe?
    The balancing of the resources available is obviously a very important issue for any accounting officer of any department. In my case, when I arrived at CSIS, I had a chance to work with very experienced people who knew the business really well. I had had the opportunity to know the business myself from various vantage points, so I knew some of the challenges and was able to get much more detail after my arrival.
    What I can tell you is that there are challenges, of course. The threat environment is complex, and it's evolving. We are constantly trying to find ways to assess the threat and put the resources in the right place. We do so on a constant basis.
    One of the added challenges is with the way the technological environment is evolving and the pace at which it is evolving. We're trying to find the right balance between having new technology, recruiting the right people, and deploying the financial resources to operate. These are ongoing discussions within the organizations, and I share the results of those discussions with the minister.
    With respect to human resource talent, do you think we have the pool of Canadians to do the things you need them to do, or should we be enhancing what educational processes we require in this country?
    I am extremely privileged to be leading an organization like CSIS. The men and women of CSIS are talented. They work extremely hard at protecting Canada's national interests and defending Canadians. I'm always amazed to see the quality of the people we have.
    Recruiting people is always going to be.... In an organization such as CSIS, which has to resort to the ingenuity of our people to defeat the tactics of our adversaries, we work very closely with universities, especially in terms of the scientific skills, which we need more and more. It's not that all of our employees need to have those specific skills, but they need to understand the overall environment they operate in, and the technological aspect of the threat is becoming more complex.
    For us, then, it is always trying to find the best people, with languages and technological skills, but Canadian universities and the talent that is coming across the turnstiles every morning are phenomenal, and the number of people who are knocking at the door to join CSIS is also very high. I think it's more a question of our ability to ingest them than one of the quality of the candidates.
     The other questions I have are with regard to the Canada Border Services Agency and its appropriations of $12.4 million. I was wondering if we could receive more details with regard to the $6.5 million for the temporary foreign worker program, the $3 million for implementing and administrating the federal framework on cannabis, in particular as I asked the minister questions before, the $1.7 million with respect to the administration component, and in addition to that, the capital expenditure of $70,000, which seems like a bit of an odd add-on to the expenditure list, since the others seem to have some very specific budget issues, and then there's $70,000 of capital expense. I'm just asking what that might be for.

  (1025)  

    With respect to the temporary foreign worker program, the agency is requesting $6.5 million essentially to continue to investigate fraud and other offences, such as misrepresentation, to protect the integrity of the temporary foreign worker program and the international mobility program.
    The funding is essentially for hiring criminal investigators. Criminal investigators will undertake investigations of complex cases of fraud. That kind of investigation would relate to an employer who is abusing employees or is employing them in ways that are not consistent with their work permit. Those are the kinds of investigations that take place.
    Mr. Hill, unfortunately, we have no time for the balance of your response. You can respond in whatever way you choose to afterwards.
    Mr. Fragiskatos.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    My friends on the other side have raised cannabis today a number of times.
    Mr. Brown, I wonder if you could give this committee your thoughts on the strict public policy rationale to move towards regulating, restricting, and taxing cannabis. We heard the minister during his testimony say that Canada has the highest youth use rates of cannabis in the entire industrialized world. I think that's a good place to start, but we also know that the distribution of cannabis is controlled by organized crime. Could you go into this? I think there's a great deal of, with all due respect, fearmongering going on, and Canadians—
    Let's just hear the facts of the bill.
    Well, let's hear the facts, so if you could go into—
    Those are the facts of the bill.
    Let me intervene at this point. Officials are to fulfill the mandate of their minister. I am concerned about officials expressing opinions about these things; nevertheless, I'm going to allow the question within those parameters.
     Thank you, Chair. That's a very helpful reminder.
    I can lay out for you what is described as the policy rationale for the approach. You're absolutely right. It's well documented that the use of cannabis among youth in Canada is the highest or among the highest in the world. That trend has existed for a while and continues to...I guess the word would be “deteriorate”.
    It's also true that the distribution system is dominated by organized crime. The knock-on effects of the funding stream, if I can put it that way, of that business model are well documented in terms of funding other activities of organized crime. There are links to money laundering, human trafficking, and prostitution, and there's an interplay between cannabis and other kinds of drugs.
    The perspective of the government is that a structured, very deliberate regime of distribution—legalizing access to people the age of majority or higher—is an important part of allowing resources to be shifted to police and other organizations to combat the illegal network, as well as ensuring there is focus on the criminal networks that are associated with distribution.
    It's probably not appropriate for me to use my “mowing somebody else's front lawn” analogy again. My colleague, the deputy minister of Health, is better placed to talk about the regulatory structure and regime they will be responsible for developing, but it will cover everything in terms of distribution and access. We've seen every provincial and territorial jurisdiction beginning to take steps in terms of their constitutional roles within a legalized framework. I can assure the committee that every step that can be taken is being taken by officials at federal, provincial, and territorial levels to ensure that everything that needs to be done is done when July of next year comes.

  (1030)  

    Thank you very much for that.
    Ms. Kelly, the question about mental health supports has been asked, but I wonder if you could go into specific examples of programming that exists, especially for the vulnerable inmate population. We heard at the outset numbers quoted about the very difficult circumstances many of these inmates have experienced. Considering that challenge and that challenging circumstance, I want to know if you can touch on specific programs to which the funding that exists here will be allocated.
    In terms of the funding being allocated, again it's to expand our mental health supports to offenders. Obviously, for some offenders who have some challenging behaviours and who may otherwise sometimes end up in administrative segregation, having intermediate mental health care present is going to help.
    We have a suite of programs. We have what we call the integrated correctional program model, and it's actually adapted for offenders who present challenges.
    Thank you, Mr. Fragiskatos.
    Mr. Van Kesteren.
    Thank you, Chair.
    Thank you all for being with us this morning. I apologize for the discord that we had earlier, but this is a place of battle.
    Many of us feel that Bill C-45 is the most destructive piece of legislation that's ever been introduced in this House. We all have children. We all have grandchildren. I was pleased this morning to hear of the arrival of my 36th grandchild. You heard that right, the 36th.
     Thirty-six? Wow.
    I want to tell you, too, that I have three sons who are policemen, and I have great respect for our law enforcement. I know we all do.
    Without getting into the weeds too much, Mr. Michaud, I would like you to comment on whether there are sufficient funds and your forces are ready for what you can expect to happen when marijuana is made available—or legal—for consumption by 18-year-olds and up. Can you just give us a comment on that?
    From our perspective, more time would be better, because the more time we have, the more ready we'll be.
    That being said, we are working towards being in a position to be able to deliver our services the best way we can whenever this new act comes before us. As you've seen, part of the supplementary estimates (B) that we have right now set aside funding to start the training that will be required for our front-line police officers to engage with some of the stakeholders who will be involved in the business. For us, it's really working with what we have to make sure we can deliver the best service and continue to protect the Canadian public.
    Do you have any idea what kind of increase you're going to have? Have there been any studies done as far as, say, the complexities of identifying a new type of driver go? I mean, it's not completely new, but have there been any studies done to see just how many more impaired drivers we're going to see on the road?
    I cannot comment. I would have to go back to see if there's been a study done around the impaired driving piece, because it's not in my field of expertise. I'm on the federal side of the business, but I could go back and come back with an answer on that one.

  (1035)  

    Wonderful.
    Ms. Kelly, Peter asked you a question, and I'd like to follow up on that.
    Last week, we were talking about your area of expertise and what you lead at Correctional Services.
    We had the MOMS here. I forget what it stands for, but basically it's moms who have children in institutions. How do you feel about allowing inmates to smoke marijuana, if marijuana is legal?
    With the greatest respect to that question, I think that you are entitled to your opinion as a private citizen, but as an official and in this context, I'm not sure you need to answer the question directly. However, I allowed Mr. Fragiskatos' question, so I don't see why I wouldn't allow the question of Mr. Van Kesteren.
    What I'll say is that we don't allow offenders to drink. We don't allow offenders to use drugs, although we have drugs that come into the institution. It's not consistent with working towards their correctional plan. That's our focus. Our focus is for them to participate in programs and interventions that we offer, and basically, what's paramount is the safety of the public. We want to motivate them to participate in the programs, have a safe and successful release into the community, and ensure that they don't return.
    Thank you, Mr. Van Kesteren.
    In order to be respect our time and deal with the votes, Mr. Spengemann, go ahead for three minutes please.
    Thank you very much, Mr. Chair, and I think that's exactly the time I need to ask the question I'm about to ask.
    It's a follow-up question to the minister's testimony regarding the Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence. I made reference earlier to the tragedies in Quebec City, Sainte-Foy, and in Sutherland Springs.
    My question relates to the connection between counter-radicalization work and mental health. The Canadian and American public are reeling from these events. We're asking questions. What would possibly motivate somebody to do this? In some cases there's a clear connection to particular faiths, but in other scenarios it's simply the fact that people are meeting in a place of worship, and there's a large number of people who are then subject to potential targeting. Can you comment on the importance of mental health considerations in connection to the work on counter-radicalization?
     I think it's important to be careful not to uniformly conflate mental health issues with the broader question of radicalization to violence. There are demonstrated cases that clearly have a link to underlying mental health issues, and there are other times when that's not the case. That's a premise. I think it's important not to conflate the two questions. I don't think you did, but that's just for purposes of clarity.
    The second point I'll make is that there is no question that the role of the centre is in part to facilitate local community groups. Montreal's centre is well known, and there are centres all across the country. There is an ongoing conversation and dialogue about mental health defined broadly. You can have young people who are disaffected who may be showing early signs of disassociation and that kind of thing. I think it is intermingled and it is a very complex issue. I think law enforcement around the world is trying to sort their way through that, as are all the organizations that are interested in the whole question of what the early signals are. Sometimes it's mental health, and sometimes it's just associations, whether online or in person, and that may not be a mental health issue.
    A full-spectrum analysis needs to be done by these local groups to empower families to understand signs and to create safe spaces for families to go. Is it a mental health issue? Is it a question of illegality? Even so, are there safe places where diversion can take place? We do it in other parts of the criminal justice system, so that's part of the conversation that I think has to take place.

  (1040)  

    Thank you, Mr. Spengemann.
    That brings to an end our questioning of the witnesses.
    In order to minimize disruption, I'm going to just continue with the meeting. The witnesses may stay or not, as the case may be.
    Colleagues, we have 11 votes. I would entertain a motion to consolidate them into one vote.
    That appears to be moved by Madam Damoff.
    You've heard the motion. I'm assuming there's no objection to it. I'm assuming as well that it's on division.
    Those in favour of the motion?
    On division.
     On division.
    (Motion agreed to on division)
CANADIAN BORDER SERVICES AGENCY

Vote 1b—Operating expenditures..........$11,051,631

Vote 5b—Capital expenditures..........$70,000
    (Votes 1b and 5b agreed to)
CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE

Vote 1b—Program expenditures..........$7,814,966
    (Vote 1b agreed to)
CORRECTIONAL SERVICE OF CANADA

Vote 1b—Operating expenditures..........$12,037,835
    (Vote 1b agreed to)
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

Vote 1b—Operating expenditures..........$4,969,798

Vote 5b—Grants and contributions..........$56,299,614
    (Votes 1b and 5b agreed to)
ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE

Vote 1b—Operating expenditures..........$96,531,066

Vote 5b—Capital expenditures..........$10,018,474

Vote 10b—Grants and contributions..........$5,000,000
    (Votes 1b, 5b, and 10b agreed to)
ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE EXTERNAL REVIEW COMMITTEE

Vote 1b—Program expenditures..........$835,946
    (Vote 1b agreed to)
SECRETARIAT OF NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE OF PARLIAMENTARIANS

Vote 3b—Program expenditures..........$2,187,779
    (Vote 3b agreed to)
    The Chair: The meeting is adjourned.
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