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SECU Committee Report

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In accordance with its Order of Reference of Monday, May 6, 2019, your Committee has considered Bill C-93, An Act to provide no-cost, expedited record suspensions for simple possession of cannabis, and agreed on Monday, May 27, 2019, to report it with the following amendments:
Clause 3

That Bill C-93, in Clause 3, be amended by

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

“3 (1) Subparagraph 2.‍3(a)‍(i) of the Act is replaced by”

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

“(2) Paragraph 2.‍3(b) of the Act is replaced by the following

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

(i) section 109, 110, 161, 320.‍24, 490.‍012, 490.‍019 or 490.‍02901 of the Criminal Code,

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

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

(iv) sections 734.‍5 or 734.‍6 of the Criminal Code or section 145.‍1 of the National Defence Act, in respect of any fine or victim surcharge imposed for any offence referred to in Schedule 3, or

(v) section 36.‍1 of the International Transfer of Offenders Act.”

Clause 4

That Bill C-93, in Clause 4, be amended by

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

“4 (1) Subject to subsections (3.‍1) and (3.‍11), a person is ineligible to”

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

“(3.‍11) A person who has been convicted of an offence referred to in Schedule 3 and other offences may only apply for a record suspension after the expiration of the period referred to in subsection (1), without taking into account any offence referred to in Schedule 3.

(3.‍2) A person is ineligible to make an application for a record suspension referred to in subsection (3.‍1) or (3.‍11) until after the expiration according to law of any sentence imposed, other than the payment of any fine or victim surcharge, for any offence referred to in Schedule 3.

(3.‍21) For greater certainty, subsection (3.‍2) does not apply to fines and victim surcharges imposed for both an offence referred to in Schedule 3 and for other offences, in which case a person is ineligible to make an application for a record suspension referred to in subsection (3.‍11) until after all fines and victim surcharges have been paid.”

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

“(4.‍11) For the purpose of subsection (3.‍11), a person referred to in that subsection has the onus of satisfying the Board that the person has been convicted of an offence referred to in Schedule 3.”

Clause 5

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

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

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

“(1.‍2) Despite subsection 4(4.‍1), if the applicant is not able to obtain documents that would provide evidence that the conditions referred to in subsection (1.‍1) are met, the applicant may submit a sworn statement or solemn declaration that explains the reasonable efforts made by the applicant to obtain the documents, and the reasons why they could not be obtained, including because they were lost or destroyed.

(1.‍3) On receipt of a sworn statement or solemn declaration under subsection (1.‍2), the Board shall cause inquiries to be made to ascertain whether the conditions referred to in subsection (1.‍1) are met.

(1.‍4) If the Board is satisfied that the conditions referred to in subsection (1.‍1) are met, it shall order that the applicant’s record in respect of an offence referred to in Schedule 3 be suspended.‍”

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

“(1.2) A record suspension ordered under subsection (1.1) may not be revoked by the Board under paragraph 7(b).”

Clause 6

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

“6 Section 4.‍2 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (1):

(1.‍1) The inquiries referred to in paragraph (1)‍(a), made with respect to an application referred to in subsection 4(3.‍1) or (3.‍11), are not to take into account the non-payment of any fine or victim surcharge imposed for any offence referred to in Schedule 3.

(1.‍2) The inquiries referred to in paragraphs (1)‍(b) and (c) do not apply to an application referred to in subsection 4(3.‍1) and, with respect to all other applications for a record suspension, are not to take into account any offence referred to in Schedule 3.”

New Clause 6.1

That Bill C-93 be amended by adding after line 24 on page 3 the following:

“6.‍1 Subsection 6(2) of the Act is replaced by the following:

(2) A record of a conviction in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered that is in the custody of the Commissioner or of any department or agency of the Government of Canada shall be kept separate and apart from other criminal records. Subject to subsection (2.‍1), no record of a conviction is to be disclosed to any person, nor is the existence of the record or the fact of the conviction to be disclosed to any person, without the prior approval of the Minister.

(2.‍1) The prior approval of the Minister referred to in subsection (2) is not necessary for the purposes of sections 734.‍5 and 734.‍6 of the Criminal Code or section 145.‍1 of the National Defence Act for non-payment of a fine or victim surcharge that is imposed for an offence referred to in Schedule 3.”

Clause 8

That Bill C-93, in Clause 8, be amended by

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

“record suspension.‍ (demande)”

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

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

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

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

Schedule

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

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

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

Your Committee has ordered a reprint of Bill C-93, as amended, as a working copy for the use of the House of Commons at the report stage.
A copy of the relevant Minutes of Proceedings (Meeting No. 164) is tabled.