Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Bruce Hyer Profile
GP (ON)
Thank you.
This amendment deletes the clauses within the bill that will allow for secret evidence as well as evidence inadmissible in a Canadian court of law. It also requires an appellant to be informed of the minister's case against them, not just “reasonably informed”.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you very much, Mr. Hyer.
Mr. Saxton.
View Andrew Saxton Profile
CPC (BC)
Protecting sensitive information from disclosure is critical in national security cases. Removing these provisions would put at risk the investigative information from law enforcement and national security agencies that may contain source, investigative, and potentially ally information, and eliminate some of the procedural fairness elements introduced by the government in these proceedings. Therefore, this amendment fundamentally contradicts the rationale of the purpose of the act.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you. We'll move to the vote on PV-6.
(Amendment negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])
The Chair: We'll move to PV-8 since it's identical to PV-7, and we'll go back to Mr. Hyer, please.
View Bruce Hyer Profile
GP (ON)
Thank you.
This amendment appoints a special advocate to be present whenever an appellant and their counsel can't be present due to issues of national security. This is the scheme from security certificates. In my opinion, these secret trials are unjust, but at least a special advocate would make things a bit more fair.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you, Mr. Hyer.
Mr. Saxton.
View Andrew Saxton Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you, Chair.
The use of special advocates is currently limited to proceedings under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, such as judicial proceedings related to security certificates. The rights and freedoms affected by immigration proceedings require greater protections than those affected by passport decisions. Judges always retain the discretion to appoint an amicus curiae to assist in proceedings, including those involving sensitive information, in order to protect the interests of the person. Therefore, this amendment should not be supported.
View Murray Rankin Profile
NDP (BC)
View Murray Rankin Profile
2015-06-04 12:36
I'd like to thank Mr. Hyer for this proposal. I think it's a good one.
As Mr. Saxton said, special advocates are currently only available under IRPA, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. I served in that capacity, appointed by the current government.
I think the second point made by Mr. Saxton was that this could be done at the discretion of a judge—we could have an amicus curiae appointed—which is also very true. But I think having the certainty of a special advocate in attendance, as required by law, as we do under the immigration law, would be a very wise thing to do in this circumstance.
I again commend Mr. Hyer for raising this.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you.
(Amendment negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])
The Chair: We'll go to PV-10, which is identical to PV-9.
Mr. Hyer, please.
View Bruce Hyer Profile
GP (ON)
Again, this amendment deletes the clauses within the bill that allow for secret evidence and for decisions to be made based on evidence that neither the opponent nor the counsel has even seen.
It also requires the opponent to be actually informed of the minister's case, and not just “reasonably informed”.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you, Mr. Hyer.
Mr. Saxton.
View Andrew Saxton Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Protecting sensitive information from disclosure is critical in national security cases, for the same reasons I've already stated.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you.
(Amendment negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])
The Chair: I understand that PV-11 and PV-12 are identical as well.
Mr. Hyer, on PV-11.
View Bruce Hyer Profile
GP (ON)
This amendment appoints a special advocate to be present whenever an appellant and their counsel cannot be present due to issues of national security. If we have enough information to revoke somebody's passport, we should have enough to look into charges of laying a recognizance without conditions. A special advocate would at least make sure that the person accused who can't defend themselves has someone looking out for them.
View James Rajotte Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you, Mr. Hyer.
On this, Mr. Saxton....
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