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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2019-06-17 16:04
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Minister, thank you for being here.
I want to go back to the question Ms. Dabrusin was asking in terms of the time that this took. The fact is, there was a Senate report prior to the last election in 2015, legislation by Senator Segal in the previous Parliament and a recommendation from this committee in 2017.
Also, for anyone who wants to take a minute to google it, you can find articles from at least the last three years with you promising this legislation—it's coming, it's coming. Also, most of the bills you enumerated in responding to my colleague, if not all, were tabled in 2016 or 2017.
I'm wondering about this mechanism. You called it simple and straightforward, faster and cost-effective and said it builds on existing infrastructure. I'm having a hard time with this, especially in knowing that the legislation is only going to come into effect in 2020, if I'm understanding correctly, with regard to the ability of Canadians to make complaints.
I'm still not quite understanding why, with all those pieces on the table and at the very least two or three years in the lead-up.... To me, it doesn't seem to wash that you sort of dropped your arms and said, “Oh well, the senator's proposal won't work in Bill C-59.” That seemed to be what you were implying in response to the question.
I want to ask again why it took so long when there continue to be incidents with work relations for those who work at CBSA—allegations of harassment and things of that nature—and obviously, of course, the issues that some Canadians face in the way they are treated at the border.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2019-06-17 16:07
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I think maybe three of those bills were tabled after 2017 or early 2018. I mean, for the C-20s and the single digits, we're talking days after your government was sworn in. I think there needs to be some accountability, because you've been on the record strongly saying that this needed to be done, and so I don't want to leave it being said that.... For example, with Bill C-59, why not make the change then?
I just want to understand, because my concern, Minister, is that I want to make sure there's no, for example, resistance internally to this issue. I can't understand, if this is a simple and straightforward mechanism in BillC-98, why it took years to come to the conclusion that this was the way to go.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2019-06-17 17:23
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That's fine.
In terms of paragraph (b), not only in the context of the proposed subclause 18(2), but in general, Mr. Graham spoke earlier about the risk of stepping on the other agency's toes. That's interesting. As part of our study of Bill  C-59, we met with representatives of your commission. Forgive me, I don't remember whether the information came from you or other representatives, but we were told that there was no issue with regard to the RCMP, since the functions weren't national security functions. However, during the presentations and debate on Bill  C-59, some people pointed out that, in the case of the Canada Border Services Agency, the issue still concerned national security, given that we're talking about border integrity.
Are you concerned that, in terms of the agency, it may be more difficult to determine what falls under the different oversight mechanisms for national security issues? For example, in the case of the committee created by Bill  C-59 or the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians, there's a clearer and more obvious distinction with respect to the RCMP.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Minister Goodale appeared before this committee during the hearings on Bill  C-59, I believe. At that time, he told us that he could not answer certain questions because it was a matter of national security. After that, in the House of Commons, Minister Goodale said the opposite. Daniel Jean also testified before our committee that it was not a matter of national security.
In your opinion, is it a matter of national security?
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Your notes mention Bill  C-59. You make recommendations involving the Department of National Defence, DND. I know that the bill is being studied in the Senate at the moment, but I no longer recall which stage it has reached. Do you think that amendments will be proposed by the Senate or the government? Have you heard anything about that?
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2019-05-13 15:56
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Right, thank you.
I have another question on National Defence and the recommendation to amend Bill  C-59 as well as on the definition of the mandate that would be given to the new committee.
Is your committee concerned about the resources that this new sister committee would have to do this monitoring? The resources are already rather limited. If the mandate is expanded, are you concerned about whether the new committee will be able to carry it out each year? I would like it to be and I agree with the recommendation, but the question is whether it will be able to do so adequately given current or planned resources.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2019-03-18 17:29
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So, my question becomes this: If we look at Bill C-59, for example, where you're giving CSE defensive and offensive capabilities—and part of that is proactively shutting down malware that might be...or an IP, or things like that—is there concern about escalation and where the line is drawn?
Part of this study.... The problem is that we're all lay people, or most of us anyway—I won't speak for all—when it comes to these things. My understanding of AI—because I've heard that, too—is that it's not what we think of it as being from popular culture. Does that mean that if, due to employing AI to use some of these capabilities that the law has conferred on different agencies, AI is continuing...? How much human involvement is there in the adjustments? If that line is so blurry as to what the rules of engagement are, is there concern that AI is learning how to shut something down, that the consequences can be graver than they were initially, but the system is sort of evolving on its own? I don't want to get lost. I don't know what the proper jargon is there, but....
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2019-01-30 16:14
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I wanted to quickly touch on the cyberwarfare piece with Bill C-59, for example, and CSE having the active cyber capabilities. My understanding is that there is not really any clarity in international law. Some would argue that when you attack a country's sovereignty.... Is data a part of sovereignty? I think that's the uncertainty we're at now.
There's a risk of escalation, but does it go both ways? Even with the announcement today, for example, on fighting foreign interference, if there's any kind of disruption that's being done proactively or pre-emptively, is there a risk there that we might antagonize while trying to protect ourselves if there's no action from a foreign state actor prior to whatever action our agencies are taking?
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2019-01-30 16:58
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Just really quickly, with the 15 seconds I have left, would that structure and who's taking the lead look different if Bill C-59 receives royal assent today?
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-09-20 17:00
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The other piece I want to ask about is the vulnerabilities equities process that exists within the NSA in the U.S. On the same topic of transparency, I'm wondering about this. More and more, especially with the existence of the centre, I'm assuming that there's going to be more work done to identify these vulnerabilities.
In Bill C-59, a lot of the pieces involve working with the private sector to identify the vulnerabilities and to, in some cases, even study them to a certain extent. I don't want to rehash the debate that we've had quite extensively at this committee, but is there a specific protocol that exists here, in the same way that the NSA has developed one, in order to disclose to the public and parliamentarians, etc., the existence of vulnerabilities in software and such?
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 17:43
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I just want to reiterate the point I made on this amendment, or on a similar one in the previous meeting, that I believe this could go a multitude of ways. There could be a burden on the agencies as well from the lack of response time from the agencies. At the end of the day, I think it creates a problem in terms of trying to undermine the credibility of these agencies as they're getting up and going.
There's no such thing, in my opinion, as an administrative cost to accountability and review and oversight mechanisms.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Chair, I often find that I do not have the time to react. I have to wait until the interpretation has been provided. In a lot of cases, you start speaking again before I have had the time to jump in.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 18:39
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Thank you, Chair.
This is an amendment that seeks to change the definition of “activities that undermine the security of Canada” to “threats to the security of Canada”. This is a recommendation that came from the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, among others, and from Professor Roach as well. It's obviously something that's been at the core of this debate for a long time, and with regard to former BillC-51 as well.
We believe this definition still gives the service the ability to do its work but will do more to protect rights and certain types of activities such as protests and things like that. There are a few consequential amendments to that as well.
It is so moved.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 18:45
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I agree with Ms. May entirely and I would simply add that it's even more dangerous, to my mind, in this context, because information sharing is at the heart of one of the most problematic elements of former BillC-51, now being modified through Bill C-59.
I think the wording that both Ms. May and I are proposing here is far more appropriate and, as she so eloquently pointed out, is what is proposed by many experts who clearly have expertise in the field.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 18:50
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Thank you, Chair.
This will be brief. This is another consequential amendment to what I presented in the first meeting that seeks to fully repeal what was SCISA, now SCIDA, the information sharing regime brought in by former BillC-51.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 18:50
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Chair, there are several amendments, NDP-9.8 and so forth, which I believe, since they seek to repeal the SCIDA, will be ruled inadmissible. However, it was important for me to move these amendments to make the point that this is probably the most unchanged element of former BillC-51. These are cosmetic changes at best.
I won't speak to and move all of them, but I want that on the record as the reason for presenting these amendments today. That is a key point for New Democrats with regard to Bill C-59.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
As this was already in Bill C-51, we intended to withdraw this amendment from Bill  C-59. However, there may be some confusion about it.
Could the officials tell us what the situation is?
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 18:59
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
This amendment is intended to change the current wording about sharing information. So our proposal is to replace “the disclosure will contribute to the exercise” with “the disclosure is necessary to the exercise”.
This is on the recommendation of several witnesses who appeared before us—the Privacy Commissioner, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, and Professor Roach, who, with the committee's indulgence, I will quote:
...the breadth of security information disclosure and sharing under Bill C-59 remains almost as large as it is in Bill C-51. This will provide challenges both for the Privacy Commissioner and the new review agency asked to keep an eye on this system.
As the Privacy Commissioner suggested, the use of the word “necessary” limits the sharing of information to the form that is the most essential for the exercise of the functions that the various organizations have.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 19:03
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Thank you, Chair.
This is not an adequate amendment, compared to the amendments that Ms. May and I proposed, for a variety of reasons.
First of all, it's not placed in the same part of the bill, so with it placed farther down, the information can still be shared. The amendment that's before us calls on the government agency to destroy the information as soon as possible after it is deemed not necessary, which is very different from establishing a necessary threshold before the information is even shared in the first place. Moreover, it continues to use the definition “activities that undermine the security of Canada”, which as you know from previous amendments.... I don't want to speak for Ms. May, but both she and I—
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 19:04
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I may speak for Ms. May, and I will say that we both attempted to change that definition, so for both those reasons, I believe this amendment is inadequate to achieve the objectives that witnesses asked us to achieve.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Could the officials provide us with some explanations about this? There are points that we find difficult to understand from a technical point of view.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 19:08
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Yes. I will propose the amendment, once again with the objective of rescinding the points about sharing information.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 19:09
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
The objective of this amendment is to allow the Privacy Commissioner to obtain the documents prepared as part of the information-sharing system. This was requested by the commissioner, as well as by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 19:18
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Thank you very much, Chair.
I want to take this opportunity to thank advocates like, obviously, No Fly List Kids, who are parents of children who have found themselves on this list among others who have fought against this very broken system that is colloquially referred to as the no-fly list.
This amendment seeks to change the wording from “reasonable grounds to suspect” to “reasonable grounds to believe”, believing that the word “suspect” is a very low threshold, it has created a “better safe than sorry” mentality when it comes to listing folks, and obviously there are also the risks of profiling that exist with a list such as this.
By having reasonable grounds to believe, we believe we're creating a threshold that requires actual evidence to be in hand before a decision is made to put someone on this list.
Lastly, Chair, this was recommended by the BCCLA, as well as the CCLA.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 19:21
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I think the results that real people on this list have faced speak for themselves.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 19:22
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Thank you very much, Chair.
This amendment follows recommendations by the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group as well as the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, which require, as does amendment NDP-84, that the minister provide individuals with written notice immediately once they have been confirmed to be on the list, rather than having them find out when they are arriving to travel. This is something that would allow any kind of appeal process to take place at a more opportune moment and not wait until the person is unable to travel, especially if they are on the list mistakenly. In this way they can begin to undertake the process immediately.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 19:23
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I think the argument I'm hearing implies that the only people who are not deserving of being on the list are false positives. There are plenty of people who are actually being put on the list and who deserve to go through the appeal process and who perhaps aren't meant to be on that list. I think it's important to bear in mind that the assumption that we're not notifying those who are victims of false positives, while certainly an issue, I agree with my colleague, is separate from the issue we're trying to address here.
It's worth mentioning that with regard to no-fly lists, essentially you have Canada and the United States operating in this way. I also think, given the information sharing that we see, with low thresholds for being put on the list, with that type of mechanism, we're not talking about the kind of high-level situation that wouldn't allow someone to engage in an appeal process, which, by the way, is also quite broken, much in the same way the list is.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 19:26
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Thank you very much, Chair.
The current wording of the bill is as follows:
If the Minister does not make a decision in respect of the application within a period of 120 days after the day on which the application is received—or within a further period of 120 days, if the Minister does not have sufficient information to make a decision and he or she notifies the applicant of the extension within the first 120-day period— the Minister is deemed to have decided to remove the applicant’s name from the list.
We are talking about people contesting the fact of finding their names on the list. Clearly, given the objective of the list, 120 days is extremely long for people who certainly have travel plans. So our objective is to reduce the period to 30 days.
If the information obtained is enough for a person's name to be put on the list, I do not see why the minister could not deal with cases of that kind in 30 days. It's a reasonable deadline.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 19:29
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For a party that made great hay during the hearings on this bill of supporting people who are wrongly affected by this list, it is important to note, for the record, that the bill actually increases the number of days that the minister has before notifying someone.
Let's be clear here. The way the bill is drafted, even without Bill C-59, if individuals are not receiving a response in an adequate period of time, their names are removed, so essentially what the changes in Bill C-59 do is allow another month, another 30 days for individuals to wait in limbo while they potentially may want to travel.
There aren't a million people on this list. There are obviously thousands who are affected as we've seen in the last number of years, but it's safe to say that if the information is truly accurate, there is no reason why the minister can't address this type of injustice in 90 days. I am calling for 30 days. I appreciate Ms. May's notion of a compromise, which is actually returning to what is currently in legislation prior to Bill C-59.
It is pretty important to note that we're increasing the amount of time the minister has, while individuals are stuck in travel limbo.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 19:32
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Thank you, Chair.
NDP-80 seeks to add a clause that uses the wording, “a judge must remove an appellant's name”. The wording would be, “If the judge finds that a decision made under section 15 is unreasonable, the judge must order that the appellant's name be removed from the list.”
This contrasts with the current wording, that the judge “may” remove the name from the list. It's my belief, and I'm sure many others, that if a judge is deeming that the person is on the list in an unreasonable fashion, there is no reason why they must not order the immediate removal of that person's name.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 19:34
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Thank you, Chair.
One thing the no-fly list succeeded in doing was creating a consensus. I hope that in that consensus we can also all agree that this is a very broken system. In that spirit, I think it's important there be more accountability instead of some nebulous backdoor mechanism that exists. Acknowledging that there are national security concerns, we believe the minister should be tabling an annual public report that contains the number of names on the list, the number of requests for appeals, and the results of the appeals, to actually have a proper notion of how many injustices are being caused by this type of list, and how many people are being affected and able to successfully appeal that.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 19:36
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I find it interesting that you bring up national security. Some people have the same name as others whose names are on the list. Those individuals complain in public about the fact that their names are on the list. We know the names, but we do not want to disclose the number of those names. In my opinion, this information has a very minor effect on national security.
I would just like to add one thing in reply to my colleague's comments. Despite my trust, despite the fact that the creation of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians is a step in the right direction, I find this to be a concern. Each time we encounter pitfalls with the accountability of national security agencies and the various associated mechanisms, we are told that the committee of parliamentarians is going to look into the matter. This habit is becoming more and more troubling, especially when the time comes to get political answers from the minister
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 19:42
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Just in terms of the merits of the amendments themselves, I have the same amendment, so I would echo the points that Ms. May has already made.
I just want to ask something. Ms. Damoff talked about Liberal amendments coming up related to the Secure Air Travel Act and special advocates, but I don't see those amendments.
Just for the sake of understanding the back and forth of debate, I'm perhaps wondering what was being alluded to.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 19:43
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You said there were amendments coming up dealing with special advocates.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 19:43
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—I heard wrong.
I misunderstood. I thought the Liberals had some, but they....
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 19:43
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I understand. Thank you.
I would echo what Ms. May said, and I find it unfortunate that, for such a broken system, my sense then is that the belief is that we've gotten it right on the first try with C-59 on the government side. That's really too bad, because there are going to continue to be injustices caused by the system, but I'm pleased to support Ms. May's efforts, which mirror my own.
(Amendment negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 19:45
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NDP-82 is simply my attempt at the same effort that Ms. May made, which is to allow for special advocates as part of this process. I think the purpose has been presented eloquently, so I will content myself with that statement.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 19:45
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As in the case with Ms. May's amendments, this is a complementary amendment to NDP-82. It's so moved.
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View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2018-04-25 19:47
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My concern is the lack of flexibility given to judges who might, if necessary, want to exempt the minister from fulfilling his obligations in all circumstances. I would like to retain some flexibility for the sitting judge that the amendment does not provide. So I will be voting against this amendment.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 19:48
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Thank you, Chair.
NDP-85 is part of a suite of amendments that deals with an issue that has been quite controversial. If I may, I'll take some time to explain, given the fact that, with poor rhetoric and intentions from others in the political sphere, it can easily be presented with a different intent than the one it comes forward with.
While we understand the need to always find ways to improve public safety and to tackle the issue of terrorism, I think the terrorist entities list has caused numerous problems, which have been raised by some of the foremost experts, most notably Professors Forcese and Roach in a paper they wrote called “Yesterday's Law: Terrorist Group Listing in Canada”.
We've seen that there's a cost to taxpayers for this listing and the charter challenges that come along with it. One such case that we've actually seen in the news currently and is going to have significant costs is the one related to Mr. Abdelrazik, the Canadian who is a Sudanese refugee and was arrested when he returned to Sudan and was a victim of torture there. We've seen in the news lately some dubious behaviour on the part of CSIS with regard to the work being done by diplomats. Canada refused to issue a travel document to substitute for his now expired passport because he was still listed using this entity list.
While recognizing that a variety of things need to be tackled, whether it's intelligence and evidence for prosecution or working on how we prosecute and charge terrorist charges, which aren't even always used when we're dealing with cases of terrorism because there's a challenging legal situation around that, the fact of the matter is that anything that's creating situations where we have Canadians being stuck abroad, where we have information sharing and dubious constitutionality, not only harms people's rights and freedoms, but it also causes, naturally, issues with public safety. We want the most accurate information, and we want to lay charges but to do it in a way that is the most efficient.
This process is a secretive process. Appeals are limited. We're not talking about something that's happening in a court. In fact, some of the provisions that are also related to the use of assets are problematic as well. I would point, Chair, to the International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy (Canada), IRFAN Canada, which hasn't had a chance to contest any of this in court because the same provisions have frozen its assets.
I think we can acknowledge that there are many groups that have committed atrocities throughout the world, but I think what makes us stand apart from the very things we purport to combat is the fact that we have due process and the fact that we don't create lists through back doors that have challenges in terms of their constitutionality. It's something that's been raised numerous times, in particular by Professors Forcese and Roach, as I've said.
Professor Roach, in fact, in his brief, recommended eliminating entirely this listing for the reasons that I have elaborated here. Again, I think due process should not be compromised because of lists that are drafted in the regulatory and political sphere. I think it's extremely problematic; cabinet essentially has unilateral control. For those reasons, I believe we should move forward on repealing these different elements.
I would make one last point, Chair. I had the chance in the House of Commons to debate a private member's bill that sought to create a similar list related to organized crime and gangs. One of the points made at that time was the fact that the expediency that is sometimes sought by creating this list, which seeks to.... In that particular instance, the issue was that, with organized crime, the crown is constantly having to prove that organized crime is what it is. If criminal organization X is before the court, the prosecutors are constantly having to resubmit evidence, and it's a laborious process. However, a list with dubious constitutionality does not resolve that issue.
The same concept applies here. Finding us in a situation that leads to more litigation is not one that ensures public safety, and it costs taxpayers an extraordinary amount of money.
The final thing I'll say for the record is that I believe, and New Democrats believe, that if we can find any mechanism that keeps Canadians safe, we will always study it with rigour and give it the proper consideration it deserves. Any replacement for this mechanism that would be more appropriate and have the proper mechanisms in place is a proposal we would in good faith be willing to consider. As it stands now, this is a list that has failed, and I'm taking the opportunity in this debate on this legislation to move these amendments.
I appreciate the committee's indulgence for that rather long intervention. As I said, if you just go out there and say you want to repeal a list of terrorist organizations, it can sound odd to the person listening in. I think it's important that Canadians understand the objective that I'm seeking to achieve here today.
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View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2018-04-25 19:55
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This is a tricky and very important issue.
I would like the fight against terrorism to be crystal clear; I would like the information that we have in the field to be easy to sort out, and everything to be black and white. Unfortunately, in reality, our agencies constantly have to be working with shades of grey. The bill does not contain make-do solutions. On the contrary, it is an instrument in response to a United Nations Security Council resolution. So this is no isolated initiative with no basis. It is also an important instrument that gives us the legal framework we need to seize the assets to which my colleague referred.
I would like our expert witnesses to talk to us about the negative consequences that amending the proposed definition would cause.
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View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2018-04-25 19:58
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The goal of Bill  C-59 is to have modern legislation that corresponds to the new realities and brings us closer to our allies. That is the reason we created the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians. We actually had to make up for some shortcomings in order to be at the same level as our allies.
So I feel it is ill-advised to remove this kind of list and to take a step backwards in relation to our allies, with whom we want to collaborate in the fight against terrorism. I am therefore going to vote against this amendment.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 19:59
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This is in response to the comments made by a gentleman from the justice department. My amendments don't remove our ability to freeze assets. It would require them to do so through the courts.
I want to refer to that paper from Professors Forcese and Roach that I mentioned. First, I want to address the point of other democracies. I'm sure both professors would not appreciate selective quoting, but the format of our exercise doesn't easily allow for the type of elaborate thought we might want to pursue in this type of complicated matter. At this writing, 54 groups are on the latter list. As a side note, we know on the public safety website how many are listed on this list. We don't want to do the same thing for the no-fly list. That's a debate that has passed this evening.
It says that this is a “broader list than in some other democracies—notably Australia and United Kingdom. The majority of the listed groups are Islamist terrorist groups, but the list also includes [other groups]”.
It goes through an enumeration, then continues:
As a result of the definitional formula in section 83.01, there are two sorts of terrorist groups in Canada’s criminal law: a group identified and listed as such by the executive per paragraph (b); and, a group that is not listed, but which meets the functional definition in paragraph (a), as assessed ultimately by a court....
This is a process that my amendments would obviously keep in place. They add, in brackets, “typically when a person is prosecuted for their conduct in relation to that group”.
Most of the time, when someone is committing a terrorist act, terrorism charges are not even brought because the heinous acts that they have already committed provide sufficient material in the courtroom for the prosecution to move ahead.
The paper continues that paragraph (b) listing has proven mostly irrelevant. Until recently almost all action in Canadian criminal law has been in relation to paragraph (a) groups, those being the groups that have been proven such in a court of law. It also notes:
Legal commentators have raised concerns about whether executive listing under paragraph (b) will satisfy Charter standards when relied upon in criminal trials to supply an essential element of a criminal offence.
I apologize, I would read faster, but I'm trying to be mindful of the interpreters. It notes further below:
The argument is that paragraph (b) substitutes a closed executive listing process for the proof beyond a reasonable doubt on the basis of public evidence that an alleged group has as one of its purposes or activities facilitating or carrying out any terrorist activity. The fact that the Charter argument has not yet been decided by a court may reflect the relative lack of reliance on executive listing mechanisms in terrorism prosecutions in Canada.
Chair, I would move to—I apologize, I'm losing myself in my own notes. Further on to the notion of the terrorism financing. It says, at the time of the paper:
Only six of Canada’s 26 completed criminal cases to date involved entities listed by the government (that is, a paragraph (b) group). Canada’s single terrorism financing conviction involved a donation by the accused to the (listed) Tamil Tigers. The modest, 6-month sentence in this case may reflect the fact that the non-remorseful accused sent only $3000 to what he believed was a justified cause, but it also appears to qualify, if not question, the executive’s initial proscription decision.
The footnote adds:
One of us has previously suggested that the light sentence in this and similar financing cases in Australia “demonstrates how proscription of terrorist groups simplifies a complex situation where both governments and organizations such as the Tamil Tigers have abused human rights.”
I think the discussion around the situation in India, notably, has shown us how there can be issues on both sides of these debates. That was from Ken Roach's paper “The 9/11 Effect: Comparative Counter-Terrorism”, from 2011.
I appreciate that the committee has given me much indulgence. I felt the need to read some of that into the record again, knowing that as a political science major, two professors would probably not appreciate selective reading of a very long and complicated paper. I hope that committee members will take the time to read it. Hopefully, they've already had the time to read it. I believe the support for my amendments hinges on work that's been done in papers such as this.
Again, I'll conclude by saying I'm always open to studying ways to ensure better public safety. As we've seen, notably in the debate around returning ISIS fighters, everyone agrees that we want anyone who would commit heinous acts to be behind bars, but at the end of the day, we have to acknowledge that we have due process and we have the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. If we want to maximize our success, there are complicated questions around this, and this is one of them.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 20:09
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Thank you.
This is, as you've said before, a fallback position. Given that the amendments to repeal the entities listing have been defeated, this amendment seeks to change the period of publication of the results of the review of listed entities. So rather than using the wording “without delay” the wording would be “within five years.” So it is prescribing a time.
This comes from a recommendation out of the Canadian Bar Association.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-25 20:10
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If I may just correct myself, instead of “within five years”, it's “without delay.” I apologize for that.
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View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2018-04-25 20:10
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I would like to ask our experts one or two questions.
If an entity remains on the list, it remains there after the review, but if it is removed from the list, does the de-listing take effect at the moment of the decision or when it is published in the Canada Gazette?
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View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2018-04-25 20:12
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Does this amendment have any impact on any other amendment coming?
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View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2018-04-25 20:13
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I'll rephrase my question, and maybe that will get me the answer I'm looking for.
What is the legal power of a publication in the Canada Gazette? Is it just confirming what has been done in the past, as information in an official way?
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