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Results: 301 - 360 of 602
View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-19 12:50
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Currently, the commissioner's position is part-time. However, in our opinion, it would be entirely appropriate for this position to be full-time only, given the nature of the work, real-time monitoring, and so on. Given the accountability objectives we want to achieve by creating this position, it would be entirely appropriate for the individual to be fully dedicated to this task.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-19 12:52
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Chair, before we move to Ms. May's comments on her amendment, I'm wondering if I could seek clarification on the decision, on two points.
For me as a parliamentarian, it's the first time I've been involved in a committee process for legislation that has been referred before second reading. In the sense of things being able to be outside the scope of the bill, I'm wondering whether that impacts at all.
Secondly, given that it's government legislation, there have been a few amendments in this bill that have had similar rulings. I know that for private members' business, you can't supersede that prerogative, but when it comes to a government bill, is there not an ability in that case to make this type of amendment?
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-19 12:54
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Is there technically such a thing as a government member on a committee, in a practical sense, or would that have to be a member of the executive in the House?
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-19 12:55
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I appreciate that clarification. All kidding aside, all members would be seen as equal on the committee.
Perhaps it's not the appropriate forum for this, but I'm just wondering whether this type of amendment would be in order at report stage or third reading.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Before the meeting comes to an end, I just want to say that we, the members of the Green Party, the NDP and the Conservative Party, ask that the government take this into consideration and that it be given second reading.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-17 11:06
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That is what I thought.
The amendment seeks to allow the body to review in a more robust capacity by establishing the membership more clearly and is so moved.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-17 11:08
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Thank you, Chair.
Given that the intelligence commissioner is the first real-time overseer and not just the reviewer of national security in this country, I believe it is important that the position be filled much like the Auditor General's with a vote in Parliament and not just on the recommendation of the Governor in Council and the Prime Minister.
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View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2018-04-17 11:09
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A requirement that both houses of Parliament approve appointments to the NSIRA is not necessary and is inconsistent with established practice. We suggest members vote against this.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
What I'm reading right now seems to indicate that the position of vice-chair is optional, but it is unclear. We recommend that this vagueness be dispelled and the position of vice-chair be clearly mandatory, as that is important. If we have misinterpreted that aspect, I invite the officials in attendance to explain the situation a bit better to us.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-17 11:12
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I support this amendment because the bill does seem to prevent the appointment of a vice-chair and allow the chair to appoint their alternate as needed, instead of a vice-chair automatically taking the chair in the chair's absence. I think the vice-chair should be appointed when the review agency is created, instead of waiting for each of the chair's absences.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
You are talking about subsection 5(1), which pertains to the acting chair, correct?
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Okay. But I want to make sure that I have the correct provision in front of me.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
I will come back to this.
Our amendment concerns line 4 on page 5, where it says “may designate”. I understand that other designation cases are covered in subsections 4(7) and 5(1), but on line 4, it rather says “may designate”. We want the wording to be “designate” instead. The expression “may designate” indicates a possibility, and we are proposing that it be made into an obligation. The NDP agreed with that.
We are not talking about the same thing.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-17 11:19
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I appreciate the point that was just made, but I think having these positions be part-time or even having the possibility of their being part-time shows a lack of seriousness with regard to the review process and wanting to undertake it properly. I find it difficult to imagine that someone on this kind of body would be involved with other work or doing other things or only part-time. If we really want to take seriously the kind of accountability that's being sought with the agency, then I think it should not be a part-time position. Therefore, I support the amendment.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-17 11:26
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
This amendment is very long but relatively simple. A comment was made very often during our study of the bill. As you know, the Canada Border Services Agency can receive complaints about the conduct of certain agencies or departments. However, Global Affairs Canada is not covered by the complaint mechanism, which is a very serious omission. This is a very important element, especially when it comes to consular services. We know, as it was shown in Maher Arar's case, that the sharing of information done by that department can lead to violations of Canadians' human rights, especially abroad. This amendment would enable the agency to receive complaints related to Global Affairs Canada's conduct.
The second point concerns the Canada Border Services Agency. As you also know, an opportunity to create an organization that would oversee the agency's activities was missed under this bill. That organization still does not exist. The minister showed openness, but we are anxious to see something concrete. In addition, it would be appropriate for the oversight organization, in a context of national security, to be able to receive the complaints related to the Border Services Agency's conduct in the meantime.
In closing, I would say that this amendment really just adds to the complaints provisions in the legislation. It's nothing earth-shattering but it ensures that we have a robust process for all agencies and ministries that might be involved in different situations that can become problematic with regard to Canadians' rights.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Like Ms. Damoff, I don't understand in what way the NDP amendment concerns national security. In fact, I am unsure of whether there is a link between the proposed amendment to the bill and national security. Officials could probably share their opinions on this, as well.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-17 11:30
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If you look at the legislation, in proposed section 8, it specifically mentions certain aspects: reports made to the agency under the Citizenship Act, matters referred to the agency under section 45 of the Human Rights Act, complaints under the RCMP Act, and any complaint made under proposed subsections 16(1), 17(1), or 18(3). What we're seeing here is, despite the fact that the majority of witnesses who did raise this point spoke in favour of what this amendment is putting forward.... Despite it being a small portion of Global Affairs, as is being advanced, this is something that goes to the heart of what was talked about, most notably in the Arar inquiry, because Global Affairs does play a role in how these situations play out.
Moreover, CBSA, as far as I'm concerned, acts exclusively with regard to national security. I see no other way to define what goes on at the border than to say that it's related to national security.
I think, in the meantime, there's a huge gap there. There's no accountability for CBSA, so to have this complaint mechanism in the mandate of the agency and not expand it, as many witnesses asked us to, is quite disappointing. Once again, this just shows how the accountability and the review that we're seeking is not being taken as seriously as the government pretends.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-17 11:32
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For the record, I want to say that the RCMP is also covered by the review agency, yet that hasn't prevented the legislation from including a complaint mechanism with regard to the RCMP. I think it's important to distinguish between the agency's ability to review these agencies and the ability of a Canadian whose rights have been impugned to make a complaint to the review agency. I think it's an important distinction, and once again, I fall on the witness testimony. Many witnesses did bring this up as a large gap. More specifically, with regard to CBSA, as of now, NSIRA is the only body that has any review of CBSA. CBSA, unlike other agencies that are involved very closely with national security, has no specific review entity associated with it.
Moreover, I would just add, in light of some of the situations we see at the border, giving Canadians some kind of mechanism so that they can make these types of complaints to a body like this is absolutely appropriate.
The last point I would make, goes back to an earlier point that was made and also alluded to by Mr. Motz about staff and so forth. The amendment does make clear, as should be enshrined in the law, that the agency will not deal with complaints unless they are deemed to be not trivial, vexatious in nature, or made in bad faith.
Once again, it's a gap that is there. I see no reason why this can't be supported, other than the fact that we don't take the accountability that we claim to want to bring forward seriously.
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View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2018-04-17 11:37
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As Mr. Motz said earlier, this is a matter of national security, as confirmed by experts. The legislator's intention with this bill is to focus exclusively on national security.
However, customs' responsibility goes well beyond national security, especially because of the commercial nature of the agency's activities. It would be unrealistic for the review agency to also be in charge of all the complaints related to customs, as that has absolutely nothing to do with its mandate.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-17 11:39
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I support the amendment. I think it's a good idea. I do want, however, to point out that it's interesting that we propose amendments on the Liberal side to increase the mandate and vote down amendments that would make the chair full time.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
I understand what my colleague is saying, but, like Mr. Motz just mentioned, a number of witnesses have told us that they had doubts about the effectiveness of the relations. Our goal was to include an element that would clarify the minister's mandate. Even Richard Fadden and other witnesses told us that a problem existed. I don't know how people from the public service see this, but based on the testimony we have heard, we felt that it should be added to the legislation.
Mr. Davies or—
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-17 11:45
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
The amendment seeks to ensure that the agency could obtain the foreign intelligence used by bodies like CSE on which that organization relies to take actions related to national security.
Right now, it has access to any documents a department may have in its possession. I am sure it could be argued that foreign intelligence could be included in this definition, but the objective of my amendment is to ensure that it will be as clear as possible, especially since CSIS and CSE often act based on intelligence obtained by allies or other countries. This amendment is complementary and adds clarity.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-17 11:48
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I anticipated that argument, and that's why, as I said, and I'll repeat, I believe greater clarity is always better when it comes to a body that is being put in place to protect Canadians' rights.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Wait a minute, Mr. Chair.
I need clarifications. You will see that amendments CPC-9 and CPC-10 are saying something very similar. So I would like Mr. Davies to give me clarifications on the government's position and to compare it with ours. We were adding a small nuance regarding the ministerial cabinet's documents.
Can you explain to us the argument that was just made, but from a more technical perspective?
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
This is what we just talked about. This amendment is similar to amendment LIB-4. We wanted to get explanations to ensure that the difference—We just voted on LIB-4, but is the impact on amendment CPC-9 negative, positive or none?
It is technical. What we are proposing in amendments CPC-9 and CPC-10 is proposed in amendment LIB-4. We want you to tell us whether, from a technical stand point, these amendments are no longer necessary or should still be debated. I am not sure whether I am explaining clearly.
An hon. member: No.
Mr. Pierre Paul-Hus: Okay. We just voted on LIB-4. We feel that CPC-9 is similar to LIB-4. We just want to check whether that is indeed the case. Should we vote on it or get rid of it, since we have already voted on LIB-4?
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
I have an issue with the translation. Amendment CPC-9, which you just defeated, is identical in French to the French version of amendment LIB-5. Since the committee has voted against amendment CPC-9, it would be logical for everyone to vote against amendment LIB-5.
What is done when this kind of an issue arises?
The two French versions are exactly the same. You just said “opposed”. Does that mean everyone is voting against the amendment?
Amendment LIB-5 must be defeated because amendment CPC-9, which is identical, was also defeated. That said, the wording is not the same in English.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-17 12:01
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I'm not sure I follow you.
In the English version, it says “or any privilege”, but the French version says, “et toute immunité reconnue par le droit de la preuve”.
I don't see the distinction you are making. In my opinion, the meaning is different. It would not have said, “malgré toute autre loi fédérale ou toute immunité reconnue par le droit de la preuve”.
If we decide to adopt amendment CPC-9, the translation must be accurate.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-17 12:02
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Mr. Chair, I appreciate the point that has been made. As someone who's bilingual, I try to go through both versions. It's not always possible because it can be a time-consuming thing. I'm okay to be corrected on the difference being different in French, but the fact is that the wording is exactly identical. Procedurally, an identical wording would mean that the follow-up one would be amended. I'm wondering, in terms of our privilege, especially for French-speaking members, how that plays in and if that means that LIB-5 is even in order.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
I agree. I am not currently reading the English version; I am reading only the French version. I was forced to vote against one of my proposals, and the wording of amendment LIB-5 is identical to the wording of amendment CPC-9. The English translation changed the words. I agree that the subtleties of the English language are different from those of the French language. However, I must vote on an amendment today. In French, the two amendments are identical. So I think that amendment LIB-5 should be defeated, just like amendment CPC-9 was defeated.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-17 12:04
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Everyone has the same. They're different in English, but in French they're exactly the same.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Chair, I will provide a very simple explanation.
In the Conservative Party's amendment CPC-9, it was “mais” in French and “but” in English. In amendment CPC-10, it was “and” in English and “et” in French. Finally, in amendment LIB-5, it is “but” in English and “et” in French.
In the LIB-5, if we decide that “but” is the right one or “et” is the right one, you have to vote for the Conservative one, depending on which one you want.
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View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2018-04-17 12:07
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I ask for a five-minute break so we could discuss the nuance of gray on this one and agree on one version. The idea of the legislator is there; it's just the word. With the help of the expert, we'll manage to find the proper wording for something that seems to be the exact same thing.
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View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2018-04-17 12:19
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Before I propose my subamendment, I would like to make a comment.
We all agreed on the importance of having an identical translation that does not lead to confusion. We all agreed that the legislator must first have an inclusive approach. I think that previous expert testimony went in that direction. So I propose a subamendment to amendment LIB-5.
I propose that the English version remains as it is and that, in the French version, the word “mais” be replaced with the word “et”, so that it would correspond to the French version of amendment CPC-10, but would bring consistency and similarity of statements in English and French in amendment LIB-5.
In short, the subamendment aims to change the word “mais” to “et”.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-17 12:21
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I will make a quick comment, as I don't want to delay things more than necessary.
I just want to respond to Mr. Picard's comments on the importance of the translation for a parliamentarian who may be working only in French. There must be consistency.
I also want to say that I support the subamendment.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-17 12:23
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I tentatively support it. I just have a few questions. I don't know if Ms. Dabrusin can answer or perhaps the officials could, but it was mentioned that the Privacy Commissioner's mandate is different and perhaps larger in the sense that it's not only about national security. It's about some of these things where there's overlap and such, and the fact that the findings of the commissioner and the review agency may be different.
I'm just wondering if by putting in place a legal framework to avoid duplication we also potentially push out conflicting but necessary reports and findings from the two bodies while respecting the spirit. As Ms. Damoff said, it is something we heard a lot of concern about. I just want to make sure we're not hamstringing one body or the other in trying to achieve this objective, especially when there's overlap outside of the realm of national security with regard to the Privacy Commissioner.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-17 12:25
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When we say to avoid any unnecessary...that's the safeguard to allow them to do the work nonetheless while pushing them in a direction of collaboration.
Mr. John Davies: That's correct.
Mr. Matthew Dubé: Okay, great. Thanks.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-17 12:26
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Thank you, Chair.
Right now, the provision requiring the Canadian Human Rights Commission to be consulted uses the wording “if appropriate”, and so my amendment seeks to have the review agency consult with the commission to outline guidelines that would codify the way in which they consult them and not have it more ad hoc with the “if appropriate” wording.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-17 12:27
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I would submit that they would be establishing in which cases it's appropriate, so it would not be something binding and there would be for “opinion or comments under subsection (1)”. The Human Rights Commission wouldn't be having any kind of veto or whatnot. It would just codify the way in which they would be consulted by the review agency to offer that expertise, but it obviously wouldn't have the kind of consequence that Mr. Motz might be alluding to in his remarks.
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View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2018-04-17 12:28
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The reference to the commissioner speaks to the faith in his decisions. I think that the same faith can be put in the person in charge of the review agency. Their ability to judge what is appropriate or not appears sufficient and is surely just as serious as an evaluation the commissioner may make.
To avoid any slowdown in the analysis of complaints, I will vote against the amendment. I think that it is unnecessary because their judgment will surely be appropriate to decide when the human rights commissioner needs to be consulted or not.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-17 12:29
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If I may, before we move to the vote, I just want to say that, on the contrary, I find that doing it on an ad hoc basis, judging if it's appropriate, is what would become cumbersome, whereas I think establishing it in advance and consulting with the Canadian Human Rights Commission would allow for that process to be properly delineated as the review agency moves forward with its mandate.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-17 12:29
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
The point of the amendment is simply to give the review agency the power to make orders to require appropriate and legal conduct from the departments related to national security that come under their jurisdiction.
That was raised in some of the briefs we have received, as well as in the testimony of certain civil liberties groups. I think it is appropriate in order to be able to require more accountability in terms of the actions taken by departments related to national security.
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View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2018-04-17 12:30
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I think it is tricky to increase the agency's powers, since, when an agency starts to intervene or potentially intervene in operations, its view of those activities, and surely the knowledge of potential consequences, may not be adequate. It can already report suspicious or illegal activities, but intervening to a larger extent would jeopardize the operations under way. So I think that the agency's capacity should be limited.
I will oppose the amendment.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
As for Mr. Dubé's proposal, is it not more the responsibility of the minister than the agency to issue directives on that?
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
My question was for Mr. Dubé, but Mr. Davies can answer it. My question is about figuring out whether that role does not belong more to the minister.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-17 12:32
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I'd just like to address a few of the points that have been made. There's nothing here talking about any of the specificity that Mr. Picard alluded to about operations. Too often we hear ministers, even though our parliamentary system requires ministerial accountability, whether it's an Auditor General report or any watchdog's report, saying that they accept the recommendations. We hear that day in and day out every time reports are tabled, and so, in keeping with our tradition in the NDP of asking for some of these watchdogs like the Privacy Commissioner and others to have more teeth, I believe that the ability to make orders requires that there would be follow-up in keeping with findings that might be less than advantageous to the different agencies in the event that there would be a serious breach of Canadians' rights.
I think giving the watchdog the ability to make orders to follow up on that is appropriate. They're not getting involved in the day-to-day activities; they're simply requiring compliance with laws and applicable ministerial directions. I don't think this comes into contradiction with the minister's ability to also require the same things, but as I said, I think that giving these watchdogs more teeth is better for Canadians.
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View Matthew Dubé Profile
NDP (QC)
View Matthew Dubé Profile
2018-04-17 12:36
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Thank you, Chair.
I'm leaning towards opposing this amendment. We came across this problem when we debated BillC-22, creating the committee of parliamentarians, in terms of this notion of ongoing investigations. We can look at a situation like the Afghan detainees or Air India where those investigations could have been subject to this type of provision.
Interestingly, often some of our opposition amendments are rejected by those on the other side, on the grounds that these things are built into the legislation and understood in more subjective ways. This time I will be the one deploying that argument, because I believe it's understood that these review agencies are doing after-the-fact review at any rate, which was part of the rationale for rejecting my previous amendment about making orders that creep into oversight territory.
I believe that given that it already has a review function, and the fact that this kind of amendment could infringe on some of the more serious cases we've seen in Canadian history with regard to things spanning decades but where investigations were ongoing. This argument could have been made by authorities in those cases, and I don't think it's at all appropriate.
As I said, I would refer folks to the debate we had on BillC-22 with the committee of parliamentarians where we heard evidence to that effect as well.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
I will need explanations, as this seems contradictory to me.
The review agency would have a mandate to oversee the operations of other agencies, but, through this amendment, it will be told to forget about its oversight so as not to harm operations. However, oversight is the agency's primary goal if it is doing its job properly. In order to harm an investigation under way, it would have to intervene. Of course, the review agency's work is not to intervene on the ground and harm an operation, but if its mandate to oversee other agencies is removed, it would be as if those agencies were left to do what they want.
I don't understand this amendment's objective. Perhaps the officials could explain it to me. It seems to me that this is about taking away the agency's authority for unknown reasons.
Please give me a concrete example.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
It is still unclear. The review agency is there to conduct an investigation in case of a complaint.
Can you please give me a more concrete example?
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Chair, I would like us to take a short five-minute break, so that I can propose a subamendment in order to clarify the amendment's wording.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Chair, let me remind you that we had the bill before the debates and that we should have worked on the details a bit more.
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View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2018-04-17 12:47
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Was the purpose of the break just to rephrase the subamendment?
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View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2018-04-17 12:56
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I will ask the same question, but in a different way.
Would the fact that the agency has the option to consult the organization in question instead of being obligated to do so, while maintaining a procedure that already exists in case a consultation would not be held, really hurt the process? The agency may have its reasons for not doing the consultation. The reasons may be related to confidentiality or to its operations, regardless. The agency's decision not to do the consultation and be freed from that legal obligation does not interfere with its smooth operation.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Given the time, I propose that our subamendment be reviewed and properly drafted and that we start with a clear proposal at the next meeting. We could adjourn the meeting on this note.
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