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Results: 1 - 60 of 132
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 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 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 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 Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Chair, I'll be a good sport.
Given the situation—the last-minute changes to the NDP and Liberal amendments—there is confusion. It's 9 p.m., and I propose that we adjourn the study of the amendments so that we can analyze the situation on our side. In any case, there is little left to study. I think we could finish this study tomorrow in two hours at the most.
I would like to tell committee members that I want it to be finished tomorrow and not to worry. Tonight, we should adjourn to give us time, out of respect, to verify exactly what it is. For our part, we will be presenting aspects that the committee will have to look at, and that will take some time.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Yes, please. I move that the meeting be adjourned and that we resume at 10 a.m. tomorrow.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Chair, amendment CPC-27 proposes a bill in the bill, just as the Liberals proposed a bill on torture.
I will now briefly outline Bill C-371, which was created by my colleague Tony Clement, in 2017.
This bill gives the government the ability to establish a list of foreign states, individuals and entities that impede freedom of religion, impose punishments based on religious beliefs, or carry out or support activities that encourage radicalization.
It deals with what is called the “secret ways” through which money is poured into organizations and institutions in Canada that support radicalization. It would prevent an individual, entity or foreign state that supports or encourages radicalization or is associated with it to fund an institution through donations or gifts.
Individuals and institutions in Canada would be prohibited from accepting money or gifts from states, individuals or entities on the list. Three amendments to the Income Tax Act are included to recognize the provisions of the bill.
It should be noted that in 2015, the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence completed a study entitled “Countering the Terrorist Threat in Canada”. In its recommendations, the Senate report urges the government to take steps to prevent the entry of foreign funds into Canada in cases where funds, donors or recipients are associated with a radicalization movement.
Currently, the Income Tax Act allows the removal of charitable status from groups affiliated with terrorism. In addition, the government maintains a list of designated terrorist groups, including Al Qaeda, ISIS and Hezbollah. This bill would improve the government's ability to control incoming funds beyond charities and designated terrorist groups.
By developing and maintaining a list of foreign states, individuals and entities that promote radicalization and that facilitate the funding of groups that promote or participate in radicalization, the government would have a better set of control measures. We have known for a long time that there are gaps that allow money to come into Canada to support radicalization. The legislation includes provisions on flexibility and review and allows the groups on the list to appeal. This flexibility allows the government to act quickly when sources of funding are identified, but also to be fair when a group or individual has adequately demonstrated that they should no longer be on the list.
Several witnesses have testified, and I want to mention some important people, such as Richard Fadden, former national security advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and former director of CSIS, who confirmed that there are concerns about foreign funding of Canadian religious and quasi-religious institutions. He testified before the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence:
I think it is a problem. I think it's one that we're becoming increasingly aware of. It's one that we share with a number of our other Western allies and, insofar as I've been able to make out, nobody has found a systemic solution. What I think has occurred on a number of cases, you can find out about a specific case and you can do something about it; the problem is finding out about the specific case.…
In fact, in my previous job, I actually raised with representatives from some of the countries who might be involved in this and suggested to them this was not helpful. The difficulty in most cases is that the monies are not coming from governments. They're coming from fairly wealthy institutions or individuals within some of these countries. It makes it doubly difficult to track. It doesn't mean you're not right in raising it. I just don't have an easy solution.
I would now like to raise an important point, Mr. Chair. Imam Syed Soharwardy of Calgary and other witnesses told the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence that the jihadist extremist ideology is advocated in schools and universities, often under the guise of academic freedom and far from the oversight of CSIS. He told the committee:
The money comes in different ways, in secret ways. Money comes through institutions. There are two organizations in Canada. Basically they are U.S. organizations that are operating in Canada. One is called AIMaghrib Institute, the other is called AIKauthar Institute. Both work in universities, not in mosques. Both give lectures. Both organize seminars. They are the ones who brainwash these young kids in lectures.
Shahina Siddiqui, from the Islamic Social Services Association, appeared before the Senate committee in 2015. She said:
I can tell you that my own organization was offered $3 million. We refused, even though I had not a penny in my account at that time, when I started the organization, because this is a Canadian organization, and we don't need funding from anywhere else.
The same thing with our mosques in Manitoba. We were offered money from Libya when we made our first mosque. We refused it.
Are there some mosques that have accepted money from overseas because it was legal to do so? If we want to curtail them, we have to make it illegal, not just for Muslims but also for all groups, for you to raise funds from abroad. That would be my response.
That said, I think amendment CPC-27 is of paramount importance to Bill  C-59. We have heard that there are finance-related elements that already exist in another act. Therefore, it seems that it is more or less effective. So I strongly recommend that the committee accept our bill in Bill  C-59.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Chair, to wrap up, I want to say that I am against this amendment because I believe the Liberal Party is trying to promote a foreign policy through a national security bill. It isn't appropriate to try to tell others what to do through Bill  C-59.
Thank you.
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View Luc Berthold Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
I am pleased to be here, dear colleagues. You work very hard in this committee. The bill you are studying is quite extensive and a number of amendments have been proposed, all in a spirit of goodwill. For someone who is beginning, I admit that it's quite difficult to dive into this all at once.
I'm a little surprised by the answer from my colleague on the importance of knowing how much the amendments and this new oversight mechanism will cost.
Ms. Dabrusin, if as you just said, it won't cost anything, we will have the opportunity to see that in the first report and to see the importance of the numbers. It's perfectly legitimate to add that to the act. We'll see how these new measures will affect the budget.
We want to improve national security, but it's important not to do the opposite by devoting the money that could be used to protect us from these threats to the surveillance of people who are working so that we don't face various threats. So I'm very much in favour of the amendment introduced by my colleague Mr. Motz.
I sincerely invite the Liberals to reconsider their thoughts on this amendment because it is legitimate and perfectly relevant when we are changing so much in a national security bill.
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View Luc Berthold Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
I think this amendment is very simple and very easy to understand. When new measures or provisions are put into effect, it's important to know what costs and what repercussions are involved. I don't really understand my colleague's position on this. In recent days, I have heard that border measures have been reduced and slashed everywhere. I must remember that we haven't created problems everywhere, at the borders. If the needs are so serious today, it means that you should perhaps look at your Prime Minister's statements on Twitter. The needs might not be so big.
I know it's not the same issue. I don't mind going back to the past, but you have created different situations that, of course, require different obligations. That's what we are facing now. The act is amended, new measures are adopted, and we want to know how much it will cost. I think it's perfectly legitimate, and Canadians expect this level of transparency. If I remember correctly, you talked about an open and transparent government in your election platform.
This is a transparency measure that is absolutely necessary. Again, I say that I will support my colleague's amendment.
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View Luc Berthold Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair. I have a quick comment.
Isn't this why we are here, in committee? We study bills precisely to make good decisions and not to let another institution make them in our place. I'm a little surprised that we are proposing to allow judges to rule on this issue. It's up to us, parliamentarians, to make the right decisions right away and to ensure that we maintain our legislative autonomy.
If I've understood correctly, hypothetically, we would refer this situation to a judge who would eventually ask Parliament to rule on a piece of legislation. Obviously, this argument doesn't hold water.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Hello.
We are not necessarily opposed to the amendment, but we would like some clarification. We do not see why this addition is necessary.
Could you please explain?
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
My question is for our experts.
Does the inclusion of international law not conflict with our own laws? Does that not create a constitutional problem?
In my opinion, it is not admissible at all from a constitutional point of view.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
I would like you to clarify something. We are talking about September 30, but the amendment says “within three months after the end of each calendar year”. So that is before March 31.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
As I understand it, the amendment withdraws certain powers from CSIS officers. I would like to know first whether CSIS officers detain people. I do not think that is part of their mandate or their approach. We often debate these issues, and I think the work of agents is misunderstood.
With regard to CSIS, do you think this amendment is relevant?
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Chair, in light of what happened today in Toronto, I would ask that we observe a minute of silence in memory of the victims.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Amendment CPC-16 asks that the commissioner provide the decision to the person whose conclusions are being reviewed within 24 hours.
We ask that the 30 days proposed in the bill be replaced with 24 hours. We want it to be fast, because national security issues require intervention in real time and we don't have the privilege or luxury to wait 30 days to receive a decision.
Raymond Boisvert and a number of other experts have said that the time frame is paramount when making decisions related to security. That is why we are asking that the decision be made within 24 hours. I would like to know what the experts before us think so that I can figure out if it makes sense.
Mr. Davies, what do you think?
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
I'm trying to understand.
I imagine that the intelligence commissioner will be informed daily or a number of times per week. We feel that 30 days is a long time to make a decision since, technically, he has already been informed.
Could you tell me what the connection with the National Defence Act is when we are talking about the intelligence commissioner. Why did you start by making a connection with National Defence?
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I would like to hear what the officials have to say. We will discuss amendment CPC-17 after amendment NDP-21. Can they tell us whether they see a major difference between those two amendments and, if so, what the difference is?
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
I feel the same way as my NDP colleague. You are saying that amendment LIB-21 is more robust, but it allows information to be controlled at the same time.
In a nutshell, our amendment lacks substance. Is that the explanation I'm hearing?
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Could you tell me the wording in French, please?
I listened to the interpretation, but I want to make sure I have the exact information.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
For our part, we are concerned about the disclosure of information on the organizations in question. We may be wrong but we would like some clarification on this. We believe this information could be intercepted by foreign intelligence agencies. At some point, the strictures of Canadian organizations will have to be updated.
Are we right to believe that being too open might be problematic? My question is for Mr. Davies or Ms. Henderson.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Chair and dear colleagues, Bill  C-59 is an omnibus bill. So there are already a lot of stages and steps. I don't think we can accept the argument that it adds something. It's already complex. As my colleague mentioned, when Mr. Fadden, the former national security advisor, came to testify before the committee, he confirmed that it was really complex and difficult to understand. I think we should take into consideration the fact that a man like him is telling us that it isn't clear and that he hopes the committee will try to find solutions to make things better.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Chair, let me add that, at the moment, all these interactions remain unclear. The problem is interactions between agencies. The purpose of our amendment is really to allow the Minister of Public Safety to clarify these interactions by providing accurate descriptions. Once Bill  C-59 is in effect, we will be a bit like the Tower of Babel.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
My remarks are close to those of Mr. Dubé. We have the impression that this will only add a layer of paperwork and documents to complete.
Can the merits of that be explained to me?
We do not necessarily oppose this idea, but we would like to know if this will generate more paperwork.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
I imagine that your answer will be the same as for the other amendment, Mr. Davies.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Indeed, torture is an extremely delicate topic, and it has major implications for people's lives.
However, in our opinion, there is one essential point with respect to national security. Of course, we are against any form of torture—we agree on that, I want my words to be clear—from Canadian organizations or from anywhere in the world. We are totally against that.
However, for us, one point is clear, and we have discussed it over the years. Take the case of information from a foreign source that would involve the safety and security of Canadians or Canadian infrastructure, such as an attack, and that would have been obtained in a way that we don't support, through a form of torture, for example. We consider that, in such a case, for the protection of Canadian interests and especially of citizens, our security agencies should be able to intervene, despite the fact that the information would unfortunately have arrived in a way that we do not wish.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
You have to get along well, and it has to be well recorded. The information that will come out of here should not go in the opposite direction of what was said. We agree on everything written there. There is no problem.
As for the spirit of the law, we all agree. Only the question of information from foreign agencies, which is dealt with in paragraph 3(1)(c), on page 51, is problematic. We just want to make sure that if Jordan's intelligence services, for example, send us information, we won't have to evaluate its quality. As Ms. Damoff mentioned, the information could be wrong. Suppose that the Jordanians send us information critical to the safety of the Canadians, and that they had to use a little force to obtain this information. I am talking about Jordanians, but it's only an example. If Canadians are in danger, we want to be able to use that information.
The rest of the bill doesn't cause us any problem. We support it 100%, except for the lawful denial of information from countries where some form of torture may have occurred. I think it's reasonable on our part.
We propose that paragraph 3(1)(c) be removed.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
I understand my colleague's argument.
However, from a technical standpoint, can the mandate of a sitting judge not be suspended while the judge is serving as a commissioner? Is there not a way to withdraw that judge's legal powers while serving a term as commissioner?
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
The problem Mr. Spengemann raises is that a judge cannot serve both the executive and the judiciary. I wanted to know whether a judge could be deprived of his or her legal powers while serving as commissioner, which would open a possibility.
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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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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