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View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2019-06-21 14:54 [p.29473]
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I have the honour to inform the House that when this House did attend Her Excellency this day in the Senate chamber, Her Excellency the Governor General was pleased to give, in Her Majesty's name, the royal assent to the following bills:
C-71, An Act to amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms—Chapter 9.
C-81, An Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada—Chapter 10.
S-203, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and other Acts (ending the captivity of whales and dolphins)—Chapter 11.
C-82, An Act to implement a multilateral convention to implement tax treaty related measures to prevent base erosion and profit shifting—Chapter 12.
C-59, An Act respecting national security matters—Chapter 13.
C-68, An Act to amend the Fisheries Act and other Acts in consequence—Chapter 14.
C-77, An Act to amend the National Defence Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts—Chapter 15.
C-78, An Act to amend the Divorce Act, the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act and the Garnishment, Attachment and Pension Diversion Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act—Chapter 16.
C-84, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (bestiality and animal fighting)—Chapter 17.
C-58, An Act to amend the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts—Chapter 18.
C-88, An Act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts—Chapter 19.
C-93, An Act to provide no-cost, expedited record suspensions for simple possession of cannabis—Chapter 20.
C-102, An Act for granting to Her Majesty certain sums of money for the federal public administration for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020—Chapter 21.
C-101, An Act to amend the Customs Tariff and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act—Chapter 22.
C-91, An Act respecting Indigenous languages—Chapter 23.
C-92, An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families—Chapter 24.
C-75, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and other Acts and to make consequential amendments to other Acts—Chapter 25.
C-48, An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast—Chapter 26.
C-83, An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and another Act—Chapter 27.
C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts—Chapter 28.
C-97, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 19, 2019 and other measures—Chapter 29.
It being 2:55 p.m., the House stands adjourned until Monday, September 16, 2019, at 11 a.m., pursuant to Standing Orders 28(2) and 24(1).
(The House adjourned at 2:55 p.m.)
The 42nd Parliament was dissolved by Royal Proclamation on September 11, 2019.
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Aboriginal languagesAboriginal peoplesAccess for disabled peopleAccess to informationAdjournmentAgriculture, environment and natural res ...British ColumbiaBudget 2019 (March 19, 2019)C-101, An Act to amend the Customs Tarif ...C-102, An Act for granting to Her Majest ...C-48, An Act respecting the regulation o ... ...Show all topics
View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2019-06-11 18:31 [p.28952]
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Mr. Speaker, I am rising on a point of order.
In relation to the consideration of the Senate amendments to Bill C-59, An Act respecting national security matters, I move:
That the debate be not further adjourned.
The Conservatives will do whatever they can to ensure that the government does not advance legislation, so we will use our tools.
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View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2019-06-11 18:32 [p.28952]
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Pursuant to Standing Order 67(1), there will now be a 30-minute question period. Members are familiar with what we ask now. Those who are interested and wishing to participate in the 30-minute question period will rise. We will then ask members to keep their interventions to approximately one minute. That will allow all the members who have expressed an interest to have an opportunity to do so. I remind members also that in the course of these 30-minute question times, preference is given to members of the opposition. However, that is not to the exclusion of members from the government as well. We will now proceed with questions.
The hon. member for Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner.
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View Cheryl Gallant Profile
CPC (ON)
View Cheryl Gallant Profile
2019-06-11 18:55 [p.28955]
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Mr. Speaker, in the minister's speech, he mentioned the use of datasets. He talked about sharing of information between interdepartmental agencies, and not necessarily law enforcement. Canadians saw earlier in this Parliament that Statistics Canada had been eager and very fervent in wanting to know our personal banking information.
What measures have been put in place to ensure that the data collection, the information the government is gathering on Canadians, is used for fighting terrorism as opposed to any other reason?
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View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Geoff Regan Profile
2019-06-11 19:43 [p.28957]
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Is the hon. member for Calgary Skyview rising to indicate which way he wishes to vote?
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View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Geoff Regan Profile
2019-06-11 20:44 [p.28961]
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I declare the amendment lost.
The next question is on the main motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
Some hon. members: No.
The Speaker: All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.
Some hon. members: Yea.
The Speaker: All those opposed will please say nay.
Some hon. members: Nay.
The Speaker: In my opinion the yeas have it.
And five or more members having risen:
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View Colin Carrie Profile
CPC (ON)
View Colin Carrie Profile
2019-06-07 10:33 [p.28741]
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Madam Speaker, I want to thank the minister for his clarification, but there was one thing he did not really clarify. My colleague asked about part 7. I want to ask him about threat disruption. Part 7 raises the threshold for recognizance orders and peace bonds, making it more difficult for law enforcement to disrupt threats before they occur.
This section proposes to change the Criminal Code from “the peace officer suspects on reasonable grounds that the detention of the person in custody is likely to prevent a terrorist activity” to “the peace officer suspects on reasonable grounds that the detention of the person in custody is necessary to prevent a terrorist activity.”
This is an extremely high bar when times are very short. Our Conservative BillC-51 aligned with our allies, including countries like Norway and Finland. Why has the minister made it more difficult for information sharing and also taken away the reasonableness that is in agreement with our allies, as far as that point is concerned?
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View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
View Carol Hughes Profile
2019-06-07 10:58 [p.28744]
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The amendment is in order. We shall now proceed to questions and comments.
The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade Diversification.
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View Omar Alghabra Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Omar Alghabra Profile
2019-06-07 10:59 [p.28744]
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Madam Speaker, I remember when the Conservative Party was in government and passed BillC-51. There was a lot of criticism by legal experts that the definition of counselling to commit terrorism was too broad and opened up a door to a lot of questionable practices. Then, lo and behold, the Conservative Party promoted an ad that quotes a video from a terrorist organization. Ironically, a lot of legal experts said that the Conservative government was violating its own law.
I have two questions for my colleague. First, does he think it is wise to quote a terrorist organization in an ad? Second, does he agree with me that having a clearer definition is better?
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View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
View Erin O'Toole Profile
2019-06-07 12:53 [p.28765]
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Madam Speaker, Bill C-59 is a very important bill because it is an omnibus bill related to security and intelligence measures. I have spoken to it several times in the House, and it is critical.
It is critical for parliamentarians to understand and hear the discussion on this bill before we pass it. Therefore, Madam Speaker, I would like to ask you whether the House has quorum for my speech on Bill C-59.
And the count having been taken:
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View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
View Erin O'Toole Profile
2019-06-07 12:54 [p.28765]
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Thank you, Madam Speaker. I appreciate your rousting the government members from their slumber. As most Canadians realize, they have been—
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View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
View Erin O'Toole Profile
2019-06-07 12:55 [p.28765]
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Madam Speaker, for Canadians watching, it is not appropriate for a member of Parliament to refer to the presence or absence of a member in the House, and I certainly did not mention an individual member at all. Most of the Liberals were not here, so I certainly did not highlight anyone specifically.
Because Bill C-59 is one of the many omnibus bills we have seen in this Parliament, I am going to speak to three aspects of this bill. I need to remind Canadians and my friend, the deputy House leader of the Liberal Party, that the Liberals promised Canadians that they would never use omnibus legislation in this Parliament. I have lost count of the number of omnibus pieces of legislation, which my friend, the Liberal MP from Winnipeg, once called an assault on democracy. They have been regularly assaulting this democracy in this Parliament, and Bill C-59 is an example, because it is comprehensive. It would affect the Criminal Code, the Communications Security Establishment and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. There are multiple pieces of legislation referenced and amended. It is very comprehensive.
The Conservatives have tried to work with the government on it. There are two central concerns I have with Bill C-59, which is why I and the Conservatives cannot support it, despite the good work by opposition members and despite the good work by the Senate, which agrees with much of what I am going to say.
I am going to talk about two critical pieces where the government is falling short, from a public safety standpoint, with Bill C-59. Then I am going to talk about the great advocacy work of No Fly List Kids and people like Sulemaan Ahmed and the families that have been some of the most sincere, thoughtful and creative advocates I have seen in my six years in Parliament trying to make public policy better. I am going to make a commitment to them right at the start of this speech. Conservatives will fix the problems with the no-fly list. We will make sure that there is a redress system to have false positives addressed, and we will do that within the first two years of government. We will have a process to get it fixed.
The government throws it into an omnibus bill and claims that it is going to cost far more than it is. We need a redress system, much like the one in the United States.
When the no-fly list was created under the Conservative government, and I am not suggesting that it was not under the Conservative government, there was no idea that there would be so many false positives. Families impacted by that, many families who have children sharing a name with someone who might be on a no-fly list, have no way to distinguish that or redress that, and that is unfair. It has affected many families from across the country.
I want to thank the no-fly list kids and their families and make that personal pledge to them. I have mentioned it many times in the House and in committee. If we win the election in the fall, which we are planning to, to get Canada back on track, we will make a commitment to fix that very quickly, faster than the government that still has not fixed the Phoenix pay system in the final months of its time in government.
Here are the substantive measures we cannot support in Bill C-59. The no-fly list is part of this large omnibus bill.
The reason Conservatives cannot support it are central to public safety and security. I say this as a Canadian Armed Forces veteran, as a former minister of the Crown and as a former shadow minister for public safety. I have looked at this bill and the issues involved in great detail.
The first issue is the threat disruption threshold. The government's change is a risk to public safety. I never overstate risks. There is not a bogeyman around every corner. However, when we change the threshold for peace officers, law enforcement and our justice system from “likely to prevent” a terrorist act to “necessary to prevent” the commission of such an act, that is a threshold that will perplex police forces across this country and make it hard for them to detain risks to public safety and security.
Why is that critical? It is because, when we introduced a change to this power, following the attack on Parliament and following the attack and death of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, the Prime Minister, who was the member for Papineau and third party leader in the last Parliament, praised this preventative measure in that Parliament. In fact, he said that he “welcome[s] the measures [on] preventative arrest” that were contained in the bill. However, the Liberals are changing it, and law enforcement and security officials are telling them not to change it.
I would invite Liberal members who were not here in the last Parliament to read the committee transcripts from the last Parliament and the testimony from Patrice Vincent's sister. He was a warrant officer serving with distinction in Quebec who was run down and killed by a radicalized Canadian because of the uniform he wore. That is it. He was targeted. Police knew that the young man from Quebec was a risk, but they did not feel they had an evidentiary burden to make a preventative arrest to prevent what they thought might be the commission of a terrorist offence.
By making it “necessary to prevent”, the bill sets a high standard. As a lawyer, I worry about that standard. “Likely” does not mean that this power would allow law enforcement to willy-nilly preventatively arrest people. “Likely to prevent” the commission of an offence is an appropriate threshold. Changing this is a very poor and, quite frankly, dangerous public policy. Therefore, we have asked for that amendment, as have many Canadians and many law enforcement experts.
We, in the Conservative caucus, trust law enforcement officers. They have a difficult job to do whenever someone is caught on the way to committing an offence, as we saw in southwestern Ontario with Mr. Driver. Questions are asked by law enforcement. Look at how close we were. We have relied now two or three times in the last few years on FBI information to stop threats in our country. Therefore, this is a serious gap in Bill C-59.
The second issue is the “counselling commission of terrorism” element of the bill and the criminal standard of the offence under our Criminal Code. Many groups appeared before committee in this Parliament saying that we cannot have ambiguity on the counselling the commission of terrorism issue in the bill. The old standard was “knowingly advocates or promotes the commission of terrorism”. Therefore, there is still an evidentiary threshold that is required. This is not some draconian power that people are suggesting. There is a threshold required. Making the threshold too high or too ambiguous is a risk, and that is unnecessary. In fact, the entire Senate agrees with our position on this. “Counselling” is way too broad and unclear.
In an age when a lot of threats are now online, advocating, pushing, promoting should be something for the commission of violence on another, so that we can avoid the next attack on the Hill, so that we can avoid the next horrible attack like the one we saw at the mosque in Quebec City. That horrendous killer went into the mosque, and if law enforcement had seen that he was knowingly advocating or promoting violence against an identifiable group, that would have been enough. In fact, combined with my last point, it would have been “likely to prevent”. That could have stopped someone in that circumstance.
All communities, particularly religious communities like the Muslim and Jewish communities that face threats and see horrific things online, should not want these aspects of Bill C-59 to pass, and that is what the Conservatives have consistently been advocating in the interest of public safety, in the interest of all Canadians. The Senate agrees on the issue of counselling the commission of an offence. Most advocacy groups agree that it is too ambiguous. In a time when we are seeing these threats emerge online, we are seeing people radicalized online.
In the last Parliament, I remember one of my early votes was to make travelling abroad for training with a terrorist organization a crime under the Criminal Code. Now, with social media, technology and YouTube, people do not need to travel. They can be radicalized, promote hate and violence and actually advocate for violence against an identifiable group online.
We have to give law enforcement the tools of preventative arrest and we have to criminalize some of that terror activity at its source, trusting our law enforcement and our courts. Preventative arrest is not trial and conviction. It is law enforcement, in conjunction often with the Crown, saying that it has ascertained there is a serious risk to public safety, to Canadian citizens, to people living in Canada, to people visiting Canada, and that preventative arrest will likely prevent it. That is a reasonable standard. That was the old standard.
Changing that to arresting the person preventatively to prevent this or to stop it is too high a threshold. That could mean law enforcement would spend three more weeks looking into the suspect. In the case of Patrice Vincent, we heard that in committee in particular. I would invite Canadians to look at the committee transcripts. I will tweet his sister's testimony out later. Law enforcement knew that gentleman in Quebec. I cannot remember his name right now. He was a young Québécois who had been racialized and law enforcement knew he was a risk.
Those are the two elements why the Conservatives cannot support Bill C-59. It is bad for public safety and security. There are other elements in the bill we like. However, an omnibus bill, as my friend from Winnipeg used to say, is an assault on democracy. I have tried in my speech to commit to two key things on why the legislation is flawed.
I cannot understate enough how impressed I am by the thoughtful and informed advocacy of the no-fly list kids. I know members on all sides of the House have heard from these people and have seen their commentary.
My friend Sulemaan will laugh when he hears I am promoting going to a Montreal Canadiens game, as a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, but I am. When young people are prevented from going to a hockey game of the Montreal Canadiens because they share a name with someone who is a threat, not only is it unfair to them, it shows that our no-fly list is full of garbage. In public safety and security that is not enough. If someone has to sort through dozens, hundreds and thousands of false positives, is there really security at all?
This is a commitment from my leader and our caucus. We want to thank the no-fly list group and their families for the advocacy they have done with all the members of the House and commit to them. We are the party that delivers. We are not the hashtag party. We are not the photo ops party. We are the party that will deliver. We give our commitment that this will be a priority early in our government.
I can see a resolution. I have often said that this is not as complex as the minister of public safety has suggested. I do not even believe it is an accurate statement that it will cost $80 million to fix it.
The U.S. has a redress list. This is about data. This is about ensuring we constantly review the no-fly list . If people who are not threats are crowding out the one or two who may be, the system is not working. I think all Canadians will agree with our pledge to commit that.
I praised the government when it finally addressed the issue, after listening to the families of the no-fly list kids. However, by putting it into an omnibus bill, it prevents us from addressing it immediately. I am not suggesting bad faith on the part of the government. I think it listened to the advocacy and found this was the most appropriate bill to put it into. However, I do not think it even requires legislation. It could have been done through a ministerial directive. Most of the entries on the no-fly list are known to be false positives.
I remember when retired Senator David Smith was on the list. He was a prominent Liberal senator, or whatever those types of senators are called these days, Liberal or independent. I am not sure. How many David Smiths would there be in Canada? There would be roughly a thousand, so the list is garbage.
Then we saw that a number of young Canadians were on the list because they shared common names in certain communities. How do the hundreds of people with the same name but no biometric information redress that? How can we get the newborn babies off that list? The minister could fix that under his or her own authority. If that had been done, as I said at the time, there would have been full support for the government.
I acknowledge that when we brought this measure in, even prior to my time in Parliament we did not anticipate this false positive issue. I think we have much to learn from the redress system in the U.S., because if there are problems with their no-fly list there, we could avoid some of those pitfalls and make ours world class. That is a commitment we want to make as part of the debate on Bill C-59.
I will go on to say that we generally support other aspects of the bill, those related to security and intelligence oversight, and we have been trying to participate in that work. At various times during our time in government, we talked about a super SIRC and more coordination and oversight with respect to the agencies that collect data. However, one challenge that was faced in minority parliaments was that it was very hard to set up a committee of parliamentarians that would have been devoid of politics. So far, from what I have seen from that committee, although we have not had much in the way of reports from it, it does not seem that politics have been impacting the process. That is a good thing that has come out of this.
There are elements of Bill C-59 that we support. However, when they are included in an omnibus bill, we have to weigh the elements we support on the intelligence side, such as the redress system for the no-fly list, against the elements we do not support. During my speech, I tried to outline the two very serious ones. I cannot underscore enough the fact that preventive arrest is a rare power provided to law enforcement, but it is there because we live in a dangerous and uncertain world. Many of us will remember the day when Nathan Cirillo was killed and the gunman came into the old building, and Patrice Vincent, and the shooting in the mosque in Quebec City, and the Aaron Driver case, when law enforcement stopped this person in southwestern Ontario when he was on his way to commit an offence. We cannot set the burden so high for law enforcement officers that they know there is a risk but are debating for weeks on whether preventive arrest will stop that risk from harming Canadians.
One of our most fundamental duties as parliamentarians is to provide a safe, secure, rules-based system that respects diversity and human rights. Law enforcement officers have a tough job to do, so the last thing we can do, as this Parliament wraps up, is support a bill that will make their job harder.
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View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
View Erin O'Toole Profile
2019-06-07 13:16 [p.28768]
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Madam Speaker, I always enjoy my friend from Winnipeg North. I know he loves my using his assault-on-democracy quote with respect to omnibus bills. The frequency of the Liberals' time allocation and closure in the last few weeks of Parliament would really make Peter Van Loan blush. He should review some of his speeches of outrage in the previous Parliament.
Let me address the member's issues. As I reminded him when he railed on about BillC-51, he voted for it. The Prime Minister, at that time the leader of the third party, praised the preventive-arrest measures. Now the Liberals are throwing those out the window. Much like everything with this Prime Minister, it is just not as advertised. I have heard that a few times.
We generally support intelligence oversight, as the member will note from my remarks. That was difficult to do in a minority government at times. During the majority government it was not something that was looked at, but we have spoken in favour of it at times. I have spoken of it, and in fact Peter MacKay spoke in favour of it back around 2006.
The final piece the member said about rights is critical. Public safety is a balancing between our important freedoms, liberties and rights and our public safety and security, and we certainly should be very careful. However, as I said, there are legal thresholds required for preventive arrest, and baked into them are evidence, a threshold and a trust in law enforcement to follow in conjunction with the Crown.
We have the best legal system in the world. We have the best law enforcement in the world. It can always be better and we can make it better, but we cannot tie law enforcement agencies' hands. If someone is killed in a mosque or while guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, his or her rights are erased, so let us not bind the hands of law enforcement agents, who have a tough job in keeping Canadians safe. That is why we do not support the provision in Bill C-59.
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View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
View Erin O'Toole Profile
2019-06-07 13:19 [p.28768]
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Madam Speaker, with respect to privacy, I refer the member to the comments of the Privacy Commissioner, who has provided testimony that directly contradicts what the member is saying. At least the NDP has been intellectually consistent with respect to the elements of BillC-51. The Liberals voted for it, and now they are undoing it. The Liberals praised some of the elements on preventative arrest and now are caving on them. I think that is due more to electoral fortunes that anything else.
I refer the member for Kootenay—Columbia, and anyone protesting in his riding, to look at the testimony of Patrice Vincent's sister, Louise Vincent, from March 2015, who said:
It would have probably been able to prepare even more material for the attorney general who, with a lower burden of proof, would have agreed to issue a warrant. On October 20 of last year, Martin Couture-Rouleau very likely would have been in prison, and my brother would not be dead.
Law enforcement knew that this young man, Mr. Rouleau, was a threat, and in fact, they had discussed with the Crown whether the burden for preventative arrest could be met.
We are not requiring no burden, but we are also not saying to law enforcement that they have to be ready to go to trial if they fear that there is an imminent risk to public safety and security. Patrice Vincent had not done anything to Mr. Rouleau. He had a uniform on, and law enforcement could not protect him. That is why our laws have to reflect the world we live in, not a perfect world, not a dream world. We have to balance rights and liberties alongside public safety and security.
Putting the threshold too high puts Canadians at risk, and that is why we have been consistent on this point. The Liberals have not been. At least that member has been consistent, and I respect that, but we, forming the next government, will have to make sure that we can tell Canadians that we will always make their safety a priority.
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View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
View Erin O'Toole Profile
2019-06-07 13:22 [p.28769]
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Madam Speaker, he is not surprised, because I spoke to him about 30 minutes ago as a courtesy. He is a wonderful Canadian, as are the parents of the no-fly list kids. I explained to him that our commitment, should we form government in the fall, is to deliver the redress system faster and more effectively than the government, which has lumped it into an omnibus bill.
I explained to him that when there is an omnibus bill, we have to look at what elements we support and what elements we do not. This is why the member for Winnipeg North used to rail about omnibus bills when he was on this side of the chamber, which he soon will be again.
However, I want to thank the member for that question, because at the end of the day, leaving the partisanship aside, we should thank families like the Ahmed family and others for their thoughtful advocacy. They worked with both sides of the House, appeared at committee and did a really innovative social media campaign, so much so that I think there is a business case study on their effective advocacy.
Both the hon. member and I can say to Sulemaan that this is something we have identified as a gap. The Liberals have put it into this bill. We are making a commitment to make it a priority, should we form government. Both sides are committed to fixing that element of the no-fly list quandary.
At the end of the day, we should thank Canadians for engaging with parliamentarians. We represent them. We are not perfect, nor are any bills perfect, but their advocacy helps make positive change. I want to thank them for doing that.
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View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2019-06-07 13:24 [p.28769]
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Madam Speaker, I think the member for Durham has been quite clear that although things might not be perfect, it is important we move them ahead.
That is exactly why I would like to advise that an agreement could not be reached under the provisions of Standing Orders 78(1) or 78(2) with respect to the consideration of certain amendments to Bill C-59, an act respecting national security matters.
Under the provisions of Standing Order 78(3), I give notice that a minister of the Crown will propose at the next sitting a motion to allot a specific number of days or hours for the consideration and disposal of the said amendments.
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View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2019-06-07 13:25 [p.28769]
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Madam Speaker, while I am on my feet, should we not be able to find a way forward, I wish to give notice that with respect to the consideration of Senate amendments to Bill C-59, an act respecting national security matters, at the next sitting of the House a minister of the Crown shall move, pursuant to Standing Order 57, that debate be not further adjourned.
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View Leona Alleslev Profile
CPC (ON)
Madam Speaker, it is an honour and a privilege to have the opportunity to speak to such an important bill today.
Yesterday marked the 75th anniversary of D-Day, a very important turning point in the Second World War and one where Canada was overwhelmingly able to contribute and further the cause of peace and security in the world.
Why do I bring that up? This is a piece of legislation respecting national security matters and one that we must take very seriously, given the nature of the threats that are facing not only Canada here at home, but the world, at this point.
For the first time in many years, we are seeing the rise of great powers. We are seeing an increase in the number of threats that are facing our country, and those threats are not coming only in terms of troops on the ground or weapons or guns being fired. Those threats are coming from what we call non-traditional or asymmetric threats. We can be sitting at home and we find that information manipulation, cyber-threats and online instigating of violence are having a significant contribution on people who would want to commit these acts.
We must be vigilant. Democracy is fragile. Those men who sacrificed their lives 70 years ago for what we have today must be honoured. How do we honour them? Yes, we remember the incredible sacrifice they made, but we have also been entrusted with preserving the security and the values for which our nation stands going forward.
What are those values? Those values are safeguarding the freedom of individual liberty, the principles of democracy and the rule of law. Every time any one of those things is eroded, we must stand and be counted to ensure that we do honour their memory and we remember what exactly they fought for and what we must also fight for into the future.
What would Bill C-59 actually do? Bill C-59 is trying to make it appear that the Liberal government takes national security threats seriously. In a world of increasing threats, the government wants to show that it is doing something. Unfortunately, it is more about show than actual reality.
Significant parts of the bill take existing legislation and muddy the waters. They make it weaker. They make the wording so that it is more difficult to execute on. Instead of giving money to the areas that will further pointy-end national security efforts, the government is putting money into more bureaucracy and more red tape and ensuring that nothing actually gets done.
This is highly disconcerting. If Canadians do not understand what the threats are, and if our national security agencies and our law enforcement people have less ability, less legislation, weaker and more confusing legislation and more bureaucracy to execute on making sure we are safe and secure, then what exactly are we trying to accomplish?
That is one of the more fundamental reasons why Conservative members cannot support the bill. It is a lot of bureaucracy. It is a lot of smoke and mirrors. It is an attempt to make it look like the Liberals are taking national security seriously, when in fact it compounds the problem and confuses the issue.
The Liberals have combined it all into one organization, the national security and intelligence review agency, and we are not able to see what that organization is going to do and what its mandate will be.
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View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Geoff Regan Profile
2018-06-19 15:22 [p.21277]
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Pursuant to order made Tuesday, May 29, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division at third reading of Bill C-59.
Pursuant to Standing Order 69.1, the first question is on parts 1 to 5 of the bill, as well as the title, the preamble, part 9 regarding the legislative review, and clauses 169 to 172 dealing with coming into force provisions.
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View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Geoff Regan Profile
2018-06-19 15:31 [p.21278]
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I declare these elements carried.
The next question is on part 6 of the bill and the coming into force provisions contained in clause 173.
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View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Geoff Regan Profile
2018-06-19 15:47 [p.21280]
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I declare these elements carried.
The House has agreed to the entirety of Bill C-59, an act respecting national security matters at the third reading stage.
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View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2018-06-18 15:56 [p.21162]
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The Chair is now prepared to rule on the point of order raised June 11, 2018 by the hon. member for Beloeil—Chambly concerning the applicability of Standing Order 69.1 to Bill C-59, an act respecting national security matters.
The Chair would like to thank the hon. member for having raised this question, as well as the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons for his intervention.
The hon. member argued that Bill C-59 is an omnibus bill as he feels it contains several different initiatives which should be voted on separately. On a point of order raised on November 20, 2017, he initially asked the Chair to divide the question on the motion to refer the bill to committee before second reading. As the Speaker ruled on the same day, Standing Order 69.1 clearly indicates that the Chair only has such a power in relation to the motions for second reading and for third reading of a bill. The Speaker invited members to raise their arguments once again in relation to the motion for third reading.
The hon. member for Beloeil—Chambly pointed out that each of the three parts of the bill enacts a new statute. Part 1 enacts the national security and intelligence review agency act, part 2 enacts the intelligence commissioner act, while part 3 enacts the Communications Security Establishment act. He argued that since each of the first two parts establishes a new entity, with details of each entity's mandate and powers, and since the third significantly expands the mandate of the CSE, he felt they should each be voted upon separately. He also argued that each part amends a variety of other acts, though the chair notes that in most cases, these are consequential amendments to change or add the name of the entities in question in other acts.
The hon. member argued that parts 4 and 5 of the bill should be voted on together. They deal with new powers being given to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, CSIS, relating to metadata collection and threat disruption, as well as with the disclosure of information relating to security matters between government departments.
As part 6 deals with the Secure Air Travel Act and what is commonly referred to as the “no-fly list”, he felt that this was a distinct matter and that it should be voted upon separately.
Finally, the hon. member proposed grouping together parts 7, 8, 9, and 10 for a single vote. Part 7 deals with changes to the Criminal Code relating to terrorism, while part 8 deals with similar concepts in relation to young offenders. Part 9 provides for a statutory review of the entire bill after six years, while part 10 contains the coming into force provisions.
In his intervention on the matter, the hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader indicated that the provisions of the bill are linked by a common thread that represents the enhancement of Canada’s national security, as well as the protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of Canadians. In order to achieve these objectives, he mentioned that it is necessary for Bill C-59 to touch on a number of acts, and that the bill should be seen as a whole, with several parts that would not be able to achieve the overall objective of the bill on their own. He concluded that Standing Order 69.1 should not apply in this case.
Standing Order 69.1 gives the Speaker the power to divide the question on a bill where there is not a common element connecting all the various provisions or where unrelated matters are linked.
Bill C-59 does clearly contain several different initiatives. It establishes new agencies and mechanisms for oversight of national security agencies and deals with information collection and sharing as well as criminal offences relating to terrorism. That said, one could argue, as the parliamentary secretary did, that since these are all matters related to national security, there is, indeed, a common thread between them. However, the question the Chair must ask itself is whether these specific measures should be subjected to separate votes.
On March 1, 2018, the Speaker delivered a ruling regarding BillC-69 where he indicated that he believed Standing Order 69.1 could be applied to a bill with multiple initiatives, even if they all related to the same policy field. In this particular case, while the Chair has no trouble agreeing that all of the measures contained in Bill C-59 relate to national security, it is the Chair's view that there are distinct initiatives that are sufficiently unrelated as to warrant dividing the question. Therefore, the Chair is prepared to divide the question on the motion for third reading of the bill.
The hon. member for Beloeil—Chambly has asked for six separate votes, one on each of the first three parts, one on parts 4 and 5, one on part 6, and one on parts 7 to 10. While the Chair understands his reasoning, it does not entirely agree with his conclusions as to how the question should be divided.
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View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2018-06-18 16:02
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As each of the first three parts of the bill does, indeed, enact a new act, the Chair can see why he would like to see each one voted upon separately. However, the Chair's reading of the bill is that these three parts establish an overall framework for oversight and national security activities. For example, the national security and intelligence review agency, which would be created by part 1, has some oversight responsibilities for the Communications Security Establishment provided for in part 3, as does the intelligence commissioner, established in part 2. Furthermore, the intelligence commissioner also has responsibilities related to datasets, provided for in part 4, as does the review agency. Given the multiple references in each of these parts to the entities established by other parts, these four parts will be voted upon together.
Part 5 deals with the disclosure of information between various government institutions in relation to security matters. While the relationship between it and the first four parts is not quite as strong, as the member indicated that he believed that parts 4 and 5 could be grouped together, the Chair is prepared to include part 5 in the vote on parts 1 to 4.
The hon. member for Beloeil—Chambly has not addressed the question of the new part 1.1 added to Bill C-59 by the adoption of an amendment to that effect during clause-by-clause consideration of the bill. Part 1.1 enacts the avoiding complicity in mistreatment by foreign entities act, which deals with information sharing in situations where there is a risk of mistreatment of individuals by foreign entities. Since the national security and intelligence review agency, created by part 1 of the bill, must review all directions prescribed in this new part, it is logical that this part be included in the vote on parts 1 to 5.
The Chair agrees with the hon. member that part 6 dealing with the “no-fly list” is a distinct matter and that it should be voted upon separately. The Chair also agree that parts 7 and 8 can be grouped together for a vote. Both largely deal with criminal matters, one in the Criminal Code and the other in the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
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View Bruce Stanton Profile
CPC (ON)
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2018-06-18 16:07
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The Chair has wrestled with where to place parts 9 and 10. They are, in the words of the hon. member for Beloeil—Chambly, largely procedural elements, but they apply to the entire act. Part 9 provides for a legislative review of the act, while part 10 contains the coming into force provisions for the entire act. The Chair also must ensure that the title and preamble of the bill are included in one of the groups.
There is an obvious solution for coming into force provisions in part 10. Since clauses 169 to 172 relate to the coming into force of parts 1 to 5 of the bill, they will be voted on with those parts. As clause 173 deals with the coming into force of part 6, it will be included in the vote on that part.
This leaves the title and the preamble as well as the legislative review provided for in part 9, which is clause 168. Though these apply to the entire bill, the Chair has decided to include them in the largest grouping, which contains parts 1 to 5 of the bill.
Therefore, to summarize, there will be three votes in relation to the third reading of Bill C-59. The first vote will deal with parts 1 to 5 of the bill, as well as the title, the preamble, part 9 regarding the legislative review, and clauses 169 to 172 dealing with coming into force provisions. The second vote relates to part 6 of the bill and the coming into force provisions contained in clause 173. The third vote relates to parts 7 and 8 of the bill. The Chair will remind hon. members of these divisions before the voting begins.
I thank all hon. members for their attention.
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View Arif Virani Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Arif Virani Profile
2018-06-18 18:07 [p.21179]
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Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Oakville North—Burlington this evening.
I rise today to speak in support of Bill C-59. With this bill, our government is entrenching our commitment to balancing the primacy of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms with protecting our national security. We are enhancing accountability and transparency. We are correcting the most problematic elements of the Harper government's old BillC-51.
Our government conducted an unprecedented level of public consultation with Canadians about our national security in order to effectively develop the bill. Canadians told us loudly and clearly that they wanted a transparent, accountable, and effective national security framework. That is exactly what we will accomplish with Bill C-59.
The minister took the rare step of referring Bill C-59 to the Standing Committee on Public Safety after first reading, underscoring our government's commitment to Canadians to ensure that we got this important legislation right. Prior to the bill returning to this chamber, it underwent an extensive four-month study, hearing from nearly 100 witnesses. I would like to thank the members of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security for their hard work in studying the bill extensively and for their comprehensive report.
Fundamental to our promise to bring our national security framework into the 21st century, we are fixing the very flawed elements of the old BillC-51, which I heard so much about from my constituents in Parkdale—High Park during the 2015 electoral campaign.
I am proud to support this evidence-based, balanced legislation, and I am reassured to see positive reactions from legal and national security experts right around the country, including none other than Professors Craig Forcese and Kent Roach, two of the foremost legal academics in Canada who have been at the centre of concerns about the overreach of the Harper government's old BillC-51.
Professors Forcese and Roach have said, “ Bill C-59 is the biggest overhaul in Canadian national security since the creation of the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) in 1984—and it gets a lot of things right."
Bill C-59 builds on our commitment to enhance accountability, which started with our government's introduction of BillC-22 in 2016. Bill C-22, which has received royal assent established an all-party committee of parliamentarians, representatives elected by the Canadian public, to review and critically analyze security and intelligence activities. For the first time in history, a multi-party group of members of this chamber as well as the Senate are now holding Canada's security apparatus to account.
We are building on BillC-22 with the current bill, Bill C-59, which would establish a national security and intelligence review agency. The NSIRA, as it would be known, would function as a new expert review body with jurisdiction across the entire government to complement the efforts of the recently established parliamentary oversight committee, which I just mentioned. This feature would incorporate one of the important recommendations of the Maher Arar inquiry, which called on the government to, and I am citing recommendation 16 from the Maher Arar inquiry, “develop a protocol to provide for coordination and coherence across government in addressing issues that arise” respecting national security.
With the establishment of a parliamentary oversight committee in BillC-22, and a new arm's-length review body in Bill C-59, we would be addressing the glaring gap that exists in our review bodies for national security agencies. Currently, some agencies do not have a review body or are in charge of reviewing themselves. We cannot allow the lack of such fundamental oversight to continue, especially with regard to the safety and security of Canadians.
As Professors Forcese and Roach have observed, with respect to Bill C-59:
the government is finally redressing the imbalance between security service powers and those of the review bodies that are supposed to hold them to account. Bill C-59 quite properly supplements the parliamentary review committee...with a reformed expert watchdog entity. Expert review will be liberated from its silos as the new review agency has a whole-of-government mandate.
This is a critical piece in our government's work, providing my constituents in Parkdale—High Park and indeed Canadians right around this country, with a comprehensive and responsible national security framework.
In addition to establishing the NSIRA, Bill C-59 calls for increased and improved communication between this organization and other relevant review bodies, such as the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. This will not only boost efficiency and avoid duplication and unnecessary use of resources, but also promote a more holistic approach to protecting privacy and security at the federal level.
While speaking with the residents of Parkdale—High Park in 2015, I heard about the Harper government's old BillC-51 over and over again at the doors. The major concern the residents expressed to me was about the threat posed by the previous government's Bill C-51 to their constitutional rights and freedoms. The residents of my community are an intelligent and engaged group of citizens, and they were on to something. The federal government, under the guise of “public security”, cannot be permitted to infringe on the rights and freedoms that are fundamental to our very society, to what it means to be Canadian.
Yes, ensuring public safety is the pre-eminent responsibility of any government, but it is simply not acceptable to pursue security at any cost. My constituents, and indeed all Canadians, expect a government that respects fundamental constitutional rights, a government that will put in place mechanisms and safeguards to protect those rights.
That is precisely what Bill C-59 would achieve. How? First, it would tighten the definition of what constitutes “terrorist propaganda”. The narrower and more targeted definition would ensure that the sacrosanct protection of freedom of expression under section 2(b) of our charter is observed, and that our security laws in Canada are not so overreaching as to limit legitimate critique and debate.
Second, as a corollary to this point, Bill C-59 would also protect the right of all Canadians to legitimate protest and advocacy. One of the most searing criticisms of the Harper government's old BillC-51 was that bona fide protestors who dared to disagree with the government of the day could be caught up in a web of security sweeps, all in the name of public safety.
That is not how our Liberal government operates. We respect the charter and the right of all Canadians to engage in legitimate protest and advocacy, whether they represent a group with charitable status that opposes a government policy, or a gathering of students on a university campus who take up the call for more aggressive investment of federal funds to support the expansion of women's rights internationally.
That kind of advocacy is not a threat to our public security. To the contrary, it is an enhancement of our democracy. It is civil society groups and public citizens doing exactly what they do best, challenging government to do, and to be, better.
In Bill C-59, we recognize this principle. We are saying to Canadians that they have constitutional rights to free speech and protest, and that we are going to affirm and protect those rights by correcting the balance between protecting safety and respecting the charter.
Third, Bill C-59 would also upgrade procedures as they relate to the no-fly list. We know that the no-fly list is an important international mechanism for keeping people safe, but its use has expanded to the point of encroaching on Canadians' rights. In Bill C-59, we are determined to address this imbalance.
Our changes to the no-fly list regime would do the following. They would require the destruction of information provided to the minister about a person who was, or was expected to be, on board an aircraft within seven days following the departure or cancellation of the flight. It would also authorize the minister to collect information from individuals for the purpose of issuing a unique identifier to them to assist with pre-flight verification of their identity.
This is a critical step that would provide us with the legislative tools needed to develop a domestic redress mechanism. The funding for a domestic redress mechanism was delivered by our government this year, specifically $81.4 million in budget 2018. However, in order to start investing this money in a way that would allow Canadians, including children, who are false positives on the no-fly list to seek redress, we need legislative authority. Bill C-59 would provide that legislative authority.
Finally, with Bill C-59 we would re-establish the paramountcy of the charter. I speak now as a constitutional lawyer who practised in this area for 15 years prior to being elected. It is unfortunate that the paramountcy of the Constitution needs to be entrenched in law. As a lawyer, I know, and we should all know, that the Constitution is always the paramount document against which all other laws are measured. Nevertheless, the previous government's disdain for the charter has made this important step necessary.
Through Bill C-59, we would entrench, in black and white, that any unilateral action by CSIS to collect data in a manner that might infringe on the Constitution is no longer permitted. Instead, under Bill C-59, any such proposals would have to come before a judge, who must evaluate the application in accordance with the law, where protecting charter rights would be the paramount concern. Our party helped establish the charter in 1982, and our government stands behind that document and all the values and rights it protects.
As I and many others have said before in the House, the task is to balance rights and freedoms while upholding our duty to protect the safety of Canadians. That is not an easy task, but I am confident that Bill C-59, in partnership with BillC-22, would provide a comprehensive and balanced approach to national security. It is respectful of the charter and our Constitution. That is why I support this bill, and I ask all members to do the same.
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View Arif Virani Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Arif Virani Profile
2018-06-18 18:19 [p.21181]
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Mr. Speaker, in terms of the stance on torture, obviously my stance, as well as that of my party and our government, is unequivocal: We stand against torture.
I would reiterate for the member opposite what I mentioned in my speech. One of the launch pads for our discussion and, indeed, the passage of this bill was the Maher Arar inquiry, which looked at one of the most cited instances of the tragedy that can unfortunately occur when a person whose rights are violated is rendered or subjected to torture, and the incredible human rights pitfalls that arise therefrom. We have looked closely at the recommendations of the Arar inquiry and implemented some of those recommendations, as I mentioned in my speech, in the context of this very bill.
I would also reiterate that the bedrock foundation that protects against torture is the very instrument that we are having a very lively discussion about, which is the Charter of Rights itself. In section 12, within our Constitution, there is protection against cruel and unusual punishment. As a bedrock, that protects against the types of treatment and behaviours that both the member opposite and I will agree are abhorrent in Canada.
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View Pam Damoff Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Pam Damoff Profile
2018-06-18 18:20 [p.21181]
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Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the parliamentary secretary could speak a little more about the no-fly list. Unfortunately, the previous government chose not to put a redress system in place, so a number of requirements were needed to make the important steps that other countries have made. I have heard from constituents and I know the hon. member has as well. I am wondering if he could tell us a little about the importance of putting this in place and how Bill C-59 would put in place the first steps that would allow us to put the redress system in place.
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View Arif Virani Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Arif Virani Profile
2018-06-18 18:21 [p.21182]
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Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Oakville North—Burlington for her advocacy and her work on the committee studying this very bill.
The no-fly list has become a very contentious issue. Speaking as a Muslim Canadian member of Parliament, at one time I thought this was a pernicious issue that affected my community and other people similarly situated around Canada. We have learned that it touches Canadians of every stripe, every demographic, and every background. One of the critical factors of the no-fly list is the lack of a domestic redress mechanism. We have heard from people who have told us point blank that there is a better redress system in the United States than there is in Canada.
We have funded the ability to resource and invest in a redress mechanism, but absent a legislative authority to implement the redress mechanism, the funding simply cannot be spent efficaciously. This is so important and has touched the constituents of all members of the House. What this bill would do is allow us to couple that funding with the legislative instrument to implement a redress mechanism that would allow people, from children all the way to octogenarians, to address the unfairness of being challenged and having their dignity impugned by virtue of simply sharing a name with a person who has done extremely bad actions in some other part of the world.
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View Pam Damoff Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Pam Damoff Profile
2018-06-18 18:22 [p.21182]
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Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to rise today to speak in this important debate on Bill C-59. I want to thank my colleagues on the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, both past and present, who contributed to the in-depth study of our national security framework, as well as those who provided testimony on this bill. Thanks to that work, over 40 amendments were adopted by the committee, and I would like to highlight some of them.
First, there is an amendment that would add provisions enacting the avoiding complicity in mistreatment by foreign entities act, which was introduced by my colleague, the MP for Montarville. Canadians find torture abhorrent and an affront to their values. In the past, the Minister of Public Safety, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Minister of National Defence have issued directions to ensure that the Canadian government does not use, share, disclose, or request information that could put someone at risk of being tortured by a foreign entity. This amendment would enshrine in law a requirement for directions to be issued on using, disclosing, or requesting information. These directions would be made public and reported on annually to the public, to review bodies, and to the newly constituted National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians to ensure transparency and accountability.
I know that Canadians want to feel confident that their government is not complicit in foreign entities' use of torture, as it is well documented that information obtained through torture is unreliable. This amendment is a welcome reassurance, and I am proud that the committee adopted it, despite objections from the official opposition.
Second, the amended bill would strengthen privacy protections. Since referring the bill to committee before second reading, we have heard many stakeholders call for the strengthening of protections for information shared under the Security of Canada Information Sharing Act, and we introduced rigorous new standards. The amended bill specifies that the receiver of information would be required to destroy or return any personal information that is not necessary for it to carry out its responsibilities related to national security.
I was personally proud to put forward an amendment that would formalize the relationship between the newly created national security and intelligence review agency and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, which would ensure that the two agencies are not duplicating work. I was also proud to introduce an amendment that would require a ministerial authorization when CSE is collecting from foreign actors information that could inadvertently compromise a Canadian's privacy. I believe that these changes would help to get the mix right when it comes to ensuring Canadians' safety and security and preserving their rights.
Bill C-59 is a much-needed overhaul of our national security framework. The passage of this bill would mark the largest overhaul of our national security infrastructure since 1984, when CSIS was created. It is fair to say that we are at a critical turning point in how government approaches national security. That is why I am pleased that the government has introduced this bill, not only to add better protections for privacy but also to bring our framework up to speed with the realities of the 21st century. There is an urgent need to shed the old ways of doing business, integrate security efforts, and harness all the tools at our disposal to prevent and mitigate threats.
When Justice Noël released his decision last year on the Canadian Security Intelligence Service's retention of associated data, he laid bare the challenge for us as parliamentarians. To quote Justice Noël, “the CSIS Act is showing its age. World order is constantly in flux...and priorities and opinions change. Canada can only gain from weighing such important issues once again.”
With Bill C-59, the government is showing that it is up to the challenge. It recognized that the CSIS Act of 1984 may have been an appropriate response at the time it was written, but it is outdated given the realities of today's world. Today, the government has recognized that appropriate, responsible, and comprehensive legislation for the 21st century would mean altering that act substantially.
Bill C-59 makes changes in three key ways: by addressing the collection of datasets, by making important amendments to threat reduction measures under the act, and by addressing outdated legal authorities.
First, on data analytics, acquiring large volumes of information for analysis, when it is relevant to an agency's mandate, is an indispensable tool in intelligence work. However, data collection and analysis require a strong framework, and this bill provides that framework.
The bill lays out a legal authority for CSIS to collect, retain, and use datasets, and, to ensure transparency, provisions would include safeguards on its collection and use. For example, the personal information of Canadians that is not publicly available would require Federal Court authorization to retain. When it comes to foreign datasets, approval from the proposed new independent intelligence commissioner would be required. The new national security and intelligence review agency would have the authority to refer its findings to the Federal Court if it takes the view that CSIS has not acted lawfully when querying or exploiting datasets. I also introduced an amendment to Bill C-59 that was adopted at committee stage, ensuring that CSIS could retain the results of a query of a dataset in exigent circumstances to protect life or acquire intelligence vital to national security.
Bill C-59 would provide the accountability and transparency on dataset collection that is needed in the technological reality of today. It would modernize the CSIS Act, enhance judicial oversight where needed, and strengthen review and accountability. The bill also addresses the fact that today's threats are fast, complex, dynamic, highly connected, and mobile. CSIS can and does play a role in addressing these threats, often behind the scenes, but the original CSIS Act could never have imagined the threats we face today. As Justice Noël noted, that leaves security bodies in an unreasonably difficult situation when it comes to interpreting the law while continuing to protect Canadians' rights.
Bill C-59 would more clearly define the current threat reduction mandate of CSIS. It lays out what types of measures could be authorized by judicial warrants to ensure full compliance with the charter. CSIS would be required to seek a warrant for any threat reduction measure that would put a charter-protected right or freedom at risk. What is more, a warrant would only be issued if a judge is satisfied the measure specifically complies with the charter.
Bill C-59 would also establish in law an authorization regime for certain CSIS activities required to investigate the complex threats we face today. This would be modelled on the regime that already exists in the Criminal Code for law enforcement officers, adapted to the particular context of security intelligence investigations. It would ensure more transparent, lawful, and modernized authorities for CSIS that would ensure effective intelligence collection operations, and it would it ensure robust accountability by clearly articulating reporting and review requirements.
Accountability, transparency, and respect for rights are at the heart of these proposals. That is what Canadians said they wanted; the government listened and it acted. During the consultation process, Canadians repeatedly emphasized the need for enhanced accountability and transparency. The Security Intelligence Review Committee, CSIS's current review body, pressed for enhancements as well. The new national security review agency and intelligence commissioner would ensure the most robust oversight and scrutiny possible.
We heard, loud and clear, from many witnesses and members of the public that protecting privacy and safeguarding human rights were missing under the Harper Conservatives' BillC-51. With Bill C-59 further strengthened by amendments made at committee, I am confident that Canadians' privacy rights would be reinforced alongside the strengthening of our national security. Bill C-59 is a comprehensive and visionary plan for Canada in today's world. It is my hope that colleagues will join me in supporting Bill C-59.
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View Pam Damoff Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Pam Damoff Profile
2018-06-18 18:32 [p.21183]
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Mr. Speaker, when we were studying the national security framework as a committee prior to the bill's introduction, the ruling came forward. We were able to ask CSIS questions at that time about how it was collecting data and how long it was holding onto it.
Liberal members of the committee and I were pleased, and I believe my colleague was as well, that we were able to put into Bill C-59 a legal authority for CSIS to collect, retain, and use these datasets, because it was sorely needed and was not in the act previously. It provides transparency, and it includes safeguards for the collection and use of these datasets.
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View Pam Damoff Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Pam Damoff Profile
2018-06-18 18:35 [p.21184]
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Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands for her participation in the committee as we were doing clause-by-clause. I recognize that it is very difficult for her to attend these committee meetings, and certainly the clause-by-clause on this bill did take some time, and took her away from other tasks she could have been working on. Her input is always appreciated by me, personally.
We will always have a divergence of opinion on getting the right mix, but this bill has come a long way, and the changes we made have been well-received by the community.
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View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
View Erin O'Toole Profile
2018-06-18 20:21 [p.21198]
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Madam Speaker, it is a real pleasure for me to rise and speak to an important bill and issues related to public safety and security in general.
I would like to begin my remarks with a positive word of thanks for those men and women who are charged with keeping our communities safe, certainly the front-line police officers and first responders, but a lot of the people in the intelligence networks from CSIS, to CSE, to think tanks that analyze these things, to engaged citizens who are constantly advocating on issues related to public safety and security. These are probably some of the most important debates we have in this chamber because we are charged with making sure we have a safe community and finding the right balance between the remarkable freedoms we enjoy in a democracy like ours and the responsibility to ensure that there is safety for Canadians. We thank those who are charged with doing that both in uniform and behind the scenes and sometimes under the cloak of secrecy. All Canadians respect that work.
I am going to talk about Bill C-59 from a few vantage points, some of the things that I thought were positive, but I am also going to express three areas of very serious concern I have with this legislation. In many ways, Bill C-59 is a huge step back. It is taking away tools that were responsibly provided to law enforcement agencies to be used in accordance with court supervision. In a lot of the rhetoric we hear on this, that part has been forgotten.
I am going to review some of it from my legal analysis of it, but I want to start by reminding the House, particularly because my friend from Winnipeg, the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader is here, that here we are debating yet another omnibus bill from the Liberal Party, something that was anathema to my friend when he was in opposition. Omnibus bills of this nature that cobbled together a range of things were an assault on democracy, in his words then, but here we are in late night sittings with time already allocated debating yet another Liberal omnibus bill. The irony in all of this is certainly not lost on me or many Canadians who used to see how the Liberals would howl with outrage whenever this happened.
Bill C-59 came out of some positive intentions. My friend from Victoria, the NDP's lead on the parliamentary security oversight committee of parliamentarians is here. I want to thank him for the work that we did together recommending some changes to the minister ahead of what became Bill C-59. The NDP member and I as the public safety critic for the Conservative Party sent two letters to the minister providing some general advice and an indication of our willingness to work with the government on establishing the committee of parliamentarians for security and intelligence oversight.
My friend from Victoria ably serves on that committee now and as a lawyer who has previously practised in the area of national security and finding the right balance between liberty and security, he is a perfect member for that committee as are my friends from the caucus serving alongside the Liberal members. That is very important work done by that committee and I wish them well in their work. We indicated pre Bill C-59 that we would be supportive of that effort.
In those letters we also indicated the need for a super-SIRC type of agency to help oversee some of the supervision of agencies like CSIS and CSE. We were advocating for an approach like that alongside a number of academics, such as Professor Forcese and others. We were happy to see an approach brought in that area as well.
It is important to show that on certain issues of national safety and security where we can drive consensus, we can say we will work with the government, because some of these issues should be beyond partisanship. I want to thank my NDP colleague for working alongside me on that. It took us some time to get the minister to even respond, so despite the sunny ways rhetoric, often we felt that some of our suggestions were falling on deaf ears.
I am going to commit the rest of my speech tonight to the three areas that I believe are risks for Canadians to consider with Bill C-59. I am going to use some real-world examples in the exploration of this, because we are not talking in abstract terms. There are real cases and real impacts on families that we should consider in our debate.
The first area I want to raise in reference to the fact that when Bill C-59 was introduced, it was one day after a Canadian was convicted in a Quebec court in a case involving travelling abroad from Canada to join and work with a terrorist organization. Mr. Ismael Habib was sentenced the day before the government tabled this omnibus security legislation, and I think there is a certain irony in that. In his judgment, Justice Délisle said, “Did Ismael Habib intend to participate in or knowingly contribute to a terrorist activity? The entirety of the evidence demonstrates the answer is yes.” There is such an irony in the fact that the day before this debate there was a conviction for someone who was leaving Canada to train and participate with a terrorist organization.
Only a short time before Mr. Habib left Canada to do this, the previous government criminalized that activity. Why? Really, there was no need to have in the Criminal Code a charge for leaving Canada to train or participate in a terrorist organization, but this was a reaction to a troubling and growing trend involving radicalized people and the ability for people to go and engage in conflicts far from home. Mr. Habib's case was the first of its kind, and the charge he was convicted of by a Quebec court was for an offence that just a few years before did not exist. This is why Parliament must be seized with real and tangible threats to public safety and security. Unfortunately, a lot of the elements of Bill C-59 are going to make it hard for law enforcement to do that, to catch the next Mr. Habib before he leaves, while he is gone, or before he returns and brings that risk back home.
The first area that I have serious concerns with in the bill relates to preventative arrest. This was a controversial but necessary part of BillC-51 from the last Parliament. Essentially it moved a legal threshold from making it “necessary” to prevent a criminal activity or a terrorist act instead of “likely” to prevent. By changing the threshold to “necessary”, as we see in this bill, the government would make it much harder for law enforcement agencies to move in on suspects that they know present a risk yet do not feel they have enough proof to show that it is necessary to prevent an attack. I think most Canadians would think that the standard should be “likely”, which is on balance of probabilities. If we are to err on the reality of a threat that there is violence to be perpetrated or potential violence by someone, then err on the side of protection. We still have to have the evidentiary burden, but it is not too hard.
It is interesting who supported the preventative arrest portions of BillC-51 in the last Parliament. The Prime Minister did as the MP for Papineau. I loved BillC-51 in so many ways, because it showed the hypocrisy of the Liberal Party at its best. The Liberals were constantly critical of BillC-51, but they voted for it. Now they are in a position that they actually have to change elements of it, and they are changing some elements that the Prime Minister praised when he was in opposition, and they had this muddled position. My friends in the NDP have referred to this muddled position before, because now they think their Liberal friends are abandoning the previous ground they stood on.
What did the Prime Minister, then the leader of the third party and MP for Papineau, say about preventative arrest in the House of Commons on February 18, 2015? He said:
I believe that BillC-51, the government's anti-terrorism act, takes some proper steps in that direction. We welcome the measures in Bill C-51 that build on the powers of preventative arrest, make better use of no-fly lists, and allow for more coordinated information sharing by government departments and agencies.
What is ironic is that he is undoing all of those elements in Bill C-59, from information sharing to changing the standard for preventative arrest to a threshold that is unreasonably too high, in fact recklessly too high, and law enforcement agencies have told the minister and the Prime Minister this.
The Prime Minister, when he was MP for Papineau, thought these important powers were necessary but now he does not. Perhaps society is safer today. I would suggest we are not. We just have to be vigilant, vigilant but balanced. That is probably why in opposition he supported these measures and now is rolling them back.
Nothing illustrates the case and the need for this more than the case of Patrice Vincent. He was a Canadian Armed Forces soldier who was killed because of the uniform he wore. He was killed by a radicalized young man named Martin Couture-Rouleau. That radicalized young man was known to law enforcement before he took the life of one of our armed forces members. Law enforcement officers were not sure whether they could move in a preventative arrest public safety manner.
The stark and moving testimony from Patrice's sister, Louise Vincent, at committee in talking about BillC-51 should be reflected upon by members of the Liberal Party listening to this debate, because many of them were not here in the last Parliament. These are real families impacted by public safety and security. Louise Vincent said this:
According to Bill C-51, focus should be shifted from “will commit” to “could commit”, and I think that's very important. That's why the RCMP could not obtain a warrant from the attorney general, despite all the information it had gathered and all the testimony from Martin Couture-Rouleau's family. The RCMP did its job and built a case, but unfortunately, the burden of proof was not met. That's unacceptable.
It is unacceptable. What is unacceptable is the Liberals are raising the bar even higher with respect to preventative arrest. It is like the government does not trust our law enforcement agencies. This cannot be preventative arrest on a whim. There has to be an evidentiary basis for the very significant use of this tool, but that evidentiary basis should not be so high that it does not use the tool, because we have seen what can happen.
This is not an isolated case. I can recite other names, such as Aaron Driver. Those in southwestern Ontario will remember that thanks to the United States, this gentleman was caught by police on his way to commit a terror attack in southwestern Ontario. He was already under one of the old peace bonds. This similar power could be used against someone like Alexandre Bissonnette before his horrendous attack on the mosque in Quebec City. This tool could be used in the most recent case of Alek Minassian, the horrific van attack in Toronto.
Preventative arrest is a tool that should be used but with an evidentiary burden, but if the burden is too high necessary to prevent an attack, that is reckless and it shows the Prime Minister should review his notes from his time in opposition when he supported these powers. I suggest he did not have notes then and probably does not have notes now.
The second issue I would like to speak about is the deletion of charges and the replacing with a blanket offence called counselling commission of a terrorism offence.
What would that change from BillC-51? It would remove charges that could be laid for someone who was advocating or promoting a terrorism attack or activity. Promotion and advocation are the tools of radicalization. If we are not allowing charges to be laid against someone who radicalized Mr. Couture-Rouleau, do we have to only catch someone who counsels him to go out and run down Patrice Vincent? Should we be charging the people who radicalized him, who promoted ISIS or a radical terrorist ideology, and then advocated for violence? That should be the case. That actually conforms with our legal test for hate speech, when individuals are advocating or promoting and indirectly radicalizing.
Therefore, the government members talk about the government's counter-radicalization strategy, and there is no strategy. They have tried to claim the Montreal centre, which was set up independently of the government, as its own. The government would not tour parliamentarians through it when I was public safety critic, but it tours visiting guests from the UN and other places. That was an initiative started in Montreal. It has nothing to do with the Liberals' strategy. I have seen nothing out of the government on counter-radicalization, and I would like to.
The same should be said with respect to peace bonds, another tool that law enforcement agencies need. These have been asked for by law enforcement officials that we trust with their mandate. They are peace officers, yet the government is showing it does not trust them because it is taking away tools. The peace bond standard is now in a similar fashion to the preventative arrest standard. Agencies have to prove that it is necessary to prevent violent activity or terrorism, as opposed to the BillC-51 standard of “likely to prevent”. A protection order, better known as “a peace bond”, is a tool, like preventative arrest, that can set some constraints or limitations on the freedom of a Canadian because that person has demonstrated that he or she is a potential threat. To say the individuals have to be a certain threat, which a “necessary” standard promotes, is reckless and misguided.
I wish the MP for Papineau would remember what he said a few years ago about the reduction of the high burden on law enforcement in preventative arrest situations. Sadly, there are going to be more Aaron Drivers out there. I always use the case of Aaron Driver, because sometimes members of specific groups, some Muslim Canadians, have been unfairly targeted in discussions about radicalization. This is a threat that exists and not just in one community. Aaron Driver's father was in the Canadian Armed Forces, a career member of the military. Their son was radicalized by people who advocated and promoted radical ideology and violence. With this bill, we would remove the ability to charge those people who helped to radicalize Aaron Driver. However, this is a risk that exists.
Let us not overstate the risk. There is not a bogeyman around every corner, but as parliamentarians we need to be serious when we try to balance properly the freedom and liberties we all enjoy, and that people fought and died for, with the responsibility upon us as parliamentarians to give law enforcement agencies the tools they need to do the job. They do not want a situation where they are catching Aaron Driver in a car that is about to drive away. We have to find the right balance. The movement of standards to “necessary” to prevent the commission of a terrorism offence shows that the Liberals do not trust our law enforcement officers with the ability to collect evidence and lay charges, or provide a peace bond, when they think someone is “likely” to be a threat to public safety and security.
I started by saying that there were elements I was happy to see in Bill C-59, but I truly hope Canadians see that certain measures in this would take away tools that law enforcement agencies have responsibly asked for, and this would not make our communities any safer.
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View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
View Erin O'Toole Profile
2018-06-18 20:43 [p.21201]
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Madam Speaker, with respect to the major misgivings that he talks about, I highlighted the Prime Minister's remarks regarding preventative arrests. He supported the moves with respect to preventative arrests in BillC-51, and I am sure he knew they did not offend the charter.
As I said, people seem to forget that these powers are not viewed in isolation. These are tools given to law enforcement that require an evidentiary burden before serious tools like peace bonds or preventative arrests are used. This cannot be done on a whim. There is a difference between the case involving Mr. Habib, the guy who travelled to be radicalized by ISIS and was convicted in a Montreal court the day before the government tabled this bill, and that of Mr. Couture-Rouleau, for example. Mr. Couture-Rouleau did not even leave Canada to be radicalized and trained by terrorist forces. He did it through his own social media feeds and through his network on the ground.
It reflects the charter when we ask law enforcement to meet a standard. This bill would make the standard so high that authorities would not be able to carry out preventative arrests. They would have to wait until the aftermath. We are catching the terrorist, as opposed to preventing the terrorism.
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View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
View Erin O'Toole Profile
2018-06-18 20:45 [p.21201]
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Madam Speaker, vigilance is right, and that is why I brought real examples into my speech here tonight. This is not about howling at the moon that I am a tough-on-crime guy. These are real cases, and they represent the reality that parliamentarians must face in balancing liberty with protections in society as threats change.
I refer him, and my Liberal friends listening, to the testimony of Louise Vincent, sister of Patrice Vincent, in the context of BillC-51. She said, “The RCMP did its job and built a case, but unfortunately, the burden of proof was not met. That’s unacceptable.” It is unacceptable. Law enforcement knew Couture-Rouleau was a risk and that he was likely to commit an attack, but they did not feel the case met the standard of “necessary” or that he “would” commit an attack, so he was not preventatively detained.
These are real cases. I have always said that we should not overstate the risk, but we have a responsibility to work with law enforcement to give them tools to keep us safe. By taking these tools back, the government is indirectly telling parliamentarians and Canadians that it does not trust the very people we charge with keeping us safe. On this side, we do trust them.
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View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
View Erin O'Toole Profile
2018-06-18 20:48 [p.21202]
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Madam Speaker, I wonder if that member would invite the same approach that the British use? Literally, if they walk out of their house, they are on television in Britain. With CCTV, the intrusion into lives is unparalleled. Is that what that member might be suggesting? Their security forces have a totally different landscape, which cannot even be connected to our law enforcement and the tools they have here. To compare it to the United Kingdom is quite frankly irresponsible.
Law enforcement has asked for tools with respect to preventative arrest. There needed to be an evidentiary threshold. Allegations that we were going to have some police state, and ridiculous arguments that I heard around BillC-51, were embarrassing. Why I quoted the Prime Minister was because he supported these preventative arrest powers in BillC-51. As I said, the Liberals criticized BillC-51 in a bland and undetailed way, but they voted for it. One of the specific areas where the Prime Minister was willing to stand up and say “where necessary” was on preventative arrests.
This is about balance. Some on the left have used an unbalanced approach to talking about public safety and security, and I think it diminishes responsible debate in this chamber.
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View Erin O'Toole Profile
CPC (ON)
View Erin O'Toole Profile
2018-06-18 20:50 [p.21202]
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Madam Speaker, no. In fact, I would invite that member to consult the testimony made by the last head of CSIS who, before he left his post about a year ago, had testified in front of one of our committees—I cannot remember which one—saying that powers of preventative arrest from tools in BillC-51 had been used several dozen times. There had never been an incident where a situation of a charter violation was going to be used at all.
What this was about, and why I referred to the Prime Minister's own comments, is that this was about my three major concerns. Changes to preventative arrest, raising the burden for peace bonds or protective orders, actually went contrary to what we heard from victims and those impacted by these attacks. The tools are not unique to terrorism.
As I have said, the terrible case of the mosque shooting, the Bissonnette case, is a case where the tools could have been applied if they had thought social media rantings went to a “likely to commit”. By using a “necessary” standard, we are handcuffing law enforcement and they are struggling to maintain the high level of safety and security they want to deliver for Canadians.
Why do we not trust law enforcement in a way that is balanced and backed up by our court and charter? The Liberals are taking our system and not balancing it. They are putting our police at a disadvantage.
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View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
View Carol Hughes Profile
2018-06-18 20:52 [p.21202]
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Is the House ready for the question?
Some hon. members: Question.
The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): Pursuant to Standing Order 69.1 the first question is on parts 1 to 5 of the bill, as well as the title, the preamble, part 9 regarding the legislative review, and clauses 169 to 172 dealing with coming into force provisions. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
Some hon. members: No.
The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.
Some hon. members: Yea.
The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): All those opposed will please say nay.
Some hon. members: Nay.
The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): In my opinion the nays have it.
And five or more members having risen:
The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): The recorded division is deferred.
The next question is on part 6 of the bill and the coming into force provisions contained in clause 173.
Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt these elements of the bill?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
Some hon. members: No.
The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): All those in favour will please say yea.
Some hon. members: Yea.
The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): All those opposed will please say nay.
Some hon. members: Nay.
The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): In my opinion the yeas have it.
And five or more members having risen:
The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): The recorded division on these elements of the bill stands deferred.
The next question is on parts 7 and 8 of the bill. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt these elements of the bill?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
Some hon. members: No.
The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): All those in favour will please say yea.
Some hon. members: Yea.
The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): All those opposed will please say nay.
Some hon. members: Nay.
The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): In my opinion the nays have it.
And five or more members having risen:
The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): The recorded division on these elements of the bill stands deferred.
The House would normally proceed at this time to the taking of the deferred recorded division at third reading stage of the bill. However, pursuant to order made Tuesday, May 29, the deferred recorded divisions stand deferred until Tuesday, June 19, at the expiry of the time provided for oral questions.
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View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Geoff Regan Profile
2018-06-11 15:50 [p.20617]
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Pursuant to order made on Tuesday, May 29, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at report stage of Bill C-59.
The question is on Motion No. 1. The vote on this motion also applies to Motion No. 2.
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View Geoff Regan Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Geoff Regan Profile
2018-06-11 15:51 [p.20618]
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I declare Motion No. 1 defeated. I therefore declare Motion No. 2 defeated.
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View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
View Carol Hughes Profile
2018-06-11 16:50 [p.20632]
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I appreciate the member's comments. We will certainly consider the information he just provided us and other information and deliberate on the matter. We will come back as needed.
It is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 38 to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Elmwood—Transcona, International Trade; the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands, The Environment; the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, Foreign Affairs.
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View Marco Mendicino Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Marco Mendicino Profile
2018-06-07 11:18 [p.20421]
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Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question.
He said that we should condemn torture, but then he said that we should use information obtained by torture. That is shocking. Could he clarify that? If he is against torture, then he must necessarily be against using information obtained by torture.
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View Mark Gerretsen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mark Gerretsen Profile
2018-06-07 11:23 [p.20422]
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Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments made by my colleague across the floor in relation to this particular debate, but I took particular exception when he made reference to the Liberals using BillC-51 as a political tool in the last election. The reality of the situation was that the Conservatives brought forward that piece of legislation in a timely manner to specifically start pitting Canadians against each other, driving division among Canadians. Liberals actually took a very difficult position, a position that said, “Yes, we need to give the resources and tools necessary, but at the same time, we need to protect Canadians' rights.” It was a position that was very difficult to explain and to take politically.
I take great exception to the fact that the member made that particular comment.
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View Larry Miller Profile
CPC (ON)
View Larry Miller Profile
2018-06-07 11:24 [p.20422]
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Mr. Speaker, my colleague gave a very balanced speech. He totally understands the issues. The hypocrisy from the member from Kingston is unbelievable. His leader supported BillC-51, and now they all try to pretend it never happened, which is not the case.
I would like to talk about pre-emptive detention. It is a preventative arrest tool in the Criminal Code that enables police to arrest a suspect without a warrant so long as the arresting officer believes an arrest would be crucial in preventing a terrorist act, and the case would be presented before a judge immediately. We are all well aware of the case of Aaron Driver, on August 10, 2016, in Strathroy, Ontario. With this tool, police were able to move quickly and prevent Driver's attempt to detonate explosives in public spaces.
If this legislation had been in place in 2014, we all know that Corporal Cirillo would still be alive as would Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent from Quebec. I would like the member to comment on that and the damage that has been done, or at least the limits that would be put on police, with this being removed in Bill C-59.
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View Marco Mendicino Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Marco Mendicino Profile
2018-06-07 11:29 [p.20422]
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Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to rise to speak to Bill C-59, which has been led by the Minister of Public Safety.
As has been stated on many occasions, the objectives of the bill truly represent historic reform in the area of public safety and national security. They include fixing many of the problematic elements under the former BillC-51, which had been debated quite extensively in the chamber; making significant leaps forward with respect to accountability for our national security and intelligence agencies; bringing Canada's national security framework into the 21st century so our security agencies can keep pace with the state of evolving threats; and ensuring the communications security establishment has the tools it needs to protect Canadians and Canadian interests in cyberspace.
Before I move into the substance of my remarks, the bill has received wide praise by academics and stakeholders across the continuum for the way in which it strikes the balance between ensuring that the rights of Canadians are protected under the charter, while at the same time making quantum leaps to protect our national security and sovereignty.
Today I will focus my remarks on the component of Bill C-59, which would make certain amendments to the Criminal Code and, in particular, with regard to some of the amendments that Bill C-59 would usher in as it relates to terrorist listings.
An entity listed under the Criminal Code falls under the definition of a terrorist group. “Entity” is a term that is broadly defined in the Criminal Code, and includes a person. Any property the entity has in Canada is immediately frozen and may be seized by and forfeited to the government. To date, more than 50 terrorist entities have been listed under the Criminal Code.
I will briefly outline the current listing process in the Criminal Code in order to set the stage for the amendments proposed by Bill C-59.
In order for an entity to be listed under the Criminal Code, first, the Minister of Public Safety must have reasonable grounds to believe that either (a) the entity has knowingly carried out, attempted to carry out, participated in, or facilitated a terrorist activity; or (b) the entity is knowingly acting on behalf of, at the direction of, or in association with such an entity. The Minister of Public Safety, upon forming such a reasonable belief, then makes a recommendation to the Governor in Council that the entity be listed.
The Governor in Council makes the ultimate decision to list, applying the same criteria which is used by the Minister of Public Safety. Once an entity is listed, it may apply to the Minister of Public Safety to be de-listed. If the minister does not make a decision on whether to de-list within 60 days after the receipt of the application, the minister is deemed to recommend that the entity remain a listed entity. The entity may seek judicial review of that decision.
In addition, two years after the establishment of the list of terrorist entities, and every two years thereafter, the Minister of Public Safety must review the list to determine whether there are still reasonable grounds for the entity to be listed as an entity. This review must be completed 120 days after it begins. The minister must publish in the Canada Gazette, without delay, a notice that the review has been completed.
Compared to other issues examined in the public consultation on national security areas, this one generated less feedback. Online responses were roughly evenly divided between those who thought the current listing methods met Canada's domestic needs and international obligations and those who thought they did not. However, Bill C-59 proposes changes to various aspects of the listing regime that are meant to increase efficiency, including substantive changes to the two-year review process.
I will first address the substantial changes that Bill C-59 proposes to the two-year review process.
Reviewing all of the entities on the list at the same time every two years is an onerous process. As more entities are added to the list, the greater the burden placed on the government to complete the review within the required time period. Bill C-59 proposes to alleviate some of this burden in two ways. First, it proposes to extend the review period from two years to a maximum of five years. Second, it proposes that instead of reviewing the entire list all at once, the listing of each entity would be reviewed on a staggered basis.
For example, Bill C-59 proposes that when a new entity is listed, the entity would have to be reviewed within five years from the date that it was first listed and within every five years thereafter. This kind of flexibility would also be built into the time frame as to when the notice of the review of the entity would be published.
Other proposed amendments focus on applications to delist. Ensuring that all delisting applications are dealt with in a procedurally fair manner requires engagement with the applicant prior to the minister making a decision. This includes providing the applicant with the opportunity to review and to respond to much of the material that will be put before the minister.
This engagement with the applicant can take time. Therefore, Bill C-59 proposes to extend the 60-day deadline within which the Minister of Public Safety must make a decision to delist to 90 days, or longer if agreed to in writing by both the minister and the applicant.
Another proposal is to amend Bill C-59 to ensure that where an entity has applied to the Minister of Public Safety to be delisted and the minister decides not to delist, then the minister's decision need not be further approved by the Governor in Council. In such a case, because the entity has already been initially listed by the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the minister, the minister will be confirming that the test for listing the entity continues to be met. However, if the minister does decide to delist the entity, then the final decision on the matter on behalf of the government will rest with the Governor in Council.
Bill C-59 also proposes a change in relation to changing the name or adding aliases of a listed entity. If a listed entity changes its name or begins to operate under a different alias, the current listing process requires that the Minister of Public Safety seek the approval of the Governor in Council to add the new name or alias to the list of terrorist entities. The delays inherent in this process can negatively impact the government's ability to freeze the property of terrorist groups in a timely manner, thereby preventing our capacity to reduce threats to our national security.
It is therefore proposed to allow the Minister of Public Safety to be granted the authority, by regulation, to modify the primary names of already listed terrorist entities and to add and remove aliases of entities already on the list. Similar changes have been made by the United Kingdom and Australia to their listing processes.
Another proposed amendment seeks to make a change to the verb tense in one of the thresholds for listing. The second threshold for listing, which is found in paragraph 83.05(1)(b) of the Criminal Code, requires reasonable grounds to believe the entity is knowingly acting on behalf of, at the direction of, or in association with a terrorist entity. In other words, it is phrased in the present tense.
Entities listed under this threshold whose property has been frozen following their original listing may, after two or more years, no longer be able to act on behalf of a terrorist entity as a result of their property having been frozen. Therefore, even if an entity still has the desire to support a listed terrorist entity that has carried out or facilitated terrorist activity, it can be argued that the current present tense test is no longer met. Bill C-59's proposal to change this threshold to the past tense will resolve the problem.
Finally, the mistaken identity provision, which exists in the law now, was intended to be used by entities that might reasonably be mistaken for a listed entity because of having the same or a similar name. However, the current provision can be read as permitting any entity to make a request for a certificate confirming that it is not a listed entity, even if its name is not remotely similar to any entities on the list.
The proposed legislation will clarify that a certificate can only be issued for reasonable cases of mistaken identity; that is, where the name is the same as or similar to that of the listed entity.
The listing of terrorist entities is a tool that has been used by Canada, the United Nations, and other countries in our fight against global terrorism. Improving the efficiency of such a regime, as I have outlined in these amendments, while keeping it fair, can only enhance the safety and security of all Canadians.
I hasten to add that it is one of the many measures which are included as part of Bill C-59, which I said at the outset of my remarks, have been the focus of extensive consultations, have been the focus of extensive study by the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, have been the focus of extensive debate in the chamber, and have received the wide critical praise of many individuals in academia, and stakeholders.
We have good evidence-based, principled legislation in Bill C-59, and we look forward to its passage in the House.
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View Marco Mendicino Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Marco Mendicino Profile
2018-06-07 11:41 [p.20424]
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Mr. Speaker, I respectfully disagree with my colleague. One has to look very closely at the definitions of terrorist activity to see that they are sufficiently broad to capture the kind of mischief and unsanctionable expression that he is worried about.
If there is one thing I do agree with in his question, it is that we do need to be taking a closer look at social media and the various platforms that have evolved over the last number of years. It is for that reason that I encourage him, when budget 2018 comes back to the House, to support that budget, which includes additional investments and resources going to our public safety and national security apparatus so we can identify that type of expression, which is not sanctioned under the charter and should indeed be investigated by public safety, national security, and law enforcement actors so that we can root it out and prevent that kind of terrorist activity.
Bill C-59 strikes the right balance, protecting free speech while appropriately identifying speech that would cross over into terrorist activity.
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View Marco Mendicino Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Marco Mendicino Profile
2018-06-07 11:43 [p.20425]
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Mr. Speaker, let me begin by assuring my hon. colleague that the Minister of Public Safety has said on numerous occasions that at no time will any government actor operating within public safety or national security, in those spheres, be authorized to undertake any action that would run afoul of the charter. That assurance is firm. It is solid. It is consistent, because we place the charter at the pinnacle of every single action we take when it comes to defending the sovereignty of this country.
With regard to the many other questions the member raised, I will just touch on two. I am proud to say that this government was the first ever to introduce legislation to create a national security committee of parliamentarians. For many years, this had been called for, and we were the government to take historic action. That committee is now up and running. It is being chaired by the hon. member for Ottawa South, who is doing a great job.
As a result of that, we are enhancing accountability and transparency when it comes to the kind of oversight that is necessary, so that when government actors are taking measures to protect our national security, they are doing so in a way that strikes a balance between protecting individuals' rights under the charter and protecting all Canadians.
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View Julie Dabrusin Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
2018-06-07 11:56 [p.20426]
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Mr. Speaker, as a member of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, I was able to participate in hearing expert witnesses and studying this bill at first reading, which is an unusual thing to be able to do. It gave us a great opportunity to review this legislation.
One thing most clearly addressed the issues raised by my constituents when I talked to them about the previous incarnation of the legislation brought forth by the previous Conservative government. It had to do with the lack of oversight. They felt there was no transparency in the way the legislation had been set out in the previous framework.
I would like to ask my friend this. Does he not see tremendous improvements in this legislation, due to the fact that we have multiple layers of very well-thought-out, transparent ways of having oversight and review of decisions made by our national security agencies?
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View Lloyd Longfield Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Lloyd Longfield Profile
2018-06-07 12:27 [p.20430]
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Mr. Speaker, it is really interesting to have a discussion around how we manage freedom and fairness and the rights of Canadians. How do we create the conditions for fairness in the country? How do we help support the middle class and those working hard to join it? How do we give economic fairness to people? How do we make environmental fairness the order of the day? What about gender equity fairness?
As well, there is the question of how we treat people through the fairness of our laws and the administration of our laws. The bill before us seeks to provide that type of fairness by ensuring that the oversight of our laws is not a political process.
It does not sow fear and division. It does not put Canadians against Canadians. It really looks at how we can share information among security agencies and how we can enforce the rule of law without entering into politics of fear and division.
Could the hon. member dive a bit more into the politics of fear and division that the previous government was so good at?
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View Julie Dabrusin Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
2018-06-07 12:32 [p.20430]
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Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise in the House today to speak in support of Bill C-59. It has been very interesting to listen to the speeches, especially the last one, because they really exemplify why people in my community were so concerned about the way the previous government handled our national security issues and framework. It really epitomizes the concerns. Canadians were looking for balance, and that is what we brought back in Bill C-59, rather than fearmongering.
I will read an important quote, based on what we have heard. Professor Kent Roach provided a brief to the committee on November 28, 2017, in which he stated:
Review and careful deliberation is not the enemy of security.... There are no simple solutions to the real security threats we face. We should be honest with Canadians about this stubborn reality. All of us should strive to avoid reducing complex laws and processes to simplistic slogans. These are difficult issues and they should be debated with care and respect to all sides.
With that in mind, I will speak to this bill.
This important piece of legislation proposes a range of measures that represent a complete and much-needed overhaul of Canada's national security framework. I was proud to sit as a member of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security that reviewed this bill. We heard from expert witnesses and put forward amendments to improve this proposed legislation. The bill was referred to committee at first reading, which increased the scope of our review, and our committee took this responsibility seriously. Taking into account what I said about not taking on a partisan tone, I want to commend all of the members from all parties who served on that committee, and the chair, because we worked very well together on this bill.
There are two aspects of Bill C-59 that are particularly important to me and my community. First, vastly improved and increased oversight mechanisms would be put in place to review the work of our security agencies. The oversight would increase the accountability and transparency of these agencies, and this should give us all great confidence in the framework put forth in this proposed legislation.
The second part of this bill that responds to issues raised by people in my community is the improved framework for the management of the Secure Air Travel Act. In particular, I am talking about concerns raised by parents with children who were subject to false positive name matches on what we call the “no-fly list”, as well as adults who were subject to false positive name matches. They came to me with their concerns, and I have been happy to advocate on their behalf.
The introduction of Bill C-59 followed unprecedented public consultations held in person and online. Thousands of Canadians answered the call and shared their thoughts and opinions on a range of topics related to national security. In my community, I hosted a consultation at Jimmy Simpson Community Centre, which was facilitated by my colleague, the member for Oakville North—Burlington. The input from that meeting was provided to the minister as part of the consultation, which led to the tabling of the bill. I really need to emphasize that one of the primary concerns raised by people was a lack of oversight and a need to ensure that charter rights were being respected.
Across the country, not just in my community, tens of thousands of views were heard, collected, documented, and analyzed as part of what our government would put together as a response, and citizens, parliamentarians, community leaders, national security experts, and academics provided valuable input that played an important role in shaping this bill. I would like to commend the study on our national security framework carried out by the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, which formed a valuable part of that input. I was not part of the committee when that study was done, but it was a very important background document for the committee as it studied this bill.
Canadians were clear about one thing when they were consulted in 2016: they expected their rights, freedoms, and privacy to be protected at the same time as their security, and that is the balance that I referred to at the outset of my speech. More specifically, Canadians want to protect our freedom of speech, which is a fundamental freedom in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and they want to be protected against unlawful surveillance. I strongly believe that the proposed measures in Bill C-59 would meet those expectations.
Let me begin by speaking about the oversight brought forth in Bill C-59.
The result of the public consultations undertaken in 2016 showed a strong desire from Canadians for increased accountability and more transparency on national security. Also, the weakness of our existing oversight mechanisms had been noted by Justice O'Connor in the Arar commission. One of the commission's conclusions was that the review of our security agencies was stovepiped, meaning that the review was limited to each individual agency and there was no overarching system of review. The commission suggested that there be bridges built between existing review bodies. Getting rid of this stovepiped review is one of the most important aspects of this bill.
Bill C-59 builds upon the first cross-agency layer of oversight, which was adopted by this place with the passing of Bill C-22, which created the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians. The committee has begun its work and is an important means of providing that overarching review.
The legislation we are debating today proposes the creation of a new, comprehensive national security review body, the national security and intelligence review agency, the NSIRA. This new review body would replace the Security Intelligence Review Committee and the Office of the Communications Security Establishment Commissioner. It would also take on the review of the RCMP's national security activities, currently done by the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP.
A significant benefit of the proposed model is that the new review body would be able to review relevant activities across the Government of Canada, rather than just being able to look at one agency. This model recognizes the increasingly interconnected nature of the government's national security and intelligence activities. The new body would ensure that Canada's national security agencies are complying with the law and that their actions are reasonable and necessary. Its findings and recommendations would be provided to relevant ministers through classified reports. It would also produce an unclassified annual report to Parliament summarizing the findings and recommendations made to ministers.
I had the opportunity to ask the Minister of Public Safety and National Security when he appeared at committee about one aspect of the oversight I would like to see added. On this point, I am referring to the review of the Canada Border Services Agency. The minister assured us at committee that this aspect is being worked on by our government, and I will continue to advocate for this important addition.
Before leaving the issue of oversight, I would also like to note that the legislation proposes to create an intelligence commissioner to authorize certain intelligence and cybersecurity activities before they take place. This is an important addition that speaks to many concerns raised by people in my community about wanting proper checks and balances on our security agencies.
Another issue that I mentioned at the outset that was very important to people in my community was the challenges faced by people who have children with a name that creates a false positive when it matches a name that is on the no-fly list. These families are unable to check in for a flight online, which can result in missed flights if a plane is overbooked, but more importantly, these families feel stigmatized and uncomfortable being stopped in the airport for additional screening based on the false positive.
This legislation, along with funding that was made available in the last budget, would change that system. I was pleased to ask the minister when these changes could be put into place. He advised us it would take about three years to make these necessary changes, but it is something that gives hope to many people in my community, and I am happy to see it being done.
These are only a few of the measures in Bill C-59 that show tremendous improvements and respond to the issues raised by people in my community. I am very happy to be here today to speak in favour of the bill.
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View Julie Dabrusin Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
2018-06-07 12:44 [p.20432]
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Mr. Speaker, I could not disagree more with what my friend across the way said. I am not presuming that there are no security risks out there. What I am talking about is balance.
We are in a country that respects the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We are in a country that respects privacy. These are important principles. Therefore, yes, we absolutely must defend security, but we must also take into account the fundamental rights that Canadians want to protect.
This does not just come from me. I will quote Professor Forcese, who stated this in Maclean's:
...changes proposed in C-59 are solid gains—measured both from a rule of law and civil liberties perspective—and come at no credible cost to security. They remove excess that the security services did not need—and has not used—while tying those services into close orbit around a new accountability system....
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View Julie Dabrusin Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
2018-06-07 12:46 [p.20432]
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Mr. Speaker, the proposed changes to the Security Air Travel Act deal with one of the problems of the existing system right now, and that is the fact that the system is managed by airlines, oddly enough. This brings it back to government so government can handle it responsibly and respond to the questions and concerns people may have. We have all of the overarching layers that are introduced through this legislation to put in the necessary levels of oversight. We have to look at all the different layers that have been put into place. With all of them, people's concerns can be matched.
I appreciate that my friend from across the way understands the concerns of these families.
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View Adam Vaughan Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Adam Vaughan Profile
2018-06-07 12:56 [p.20433]
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Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his speech.
I will have to phrase my question in English because I want to be very specific about this. Within this context in particular, we all know that because a single Muslim may be a terrorist does not mean that all Muslims are terrorists. In the same way, we know that a single individual who threatens to kill a member of Parliament does not mean that all members of that person's group are terrorists.
In the context of counselling terrorism or counselling violence, would the member agree that if you encourage organizations and individuals to attack a government, who through their actions specifically say and give their name to it and threaten to kill members of Parliament, which has happened with the emails we have all received in the last few weeks, that the organizations involved are counselling terrorism?
It is true there are gun owners who are threatening to kill members of Parliament and there are members of your party encouraging gun owners. I am not saying that all gun owners are terrorists by any stretch, any more than you are saying that all Muslims are terrorists. However, when we get into a situation of counselling terrorism, if there are gun owners who threaten the lives of MPs, would you not agree that something needs to change in the way conversations about politics, terrorism, and violence happen in this country, and that those activities should not be criminalized, but rather that the political party involved should temper the conversation and bring it back to a real one so that all people are not tarred with the same brush?
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View Lloyd Longfield Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Lloyd Longfield Profile
2018-06-07 13:14 [p.20436]
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Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Winnipeg Centre not only for his intervention today but for his service to Canada in his work with the Canadian Armed Forces and for the services he provides his community, regardless of the background of a person. Regardless of their economic status and regardless of where they are coming from and the challenges they are facing, he does defend them and provides a voice for them in Ottawa.
I wonder if the hon. member could share the impact that legislation like this can have on marginalized people, marginalized groups, and people who are otherwise discriminated against.
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Anthony Rota Profile
2018-06-07 13:58 [p.20442]
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The hon. member for Saskatoon—University will have five minutes of questions asked of him when we return to debate on Bill C-59.
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View Kamal Khera Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Kamal Khera Profile
2018-06-07 18:38 [p.20483]
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Mr. Speaker, as members know, Bill C-59 is an act to enhance Canada's national security while safeguarding the rights and freedoms of Canadians. It is a bill that is extremely important to constituents in my riding of Brampton West, who were really concerned about the problematic elements of the Harper Conservatives' BillC-51.
I held many consultations and town halls in my riding of Brampton West and heard the concerns of my constituents. This bill strikes the right balance between protecting the safety of Canadians and enhancing and protecting their rights and freedoms.
Does the hon. member or his constituents agree with at least some elements of this bill?
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View Sean Fraser Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Sean Fraser Profile
2018-06-07 18:50 [p.20485]
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Mr. Speaker, while I have tremendous respect for my colleague opposite, I was deeply troubled by some of the commentary that ran throughout his speech, particularly the commentary about social justice and civil liberties being no more than simply virtue signalling. Human rights, civil liberties, and social justice are fundamental principles are important to me. They underpin what it means to live in a free and democratic Canada.
The fact is that a civil liberties bill could also be a national security bill at the same time and this concept of having to balance one against the other is so deeply troubling to me. With terms as heavy as national security and terrorism, it is easy to sweep human rights under the rug, and that is not the Canada in which I want to live.
I would like to focus on one comment that my colleague mentioned about information sharing. Have we learned nothing from the Arar inquiry? Is it not essential to ensure that if this information is going to be shared, it is, at a bare minimum, reliable so we do not repeat our mistakes of the past and have innocent Canadian citizens tortured?
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