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View Shannon Stubbs Profile
CPC (AB)
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2021-06-16 16:41
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Thanks, Chair.
Thank you, both of you.
Related to your points about moving from words to action, and to your point also about security and safety, of course the national security laws have been revised a number of times.
Mustafa, I was thinking about this during your opening comments. The latest changes, of course, were in Bill C-59, which I know both of your organizations testified about. Particular policies in it that were contentious were the removal of the propaganda and advocacy of terrorism as a criminal charge, and also the limitation of security surveillance of protestors during anti-government demonstrations. I just wonder if both of you want to share some views or thoughts on whether or not those legislative tools should be revisited.
Sorry, Chair, maybe they'll be able to get back to that afterwards.
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View Glen Motz Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you, Chair.
Thank you specifically to our witnesses for your amazing testimony. I really appreciate your views on the terminology being used to describe various types of extremism. The consistent message in all of this is hatred. That's the motivation behind all of the violence that we're seeing, whether it be hatred towards political views, towards religious groups, or hatred attached to certain ideologies. I thank you for boiling it down to what it really is as hatred.
I want to go back to my colleague Ms. Stubbs' question about some of the changes to Bill C-59. Both of your groups testified before the public safety committee on that. Some of the things that have changed and were very contentious were the removal of the propaganda and advocacy of terrorism as a criminal charge, and the limitation of security and intelligence or surveillance of protesters in anti-government demonstrations.
Now, you didn't get a chance to respond to that question, both Mr. Fogel and Mr. Farooq.
Should this legislation be revisited with a view to strengthening and actually dealing with the issues—as you both identified in your opening remarks and subsequent testimony—that have created more issues and more ongoing hatred online as a result? I ask because really, law enforcement ability to respond appropriately has been somewhat muted as a result.
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Right now, in Canada, when I look at everything that is happening with National Defence and various departments, I believe that there is an urgent need to consolidate our actions, because we work a lot in silos. Bill  C-59 was passed two or three years ago to try to improve the situation, but perhaps the Canadian way of doing things is causing us problems. We often seem to think that we are nobody's enemy, but your report clearly shows that we are also under attack, not only from China, since we are here today to talk about China, but also from Russia.
The report also mentions that the possibility of attacks is linked to armed conflicts between states. Yet in the United States, pipelines have been directly attacked when there was no open conflict.
In Canada, could our oil and gas system be the target of this type of attack, even if there is no armed conflict?
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View Damien Kurek Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you very much for that.
In recent Bill C-59, Conservatives proposed an intelligence-to-evidence legal process to allow intelligence into courts, to help get intelligence into evidence under a judicial review process without revealing sources, which we've heard is a significant challenge.
Would something like that make it easier for prosecutors to pursue convictions of those who would perpetrate terrorism and these violent extremist actions, especially with some of these transnational groups and various other hate entities?
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View Damien Kurek Profile
CPC (AB)
I appreciate that. Thank you very much.
I want to ask again regarding Bill C-59, so probably Mr. Flynn would be the best fit to answer this.
It raised the threshold to apply for terrorism-based reconnaissance warrants and didn't change the legal requirements to have one granted. It essentially made it harder to apply for a warrant against a terrorist, but it's the same as before to get a warrant.
How many warrant applications are the RCMP or CSIS seeking per year under this new system? Do you have numbers for that?
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
I believe that you spoke to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security two or three years ago about Bill  C-59 and cybersecurity operations, among other things. Lately, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, we've seen that our security agencies don't have highly offensive capabilities, compared to the CIA, to counter external threats.
Do you think that, in Canada, we should start considering other ways of dealing with threats?
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Major-General.
I'd now like to turn to Ms. Bruce, from the Communications Security Establishment, the CSE.
During his testimony, the minister spoke several times about amendments to the act. He was talking about Bill  C-59, which I worked on when I was on the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. Offensive external response capabilities were assigned. We also identified an issue that wasn't necessarily addressed by the provisions of Bill  C-59, which was strongly siloed operations. We currently have with us representatives from the Canadian Armed Forces, CSE, and the Canadian Centre for Cybersecurity. There are often communication problems between these organizations.
Has this situation improved? Can you say that there is currently close co-operation between the military and civilians in Canada?
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
But legislation is public by nature. I know that, two years ago, we passed Bill  C-59 that laid out some new measures. However, you recently mentioned in your report that the act still presented a number of problems that were making your work more difficult. Can you provide some specifics on what would really make your work easier?
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Elcock.
I think it's pretty clear from the testimony we've heard today that the government urgently needs to do a national security review with respect to procurement. We're here primarily to talk about procurement. We know that two years ago, the government did a review of the legislation through Bill  C-59 that touched on national security and tried to put some structure back in place. However, I think we have an urgent problem with respect to the procurement.
My next question is for Dr. Leuprecht.
Do you think we should do this very urgently?
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View Pierre Paul-Hus Profile
CPC (QC)
Okay.
I want to inform the committee members that, two years ago, the government introduced Bill  C-59, a bill to clean up security issues. The bill was reviewed by the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. However, I can see that it isn't working. We identified the problem with working in silos. We can now see that the various departments don't seem to be communicating with each other.
For the benefit of the committee, the enforcement of the National Security Act, 2017 should be quickly reviewed and changes should be made, as needed.
I'll give the rest of my speaking time to my colleague Mr. McCauley.
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