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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 Glen Motz Profile
CPC (AB)
View Glen Motz Profile
2019-06-12 18:36 [p.29028]
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Madam Speaker, I will continue with the public safety minister's comment at committee:
[T]he government is launching, almost immediately, a public consultation process on our national security framework that will touch directly on the subject matter of this bill, and I need that consultation before I can commit to specific legislation.
Well, that was almost three years ago. To say that the bill is late would obviously be an understatement. It has taken the minister over three years to bring forward this legislation. That is quite a long time for a minister who said he was already working on something in 2016.
In keeping with his recent history on consultations, there appears to have been little or no external consultation in preparation for the bill. Hopefully, at committee, the government will be able to produce at least one group or organization outside of the government that will endorse the legislation. However, I am not holding my breath.
The government even hired a former clerk of the Privy Council to conduct an independent report. Mel Cappe conducted a review and provided his recommendations in June 2017. It was only because of an access to information request by CBC News that Parliament even knows of this report.
A CBC News article noted:
The June 2017 report by former Privy Council Office chief Mel Cappe, now a professor at the University of Toronto, was obtained by The Canadian Press through the Access to Information Act....
[A] spokesman for [the] Public Safety Minister...would not comment directly on Cappe’s recommendations, but said the government is working on legislation to create an “appropriate mechanism” to review CBSA officer conduct and handle complaints.
The proposed body would roll in existing powers of the civilian review and complaints commission for the RCMP.
The government and the minister had the recommendations two years ago, yet they are bringing this forward at the last minute. It appears to be an afterthought. Again, in February of this year, the minister said that they continue to work as fast as they can to bring forward legislation on oversight for the CBSA.
Perhaps the Liberal government was just distracted by its many self-inflicted wounds. It created many challenges for Canadians, and now it is tabling legislation in the 11th hour that deals with real issues and asking parliamentarians to make up for the government's distraction and lack of focus on things that matter to Canada, Canadians and our democracy. These are things like public safety, national security, rural crime, trade, energy policies and lower taxes.
There is an impact to mismanagement and bad decision-making. The Liberals' incompetence has had a trickle-down effect that is felt at every border crossing and also across many parts of the country.
We know that RCMP officers had to be deployed and dedicated to dealing with illegal border crossings. When the Liberals set up a facility to act as a border crossing in Lacolle, Quebec, RCMP officers were there covering people entering into Canada. Those RCMP officers were not commissioned that day. They were pulled from details across the country. They were pulled from monitoring returned ISIS fighters and from monitoring and tackling organized crime. They were taken and redeployed, most likely, from rural detachments across the country. We know that in my province of Alberta, the RCMP is short-staffed by nearly 300 officers. It is not a surprise, then, that there was a rise in rural crime while this was going on. Rural crime is now rising faster than urban crime.
However, it is not just the RCMP that has been impacted by the mismanagement at the border. It is also border officers, who will have the added oversight created through BillC-98.
CBSA officers told me and many other MPs about more shifts and about workers being transferred to Manitoba and Quebec. The media reported that students were taking the place of full-time, trained border officers at Pearson airport. This is the largest airport in Canada, and the impacts of having untrained and inexperienced officers monitoring potentially the top spot for smuggling and transfer of illegal goods are staggering.
We have a serious issue in Canada at our borders, one that is getting worse. We know from testimony given during the committee's study of BillC-71 that the vast majority of illegal firearms come from the U.S. They are smuggled in. At the guns and gangs summit, the RCMP showed all of Canada pictures of firearms being smuggled in as part of other packages. The minister's own department is saying there is a problem with smuggled goods, contraband tobacco and drugs coming across our borders.
Rather than actually protect Canadians, we are looking into oversight. Do not get me wrong. Oversight is good, but it is not the most pressing issue of the day.
The media is now reporting that because of the Liberals' decision to lift visas, there are many harmful and potentially dangerous criminals now operating in our country. This comes on the heels of reports that there are record-high numbers of ordered deportations of people who are a security threat. There were 25 in 2017. There are also record-low removals. Deportations were about or above 12,000 to 15,000 per year from 2010 to 2015, but that is not what we are seeing now. The Liberals, even with tens of thousands of people entering Canada illegally, are averaging half of that.
We know that the CBSA is not ignoring these issues and security threats. It just lacks the resources, which are now dedicated to maintaining an illegal border crossing and monitoring tens of thousands more people.
This failure is not just my opinion. It is the opinion of many Canadians.
A Calgary Herald headline from last August read, “Confidence in [The Prime Minister's] handling of immigration is gone”. The Toronto Sun, on May 29 of this year, wrote, “AG report shows federal asylum processing system a mess”. Another reads, “Auditor General Calls out Liberal Failures”. The news headlines go on and on.
This is not something the minister did when he implemented reforms in Bill C-59, the national security reforms. Under that bill, there would be three oversight agencies for our national security and intelligence teams: the new commissioner of intelligence, with expanded oversight of CSIS and CSE; the new national security and intelligence review agency, and with BillC-22, the new parliamentary committee. This is in addition to the Prime Minister's national security adviser and the deputy ministers of National Defence, Foreign Affairs and Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
Oversight can be a good thing. Often, because of human nature, knowing it is there acts as a deterrent. From my career, knowing that police are nearby or ready to respond can deter criminals, and knowing that someone will review claims of misconduct will add credibility to an already reputable agency, the CBSA.
It is probably too bad that this was not done earlier, because it could have gone through the House and the Senate quite easily. It could have been a law for a year or two already, perhaps even more. Sadly, the late tabling of the bill seems to make it a near certainty that if it reaches the Senate, it might be caught in the backlog of legislation there.
The House and the committee can and should give the bill a great deal of scrutiny. While the idea seems sound, and the model is better than in other legislation, I am wary of anything the government does on borders. It has not managed our borders well and has not been up front with the House or Canadians about that. In 2017, the Liberals told us that there was nothing to worry about, with tens of thousands of people crossing our borders illegally. They said they did not need any new resources, security was going well and everything was fine.
Well, the reality was that security was being cut to deal with the volume, provinces and cities were drowning in costs and overflowing shelters, border and RCMP agencies were stretched and refugee screenings were backing up. According to the ministers, everything was fine. Then, in the budget, came new funding, and in the next budget, and in the one after that. Billions in spending is now on the books, including for the RCMP, the CBSA and the Immigration and Refugee Board.
What should we scrutinize? For one, I think we should make sure to hear from those people impacted by this decision, such as front-line RCMP and CBSA officers who will be subject to these evaluations.
A CBC article had this to say:
The union representing border officers has heard little about the proposal and was not consulted on the bill. Jean-Pierre Fortin, national president of the Customs and Immigration Union (CIU), said the president of the CBSA also was left in the dark and could not inform the union of any details of the legislation.
How reliable is legislation when the agency it would actually impact and involve was left out of the loop?
It seems odd that the Liberals would appoint one union, Unifor, to administer a $600-million media bailout fund just after they announce a campaign against Conservatives, and, yet, the border services officers union is not even consulted about legislation that impacts it. I would hope that consultations are not dependent on political donations and participation.
That is why Parliament should be careful about who sits on this new agency. We do not need more activists; we need experienced professionals. We need subject matter experts. We need people with management expertise. We need to make sure that the people who work on these review organizations are appropriately skilled and resourced to do their work. We need to make sure that frivolous cases do not tie up resources, and that officers do not have frivolous and vexatious claims hanging over the heads.
We need to make sure that Canadians do not need to hire lawyers to get access to the complaints commission and its process.
We need to make sure that the minister and his staff, and other staffing leaders across the public safety spectrum cannot get their hands inside the processes and decisions of these bodies. We need the agency to have transparent, clear processes and systems that are fair to applicants and defendants alike. We need to make sure that these processes do not eat away resources from two agencies that are already strapped for bodies.
I hope there is time to do this right. I hope there is the appropriate time to hear from all the relevant witnesses, that legal advice is obtained, and that we have the appropriate time to draft changes, changes that, based on the minister's track record, are almost certainly going to be needed.
As the House begins its work on this legislation, I trust the minister and his staff would not be directing the chair of the public safety committee to meet their scripted timeline, which seems a little difficult to be done now with only a week remaining. Knowing that the chair is a scrupulous and honoured individual, he certainly would not suggest that legislation needs to be finished before we can hear the appropriate testimony.
There is a lot of trust and faith needed for the House to work well on legislation like this and many other pieces, trust that is built through honest answers to legitimate questions, trust that is reinforced by following integrity and the need to get it right, rather than the need to just be right.
I hope, perhaps just once in this legislative session, we could see the government try to broker such trust on BillC-98, but I will not hold my breath.
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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 Glen Motz Profile
CPC (AB)
View Glen Motz Profile
2019-06-11 18:34 [p.28952]
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Mr. Speaker, Bill C-59 is the government's version of a supposedly improved national security framework. However, I am confused by what we heard from witnesses at committee and what the government continues to push forward. Therefore, I would be interested to hear from the minister why the government rejected an amendment to allow public servants across all federal governments to report information that they believe is connected or related to a national security threat. Why is the government blocking public servants from sharing information regarding threats with security forces or oversight committees? How does that improve national security?
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View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-11 18:34 [p.28953]
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Mr. Speaker, this legislation has been before Parliament for almost two years exactly. It has had the most thorough consultation of any national security law in Canadian history. It has been the subject of extensive debate, many amendments and the most thorough examination of the law this Parliament has ever had. It is a complicated piece of legislation. However, I can say that it enjoys the very strong support of the national security agencies of the Government of Canada, those agencies that are charged with the responsibility of keeping Canadians safe, including the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Communications Security Establishment, the RCMP and the CBSA. It also has the very strong support of some pre-eminent academics, such as Professors Forcese and Carvin. Together, they are very anxious to see this legislation become law at long last.
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View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
View Peter Julian Profile
2019-06-11 18:36 [p.28953]
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Mr. Speaker, prior to the 2015 election, we saw the Liberals decrying what they quite rightfully saw as the usurping of parliamentary rights and privileges. It was not just the omnibus character of the legislation the Stephen Harper government passed. It was also the fact that closure was invoked regularly by the Stephen Harper government. At the time, the Liberals and the Prime Minister, quite rightly, promised to do away with that. Instead, they have doubled down. We now have this extreme closure motion that has just been moved in the House by the Liberals, which permits 20 minutes of debate on this particular bill. This is the kind of extremism, in terms of cutting down parliamentary debate and scrutiny, that most Canadians reject.
We have an omnibus bill. People have raised concerns about the bill, such as the fact that sensitive data on Canadians, totally innocent Canadians, could be collected as a result of the passage of this bill. Is that not the real reason the government is doubling down with extremist closure motions that only give a scant few minutes of debate, when there are so many concerns raised about this legislation?
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View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-11 18:37 [p.28953]
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Mr. Speaker, I have to point out that this legislation has been before the Parliament of Canada for two years. This is not a precipitous debate or motion. The fact of the matter is that there were two years of public consultation, followed by two years of parliamentary debate, that has brought the legislation to the point where it is today.
Obviously, it is the function of Parliament to provide detailed scrutiny with respect to this legislation, which this Parliament has done to a great extent. The kind of inquiry this Parliament has made with respect to this law is absolutely unprecedented. However, it is also important for Parliament to actually decide and take a vote, and that time has arrived.
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View Arnold Viersen Profile
CPC (AB)
View Arnold Viersen Profile
2019-06-11 18:38 [p.28953]
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Mr. Speaker, it is great that I get to speak to the closure motion, but I wish I could have spoken to the bill when we were debating it. I would have talked about a lot of the national security issues that are facing this country, particularly the grave threat of China, which has been building a cyber-army that has been taking on a lot of the things coming into Canada.
The other interesting thing about the bill is that it seems to be undoing a lot of the good work the previous Conservative government put in place, which is why my Conservative colleagues and I are not excited about the bill.
I was wondering what the minister's perspective is on whether we are going to allow Huawei onto the 5G network.
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View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-11 18:39 [p.28953]
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Mr. Speaker, that particular question does not relate to this particular legislation.
I will advise the member that there is an ongoing review process with respect to 5G technology. In examining the whole spectrum of that technology, it is designed, from a scientific point of view and a security point of view, not only to make sure that Canadians get all of the advantages but also that public safety and national security are absolutely and thoroughly protected. That review is ongoing, and the appropriate decision will be made at the appropriate time.
If the hon. gentleman is concerned about having limited time to debate today, I would remind him that this legislation has been before Parliament for two years and there has been ample opportunity for everyone to be involved.
With respect to the cyber aspect, this legislation is critical, because it presents the new legal framework for dealing with cybersecurity, including for the first time the authority to allow active cyber-operations when those are deemed appropriate to protect the Canadian national interest.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2019-06-11 18:40 [p.28953]
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Mr. Speaker, I very much appreciate the efforts of the minister and his staff in bringing forward what I believe is a substantial piece of legislation. It provides a sense of security for Canadians and at the same time provides rights that can be traced right back to our charter.
In the last federal election, we made some serious commitments to Canadians about making changes to BillC-51. Bill C-59, in part, deals with Bill C-51. I look at the legislation before us as another way the government has delivered some of the tangible things it said it would.
Could the member comment regarding that aspect of the legislation, which I know is important to all Canadians? As a personal thought, it is nice to see the legislation going through this final process.
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View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-11 18:41 [p.28953]
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Mr. Speaker, in the last election we were very specific about the things we found inappropriate, deficient or headed in the wrong direction that had been enacted by the previous government. We enumerated those things in our platform document. Bill C-59, together with other pieces of legislation before this Parliament, has dealt very effectively with the agenda of things that needed to be corrected.
For example, we said there needed to be a committee of parliamentarians to deal with national security and intelligence issues. We created that through BillC-22. We said we needed to protect the right to civil protest and dissent to make sure those civil rights were never impinged upon. That is dealt with in Bill C-59. We said we needed to make clear that threat reduction measures would not violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. That too is dealt with in Bill C-59.
If we went through each one of the items that were enumerated during the course of the election campaign, we would find that in Bill C-59 and in other pieces of legislation that have already been adopted by the House, commitments made in 2015 have, in fact, been satisfied by legislation.
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View Alexandre Boulerice Profile
NDP (QC)
View Alexandre Boulerice Profile
2019-06-11 18:43 [p.28954]
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Mr. Speaker, I just want to say that I think it is a shame that the government is limiting debate on such essential issues as privacy and the fundamental rights of Canadian citizens.
For years, people like Daniel Therrien, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, have been expressing serious concern about the fact that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service collects personal information about people who have done absolutely nothing simply because it wants to conduct analyses.
In 2015, I do not think that the Liberal Party was as explicit as that. Bill C-59 states that “activity that undermines the security of Canada” could include significant or widespread interference with essential infrastructure. That is exactly the same language the Stephen Harper government used.
Could this include demonstrations against pipelines, for instance?
Can the government confirm that it indeed believes that major demonstrations against the construction of pipelines constitute activities that undermine the security of Canada?
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View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-11 18:44 [p.28954]
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Mr. Speaker, it is clear in the amendments included in Bill C-59 that the right to civil protest, the right to demonstrate and the right to express one's point of view within the normal laws and procedures of Canada are all clearly protected. That was an issue under BillC-51, and we have corrected that by virtue of this legislation.
I point out as well that both the government and parliamentary committees have consulted about this legislation with the Privacy Commissioner, and the Privacy Commissioner's advice has been taken very seriously in the crafting of this legislation. As I say, the debate has been an extensive one. Every dimension of this new law has been thoroughly ventilated through one House of Parliament or the other.
I point out that the debate has gone on for so long that certain previous provisions of national security law have expired while waiting for the new law to come into effect, so it is time to vote and to take a decision.
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View Glen Motz Profile
CPC (AB)
View Glen Motz Profile
2019-06-11 18:45 [p.28954]
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Mr. Speaker, it is obvious that Bill C-59 leaves Canada with a larger, weaker national security and intelligence apparatus and is more focused on internal processes than external results. It is unfortunate, but the reality is that Bill C-59 focuses on policing the actions of national security intelligence agencies instead of criminals and extremists and what they do and plan to do to Canadians.
There are four oversight bodies that intelligence individuals need to be subject to, but it makes no sense to me to shift the security operations that protect Canadians to administration and paperwork. This bill would do just that. It would take $100 million from operations and put it into administration. That is $100 million focused on things other than defending national security.
I am wondering if the minister could comment on the reason for moving $100 million to administration.
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View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-11 18:46 [p.28954]
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Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman is just simply wrong.
In fact, the legislation would improve the security apparatus of the Government of Canada. It provides an unprecedented level of transparency, which is essential in ensuring that Canadians have confidence in their security and intelligence agencies.
The bill would correct a number of errors and deficiencies left to us by the previous government. It would provide brand new clarity about the legal and constitutional authorities necessary for the agencies to be able to do their jobs, and give those agencies critical new powers they would not otherwise have without this legislation. An example is the proper management and investigation of data sets, which is critical in this digital age. It is obviously important that it be done properly, and this legislation lays out the framework for doing it, which our security agencies would not otherwise be able to do.
It would also provide that new framework for cyber-activities, and in this era when cyber-threats, according to many experts, are the biggest threats we are going to face in the future, we need that capacity within CSE and other authorities of the Government of Canada to undertake—where necessary, and with the proper authorization—those active operations to keep Canadians safe. That is why this legislation is so important.
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View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2019-06-11 18:48 [p.28954]
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Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, I do not feel, as leader of the Green Party, that I had adequate opportunity to debate what has happened with Bill C-59, particularly since it went to the Senate.
However, I want to say on the record that although it is not the perfect bill one would have wished for to completely remove the damage of BillC-51 from the previous Parliament, I am very grateful for the progress made in this bill. What I referred to at the time as the “thought chill sections” of the language were removed. One example was the use of the words “terrorism in general” throughout Bill C-51.
The bill was tabled January 30, 2015, which was a Friday. I read it over the weekend, came back to Parliament on Monday and asked a question in question period about whether we were going to stop this bill that so heavily intruded on civil liberties.
Bill C-59 is an improvement, but I do not think I have had enough time to debate it. I wish the hon. minister could give us more time. I want to see it pass in this Parliament, but I wish there was a way to allow time for proper debate.
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View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-11 18:49 [p.28955]
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Mr. Speaker, as we all know, there are limitations that apply with respect to members in this House who occupy positions of third parties, independents and so forth. That is an issue, I am afraid, that House leaders, whips and others will have to resolve in order to provide those additional debating opportunities.
This legislation has been thoroughly vented over a period of two years, and that followed a period of almost two years during which huge public consultations took place and 75,000 submissions were received as input from Canadians before the legislation was even drafted. Then, of course, the bill was actually referred to a committee before second reading to increase the scope of the debate and the possibility of amendments among members of Parliament.
I suppose no one can say any piece of legislation is perfect. This one is a vast improvement over what went before, and I am very pleased to have the endorsement of external experts like Professors Craig Forcese and Stephanie Carvin, who have described this legislation as the most important national security law in a generation.
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View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Michel Picard Profile
2019-06-11 18:51 [p.28955]
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Mr. Speaker, the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security spent several weeks on Bill C-59. During that time, we heard from scholars like Mr. Forcese, who shared some very relevant remarks, as did the agencies.
I would like the minister to talk about the public aspect of the consultation. He said that tens of thousands of Canadians were consulted. I would like him to tell us how that historic public consultation met the needs that Canadians themselves had expressed.
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View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-11 18:51 [p.28955]
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Mr. Speaker, let me first acknowledge the excellent work that was done by both the security and public safety committee of the House of Commons and its counterpart in the other place. They worked very hard on this legislation. The committee of the House actually did a pre-study before the legislation was introduced, and a good many of the recommendations that were made by the House of Commons committee found their way into the legislation when it was introduced.
However, the hon. gentleman is right. There was a very long period of public consultation that stretched across the country in town hall meetings, meetings with experts and ample online discussions. The hon. gentleman himself conducted extensive discussions among interest groups in the French language across the country, particularly in the province of Quebec. All of that was very helpful in making sure that when this legislation hit the floor of Parliament, it was well informed with the preferences and views of ordinary Canadians from coast to coast.
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View Guy Caron Profile
NDP (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the minister and the House that, when BillC-51 was introduced in the previous Parliament, the Liberals who were in opposition at the time voted in favour of Bill C-51, regardless of all the freedom of expression and privacy issues it might cause, not to mention other measures that endangered Canadians more than they protected them. In contrast, the official opposition New Democrats voted against Bill C-51.
Bill C-59 makes some improvements, but as civil liberties groups have said repeatedly, it fails to resolve a number of major problems related to use of data and privacy protection.
I would like to know why the government was in such a hurry to move forward without properly addressing the major issues with Bill C-51 that are still present in Bill C-59.
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View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-11 18:54 [p.28955]
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Mr. Speaker, after two years of public consultations and then two years of parliamentary debate, the fact is that there has been enormous input into this legislation. I do not think anyone could call that a hasty process. We also took steps along the way to ensure that the parliamentary debate would be very thorough, like referring the bill to committee before second reading to increase the scope of the examination the parliamentary the committees could provide.
The other important provision in the legislation about further review and ongoing analysis is the fact that we have provided for the entire legislative package to be reviewed again by Parliament in three years' time. The original time frame was three years and during the debate it moved to five years. I acknowledged the work of the NDP to say that it should be three years, so the Senate moved the date back to three years, and we are accepting that proposal from the Senate.
Therefore, three years from now, there will be another opportunity for members to examine how the legislation has worked and make any further changes that need to be made.
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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 Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-11 18:56 [p.28955]
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Mr. Speaker, there are multiple safeguards in the legislation to that end. I would point out that we have consulted about many dimensions of the legislation with the Privacy Commissioner. The Privacy Commissioner has always been very generous and ample with the advice that comes from that very important organization. That advice has been heeded very carefully, particularly with respect to the sharing of information.
In fact, there is a specific part of the act that deals with the information-sharing rules and legislative framework that will apply to all agencies of the Government of Canada whenever information is being exchanged. It will be important for records to be kept about who gave the information, who received the information and what threshold was applied. All of that is laid out in explicit detail within the terms of this new law, which was not there before. Therefore, there once again is a very important enhancement to protect the rights of Canadians.
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View Sheri Benson Profile
NDP (SK)
View Sheri Benson Profile
2019-06-11 18:57 [p.28956]
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Mr. Speaker, I hear the minister talking about the bill having two years of debate and consultation. In fact, that is a time frame, but it is not two years of debate.
The debate has been limited at every stage of a very important bill, one that would collect people's personal data. Therefore, I want to challenge the minister when he says there have been two years of debate. I do not believe that is the right characterization. There has been debate, but it has been very limited and we are here this evening once again limiting debate.
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View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-11 18:58 [p.28956]
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Mr. Speaker, I simply make the point that we began work on the legislation from the very first hours when the government was in office in 2015. We started with the learned judgments of Justices Iacobucci, O'Connor and Major. We started with reports that had been filed previously by Parliament, both the House of Commons and the Senate. We listened very carefully to the review reports of the Security Intelligence Review Committee.
We conducted extensive public consultations, which involved 75,000 submissions online from ordinary Canadians. We had public meetings, town hall meetings and expert panels. Never before has there ever been an opportunity for Canadians to have input and for parliamentarians to debate the subject matter around Bill C-59. There has been the largest opportunity to do that in Canadian history.
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View Ted Falk Profile
CPC (MB)
View Ted Falk Profile
2019-06-11 18:59 [p.28956]
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Mr. Speaker, I have a good deal of respect for Craig Forcese and his opinion. However, there have been a couple of developments over the past two years since the bill was originally drafted, with the number of illegal migrants who have come across the border. This has created some security concerns. I know a great many of them have criminal records. The other one would be with the government not requiring visas for Mexican nationals. There are rumours and allegations that the Mexican cartels are operating more freely in Canada than they used to.
In light of those two developments in the last two years, does the bill adequately address those two situations and does it give our law enforcement the proper tools they need to do their job?
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View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-11 19:00 [p.28956]
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Mr. Speaker, first, yes, the tools and powers provided for CSIS, for the CSE, for other security agencies of the Government of Canada, certainly for the RCMP, will enhance the work of all our security agencies.
I would point out for the hon. gentleman that in dealing with cross-border migration, over the last three years, we have faithfully applied each and every Canadian law in every case. We have also respected all our international obligations. The allegations of large numbers of criminals flowing into the country is completely wrong. In fact, it is a tiny part of a fraction. In those cases, they have all been identified, they have been detained as necessary and removal proceedings have been undertaken to get them out of the country.
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View Glen Motz Profile
CPC (AB)
View Glen Motz Profile
2019-06-11 19:01 [p.28956]
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Mr. Speaker, the minister spoke early on about two academics who supported the bill. I want to remind him of what retired Canadian Forces Lieutenant-General Michael Day said. He said he had zero confidence in Canada's ability to combat emerging threats with Bill C-59.
We know that the charter is mentioned 26 times in the legislation, but the minister should know that every bill has to meet the scrutiny of the charter. Privacy appears 88 times in the bill. We do not know why the government is so concerned about trying to police the agencies that protect Canadians rather than going after those who would appear to do us harm.
The last point I want to make is this. The bill is called undemocratic and one of the reasons for that is the rarity that the Henry VIII clause was kept in it, which means there is the ability of the Prime Minister and cabinet to unilaterally change legislation without coming through Parliament. I am curious whether the minister would care to comment on that manoeuvre in the bill.
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View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-11 19:03 [p.28956]
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Mr. Speaker, the conspiracy theories abound with the opposition. I am not quite sure what his source of research is, but this legislation has had the benefit of the largest amount of public consultation, the largest amount of parliamentary scrutiny and the best experts in the field of security law and human rights law. It has been vetted in every way possible. The end result would be three things.
Our agencies will have the powers they need to keep Canadians safe. They will have clarity with respect to their legislative and constitutional authorities. Old areas and weaknesses in previous laws have been remedied. There is unprecedented transparency for Canadians to see and know what goes on in the public interest to keep Canadians safe and to safeguard our rights and freedoms.
In the next three years, the next Parliament of Canada will have the opportunity to revisit all these rules and provisions to ensure they are serving Canadians. This is the right bill for now.
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