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Results: 1 - 15 of 2338
View Tom Wappel Profile
Lib. (ON)
I appreciate that very much, since I'm not an accredited member of this committee.
I'd like to ask the witnesses two very specific things. In the report of this committee on the Anti-terrorism Act, there was a brief chapter on security certificates. There were two recommendations. One recommendation dealt with adding the word “reliable” to the type of evidence, and I notice that the government accepted that recommendation in paragraph 83.(1) (h), so I thank the government for that.
However, I'm a little unclear on the government's position on recommendation 52. Recommendation 52 recommended that a determination on the reasonableness of the certificate should be made before a determination on whether or not a person would be removed to possible torture. The new bill doesn't contain any provision similar to section 79 of the present act. So I guess taking that out of the act addresses the committee's recommendation. At least that's how I'm reading it. However, proposed subsection 77.(3) provides that once the certificate is referred there will be no proceeding respecting the person other than proceedings relating to some named sections. One of the named sections is section 112, and section 112 provides—and I'm a little confused about it, so I'm hoping somebody from the Immigration Department can help us out here—section 112 provides that a person may apply to the minister for protection if they're named in a certificate in subsection 77.(1). So they can apply for protection, and yet subsection 77.(3) says that refugee protection cannot be granted for a person who is named in a certificate in subsection 77.(1).
Is there a difference between refugee protection and the protection that section 112 talks about?
View Tom Wappel Profile
Lib. (ON)
So instead of suspending the reasonableness hearing, it allows both to proceed at the same time?
View Tom Wappel Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you. That's how I'm reading it, and that's what I understood. So it's almost what the committee recommended, but it's tweaked.
View Tom Wappel Profile
Lib. (ON)
That's fine. It's better than not taking the recommendation.
The grounds for issuing a certificate are inadmissibility “on grounds of security, violating human or international rights, serious criminality or organized criminality”. Those are the same words under subsection 112.(3) that would prevent a person from being granted refugee protection. What's the distinction?
View Tom Wappel Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, members of the committee, for allowing me to ask those questions.
View Tom Wappel Profile
Lib. (ON)
Good morning, everyone.
I call meeting 55 to order. We are continuing our study of “Afghanistan 2006: Good Governance, Democratic Development and Human Rights”.
We have with us this morning the deputy minister, Mr. Leonard J. Edwards.
Before I call upon him, when I walked in I received a copy of a letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs. I don't know if you've seen it. I find it curious, but I'm going to pass it on.
Dear Mr. Wappel:
I am writing with respect to the scheduled appearance by officials of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT), including Mr. Leonard J. Edwards, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, before the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics on June 19, 2007.
I understand that Mr. Edwards and the DFAIT officials accompanying him will answer the questions put to them by members of the Committee to the best of their abilities and explain the policies and procedures of the Canadian government in the carrying out of their responsibilities, as these pertain to the Committee's study of the access to information requests for DFAIT's internal report entitled Afghanistan 2006: Good Governance, Democratic Development and Human Rights.
I'd like committee members to listen carefully to this paragraph:
I am sure that as Chair of the Committee, you will see to it that the witnesses are treated with due courtesy and respect as public servants and citizens of Canada. I was personally distressed by the reports conveyed to me of the treatment accorded to DFAIT officials who appeared before the Committee on May 29, 2007, by a few members of the Committee, and would hope that such conduct would not be repeated.
I wish to thank you in advance for your cooperation in this respect,
Sincerely,
Peter G. MacKay
I simply bring that to your attention, as it was brought to my attention.
Before I recognize Mr. Martin, I will remind committee members that last week, in camera, we discussed this issue of the questioning of witnesses.
Mr. Martin.
View Tom Wappel Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Martin.
I'll take that under advisement. We'll see how the meeting goes today. That might be an idea if we don't get very far. Perhaps the minister would like to attend and observe himself. Of course, there's nothing preventing him from doing that now.
In any event, let's not waste a lot of time. We have the deputy minister here. He has other things to do.
Mr. Leonard J. Edwards, deputy minister, good morning, sir. Do you have an opening statement?
View Tom Wappel Profile
Lib. (ON)
Please go ahead.
View Tom Wappel Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you, sir.
Before I call on committee members, yes, we would ask you to table the documentation that you mentioned in the last two paragraphs of your remarks, namely Mr. Marleau's correspondence with you. We would appreciate that. That would be helpful.
Speaking of tabling documents, on Friday, June 15, I read an article in the Globe and Mail headlined, “Human rights not on radar of senior Tories, MacKay says”. I think that's an inflammatory headline. However, the point is that both the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Defence, according to the newspaper, tabled written responses in the House of Commons on Thursday. One presumes that if they were tabled in the House of Commons, they were tabled in both official languages. I called my clerk and asked him to obtain copies of those documents for the members of the committee for today's meeting. I don't have them. I would appreciate it if, while you're giving your evidence, perhaps you could have one of your officials see if they could obtain copies of the reports that were tabled by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Defence in this regard.
Yes, Mr. Tilson.
View Tom Wappel Profile
Lib. (ON)
About what? About the fact that—
View Tom Wappel Profile
Lib. (ON)
That the minister did not—
View Tom Wappel Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Tilson, my question was whether the minister's office could obtain copies of the reports that were filed with Parliament. I'm not going anywhere else.
View Tom Wappel Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Tilson, are you saying that the retraction by the Globe and Mail was that the minister did not table responses?
View Tom Wappel Profile
Lib. (ON)
I'm not making it an issue. I'm asking the minister—
View Tom Wappel Profile
Lib. (ON)
I'm asking the minister for copies of those reports. It's pretty simple: either there are or there aren't.
Now someone just whispered in my ear that they apparently were faxed to the office, and it appears as if we haven't had them. I thought it might be of some interest to the committee to read what the minister said in the House of Commons. I wouldn't quote the Globe and Mail if my life depended on it. I'm asking about reports that were tabled in the House of Commons—not what the Globe and Mail says, but whether reports were tabled, and if so, whether we can get them.
I'll leave it at that. The deputy minister will do the best he can, but obviously since they refer specifically to what we're talking about, it would be helpful if we had them.
Having said that, Deputy Minister, the reason you're there and you don't have your officials with you--and I want everybody to understand this, including the officials who are there—is that in your letter to me responding to the committee's request to hear certain people, and obviously, that request by the committee to hear certain people was declined by the department, you said, and I quote:
After careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that if the Committee wishes to hear from other officials of DFAIT, I would be best placed to appear. The officials whom you have asked to appear before you do not have delegated authority under the Act and are therefore not well placed to provide the Committee with insights into the administration of the Access to Information Act by DFAIT.
That's why you are here--because you said you were the person whom we should ask the questions of. That's why I've asked you to be here, and I guess the committee will test your statement as to whether or not you are in fact the person we want to hear from.
I should advise everybody that there is no guarantee that the committee will want to hear from anyone else, depending on what your answers are. However, given the way this thing has transpired, the committee had no choice but to summon the witnesses and have them available should it transpire that the committee is of the view that your answers are not sufficient.
But I don't want people to think there is an automatic presumption at this point, notwithstanding what's on the agenda, that we will hear from people. If we do hear from people, I don't want there to be an automatic presumption that some or all of that evidence will be in public.
Okay, we'll call the first round, which is for seven minutes. We'll go first with Mr. Dhaliwal suivi par Madame Lavallée.
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