Investigative Powers for the 21st Century Act

An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Competition Act and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act

This bill was last introduced in the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session, which ended in March 2011.

Sponsor

Rob Nicholson  Conservative

Status

Second reading (House), as of Nov. 1, 2010
(This bill did not become law.)

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

The enactment amends the Criminal Code to add new investigative powers in relation to computer crime and the use of new technologies in the commission of crimes. It provides, among other things, for

(a) the power to make preservation demands and orders to compel the preservation of electronic evidence;

(b) new production orders to compel the production of data relating to the transmission of communications and the location of transactions, individuals or things;

(c) a warrant to obtain transmission data that will extend to all means of telecommunication the investigative powers that are currently restricted to data associated with telephones; and

(d) warrants that will enable the tracking of transactions, individuals and things and that are subject to legal thresholds appropriate to the interests at stake.

The enactment amends offences in the Criminal Code relating to hate propaganda and its communication over the Internet, false information, indecent communications, harassing communications, devices used to obtain telecommunication services without payment and devices used to obtain the unauthorized use of computer systems or to commit mischief.

The enactment amends the Competition Act to make applicable, for the purpose of enforcing certain provisions of that Act, the new provisions being added to the Criminal Code respecting demands and orders for the preservation of computer data and orders for the production of documents relating to the transmission of communications or financial data. It also modernizes the provisions of the Act relating to electronic evidence and provides for more effective enforcement in a technologically advanced environment.

The enactment also amends the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act to make some of the new investigative powers being added to the Criminal Code available to Canadian authorities executing incoming requests for assistance and to allow the Commissioner of Competition to execute search warrants under the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Bill C-13—Time Allocation Motion
Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act
Government Orders

March 26th, 2014 / 5:05 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, quite frankly, no. I do not feel inclined to hear from the member.

I feel inclined to hear more from experts. Many people have stated that they want this bill to move forward. The member talked about 2012. I am going to go back further, to 2009, when Bill C-46 was brought before the House of Commons, and Bill C-51 in 2010. There was an individual at that time who seemed to think there was an urgency to move bills forward. He said that the “bill is quite overdue in terms of when it should have been on the law books of this country”.

Those amendments have been planned for some time. There was a sense of urgency then, coming from the NDP. It was the hon. member who was then justice critic and an hon. member of the NDP.

Business of the House
Oral Questions

March 24th, 2011 / 3:05 p.m.
See context

Conservative

John Baird Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

When members are called smug, they all cheer and applaud.

As for the business of the House, I believe the minister responsible for the Status of Women has a motion that she would like to move after I have concluded my response to the Thursday question. Following that, without anticipating the outcome of any vote of the House, there seems to be an appetite to allow members who will not be running in the next election to have two minutes each to make statements. Following these statements, we will continue with day one of the budget debate.

Tomorrow we will consider the last allotted day in this supply period. I do not know why the opposition coalition is talking about ending this very productive Parliament to force an unwanted and unnecessary election. Recent weeks have led me to conclude that this is the most dysfunctional Parliament in Canadian history.

Yesterday our Conservative government achieved royal assent for the following bills: Bill S-6 to eliminate the faint hope clause; Bill C-14 to provide hard-working Canadians some fairness at the gas pumps; Bill C-21 to crack down on white collar crime; Bill C-22 to crack down on those who would exploit our children through the Internet; Bill C-30, R. v. Shoker; Bill C-35 to crack down on crooked immigration consultants; Bill C-42 to provide aviation security; Bill C-48 to eliminate sentencing discounts for multiple murderers; Bill C-59 to get rid of early parole for white collar fraudsters, a bill the Liberal government opposed but the Bloc supported; Bill C-61, the freezing of assets of corrupt regimes; and Bill S-5, safe vehicles from Mexico. What a legacy for the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

The work of this Parliament is not done. There are a number of key and popular government bills that Canadians want. Next week, starting on Monday, we will call: Bill C-8, the Canada-Jordan free trade agreement; Bill C-46, the Canada-Panama free trade agreement; Bill C-51, investigative powers for the 21st century; and Bill C-52, lawful access.

Does the Minister of Justice ever stop fighting crime? He gets more and more done. In many respects, as House leader I am like the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Justice.

Of course, we need to complete the budget debate to implement the next phase of Canada's economic action plan, a low tax plan for jobs and growth. Therefore, Tuesday we will debate day two of the budget, Wednesday we will debate day three of the budget and on Thursday we will debate day four of the budget. We have lots to do and I suggest to the members across that we turn our attention back to serving the interests of the public.

While I am on my feet, I would like to serve those interests by asking for unanimous consent for the following motion. I move that, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practices of the House, Bill C-49, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Balanced Refugee Reform Act and the Marine Transportation Security Act shall be deemed to have been read a second time, referred to a committee of the whole, deemed considered in committee of the whole, deemed reported without amendment, deemed concurred in at report stage and deemed read a third time and passed.

March 17th, 2011 / 10:25 a.m.
See context

Conservative

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

Bill C-21 or Bill C-51?

February 17th, 2011 / 10:05 a.m.
See context

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

I'm asking on Bill C-4, Bill C-5, Bill C-16, Bill C-17, Bill C-21, Bill C-22, Bill C-23B, Bill C-30, Bill C-35, Bill C-37, Bill C-38, Bill C-39, Bill C-43, Bill C-48, Bill C-49, Bill C-50, Bill C-51, Bill C-52, Bill C-53C-54, Bill C-59, Bill SS-6, Bill S-7, Bill S-10.

What are the costs? What are the head counts? What are the implications? Why won't you give them to Parliament?

Disposition of Abolition of Early Parole Act
Government Orders

February 14th, 2011 / 6:05 p.m.
See context

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I listened closely to the comments of the member in this chamber, and I am a bit surprised, because he is actually engaging in substantive debate around the bill to which the time allocation motion applies. However, what is really before us in the House today is the time allocation motion itself and the government cutting off the amount of time for debate on the bill.

We should not be debating the merits of the bill itself at all, yet I just heard the member say that all kinds of crime bills have been stalled at committee.

Let me give the House a number of the bills that have now passed through the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights: C-4, C-5, C-16, C-17, C-21, C-22, C-23A, C-23B, C-39, C-48, C-50, C-51, C-52, S-2, S-6, S-7, S-9 and S-10. Can the member really suggest that the crime agenda of the government is being stalled?

Some of us would argue they are the only bills we have been dealing with in the House. I wish the member would return to what we are really debating here tonight, and that is the time allocation motion, not the substance of the government's crime agenda.

Standing Committee on Finance
Privilege

February 11th, 2011 / 10:35 a.m.
See context

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am saddened today to feel the obligation to rise to address comments with regard to the question of privilege raised by the member for Kings—Hants on February 7.

It is like the movie Groundhog Day. Anyone is familiar with that movie knows it was very successful. American actor Bill Murray relives the day over and over again until he learns his lesson.

It appears the government is reliving the same thing and forcing all other members of the House of Commons and Canadians to relive the same days we experienced back in 2009-10 with regard to a request from the special committee on Afghanistan for the production of documents from the government. The government resisted that. It took a question of privilege to be raised in the House. It took comments from many members of the House. It took considerable reflection and study on your part, Mr. Speaker, before you made a ruling that there was a prima facie case of privilege in that regard.

Yet, again, we are faced with the exact same situation today.

If I look at the timeline, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance tabled its 10th report on Monday, February 7. The member for Kings—Hants, pursuant to that report, raised the question of privilege of which we are now all aware.

I want to concur with the arguments raised by my colleague for Kings—Hants, as well as those raised by my colleagues from Mississauga South and Windsor—Tecumseh on the issue.

However, I wish to note a number of points. I also wish to address, in particular, the issues of cabinet confidence and the requests with regard to all the justice bills. It is important to do so, particularly with the time of events and the government's response to date to the committee's requests for the production of documents. We have not yet heard the government's response in the House with regard to the question of privilege.

On November 17, 2010, the Standing Committee on Finance passed a motion, ordering the Government of Canada to provide the committee with five-year projections of total corporate profits before taxes and effective corporate tax rates from the 2010-11 fiscal year until the 2014-15 fiscal year, inclusive. The November 17 motion also ordered the government to provide the committee with certain financial information pertaining to justice bills, which I will enumerate.

As all members in the House know, I am the justice critic for the official opposition. Therefore, all the information, all the documents requested through the motion of the finance committee have direct pertinence to the committee on justice and human rights. Those justice bills were Bill C-4, the youth criminal justice bill, Bill C-5, Bill C-16, Bill C-17, Bill C-21, Bill C-22, Bill C-23A, Bill C-23B, Bill C-39, Bill C-48, Bill C-50, Bill C-51, Bill C-52, Bill S-2, Bill S-6, Bill S-7, Bill S-9 and Bill S-10.

The motion specifically requested:

—detailed cost accounting, analysis and projections, including assumptions, for each of the bills and Acts, conducted in accordance with the Treasury Board Guide to Costing.

Members are now aware, by the issue of privilege raised by the member for Kings—Hants, that the motion established a deadline of seven calendar days, which ended on November 24, 2010.

On November 24, Finance Canada replied to the committee, and I will read the department's response in its entirety because it is quite important, particularly to any Canadian and any member sitting in the House who takes his or her work as an elected official representing Canadians, a sacred duty in fact, to know the response. It said:

Projections of corporate profits before taxes and effective corporate income tax rates are a Cabinet confidence. As such, we are not in a position to provide these series to the Committee.

The department claimed it was not in a position to provide these documents to the committee because, according to the government, these documents were a cabinet confidence. That is the heart of the matter. Do the documents requested constitute a cabinet confidence and, if so, are they excluded from the rule of the House of Commons, the power and authority of Parliament, to require documents to be provided?

As the House knows, because it has been mentioned by others in the House who have commented on the issue of privilege raised by the member for Kings—Hants, the government has yet to speak to this issue. I understand that one of the parliamentary secretaries has said the government is taking note of all of members' comments in the House, relating to the issue of privilege, and will respond in due course.

On December 1, 2010, one full week after the deadline of November 24, 2010, the committee received a reply from Justice Canada regarding projected costs of the justice bills. I will read the response by Justice Canada in its entirety. It said:

The issue of whether there are any costs associated with the implementation of any of the Government's Justice bills is a matter of Cabinet confidence and, as such, the Government is not in a position to provide such information or documents.

That is interesting because in justice committee, of which I am a member, when we have repeatedly asked the minister for the cost analysis of a government bill before the committee, the minister has never stated that he could not give us that information because it is a matter of confidence. I would challenge members to check the transcripts of justice committee. What I did hear was he did not have the information with him or some befuddled answer that did not answer the question.

On December 7, 2010, after the government had refused to provide the information ordered by finance committee by the established deadline, the member for Kings—Hants provided the committee with written notice of a motion by which, if passed, the committee would draw the attention of the House to what appeared to be a breach of its privileges. That has been done. The committee adopted the motion and the member for Kings—Hants rose in the House to speak to the issue.

On December 10, the committee received an additional response from the Department of Finance Canada in answer to its motion ordering the production of documents relating to the projections regarding corporate taxes before profits.

In response, the department stated:

To the best of its knowledge, the Department of Finance has determined that [the] "series" or projections of corporate profits before taxes or the effective corporate income tax rates have never been previously disclosed. These projections are from a comprehensive economic and fiscal projection that constitutes a Cabinet confidence.

To reiterate, according to the second or additional response of the Department of Finance to the finance committee, the Department of Finance, acting on behalf of the government, claimed that these projections have never been previously disclosed and constitute a cabinet confidence.

As pointed out in this chamber before, but which bears repetition, I would suggest to any Canadian to Google the phrase, “Corporate tax profits before taxes”, and restrict their search to the domain of the Department of Finance Canada. That Canadian would get exactly two results: the HTML and PDF versions of “The Economic and Fiscal Update“ from November 2005. In that update, we find precisely the information that the Department of Justice, in its December 10 additional response to the finance committee, claimed had never previously been disclosed because it constituted a cabinet confidence. In fact, it was disclosed in the November 2005 economic and fiscal update that was issued by the previous government comprised of the Liberal Party of Canada's elected members of Parliament.

Therefore, the assertion on the part of the government, through its Department of Finance, justifying its refusal to obey, respect and act on the order of the finance committee to produce the documents is an outright fabrication.

The government department could have said that in the past the information had been released, but that the policy had been changed with a new interpretation of what constituted a cabinet confidence and, as a result, would not be releasing those documents to the finance committee. However, that was not the reason given by the department, by the government, for refusing to release that information. The reason given to the committee for not providing that information, that it is a cabinet confidence, is pure nonsense.

What is the state of legislation regarding cabinet confidence?

As mentioned, one can look to the Access to Information Act and the law of evidence act, and one will find that the government does not have a leg to stand on, and in fact does not have two legs to stand on.

Any reasonable Canadian reading the pertinent sections of the Access to Information Act and the law of evidence act would see that the two responses given by the Department of Finance and the response given by the Department of Justice are nonsense.

As I said, we know that in 2005 the previous government recognized that projections of corporate tax profits before taxes were not covered by cabinet confidence. Such projections are not considered a cabinet confidence when, as is the case with Finance Canada's revenue model, these projections are used by the department in a manner not exclusively related to cabinet operations.

What has changed between 2005 and 2010-11? On what grounds is the government now claiming that these projections constitute a cabinet confidence when there was no such assertion in the past and governments in the past have in fact provided and disclosed that information?

The costs of the justice bills are also important because the Department of Justice, as well, replied to the finance committee by claiming cabinet confidence as a justification for not releasing that information to the finance committee.

We know that due diligence would have required that cabinet consider the cost implications of each justice bill before making a decision to proceed with each bill. We know that under normal practices, an analysis of the cost implications of each justice bill would have been included with the memorandum to cabinet prepared for each justice bill.

Why do we know this? We know it because the Liberal Party of Canada has formed government in the past. We know that when we came power the government that preceded us, the one formed by the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, had done that as well. So these are normal practices. These are practices of a prudent, diligent and competent government.

No diligent, prudent and competent government would consider an issue, whether amendments, or a justice bill bringing in new legislation to the Criminal Code or amending existing sections of the Criminal Code, because that constitutes government policy, would do so without informing itself of the cost of those changes.

That is what previous governments have done, because those previous governments, whatever their faults, have followed prudent, diligent and competent practices with regard to taking decisions on issues brought before cabinet.

As I said, we know that under normal practices, an analysis of the cost implications of each justice bill would have been included with the memorandum to cabinet prepared for each justice bill.

Now let us look at the legislation that deals with what is, or is not, cabinet confidence and whether or not something that falls into cabinet confidence can be accessible.

If one looks at section 69 of the Access to Information Act, it tells us that such analysis and background information is not, and I repeat, not, a cabinet confidence, if the cabinet decision to which the analysis relates has been made public.

A cost analysis of the implications of a justice bill should have been included, and I believe was included, in the memorandum to cabinet, as it is on each and every justice bill.

Standing Committee on Finance
Privilege
Routine Proceedings

February 7th, 2011 / 3:15 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege in relation to the 10th report of the Standing Committee on Finance.

In our system of responsible government, the government must seek Parliament's authority to spend public funds. Parliament, in turn, has an obligation, a responsibility to hold the government to account and to scrutinize the government's books.

Recently, this government impeded the work of the Standing Committee on Finance by hindering its attempts to better understand the federal government's budget projections.

As you know, Mr. Speaker, Standing Order 108 empowers committees to send for persons, papers and records. House of Commons Procedure and Practice, second edition, describes Parliament's right to order the production of documents as a right that is “as old as Parliament itself”.

On November 17, 2010, the Standing Committee on Finance passed a motion ordering the Government of Canada to provide the commitment with five-year projections of total corporate profits before taxes and effective corporate tax rates from the 2010-11 fiscal year until the 2014-15 fiscal year, inclusive.

The November 17 motion also ordered the government to provide the committee with certain financial information pertaining to justice Bills C-4, C-5, C-16, C-17, C-21, C-22, C-23A, C-23B, C-39, C-48, C-50, C-51, C-52, S-2, S-6, S-7, S-9 and S-10.

Among other things, the motion specifically requested:

detailed cost accounting, analysis and projections, including assumptions, for each of the bills and Acts, conducted in accordance with the Treasury Board Guide to Costing.

The motion established a deadline of seven calendar days, which ended on November 24, 2010.

On November 24, the Department of Finance replied to the committee with the following. I will read the department's response in its entirety. It stated:

Projections of corporate profits before taxes and effective corporate income tax rates are a Cabinet confidence. As such, we are not in a position to provide these series to the Committee.

The government provided no further information to the committee before the deadline.

On December 1, 2010, one full week after the deadline, the committee received a letter from the Department of Justice regarding projected costs of the justice bills. Again, I will read the department's response in its entirety. It stated:

The issue of whether there are any costs associated with the implementation of any of the Government's Justice bills is a matter of Cabinet confidence and, as such, the Government is not in a position to provide such information or documents.

On December 7, 2010, after the government had refused to provide the information ordered by the committee by the established deadline, I provided the committee with written notice for a motion by which, if passed, the committee would draw the attention of the House to what appeared to be a breach of its privileges.

On December 10, 2010, perhaps in response to the written notice I had written on December 7, the committee received an additional response from the Department of Finance.

In its response, the department stated:

To the best of its knowledge, the Department of Finance has determined that “series” or projections of corporate profits before taxes or the effective corporate income tax rates have never been previously disclosed. These projections are from a comprehensive economic and fiscal projection that constitutes a Cabinet confidence. As a result, the Department of Finance has not been in a position to provide these "series" to the Committee.

This response appeared somewhat dubious. For, if any member of the House or if any Canadian wishes to Google the phrase “corporate profits before taxes” and restrict their search to the domain of the Department of Finance's website, he or she would get exactly two results: the HTML and PDF versions of “The Economic and Fiscal Update” from November 2005, in which they would find, on page 83, that the previous Liberal government had actually published projections of corporate profits before taxes from 2005 until 2010.

At this time, I would like to seek unanimous consent to table page 83 of “The Economic and Fiscal Update” from November 2005.

February 2nd, 2011 / 4:40 p.m.
See context

Acting General Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section, Department of Justice

Carole Morency

The intention is to catch, yes, exactly what's available now and what is possible in the future in terms of identifying the nature of the communications that will be at play rather than just what specifically presents today.

You're talking about the conceptual. I'm trying to find for you right now the reference in Bill C-51, the definition. But yes, it is to apply today and to what might come tomorrow.

February 2nd, 2011 / 4:35 p.m.
See context

Acting General Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section, Department of Justice

Carole Morency

The amendment that you see in clause 15 replaces the word that is currently.... For example, currently section 172.1—luring a child—talks about someone who, using “a computer system within the meaning of subsection 342.1(2) communicates with”. This is replacing the language there and in the new offences with “telecommunication”, because this is the language that's also being proposed more broadly in what is currently Bill C-51, which was previously Bill C-46, the Investigative Powers for the 21st Century Act. So it's a consistency to broaden the capture of the types of communications that are at play.

Bill C-54 still uses the terminology “Internet”, as you'll see in the offence. We use language for definition of the Internet here that is consistent with Bill C-30, I believe it is—the Copyright Act, which also has that language.

So the intention here is not.... The bill still does use “Internet”, but the use of “telecommunications” would be consistent here with its use in Bills C-51 and C-52.

February 2nd, 2011 / 3:45 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

I think you have the wrong number. It's Bill C-51.

Business of the House
Business of the House
Oral Questions

December 9th, 2010 / 3:05 p.m.
See context

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I will start with the hon. member's last question first.

The member is right, that was an extremely long question. I pointed out to this place that the Liberals were making it a common practice of writing questions that should be divided into several questions rather than just one. The question that I read into the record of this House took over 15 minutes to read. It is an attempt by the Liberal Party, continuous attempts by the Liberals, to obfuscate, to delay the proceedings of this House and to, quite frankly, impede the ability of government departments to get on with important government legislation.

Mr. Speaker, I hope that you, in your wisdom, will rule on that very important point of order as quickly as possible.

With respect to the business today, we will continue with the Liberal opposition motion and business of supply. Tomorrow we will hopefully complete the final stage of C-30, Response to the Supreme Court of Canada Decision in R. v. Shoker Act. Following Bill C-30, we will call, at report stage, Bill S-6, Serious Time for the Most Serious Crime Act.

On Monday, we will continue with any business not concluded this week, with the addition of Bill C-43, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Modernization Act, and Bill C-12, Democratic Representation Act.

On Tuesday, we would like to complete the third reading stage of Bill C-21, Standing up for Victims of White Collar Crime Act.

Next week, we will also give consideration to any bills that are reported back from committee. Further, if time permits, we would also debate next week Bill C-38, Ensuring the Effective Review of RCMP Civilian Complaints Act; Bill C-50; Bill C-51, Investigative Powers for the 21st Century Act; Bill C-53, Fair and Efficient Criminal Trials Act; and Bill C-19, Political Loans Accountability Act.

Finally, on Tuesday evening, we will have a take-note debate on the trade agreement with the European Union, and on that subject, I would ask my colleague, the chief government whip, to move the appropriate motion.

November 17th, 2010 / 3:40 p.m.
See context

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Chair, I'm fine with giving the Finance Department more time to prepare its budget, as long as it's a good one.

We have tabled an amendment to this motion which we fundamentally support. A copy of the amendment has been distributed. After paragraph eight, the longest paragraph which begins with “That the committee also orders” and ends with “consequential amendments to other acts”, we would like to add a request for information about four other bills, namely C-48, C-50, C-51and C-52.

This amendment would essentially tie everything together as far as these bills are concerned. We have Bill C-48 which amends the provisions of the Criminal Code respecting sentence discounts; Bill C-50 which also amends the provisions of the Criminal Code respecting investigative tools for serious crimes; Bill C-51 which pertains to investigative powers for the 21st century; and Bill C-52, An Act regulating telecommunications facilities to support investigations.

Mr. Chair, having this committee look at this is an excellent idea, as ours is a very important House committee. That is why you were appointed chair. Not just anyone is given that honour.

We support the motion, with the four added changes which I think all members, including Mr. Wallace, will unanimously agree to.

Investigative Powers for the 21st Century Act
Routine Proceedings

November 1st, 2010 / 3:05 p.m.
See context

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-51, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Competition Act and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)