Evidence of meeting #52 for Justice and Human Rights in the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was information.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Joe Buckle  Director General, Forensic Science and Identification Services, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • Anne-Elizabeth Charland  Officer in Charge, Management Services, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • David Bird  Senior Legal Counsel, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • J. Bowen  Acting Director, Biology Project, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

9:10 a.m.

Liberal

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

You might not be the right person to be asking this, but another question I have is about subclause 31(1) of Bill C-C-18, which would authorize the communication of the DNA profile not only for the reasons of an investigation on a designated offence but for all investigations related to any criminal infraction. Have you taken that into account in terms of increased demands for crime scene investigation DNA analysis?

9:10 a.m.

Director General, Forensic Science and Identification Services, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

A/Commr Joe Buckle

Mr. Chair, I'd like to refer to our analyst, Ms. Charland. She actually did the work-up on the business case that we submitted.

9:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Art Hanger

Please take a place at the table, please.

February 27th, 2007 / 9:10 a.m.

Anne-Elizabeth Charland Officer in Charge, Management Services, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Good morning.

The question was whether we had taken into account the new part of the legislation that would increase the sharing of information. We did not take that into account when we made our calculations.

9:10 a.m.

Liberal

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

Did you take into account the fact that in Bill C-13's proposed subsection 487.051(2), which removes the judicial discretion to determine whether or not on conviction a DNA sample should actually be removed, would increase, obviously, the number? Had that been taken into account in your business case?

9:10 a.m.

Officer in Charge, Management Services, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Anne-Elizabeth Charland

In the original business case that we prepared, there was a calculation for the increased submission to the National DNA Data Bank for convicted offenders, and part of that calculation was to take into account how many more samples would be submitted. That was part of the original business case. That is correct.

9:15 a.m.

Liberal

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

If I understand correctly, right now judges have discretion in whether to make an order that a DNA sample must be provided upon conviction. Under the proposed legislation, that discretion would be removed and it would automatically be taken for a series of offences that an accused has been convicted for. You have taken into account the current conviction rates and then applied your business sample to that.

Am I making sense?

9:15 a.m.

Director General, Forensic Science and Identification Services, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

9:15 a.m.

Liberal

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

I want to make sure that the business case you have provided is based on actual evidence and facts that have been proven.

9:15 a.m.

Director General, Forensic Science and Identification Services, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

A/Commr Joe Buckle

Yes, we did calculate the number of samples that would be increased for the convicted offenders. I believe the number is around 4,400 additional samples.

9:15 a.m.

Officer in Charge, Management Services, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Anne-Elizabeth Charland

It would be 40,000 samples in addition. This is based on what we expect to receive.

9:15 a.m.

Liberal

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

Would you be the competent witnesses to ask about the provisions that would allow for DNA sampling for any investigation related to a suspected criminal offence, the communication of DNA information to any foreign entity or agency of a foreign entity, and on the controls that are put into place with the legislation or lack thereof with regard to that communication? Are you the witnesses I should be asking these questions to, or should there be other witnesses?

9:15 a.m.

Director General, Forensic Science and Identification Services, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

A/Commr Joe Buckle

Mr. Chair, I'll ask Mr. Bird to respond.

9:15 a.m.

David Bird Senior Legal Counsel, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Thank you, Ms. Jennings.

The answer is that the RCMP commissioner will be responsible for the transmission of the information that it has in the DNA data bank that it is allowed to transmit, so that the commissioner's delegates are the appropriate people to answer those questions, in my opinion. I tried--

9:15 a.m.

Liberal

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

So you're not in a position to comment on the wisdom of the provision in Bill C-18 that would allow the RCMP commissioner and his or her delegate to communicate information contained in the national DNA bank to any foreign entity or agency thereof.