Evidence of meeting #14 for Public Safety and National Security in the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was security.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Jim Judd  Director, Canadian Security Intelligence Service
  • William Sweeney  Senior Deputy Commissioner, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  • Myles Kirvan  Associate Deputy Minister, Deputy Minister's Office, Department of Public Safety
  • Marc-Arthur Hyppolite  Senior Deputy Commissioner, Correctional Service Canada
  • Stephen Rigby  President, Canada Border Services Agency

10:45 a.m.

Senior Deputy Commissioner, Correctional Service Canada

D/Commr Marc-Arthur Hyppolite

In terms of the link you make to mental health, obviously, when we occupy an offender, it is always better for the offender to do his time peacefully and then prepare himself and concentrate on the criminogenic...and the needs that have been identified in the correctional plan to prepare him for a safe and early release to society.

On the issue of the farms, obviously, as you know, we're one of the 21 agencies that have undergone a strategic review. We identified the farms and the work there as not being, strategically speaking, an enhancement to our capacity to deliver marketable skills to offenders. So we have decided to close the six farms around the country and invest in areas that are more strategic to our priorities and to link to the provision of better public safety services and make sure the offender, in the continuum of care, when released to society, can be employable and employed and have a meaningful job and be a law-abiding citizen.

10:45 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Garry Breitkreuz

Thank you very much.

10:45 a.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Is that your decision?

10:45 a.m.

Senior Deputy Commissioner, Correctional Service Canada

D/Commr Marc-Arthur Hyppolite

We have decided that within the strategic review. I believe a presentation was done to cabinet, and this measure was identified as a strategic move to enhance our capacity to do it--

10:45 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Garry Breitkreuz

Okay, thank you.

Mr. MacKenzie, please.

April 2nd, 2009 / 10:45 a.m.

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Oxford, ON

Thank you, Chair, and thank you to the officials for being here today. It's important to this committee.

I'd like to start with you, Mr. Judd, because some of my friends have spent a great deal of time talking about Mr. O'Brian's comment with respect to torture. My recollection is that you joined CSIS in late 2004, I believe, and you indicated how long you've been there. This government took office in January 2006. It's also my recollection that all of the issues in those inquiries dealing with torture occurred under a previous government, prior to 2006.

10:45 a.m.

Director, Canadian Security Intelligence Service

Jim Judd

In the early part of this decade, 2002, 2003, I think, yes.

10:45 a.m.

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Oxford, ON

Right. My friends would indicate that somehow this government condones torture. I believe the minister was explicit in what he said, I believe you were explicit in what you said, and I believe the RCMP who were here on Tuesday were very explicit in what they said. Has change occurred within your organization since you took over in late 2004 to today with respect to policy and practice in the information you receive or in just dealing in the general sense with torture?

10:45 a.m.

Director, Canadian Security Intelligence Service

Jim Judd

Yes. As I indicated earlier in my comments, we have implemented all of the recommendations in Mr. Justice O'Connor's inquiry, a number of which dealt with information-sharing internationally. A number of other changes have been made in our policies and our ministerial directives, which provide us with policy instruction from the minister. They have been, I think, completely revised and were reissued to us last year.

10:45 a.m.

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Oxford, ON

We heard what Mr. O'Brian said, and I'm certain that on this side we thought he was talking about hypothetical situations.

I have a little quote here and I'm wondering if it's not very much the same: “In a war on terror, I would argue, the issue is not whether we can avoid evil acts altogether, but whether we can succeed in choosing lesser evils and keep them from becoming greater ones.” This is a quote from The Yukon News on August 7, 2006. Does that sound like somebody also talking about a hypothetical situation, as opposed to a practical one? If I told you that quote came from the current leader of the Liberal Party, would it sound as though he were also talking hypothetically rather than practically?

10:50 a.m.

Director, Canadian Security Intelligence Service

Jim Judd

Hypothetically speaking and practically speaking, I don't engage in hypothetical answers to hypothetical questions.

10:50 a.m.

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Oxford, ON

I think that's extremely wise.

Mr. Rigby, I wonder if we could talk about border security, the changes that have occurred, and its budget issues. In particular, I would like to know about an increase in funding for border security, with the stand-alone positions, and how this is affecting your organization.

10:50 a.m.

President, Canada Border Services Agency

Stephen Rigby

We received funds a couple of budgets ago to implement both the arming initiatives and what is generally referred to as the doubling-up initiative. This was to ensure that we would not have any ports of entry with an officer working alone. I can report that both of those initiatives are on schedule, on budget. We're approximately halfway through the implementation of the doubling-up initiative, and we expect to see it completed in the next couple of years.

10:50 a.m.

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Oxford, ON

As a result of this, are you seeing fewer instances of border guards, CBSA officials, leaving their posts because of threats made to them?

10:50 a.m.

President, Canada Border Services Agency

Stephen Rigby

Both of these initiatives were designed, in part, to respond to concerns that our officers were working under difficult, sometimes dangerous, conditions. My sense of it is that our officers feel that these two initiatives have gone some way towards responding to these concerns.