House of Commons Hansard #157 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ports.

Topics

Canada Water Export Prohibition Act
Private Members' Business

6:45 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member for Kamloops deserves to be complimented for bringing the bill before us. It allows us to discuss the question of water policy.

Under a Liberal government in 1983 a study was commissioned on water which resulted in the Pearse report entitled "Currents of Change", an inquiry on federal water policy which saw the light of

day in 1986. Chapter 12 of the report contained a thorough analysis of water exports as one of the many components of water policy.

The Pearse report has been languishing since then. Its main recommendations are waiting either to be implemented in their original form or modified. In this sense Bill C-232 is extremely helpful because it reminds us that the whole question of water needs to be visited urgently.

The bill relates to the export of water. I concur with the main thrust of the private member's bill. However I cannot find, as he does, any reference in the NAFTA that would commit the Government of Canada to export water. My recollection is that there is only a reference to mineral water, as the parliamentary secretary indicated in his intervention. Nevertheless, if the member for Kamloops has a section of the NAFTA that specifically implies Canada's commitment to export water, I would be grateful if he were to bring it to our attention.

We are talking about the role of the International Joint Commission which needs to be revisited to determine whether it is timely and effective and, if not, whether it has to be recast in a new role.

We are also talking about whether our water research facilities, particularly with respect to fresh water, are adequate; whether we are using water in Canada in an efficient manner; whether the quality of water at the municipal level is adequate; and whether there are ways of improving it.

As the member for Laurentides indicated, we need to look at the trends in groundwater. If the trends are downward, as she and some hydrologists indicated, we need to look at the predictions for the long term so we can ensure the use of water is sustainable and future generations, the grandchildren of our grandchildren, will have access to groundwater in the same manner as we do despite the predicted increase in population.

The member for Kamloops said there was tacit approval for the sale of water to U.S. and Mexico. He seems to be stretching it a bit beyond belief. I do not see any evidence of that. The strong point of the bill is that it draws our attention to the fact that whenever there is an interbasin transfer of water there is an impact on the ecosystem. There is an impact on plants, animals and even sometimes on the micro climate.

Therefore interbasin transfers should be a thing of the past and ought never to be considered again, if at all possible, as was the case with the not lamented disappearance of the Grand Canal proposal. That proposal received under the Conservative regime of 1984 to 1994 a grant to facilitate its fulfilment. It was one of the greatest misuses of public money I can remember.

I welcomed the parliamentary secretary indicating that a review of water policy was currently taking place. That was the best kept secret in town. Nevertheless it is a good one We welcome that fact. We all look forward to the phase when the review will become open, which will then allow parliamentarians, the public, interested parties and so on to participate.

In discussing the management of water and how humans relate to it, one cannot help but make a brief reference to dam construction as the member for Thunder Bay did so eloquently in his intervention. We all hope the construction of dams remains a thing of the past. It has had its phase but we must learn to operate and function in relation to water within the means made available to us without interfering and damaging nature in the way we have done so far.

In this respect I can only thing of the horrendous damage to the native economy that has been caused by the construction of the Great Whale Dam in northern Quebec and the proposal which fortunately was suspended thereafter because of strong opposition to it.

The times of megaprojects are over. At least I hope they are over and we can manage our requirements for water in a more thoughtful and careful manner, being aware of the ecological impact.

We need to examine the pricing, quality and management of water; the international questions including the question of water export; and the role of the institutions we have established over time to manage better the waters we share with our neighbours.

In conclusion, I cannot stress too strongly the necessity of the Pearse report finally being made the object of a thorough review and a policy being announced that will implement the recommendations contained therein.

I would ask that the member for Oakville-Milton be allowed to speak for 10 minutes.

Canada Water Export Prohibition Act
Private Members' Business

6:55 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The member for Davenport has proposed that there be unanimous consent to permit the member to speak for 10 minutes. Is there unanimous consent?

Canada Water Export Prohibition Act
Private Members' Business

6:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Canada Water Export Prohibition Act
Private Members' Business

6:55 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Oakville—Milton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to oppose the private member's bill put forward by the member for Kamloops. It seems appropriate that a bill to oppose water export has been introduced in the House by the member from British Columbia. No other province has figured as prominently over the past three decades in proposals to export fresh water from this country. He is justifiably concerned about this state of affairs, which I would like to review briefly.

In the 1960s the most publicized of all the mega schemes to redistribute continental water resources was the North American Water and Power Alliance, sometimes called NAWAPA, designed by the Ralph Parsons engineering firm of Los Angeles. It was premised on the capture of headwaters of the Yukon, Skeena, Peace, Columbia and Fraser Rivers and their storage in the huge Rocky Mountain trench of British Columbia before diversion elsewhere.

Geologists questioned the capacity of the trench to bear the weight of such a massive reservoir without increasing earthquake and slide hazards. In a mountainous province where habitable lowland is at a premium, planners were reluctant to take the risks that such a mega scheme implied. Agricultural acreage, wildlife habitat and communities as large as Prince George could be flooded out. West-east rail and road links between B.C. and the rest of Canada could be disrupted by this creation of such a huge reservoir. At the time, British Columbians were already experiencing enough valley floods in projects serving the Columbia River treaty and Peace River power projects and so the NAWAPA scheme was rejected.

In the mid-1980s, however, the provincial government in Victoria decided to entertain another form of fresh water export, inviting applications for marine transport from streams in its coastal region. When drought struck, American southwest communities like Santa Barbara looked north for supplemental supplies and B.C. entrepreneurs were quick to respond with supertanker proposals. Just as the first contract was about to be signed 1991, however, the province was forced by public controversy to declare a moratorium on this development. Problems included aboriginal land claims and a proliferation of applications by various proponents to draw fresh water from the same source region. As well there were concerns about navigation hazards and fisheries protection. This moratorium was replaced in 1995 by provincial legislation banning bulk water export of any kind.

This 1995 legislation effectively scuttled another interbasin transfer scheme. Multinational Water and Power Incorporated planned to divert 1 million acre-feet of flow from the North Thompson River to the Columbia River where it would flow across the international boundary and then be sent by pipeline to the Shasta reservoir in California. This was the proposal which motivated the hon. member for Kamloops to rally his constituency and neighbouring communities in opposition and to table well over 100,000 signatures in this House toward that end. Had the proposal not fallen flat among British Columbians, it might well have had a difficult time anyway passing existing federal hurdles, namely the approvals required under the International River Improvements Act and the Navigable Waters Protection Act and the Fisheries Act.

Meanwhile smaller exports of water have proceeded in several forms. Treated water from greater Vancouver regional district pipelines serves the community of Point Roberts in Washington. Ground water supplies in the northern Okanagan Valley are trucked in bulk to bottling plants south of the border. And of course bottled water is exported. These represent negligible volumes at present compared with available resources.

There is no conflict between the B.C. legislation and the federal water policy which was tabled in this House in 1987. The policy opposes large scale water export, as by diversion of lakes or rivers, but allows for consideration of small scale exports under provincial licensing, providing that federal interests such as navigation, fisheries, aboriginal rights and external trade and treaties are taken into account.

The Government of Canada therefore supports B.C.'s decision to prohibit the large scale or bulk export of fresh water from the provinces. The province's legislative initiative will encourage a growing water bottling industry and at the same time protect its salmon fishery and other public values.

As the hon. member for Kamloops suggested, the last chapter of the water export story has not been written. Further proposals will appear in response to international crisis or opportunities. If British Columbia has passed legislation specifically to address the water export issue to its own satisfaction, the federal government and other provinces have not taken the same path.

The issue and its many dimensions continue to evolve. It is more than likely that the British Columbia approach, which simply prohibits bulk water export, will not be the solution chosen by all other jurisdictions in Canada. Newfoundland, for example, has decided to take advantage of the latitude allowed by the federal water policy to explore small scale trade opportunities from supertanker exports.

Ontario realizes that protection of its Great Lakes advantages depends less on unilateral declarations against exports than on forming a common bond with neighbouring state governments in this international drainage system.

It is clear that the hon. member's bill is too narrow to resolve the longstanding water export issue. It addresses one prominent threat to Canada's water heritage, proposals for the diversion of lakes and rivers to flow to the United States. But it ignores other means by which water can be exported and it does not offer a framework of national applicability suitable for adoption by the Government of Canada.

I suggest that it is not necessary to rush Bill C-232 into law in order to save Canada's water resources from being lost to foreign markets. There is enough time for the federal government to consult with provinces and public interests about a more comprehensive approach that would apply across the country, one which is sensitive to the various water resources of our various provinces

and territories and one which will sustain Canada's regional and national advantages over the long term.

Canada Water Export Prohibition Act
Private Members' Business

7:05 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The time provided for the consideration of Private Members' Business has now expired. Pursuant to Standing Order 93, the order is dropped to the bottom of the order of precedence on the Order Paper.

Citizenship Act
Government Orders

April 16th, 1997 / 7:05 p.m.

Saint-Henri—Westmount
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

moved that Bill C-84, an act to amend the Citizenship Act and the Immigration Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in this House to support what I feel to be an important and necessary piece of legislation.

Recently, it became apparent that we needed to strengthen the provisions of the Citizenship and Immigration Acts . The Federal Court identified this problem and brought it to the attention of the Government. Now we intend to fix it. That is what good government is all about: continually seeking to improve the institutions that serve the public and the legislation that governs society.

The issue addressed by Bill C-84 is a technical one which potentially affects only a very small number of people. Nevertheless, it is vital that we address it now, as it concerns two things which are of supreme importance to the people of Canada: national security and our citizenship.

It is clear to me that Canadians of all backgrounds and all parts of the country value their citizenship. This is a distinction which is very precious. Being a Canadian means belonging to a very special home. It means holding a passport which is respected and honoured around the world. And it means sharing a colourful national history and a beautiful and iverse country.

Being a Canadian citizen is a special right which we share. Every year, many immigrants come to this country with the hope of one day becoming Canadians themselves. We are happy to share our citizenship with those who want it and work hard to deserve it.

But there is always a small number of people who do not deserve this distinction. There are a few individuals whose actions threaten to tarnish and diminish the value of our citizenship. And there are those who would use Canadian citizenship as a shield for their subversive activity. Why should we allow them to become citizens, or even permanent residents? No, we should not. I am sure we are all in agreement about that.

But the reality of the situation is that we might have no choice in certain circumstances.

I know that this sounds surprising. But given the problem in the law the courts have identified, there are situations in which we might not be able to prevent men and women who are security risks from becoming permanent residents or citizens.

Citizenship would be granted under the existing legislation despite the best judgment of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, the Government and the people of Canada.

That is why I am standing before you today, and why I feel that the House must support this Bill. Our citizenship is precious, and we must strive to protect it.

One of the primary roles of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service is to protect the national security of Canada. This is an important organization which serves this country very well. But in a democratic and free country like ours it is important to have checks and balances in place to ensure that our law enforcement agencies conduct themselves in a just and fair manner. We impose safeguards to protect the rights and freedoms of all our citizens.

One important safeguard is the Security Intelligence Review Committee. It monitors CSIS activities on behalf of Parliament and the public. Over the years its members have performed their functions professionally and admirably. Routine security checks are an important part of the approval process in the granting of both citizenship and permanent resident status. There are provisions in both the Citizenship Act and Immigration Act to deny citizenship and permanent resident status if in the opinion of both the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Solicitor General of Canada there are reasonable grounds to believe that an applicant is linked to organized crime, poses a security threat or was a senior member of a government that engaged in terrorism, flagrant human rights violations, war crimes or crimes against humanity.

In such instances they may make a report to the Security Intelligence Review Committee and ask for a review of the case. An individual can be declared a threat only if the committee agrees. This system works well. It achieves a fair balance between the rights of the individuals concerned and the need to protect the Canadian public from potential harm.

There are occasions when the committee may be unable to execute its duties. There are exceptional cases where members of the committee may find themselves in conflict of interest situations or somehow open to a perception of bias. Under the current system

there are no provisions to deal with this eventuality. The result can be very disturbing.

If, for instance, the committee is unable to render a decision in a citizenship case because of the perception of bias the minister would have no choice but to grant citizenship to a person who could compromise our country's national security. This is clearly unacceptable.

The purpose of Bill C-84 is to deal with this potential situation. While the cases we are discussing are rare, we cannot simply ignore them. When we are talking about security issues we must be vigilant and act decisively. We want to put in place an alternative solution that would serve to replace the Security Intelligence Review Committee when that body believes itself to be incapable of performing its duties.

The bill proposes to give the governor in council the power to appoint a retired judge to perform the review committee's duties when this occurs. This judge will have the same powers and obligations that are accorded to the review committee.

It is that simple. We need to have a mechanism in place to deal with relatively rare but potentially very serious situations. This will not affect the existing criteria for refusing people entry into Canada. This legislation will not diminish the powers of the CSIS or the review committee in any way.

What we are proposing to do today is simply correct potential procedural irregularities. It is a small step, but an important one.

We have found a problem and are taking steps to fix it. This bill is an efficient and necessary measure. I am told that opposition parties will be introducing amendments to improve the bill. We will be pleased to support improvements in the interest of all Canadians.

Citizenship Act
Government Orders

7:15 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak today on Bill C-84, an act to amend the Citizenship Act and the Immigration Act.

This bill was introduced on February 20 by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and will be passed today, with our consent, on second and third reading. The minister has just expressed her thanks to the official opposition for its co-operation. You have already seen in the past four years that the Bloc Quebecois is a responsible party.

We are a sovereignist party, and Quebecers have entrusted us with the role of official opposition. We have fulfilled our mandate with a great deal of ability and a serious attitude, which is why today we are co-operating in the passage of this bill, which we feel is an important one. We also agree to this bill being fast tracked.

The amendments to the legislation mainly address the possibility for a retired judge appointed by the Governor in Council to replace, and therefore perform the duties of, the security intelligence review committee, or SIRC, when the latter is of the opinion that it cannot fulfil its duties, because of apparent lack of impartiality, conflict of interest, or any other reason deemed necessary.

The government has just told us that these legislative changes are intended to ensure the security of the country. Should a situation arise in which an individual constitutes a threat to the security of Canada, SIRC carries out an investigation in accordance with section 19 of the Citizenship Act. The committee then reports to the Governor in Council, who decides whether citizenship is to be granted or not. In the case of an application for permanent residence, the process is the same, except that the decision comes from the Federal Court.

Bill C-84 is presented as an alternative solution, when SIRC cannot perform its duties, for instance by reason of lack of impartiality. Under Bill C-84, the governor in council may appoint a retired judge for a term of three to five years to perform the duties of the review committee set out in the Citizenship Act and the Immigration Act.

The bill can be retroactive. It includes transitional provisions aimed at recognition of a legal decision rendered with respect to the jurisdiction of SIRC before the coming into force of the bill. The decision must, however, be definitive and without appeal.

According to section 19 of the Citizenship Act, the Minister may make a report to the Review Committee, when of the opinion that a person should not be granted citizenship, administered the oath of citizenship, or issued a certificate of renunciation.

In such cases there must be reasonable grounds to believe that the person concerned will engage in activity that constitutes a threat to the security of Canada or that is part of a pattern of criminal activity planned and organized by a number of persons acting in concert in furtherance of the commission of any offence that may be punishable under any Act of Parliament by way of indictment.

The minister shall, within ten days after a report is made by CSIS, send a notice informing the person concerned of the report. The review committee shall investigate the grounds on which the report is based. The review committee shall, as soon as practicable after a report is made to it, send to the person with respect to whom the report is made a statement summarizing such information available to it. The review committee shall, on completion of an investigation, make a report to the minister and provide the complainant with the conclusion of the report.

Bill C-84 follows on the heels of the Zundel case. Zundel, a German citizen, applied for Canadian citizenship in 1993. On the basis of information obtained by CSIS, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration sent a report to the Security Intelligence Review Committee stating there were reasonable grounds to believe that Zundel constituted a threat to the security of Canada.

Zundel was advised that the SIRC had been ordered to investigate him. If the report was confirmed, his application for citizenship might be turned down, which was the case. Zundel is a person with extreme rightwing views who denies the existence of the Holocaust. He is a member of so-called hate organizations and is therefore a threat to the security of Canada. These conclusions can be found in a report on the Heritage Front. And as you know, that particular case attracted the attention of the media.

Zundel therefore asked the Federal Court to prohibit the SIRC from conducting an investigation on the grounds of a reasonable apprehension of bias.

Zundel's counsel then filed an application for judicial review on the grounds of this apprehension of bias on the part of the SIRC. The federal court judge issued an order prohibiting the SIRC from continuing its investigation, on the grounds of bias. The federal court therefore upheld the appeal by Zundel's counsel. Furthermore, the judge suggested how the legislation could be amended to deal with such situations.

So far, the minister was not in a position to reject Ernst Zundel's application for citizenship. He might be forced to grant him his citizenship, even if this individual might be a threat to national security.

The Bloc Quebecois agrees with the bill but obtained the consent of the government party for moving two amendments. The first one concerns the appointment of a retired judge and reads as follows: "After consultation by the Prime Minister of Canada with the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons and the leader in the House of Commons, of each party having at least twelve members in that House, the Governor in Council may".

With this amendment we want to avoid any hint of patronage with respect to appointments made by this government, as has happened in the case of commissioners appointed to the IRRB.

We also agree with the amendment moved by the Reform Party.

The second amendment by the Bloc Quebecois reads as follows: "The person appointed under subsection 39.1(1) must, not later than September 30 in each fiscal year, submit to the Solicitor General of Canada a report of the activities of the person during the preceding fiscal year and the Solicitor General of Canada must cause the report to be laid before each House of Parliament on any of the first fifteen days on which that House is sitting after the day the Solicitor General of Canada receives it."

I agree with the points made earlier by the minister. This individual denies the existence of the Holocaust in which more than six million Jews were exterminated by the Nazis during the second world war. I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the Jewish community for its exceptional contribution to Canada and Quebec. I visited the Museum of the Holocaust recently in Washington, and I again realized of why we must not let this happen again today.

For all these reasons, I support Bill C-84.

Citizenship Act
Government Orders

7:25 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith Surrey—White Rock—South Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak on Bill C-84. Although the bill is very simple and straightforward, it concerns the Citizenship Act and the Immigration Act.

The bill would allow a retired judge to review cases where SIRC is deemed incapable of fulfilling its responsibilities. While the bill is very straightforward its history is not. Before landed immigrants obtain Canadian citizenship their backgrounds are reviewed. Some individuals applying for a Canadian citizenship have involved themselves in activities that can be deemed to be a threat to the security of Canada. Therefore, there is a process in place to prevent these individuals from becoming Canadian citizens, as there should be.

Sections 19 and 20 of the Citizenship Act define the procedure that is to be followed. These procedures are: If the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration is of the opinion that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the applicant for Canadian citizenship will engage in activities that will constitute a threat to the security of Canada, the minister may make a report to this effect to the Security Intelligence Review Committee or SIRC as it is more commonly known. Within 10 days of making this report to SIRC, the minister shall notify the applicant of the report. SIRC is then required to conduct an investigation. The applicant is sent a statement of circumstances that sets out the grounds that give rise to the minister's report.

Following its investigation, SIRC then reports the results to the governor in council. The governor in council may then make a declaration that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the applicant will engage in activity that constitutes a threat to the security of Canada.

Such a declaration precludes the applicant from being granted Canadian citizenship but only for a two-year period. The applicant can then make another application. What constitutes a threat to the

security of Canada and how SIRC conducts its investigation is all laid out in the Canadian Security Intelligence Services Act.

Section 48(2) of the CSIS act states that during the course of the SIRC investigation, the applicant, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and CSIS may all present evidence and make representation either personally or by counsel.

I would like to refer to the Zündel case. This case which has inspired C-34 concerns the application of Ernst Zündel. Mr. Zündel has obtained enough notoriety that I do not believe that it is essential to repeat his claims to infamy.

Suffice it to say that Mr. Zündel immigrated to Canada on September 2, 1958. On October 24, 1993 he applied for Canadian citizenship. On August 5, 1995 he was notified by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration at that time that the minister had made a report to SIRC pursuant to subsection 19(2) of the Citizenship Act. The letter informed Mr. Zündel that there were reasonable grounds to believe that he would engage in activity that constitutes a threat to the security of Canada. The letter also stated that the minister made his determination based on information and advice provided by CSIS.

On August 31, 1995 the executive director of SIRC, Maurice Archdeacon wrote to Mr. Zündel advising him that SIRC had received the minister's report concerning his application for citizenship. The letter also advised that SIRC would send Mr. Zündel a summary of information available to SIRC to permit him to be as fully informed as possible of the circumstances giving rise to the minister's report.

On October 30, 1995 SIRC sent a letter to Mr. Zündel advising him that a review committee was conducting an investigation and included a statement of circumstances that gave rise to the minister's report. The letter advised that the activities which CSIS believed he would engage in were those described in paragraph 2(c) of the CSIS act which defines threat to the security of Canada to mean "activities within or relating to Canada directed toward or in support of the threat or use of acts of serious violence against persons or property for the purpose of achieving a political objective within Canada or a foreign state".

On November 22, 1995 counsel for SIRC and others met with Mr. Zündel and his lawyer to explain the investigative process and answer any questions.

In a letter dated December 11, 1995 Mr. Archdeacon wrote to Mr. Zundel's counsel to advise him that SIRC was prepared to proceed with the hearing part of the investigation. A number of adjournments postponed the hearing phase of SIRC's investigation, but then in a letter of February 26, 1996 Mr. Zundel's counsel requested another adjournment so he could file an application for judicial review on the grounds of a reasonable apprehension of bias on the part of SIRC.

The basis of Mr. Zundel's allegation of bias was a report written by SIRC entitled "The Heritage Front Affair". In a letter dated February 28 Mr. Archdeacon refused the request. On March 21 a motion was brought before the Federal Court of Canada seeking a stay of proceedings concerning the SIRC hearing that was scheduled for March 25 and an order for an expedited hearing ofMr. Zundel's application for judicial review.

Madam Justice McGillis refused to grant the stay of proceedings but she granted the motion for an expedited hearing. On June 10 and 11 the application for judicial review was heard before Justice Heald of the federal court in Ottawa.

After dealing with a number of procedural motions the court got down to the narrow issue of the case to decide if SIRC should be prohibited from carrying out the proceedings mandated by section 19 of the Citizenship Act. First the court had to determine what test for bias was applicable to the case while acknowledging that all administrative boards owe a duty of fairness to those whose interests they must determine. The courts have recognized that the duty of fairness varies depending on the nature and function of the particular board.

For example, a board that performs policy formation should not be susceptible to a charge of bias just because it expresses opinions prior to its hearings. On the other hand, administrative boards that are primarily adjudicative in their functions are expected to comply with the standard applicable to the courts. In arguments before the courts counsel for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration argued that SIRC's role is closer to a policy formation board, while Mr. Zundel's counsel argued that it was primarily adjudicative and therefore attracted the higher standard of impartiality mandated by the informed bystander test.

In determining where on this broad spectrum SIRC's function fell, the judge reviewed SIRC's mandate under section 19 of the Citizenship Act, which in the words of SIRC's executive director was to conduct an investigation to determine whether there were reasonable grounds to believe that Zundel would engage in activities that constituted a threat to the security of Canada.

The judge noted that while the applicant, the minister and CSIS could make representation, SIRC's investigation would be conducted in private. Once SIRC completed its investigation it would make a report to the governor in council. It is the governor in council that upon SIRC's report decides whether or not to declare there are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr, Zundel would engage in activity considered a threat to the security of Canada.

The court pointed out that while it is not disputed it was the role of the governor in council and not SIRC to make the final decision,

SIRC's role could not be understated. It is SIRC that conducts the hearing at which it assesses the witnesses and weighs their evidence. It is SIRC that receives the submissions of the interested parties. It is SIRC that takes all the available information and issues the report.

Since Mr. Zundel could not make representation before the governor in council, the only opportunity for him to challenge the allegations against him was in front of SIRC. The court determined that while SIRC was not the ultimate decision maker as to whether there were reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. Zundel would engage in activity that constituted a threat to the security of Canada, SIRC played a vital and paramount role in that determination.

In the judge's view the function of SIRC at least in relation to section 19 of the Citizenship Act came closer to the adjudicative end of the function. Thus it attracted the standard of impartiality that was required by the informed bystander test. Once the federal court came to this conclusion it was then faced with the process of applying the informed bystander test for bias to the Zundel case.

Mr. Zundel claimed that the view of SIRC in the Heritage Front report gave rise to reasonable apprehension of bias against him. While the court ruled that the accuracy of the content of the Heritage Front report was irrelevant to the issues, it was important to note that SIRC offered the report and made the statements contained therein. In other words the court did not have to decide whether SIRC's findings in the Heritage Front report were valid. What was important to this case was the fact that SIRC made those findings.

Having been involved for over 19 months in the study of the Heritage Front report, it was very evident to me that SIRC had made statements about Mr. Zundel which were very biased in their nature. The court quickly found that the statements of SIRC in the Heritage Front report were extremely similar to those used by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration in another incident. It is not terribly surprising because CSIS is a source of information both for the Department of Citizenship and Immigration and SIRC. It was evident that the conclusions in the evidence given by SIRC from the information received from CSIS led to the bias in the report that was reported.

The Reform Party believes some individuals have landed immigrant status in Canada who should be denied Canadian citizenship. Bill C-84 is an attempt by the government to undo the difficulties created by the Security Intelligence Review Committee overstating in the report and being too political in its discussions and deliberations. It has placed the government in the position where it has to protect Canadians and Canadian citizenship by tightening the rules and regulations to allow a retired judge to take the job that SIRC should have been able to do on its own.

Citizenship Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Citizenship Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(Motion agreed to, bill read the second time and the House went into committee thereon, Mr. Kilgour in the chair.)

(Clause 1 agreed to.)

On clause 2

Citizenship Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bourassa, QC

moved:

That Bill C-84, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 21 on page 1 with the following:

"19.1 (1) After consultation by the Prime Minister of Canada with the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons and the leader in the House of Commons of each party having at least twelve members in that House, the Governor in Council may"

(Amendment agreed to.)

Citizenship Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith Surrey—White Rock—South Langley, BC

moved:

That Bill C-84, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing line 6 on page 2 with the following:

Remuneration

and expenses

"(3) The appointed person shall be paid, for each day that the person performs duties under this Act, such"

(Amendment agreed to.)

Citizenship Act
Government Orders

7:35 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bourassa, QC

moved:

That Bill C-84, in Clause 2, be amended by adding after line 22 on page 2 the following:

"19.3 The person appointed under subsection 19.1(1) must, not later than September 30 in each fiscal year, submit to the Solicitor Gneral of Canada a report of the activities of the person during the preceding fiscal year and the Solicitor General of Canada must cause the report to be laid before each House of Parliament on any of the first fifteen days on which that House is sitting after the day the Solicitor General of Canada receives it."

(Amendment agreed to.)

(Clause 2, as amended, agreed to.)

(Clauses 3 and 4 agreed to.)

On Clause 5

Citizenship Act
Government Orders

7:40 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bourassa, QC

moved:

That Bill C-84, in Clause 5, be amened by replacing line 17 on page 3 with the following:

"39.1 (1) After consultation by the Prime Minister of Canada with the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons and the leader in the House of Commons of each party having at least twelve members in that House, the Governor in Council may"

(Amendment agreed to.)

Citizenship Act
Government Orders

7:40 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith Surrey—White Rock—South Langley, BC

moved:

That Bill C-84, in Clause 5, be amended by replacing line 27 on page 3 with the following: Remuneration and expenses

"(3) The appointed person shall be paid, for each day that the person performs duties under this Act as, such"

Amendment agreed to.