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Track Irwin

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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is justice.

Liberal MP for Mount Royal (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 41.40% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Situation in Iraq September 16th, 2014

Yes, Mr. Speaker, it is crucial to have broader involvement of Arab and Muslim countries. Indeed, a significant number of them have indicated that they support the United States initiative, but they have to be also involved in concrete support. That includes, as I said, intelligence gathering and it includes providing an umbrella, a political as well as military umbrella, so that this is not looked upon as being the U.S. or the west against Arabs or Islam, but it is the U.S. in concert with the Arab League, in concert with countries constituting the Arab League, that this becomes a true, internationalized alliance, which is really an alliance against radical evil, and an alliance for the purpose of protecting the human security of us all, of the Arab and Muslim countries in the Middle East as well as countries in Europe and North America.

Situation in Iraq September 16th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for her question because it gives me occasion to reaffirm what I have said in the House on a number of occasions, including with respect to these take-note debates. We should be signing and ratifying this treaty and undertaking all other measures in addition to that to prevent the smuggling of arms and to sanction those countries that are engaged in the arms trade, which regrettably we have not been doing as much needs to be done.

Situation in Iraq September 16th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, there are a number of ways that this can be done. There can be intelligence gathering. We need to fuel the intelligence gathering with respect to matters of criminal acts. We need to refer, as was recommended with regard to Syria but then vetoed by Russia and China, both those from Syria as well as those from radical terrorist groups to the International Criminal Court for investigation and prosecution. That was not done. The exercise of the veto frustrated that. I might add that even without a veto we would get UN Security Council resolutions frustrated.

I mentioned that, for example, Hezbollah now has over 100,000 missiles. UN Security Council resolution 1701, which concluded the Israel-Hezbollah war in 2006, called for demilitarization at the time, called for the disarming of Hezbollah at the time. What happened was that rather than get the disarming of the terrorist militia of Hezbollah, we got in fact an intensification of its rearmament.

Part of the problem is that we have been witnessing a culture of impunity with regard to these UN Security Council resolutions, and we need to mobilize the international community to ensure that these resolutions are implemented and not find a situation where they are not only breached but in fact mocked in such a way that the very disarmament that was supposed to have been achieved is replaced by a gross armament and then further terrorist acts.

Situation in Iraq September 16th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned, I recently returned from a conference on terrorism that was held in Herzliya in Israel and the description there was, for example, of a triangular terrorist threat in the north, which emanates from Hezbollah. We should not forget that while Hamas has 10,000 missiles, it is estimated that Hezbollah at this point has over 100,000 missiles that could reach any point in Israel. Therefore, there is a terrorist threat that emanates from Hezbollah.

We also have al-Qaeda elements in the north. We have al-Nusra elements also in Syria. We have ISIS of course centred in Syria. Therefore, we have even more than a triangular threat in the north. We have a triangular threat in the south coming from Hamas, from Islamic Jihad, from al-Qaeda in Sanaa. We have a triangular threat from the east coming from Iraq, coming possibly from incursions from Jordan and coming, of course, from behind it all, Iran, which as I said finances, trains and arms in this instance both Hamas even though it is Sunni and Hezbollah even though it is Shiite. We have Iran, which is a state sponsor of terrorism, financing, arming, training, encouraging all these non-state radical terrorist actors.

We have to have an appreciation of all that. What I mentioned with regard to Israel is also true, though not in the same scale of threat but nonetheless, for Jordan. Jordan is also threatened in terms of al-Qaeda elements in Jordan, ISIS elements there as well, al-Nusra Front as well. We have to protect the stability of states like Jordan, like Lebanon, like Israel, like Saudi Arabia at this point, which is finding itself under threat. Ironically enough—

Situation in Iraq September 16th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I rise tonight to join in this important debate on Canada's military role in Iraq.

We are engaging in this discussion as our military is being deployed to help counter ISIS, the Islamic State, which has taken control of large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria, killing and terrorizing civilian populations, targeting Shia Muslims and various minorities, including Kurds, Christians and Yazidis, and engaging in a whole gamut of international criminality, be it ethnic cleansing, genocidal acts, plundering ancient and protected sites, or executing journalists in a gruesome fashion, the beheadings videotaped and posted online for all to see.

Of course, we are all disgusted and enraged by such barbarism. The Islamic State must be stopped, and Canada should join our allies in order to do so. It is encouraging to see that many countries have declared their support and have committed resources to help defeat the Islamic State and restore peace and stability to Iraq and the Middle East. I am sure we will offer our full support and recognition to those who contribute to this important international mission.

As has been mentioned this evening several times, I hope that the government will provide more information about the role the Canadian military will be playing in Iraq, notably the timeline for deployment.

As we examine and debate Canada's role in combatting ISIS, it is critical that we take the time to review our role in Iraq through a wide-angle lens, indeed through an international prism. ISIS is really metaphor and message of a larger evil. Indeed, even if we were to defeat ISIS tomorrow, the global radical jihadist threat would remain. As such, we must consider how ISIS came to be and recognize the nature of the multiple threats it poses, understand the broader global context of the Islamic terrorist threat, and appreciate the radical ideology underpinning it, as I said, of which ISIS is only one part.

For example, in the spring of 2011 in the Syrian city of Daraa, 20 young Syrians, at the time, painted graffiti, expressing their desire for freedom and reform, what came to be known as a peace and dignity revolution.

When they were arrested and tortured, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in protest, chanting “peaceful, peaceful”. In response, President Bashar al-Assad's regime fired into demonstrators. This was followed by artillery and tank assaults against civilian neighbourhoods; the rape, torture and murder of their inhabitants; the bombing of schools and hospitals; and the use of cluster munitions, thermobaric weapons and chemical weapons against civilian populations.

At the time, those of us who argued that what was needed was the implementation of the responsibility to protect principle, which was not only a matter of engaging, and not even necessarily military action, but which included expanding and enhancing global sanctions, establishing humanitarian quarters and civilian protection zones, holding the Syrian leadership accountable for their crimes under international law, and providing defensive weapons to the moderate opposition at the time.

Regrettably, those of us who recommended that kind of protective intervention were told that any intervention would lead to more sectarian violence, the likelihood of civil war, the jihadization of the conflict, and the like.

Regrettably, what happened as a result of all this was that jihadization and the beginnings of ISIS took place, not because we intervened but because we did not intervene. Indeed, one of the consequences of allowing the Syrian conflict to fester, of not assisting at that time what was in effect a peaceful protest, was not only that ISIS was able to take root but to develop and strengthen and spread out.

Three years ago, the world did not engage in the protective humanitarian measures that were required in Syria. Today we find ourselves sending personnel to confront a violent terrorist jihadist group that grew in part out of our own inaction and has gone beyond Syria. Moreover, ISIS represents a composite of threats, not only to Iraq and Syria but to the broader Middle East, a clear and present danger to the stability of the Middle East and indeed the international community.

It has, of course, been violently taking control of Syrian and Iraqi territory, threatening and brutalizing civilian populations as it advances, but ISIS has also been a destabilizing force in the Middle East as a whole, particularly in countries bordering Syria and Iraq. Not only do countries such as Jordan and Lebanon continue to deal with an influx of refugees from neighbouring conflicts, but some support for ISIS has even been found to exist in these countries themselves.

Indeed, The New York Times has reported that shops in Lebanon sell ISIS paraphernalia, and ISIS flags can be seen flying on the streets in the Lebanese city of Tripoli, near the Syrian border. There has been some protest support with regard to ISIS in Jordan. Therefore, as appears to be happening, the effort to combat ISIS must also include support and contributions from Muslim countries in the Middle East to ensure that its ideology and its physical presence do not spread.

As well, ISIS poses a further threat in that it has attracted, by some estimates, as many as 12,000 foreign fighters. Its own force has now increased and is now believed to be triple the size it was originally and is estimated to have over 30,000 people. These foreign fighters include many from the west, including Canada. It is disturbing to learn of Canadian youth from Calgary or Timmins becoming engulfed by the hateful ideology of ISIS and joining the group's murderous campaign.

Moreover, the possibility that some of these individuals could one day return to Canada and seek to put their pernicious ideology into practice on Canadian soil cannot itself be discounted. Importantly, therefore, the Canadian Council of Imams, along with other leaders of Canada's Muslim community, have condemned, in their words, the Islamic state's “narrow, bigoted, dogmatic distortions” and have called for “meaningful discussion, to engage preventative strategies and to find meaningful solutions to this growing threat in our country”. Indeed, such efforts must be an important part of our anti-ISIS campaign, along with the military measures we are discussing tonight.

Thus, ISIS threatens Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the broader Middle East, and the international community at large and has even succeeded, on occasion, as I mentioned, in recruiting Canadians to join its cause. These threats must be met with the requisite response, military and otherwise. Canada must play its part, and the people of Canada should know what part we have signed up to play.

However, the unfortunate reality is that even if we succeed in defeating ISIS, as I mentioned, the global jihadist terrorist threat will persist. We must view ISIS and our efforts to combat it in that broader context, recognizing the similarities between ISIS and other jihadist groups and understanding that it is but one part of a larger terrorist threat.

I recently returned, for example, from an international conference hosted by the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center near Herzliya. Among the speakers and attendees were Iraqi Christians and Yazidis, moderate members of the Syrian opposition, and numerous international experts on terrorism and counterterrorism. One of the recurring themes of the conference was that we face not only one murderous radical Islamist group and ideology, such as ISIS, but an international network of radical Islamic terrorist ideologies. In the Middle East alone, in addition to ISIS, there are other radical Sunni groups, including al Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria, and Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, and radical Shiite groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, along with the leading state sponsor of terror, Iran, which has notably trained, supported, and financed both Sunni and Shiite radical extremist groups; for example, both Hezbollah and Hamas.

In Africa, groups such as Boko Haram in Nigeria and Al-Shabaab in Somalia are likewise violent and dangerous. Indeed, there are likely more than 40 non-state radical Islamic terrorist groups operating in some two dozen countries. As British Prime Minister David Cameron recently said, these groups espouse “a poisonous and extremist ideology that I believe we'll be fighting for years and probably decades”.

Indeed, another of the recurring themes of the conference was the need not only to fight terrorist groups militarily but to combat this poisonous ideology that underpins and nourishes their totalitarian objectives. This fight, therefore, must occur not only in the theatres of conflict, such as Iraq and Syria, but also here at home, where necessary, where some of our youth may be targeted for recruitment. To this end, as I indicated, co-operation and engagement with Muslim communities and community leaders in the west are essential.

Another important way of combatting such terrorism is cutting off its funding. In addition to Iran, Turkey and Qatar have become significant sponsors of terrorism, notably of ISIS and Hamas, and so diplomatic and financial measures could dovetail with military ones, choking off financial support for terrorist groups.

Perhaps one of the most significant things that could be done to combat terrorism is to ensure that it does not succeed to begin with, that it is not rewarded, validated, and nowhere legitimated while groups that do not adopt terrorist tactics, such as Tibetans, do not receive our attention and support. Every payment of ransom, every prisoner swap, every moral equivalence or offer of legitimacy, every unnecessary concession to a terrorist group encourages still more terror.

Indeed, for example, suggestions that Hamas should be treated as a mere political party or placed on a morally equivalent plane with democracies that fight it is itself part of a pattern of indulgence that only encourages more terrorism. For example, if we are to combat Hamas as a terrorist group, we should engage in what I have elsewhere referred to as a kind of “six D” strategy, which would work as well with regard to other terrorist groups in that regard.

The first step is demilitarization. The second is the disarming of the terrorist militias, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the like. The third is the dismantling of the terrorist infrastructure. The fourth is the defunding of its sources. The fifth is the detoxification of its ideology. The sixth is development—in other words, a reciprocal response to these forms of demilitarization and dismantling of the terrorist infrastructure would be a massive program for reconstruction, relief and development.

At the same time, we must ensure that groups that shun terrorist tactics receive our attention and support. For example, while parliaments around the world debate how to approach ISIS, while the subject will undoubtedly receive much attention at the upcoming UN General Assembly, and while it should be the subject of a UN Human Rights Council emergency debate, as I and others have proposed recently, one would be hard pressed to find a parliamentary debate about the plight of the Tibetan people, who have been facing repression for decades, but who, if they engaged in violence, would self-immolate rather than attack Chinese civilians.

All of this is to say that the struggle against terrorism and radical Islamist ideology is a complex, multifaceted fight. As Canadians go to Iraq to support efforts to combat ISIS, let us support them, let us have full information about the nature and scope of their mission, and let us not forget that the fight against ISIS is but one battle in a much larger war in which military, economic, diplomatic and humanitarian measures must all be brought to bear.

To conclude in that regard, first, we need to expose and unmask the critical mass of threat and the critical level of mass atrocity of ISIS and other radical terrorist Islamic groups. For example, we have seen in a poll taken now that 61% of American voters believe that the U.S. taking military action against ISIS is in the national interest, versus 13% who do not. However, when asked last year about the U.S. taking action against Syria after its reported use of chemical weapons, only 21% said that action was in the nation's interest, while 33% said it was not. I believe that it is the exposure of the barbarism of ISIS, including the theatrics of its barbarism, that has helped to mobilize public opinion. We need to really expose and unmask the critical mass, not only of threat but the critical mass of mass atrocity that has been engaged in.

Second, we need to expose and unmask the radical and murderous ideologies that underpin ISIS and the other terrorist groups, such as al Qaeda, al-Nusra, Islamic Jihad and the like, which pose a clear and present danger, as I indicated, not only to the stability of the Middle East but to Europe, North America and the like.

Third, we must expose and unmask the genocidal anti-Semitism of these groups. This is not a term that I would use lightly or easily, but there is no other term to describe the toxic convergence of the advocacy of the most horrific of crimes, namely genocide—it is a word that we should even shudder to mention. Embedded in the most enduring of radical hatred, namely anti-Semitism, is the propagation of terrorist acts and furtherance of both this genocidal objective and these radical, hateful ideologies.

Fourth, we need the U.S. and allies to step up efforts to choke off, for example, the Islamic State's funding. In particular, we need to focus on steps to choke off the oil sales of the Islamic State, its donations from the Persian Gulf and its extortion rackets. Officials said their strategy is highly dependent on the co-operation of Middle East allies such as Turkey, Qatar and Kuwait in preventing the flow of finances and fighters into the Islamic State's war machinery.

Since the primary source for the Islamic State's fund comes from its sale of oil and refined petroleum, therefore, what needs to be done is to curtail their capacity to engage in such sales and to cut off the capacity of those that assist them financially in that regard. We also need to ensure, and with this I close, that terrorism is not rewarded; that recruitment of Canadians and others is countered, as we have begun to do here in Canada with the engagement and the leadership of the Muslim communities at its helm; that we have a program and policy with respect to protect against the returning jihadist committing terrorist acts in this country. As I said, only a comprehensive approach involving military, diplomatic, political, economic, humanitarian and educational measures will achieve this.

We always have to appreciate that terrorism constitutes an assault on the fundamental security of a democracy, be it Canada, Europe, or otherwise, and that counter-terrorism is really a response in the protection of human security, the security of a democracy and the security of the life of each of its inhabitants. Equally in the Middle East counter-terrorism at this point will be and will serve the protection of the inhabitants of the countries in the Middle East who are in the first line of threat from these radical jihadist groups symbolized by ISIS, but not limited to ISIS.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns September 15th, 2014

With regard to the comments of Justice Minister Peter MacKay in the House on June 4, regarding a “compromise that occurred in the leaking of information around” the process of a Supreme Court appointment, and the statement of his spokesperson that “we are concerned about recent leaks from what was intended to be a confidential process, we are reviewing the process for future appointments” as quoted by the Toronto Star on June 3: (a) to what leaks do these comments refer; (b) when were these leaks discovered; (c) how were these leaks discovered; (d) how was the government informed of these leaks; (e) what measures were in place to prevent leaks; (f) how does the government define the “leaking of information”; (g) what meetings have occurred on the subject of these leaks, (i) on what dates, (ii) with whom present, (iii) with what goals, (iv) with what outcomes; (h) what materials, briefing notes, or other memos were created regarding these leaks and what are their dates of creation and file or reference numbers; (i) who developed the materials in (h); (j) do the “leaks” refer to an article by John Ivison of the National Post, dated May 1, regarding communications between the Chief Justice and Ministers of the Crown, or to material cited in that article; (k) do the “leaks” refer to an article by Laura Stone of Global News dated May 7 regarding communications between the Prime Minister’s Office and Marc Nadon suggesting Justice Nadon leave the Federal Court to rejoin the Quebec bar, or to material cited in that article; (l) do the “leaks” refer to an article by Sean Fine of the Globe and Mail dated May 23 regarding activities of the selection panel and names on government lists, or to material cited in that article; (m) if the answer to (j), (k), or (l) is negative, does the government dispute the veracity of the content referred to in the article referenced in the question; (n) what specific information has been leaked; (o) what is the extent and scope of the leak; (p) what are the consequences of the leak; (q) what meetings occurred regarding the articles referenced in (j), (k), and (l), (i) on what dates, (ii) who was present, (iii) what were the goals of the meeting, (iv) what was the outcome of the meeting; (r) what materials, briefing notes, or other memos were created regarding the articles in (j), (k), and (l) and what are their dates of creation and file or reference numbers; (s) from where did these leaks originate; (t) who had access to the information leaked; (u) what was done, if anything, to limit the dissemination of material once leaked; (v) were any news outlets contacted in an effort to limit the publication of leaked material; (w) were any journalists contacted to correct information in any story referencing a “leak”; (x) does the government’s conception of a leak include dissemination of information that is inaccurate; (y) what is the total number of leaks that occurred regarding the appointment process, and how was this number determined; (z) what steps has the government undertaken to investigate these leaks; (aa) have any meetings with the RCMP occurred regarding these leaks, (i) if yes, when and with whom, (ii) if not, why not; (bb) have any meetings with the Director of Public Prosecutions occurred regarding these leaks, (i) if yes, when and with whom, (ii) if not, why not; (cc) have any meetings with the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs occurred regarding these leaks, (i) if yes, when and with whom, (ii) if not, why not; (dd) what steps is the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs undertaking to investigate these leaks; (ee) what steps is the Department of Justice taking to investigate these leaks; (ff) what steps is the Minister taking to investigate these leaks; (gg) when is it expected that any investigation will be concluded; (hh) what penalties might be imposed if the sources of the leaks are found; (ii) what cost is expected to be incurred relative to any investigation into these leaks; (jj) what additional measures are being taken to ensure that more leaks do not occur; (kk) what steps were taken in the Prime Minister’s Office to investigate these leaks; (ll) what steps were taken in the Privy Council Office to investigate these leaks; (mm) what meetings or communications transpired between the Minister of Justice and the Prime Minister or his office regarding these leaks; (nn) who is responsible for these leaks; (oo) who is being investigated for these leaks; (pp) what suspects have been identified; (qq) has any motive been determined and if so, what are the motives and how was this determined; (rr) is the government itself investigating these leaks or will a third party be involved; (ss) what steps will be taken to ensure independence in any investigation of these leaks; (tt) have any wiretaps or other judicial orders been sought in relation to an investigation into these leaks; (uu) does the government consider information as being leaked if its dissemination occurs in a form where it is protected by privilege, such as on the floor of the House of Commons; (vv) who was informed of the leaks, on what date, and by what means; (ww) what was the impact of these leaks on the existing Supreme Court appointment process; (xx) what is expected to be the impact of these leaks on any future Supreme Court appointment process; (yy) how was the determination in (xx) made, by whom, with what policy objectives in mind, and with what expectations relative to future conduct by the government in identifying a nominee to the Supreme Court of Canada; (zz) who is in charge of investigating these leaks; (aaa) will Parliament be informed of the results of any investigation and if so, when; (bbb) if no investigations are occurring, why not; (ccc) if no investigations are occurring, is this compatible with the government’s policy objectives that include being “tough on crime”; (ddd) what measures will be in place for a future Supreme Court appointments process to prevent such leaks; (eee) what confidential materials related to the appointment process were created and distributed; and (fff) were all materials in (eee) returned, (i) if yes, when, (ii) if no, what materials remain unreturned to the government?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns September 15th, 2014

With respect to the appointment of Justice Clément Gascon to the Supreme Court of Canada: (a) by what process was Justice Gascon identified and selected for appointment; (b) what was the role of the Department of Justice; (c) what was the role of the Minister of Justice; (d) what was the role of the Prime Minister; (e) what was the role of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs; (f) were any other ministers involved and if so what were their roles; (g) with whom did the government consult and when did these consultations occur; (h) what was the role of Parliament; (i) why was no ad hoc committee convened to meet Justice Gascon prior to his appointment; (j) what specific considerations were taken with respect to (i); (k) who made the ultimate decision with respect to (i); (l) has the government abolished the ad hoc committee process for reviewing Supreme Court nominees; (m) if the ad hoc committee meeting for new Supreme Court nominees has not been abolished, why did it not occur with Justice Gascon prior to his appointment; (n) will Justice Gascon appear before Parliament at any point relative to his appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada; (o) what specific criteria were established by which candidates were evaluated in the process by which Justice Gascon was selected; (p) how did Justice Gascon meet the criteria in (o); (q) why was Justice Gascon selected; (r) was preserving gender parity on the Supreme Court of Canada a goal of the process that resulted in the appointment of Justice Gascon; (s) what consideration was preserving gender parity on the Supreme Court of Canada in the process that resulted in the appointment of Justice Gascon; (t) in what ways does Justice Gascon’s appointment preserve gender parity on the Supreme Court of Canada; (u) in what ways does Justice Gascon’s appointment enhance diversity on the Supreme Court of Canada; (v) what particular areas of expertise were identified in the process that resulted in Gascon’s appointment; (w) how were the areas in (v) developed; (x) what is known of Justice Gascon’s expertise in the areas identified in (v); (y) what Justices of the Supreme Court of Canada were consulted with respect to Justice Gascon’s appointment; (z) did consultation with the Chief Justice occur regarding Justice Gascon; (aa) is consultation with Chief Justice a normal practice in the course of selecting a nominee for the Supreme Court of Canada; (bb) what role is served by consulting with the Chief Justice or, if no such consultation occurred in this instance, what policy reasons justify excluding the Chief Justice from consultations; (cc) would there have been time for Parliamentarians to meet Justice Gascon prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court; (dd) with which parliamentarians did Justice Gascon meet prior to his appointment; (ee) what committees reviewed Justice Gascon’s candidacy prior to his appointment; (ff) was Justice Gascon identified in the process that resulted in the nomination of Justice Nadon; (gg) at what stages of the process was Justice Gascon’s eligibility for appointment assessed and by whom; (hh) does the answer in (gg) reflect any new process or procedure; (ii) with respect to Justice Minister Peter Mackay’s statement as reported by CTV on May 28 that “Our list and their list are being examined in concert to find a common name,” was the name of Justice Gascon common to both lists; (jj) how was the “our” list to which Minister MacKay referred developed; (kk) how many names were on “our” list; (ll) what went into selecting the names on “our” list and who was involved in this process; (mm) was the “our” list to which Minister MacKay referred developed through the process announced by previous Justice Minister Rob Nicholson on June 11, 2013 and if not, why not; (nn) with respect to the “their list” of which the Minister spoke, who developed this list and when was it provided to the government; (oo) did the government solicit in any way “their list”; (pp) how was “their list” assessed, by whom, and on what dates; (qq) how many names were on “their list”; (rr) what individuals were involved in the process that “examined in concert to find a common name” the lists referred to by the Minister; (ss) how long did the process in (mm) require and when did it terminate; (tt) were any outside legal opinions sought with respect to Justice Gascon’s appointment, why or why not; (uu) what was the cost of Justice Gascon’s appointment and what is the breakdown of these costs; (vv) if any of the answers to these questions are subject to solicitor-client privilege, who is the solicitor and the client for the particular question; (ww) who from the Government of Quebec was consulted on Gascon’s appointment, on what dates, and by whom; (xx) when were the Chief Justice of Quebec and the Chief Justice of the Quebec Superior Court consulted on Gascon’s appointment and by whom; (yy) who from the Canadian Bar Association, the Barreau du Québec, and the Barreau de Montréal were consulted on Gascon’s appointment and by whom; (zz) what academics were consulted, by whom and on what dates; (aaa) what victims’ rights groups were consulted, by whom, and on what dates; (bbb) what aboriginal groups were consulted, by whom, and on what dates; (ccc) what women’s groups were consulted, by who, and on what dates; (ddd) whereas in the past candidates have been first nominated and then appointed, was Justice Gascon ever nominated prior to his appointment by the government, and if so, when did this occur, if not why not; (eee) what changes to the process have been identified or completed through this appointment; (fff) what factors were considered relative to the timing of this appointment; (ggg) who decided the timing of the appointment announcement and in consultation with whom; (hhh) what benefits were derived from appointing Justice Gascon prior to a Parliamentary ad hoc hearing; (iii) what benefits were derived from appointing Justice Gascon prior to the end of the scheduled Parliamentary sitting; (jjj) why was the appointment announced while Parliament was still sitting but without an ad hoc hearing; and (kkk) why was the appointment announced so far in advance of the Court’s fall session; and (lll) is it anticipated the same appointment process will be used for the next vacancy on the Supreme Court of Canada?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns September 15th, 2014

With regard to disclosures by telecom and Internet providers (“providers”) of subscriber information: (a) what government agencies and departments request such data; (b) how many such requests have been made in the past five years, broken down by year and requestor; (c) from what providers has the government made requests in the last year; (d) from what providers has the government made requests in the past five years; (e) what is the breakdown of requests by agency and provider in (d); (f) how many individuals have had their subscriber data given to the government in the past five years, broken down by year; (g) what limits exist on what data or information the government can request from providers; (h) what limits exist on what data or information providers can supply; (i) in what ways are persons notified that their data has been requested; (j) in what ways are persons notified that their data has been provided; (k) are there any restrictions on how often the government is allowed to request data from providers generally and, if so, what are they; (l) are there any restrictions on how often the government is allowed to request data from providers relative to a specific user and, if so, what are these; (m) what are the restrictions, if any, to the amount or type of data providers may access in responding to a government request; (n) what sort of information may providers furnish about subscribers without a court order; (o) what does subscriber information entail; (p) what does the government seek when it requests subscriber information; (q) are there any restrictions on when a provider may inform its customers that a government agency has requested data; (r) have any of the government policies that pertain to requests for an access to subscriber data changed in the past five years and, if so, how; (s) how much money did the government spend on data requests, broken down by year, expense type, and the agency incurring the expense, for the past five years; (t) how much money did the government spend on storing and retaining data, broken down by year, expense type, and the agency incurring the expense, for the past five years; (u) how much money did the government spend assessing received data, broken down by year, expense type, and the agency incurring the expense, for the past five years; (v) how much money did the government spend to act upon received data, broken down by year, expense type, and the agency incurring the expense, for the past five years; (w) how often did the disclosure of data lead to action by the government; (x) for calendar year 2013, how many persons were charged with offences under an Act of Parliament where the government had requested subscriber data; (y) for what purposes does the government request subscriber data; (z) what evidence of their concern, if any, must government agencies have for requests for data on grounds of (i) child exploitation, (ii) terrorism, (iii) national security, (iv) foreign intelligence; (aa) what are the definitions and criteria established by the government relative to the enumerated categories in (z); (bb) how often are requests made relative to the enumerated categories in (z); (cc) what grounds other than those enumerated categories in (z) has the government identified as warranting subscriber data requests; (dd) what avenues exist for Canadians to contest governmental demands for access to data sent over communication devices; (ee) what avenues exist for providers to refuse a government request in this regard; (ff) broken down by requesting entity, what is the process by which a data request is made; (gg) in instances where Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) has “incidentally” captured Canadians’ personal information, are there any protocols on what is done with that information; (hh) with respect to (gg), are there any restrictions on how long CSEC or another agency may keep the ‘incidentally’ captured data or on what they may do with it and, if so, what are these; (ii) of the data received by the government, how often and in what ways has it proved useful in ensuring the safety of Canadian citizens; (jj) of Canadians whose data was requested, how much data was provided with respect to (i) usage, (ii) geolocation of device (broken down between real-time and historical), (iii) call detail records (as obtained by number recorders or by disclosure of stored data), (iv) text message content, (v) voicemail, (vi) cell tower logs, (vii) real-time interception of communications, (viii) transmission data, (ix) other data requests; (kk) with respect to the categories in (jj), does the government request all such data in every case; (ll) how does the government determine what data to seek in each case, by what process and criteria, and with what reviews; (mm) with respect to the categories in (jj), does the government not request data with respect to any of them and if not, why not; (nn) with respect to the information types in (jj), which government agencies made such requests in the past five years, and what records are made of the requests; (oo) what records are stored with respect to data requests; (pp) how is the data received stored and for how long; (qq) who or what has access to obtained data; (rr) what is the average amount of time for which government requests data from law enforcement with respect to a specific individual; (ss) how quickly are providers required to respond regarding their ability to provide each type of data provided; (tt) how quickly must providers respond to government requests; (uu) in the past three years did the government provide money or any other form of compensation, including tax breaks, in exchange for information being provided to government agencies, and, if so, what were these; (vv) in what ways has the government consulted with the Privacy Commissioner to ensure that data requests comply with privacy law; (ww) with what experts has the government consulted regarding requests for subscriber data; (xx) what protocols are in place to ensure that privacy rights are respected in this process; and (yy) how often has the government met with providers to discuss data requests, and when was the most recent such meeting?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns September 15th, 2014

With regard to the management and publication of material related to judicial appointments: (a) what is the policy of the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs Canada with respect to posting information pertaining to candidates; (b) in what way is the nomination material archived; (c) is the material on the website the same as in the binder provided to MPs and, if not, how do they differ; (d) when materials are removed from the website, (i) who keeps copies, (ii), who is provided a copy, (iii) how can this material be accessed, (iv) by whom can it be accessed, (v) how long is it kept; (e) are the materials from the website provided to the Supreme Court of Canada, (i) by whom, (ii) to whom, (iii) on what date, (iv) with what conditions relating to their retention, (v) if not, why not; (f) are the materials from the website provided to the Library of Parliament, (i) by whom, (ii) to whom, (iii) on what date, (iv) with what understating relative to their retention, (v) if not, why not; (g) are the materials from the website provided to the Department of Justice, (i) by whom, (ii) to whom, (iii) on what date, (iv) with what conditions relating to their retention, (v) if not, why not; (h) are the materials from the website provided to the Minister of Justice, (i) by whom, (ii) to whom, (iii) on what date, (iv) with what conditions relating to their retention, (v) if not, why not; (i) are the materials from the website provided to the Prime Minister’s Office, (i) by whom, (ii) to whom, (iii) on what date, (iv) with what understating relative to their retention, (v) if not, why not; (j) are the materials from the website provided to Library and Archives Canada and, if so, (i) by whom, (ii) to whom, (iii) on what date, (iv) with what conditions relating to their retention, (v) if not, why not; (k) how many binders were prepared relative to Mr. Justice Marc Nadon’s appointment and where are these binders now; (l) how many binders were prepared relative to Mr. Justice Wagner’s appointment and where are these binders now; (m) in what way and through what processes can previous binders be consulted by (i) parliamentarians, (ii) the public, (iii) the media, (iv) legal scholars; (n) for how long does the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs Canada retain all information relative to judicial appointment cycles and what are its policies on both retention of these materials and access to them; (o) with respect to the inclusion of publications, seminars and lectures in Mr. Justice’s Wagner’s materials, why is no such material included in Mr. Justice Nadon’s materials and whose decision was this; (p) with respect to the statement made in the government’s response to written question Q-239, that “ (bb)(i) The material requested in the latest appointment process does not differ materially from those requested for the appointment of Justice Wagner” and “(iv) The wording was substantially the same”, what is the difference between “materially” and “substantially” insofar as case law areas are concerned; (q) do the uses of “materially” and “substantially” mean that the wording was not exactly the same; (r) were Justices Wagner and Justice Nadon asked for the same exact materials and same areas of cases law and, if not, why not; (s) do the types of materials sought from candidates change between appointment cycles, (i) if so, why, (ii) who makes this determination; (t) do the types of material sought from candidates for Quebec seats change between appointment cycles, (i) if so, why, (ii) how is this determined; (u) with what bodies did the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs Canada consult in developing a retention and access policy relative to materials associated with a judicial appointment; (v) why is candidate information on the website for the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs Canada only temporarily online and how was this policy developed; (w) were any briefing documents, presentations, or memos prepared for ministers or their staff, from 2006 to present, regarding Supreme Court Appointments and, for each, what is the (i) date, (ii) title or subject-matters, (iii) department, commission, or agency’s internal tracking number; (x) do members of the Selection Panel have access to the materials developed or used in an appointment process after the appointment has been made; (y) does the Minister of Justice or Prime Minister have access to the materials developed or used in an appointment process after the appointment has been made; (z) does an appointed justice have any access to the materials developed or used in the process after the appointment has been made; (aa) does any person consulted in the process of an appointment have any access to materials or records developed or used in the process at any time; (bb) what materials were developed or used in the most recent appointment process; (cc) what records of meetings or other items exist relative to the most recent appointment process, (i) by what means can they be accessed, (ii) by whom; and (dd) does the Minister of Justice or Prime Minister have any access to materials not accessible to other persons and, if so, what materials, and by virtue of what process or policy?

Justice June 18th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, after a second disputed judicial appointment, the minister and the Prime Minister are raising suspicions about the possibility that Justice Mainville will be appointed to the Supreme Court.

Not only could that appointment contravene the court's decision in the Nadon case, but it would prolong the under-representation of women on the highest court.

Therefore, with so many high-calibre Quebec judges, what is the minister doing to ensure that the process to replace Justice Lebel will be open, transparent, responsible and participatory?