An Act to amend the Criminal Code (identity theft and related misconduct)

This bill was last introduced in the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session, which ended in September 2008.

Sponsor

Rob Nicholson  Conservative

Status

Not active, as of Jan. 30, 2008
(This bill did not become law.)

Summary

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

This enactment amends the Criminal Code to create a new offence of identity theft, of trafficking in identity information and of unlawful possession or trafficking in certain government-issued identity documents, to clarify and expand certain offences related to identity theft and identity fraud, to exempt certain persons from liability for certain forgery offences, and to allow for an order that the offender make restitution to a victim of identity theft or identity fraud for the expenses associated with rehabilitating their identity.

Elsewhere

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

Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam ActGovernment Orders

October 18th, 2010 / 4:05 p.m.
See context

NDP

Jim Maloway NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise on this bill, which is now Bill C-28 and was Bill C-27. As has been indicated before, it has been a very long time getting to this point, in fact, several Parliaments and elections, to the point where Canada is pretty much last in the line of modern developed countries that have such legislation.

I listened very carefully to what the member for Timmins—James Bay had to say. He talked about the lack of a broadband strategy on the part of the government and he is absolutely correct. There are many things the current government could have been doing. There are many things that the former Liberal government was doing when John Manley was industry minister.

There are a lot of innovative ideas in the marketplace. For example, a few years ago it was discovered that school boards, some in the United States, were able to set up dark fibre co-ops. In the past the school boards had been under contract with the telcos and were leasing their broadband from the phone companies. They turned the whole relationship upside down. By the school boards doing their own dark fibre builds, they were able to offer gigabyte Internet access and they sold space to the very telcos that they had been leasing from before.

There is nothing difficult about this. The reality is that the fibre can be laid out on the ground or it can be put through the air or through trenches. Trenching is the most expensive way of laying dark fibre.

In rural communities, for example the community of Churchill in my home province, the government does not have any difficulty because the government has crown lands to work with and rights of way at its disposal. A government that is interested in taking the bull by the horns can mandate in very short order that dark fibre be laid over crown land through pipes that the provinces own. It does not have to make the type of effort that private industry has to.

When a private telco wants to lay fibre, it has to negotiate with the landowners. It has to negotiate rights of way. It is a very involved process. The government has none of that to contend with.

Unfortunately, what has happened in this country is that over the years governments have bowed to the pressure of the telcos that want the good customers. As soon as the government tries to develop a proper broadband strategy, the telcos knock on its door and say that the government cannot do that because it is against the principles of free enterprise. The telcos want the right to offer this service in cities and urban centres where they can run the final mile very cheaply to people's homes. They want to be able to offer that to residents and to control the pipes to the hospitals and schools so they can make tons of money, but they do not want to do it in rural areas. They do not want to do it in the north.

That is the conundrum that governments have faced. While they could have taken charge in a more determined way, they have tended to piece off the private companies within their jurisdictions. They have allowed telcos to take some good sections and then the governments are stuck with the less profitable areas.

Even so, I still say that all is not lost. Fibre is cheap. Fibre is not expensive and is easy to build. We had four or five examples of co-ops and school boards in the United States that developed their own fibre. They took the cost of the fibre, turned it around and not only leased out their extra capacity but they still had enough capacity in their system to fulfill their own needs for free and at much faster rates.

What will happen when the final mile is completed and the thick fibre exists, rural hospitals, for example, will be connected. The last time I toured Brandon Hospital, which is in a city of about 50,000 people in my province, it was still sending the electronic imaging for medical tests by bus to one of the smaller hospitals in Neepawa, which I believe is the closest hospital. That should not be the case. Once we have a proper broadband strategy, those images will be sent electronically, rather than being put in a can and sent on a bus to another hospital. They will be able to be sent electronically to the hospital. That is what we are talking about here.

That is what the member for Timmins—James Bay was alluding to when he talked about the broadband strategy that we do not see the government making efforts toward. I am not a big fan of the previous Liberal government but when it comes to issues like broadband, at least there was a pulse in that government. We do not hear anything from the current government.

Let us take a look at the whole area of government online programs. Ten years ago, in 1999, the prime ministers of Great Britain and Australia would put their vision statements on a website indicating where they saw government online programs rolling out and developing over the next 10 years.

I remember putting a resolution before the Manitoba legislature that government programs should be online by the year 2010 and that they should be transactional. It was recognized that there was no point in putting all government information online. There would be tons of information online, some usable, some not, but the true goal was to offer government services on a transactional basis. For example, a student applying for student aid or a student loan would not have to ride the bus from Sudbury to Toronto, for example, to have the privilege of standing in line at a government office to fill out an application.

There was a student aid online program set up in Manitoba, probably 10 years ago, which worked from the very beginning. It worked from the very beginning because it was a low-hanging fruit that dealt with youth. If it had been a program for senior citizens who were less inclined to use computers, it might not have worked so well. However, it worked very well because we were dealing with people who understand computers, who have worked with computers in their daily lives and in school settings since they started school. It was natural for the government to put student aid online. That is an example of a program that worked very well.

Those sorts of programs should have been replicated right across all jurisdictions. We should not be offering them in one province and not in another. The provinces had to get together to talk about whether they could share these programs. I have always said that the national government, rather than individual governments, should pay for one national computer program to be used in all the hospitals across the country. We had software developers in my own province getting a grant from one arm of the government, the Department of Industry, to develop a software program and then turn around and sell it to individual hospitals. The taxpayers had the privilege of paying for a certain software program that was already paid for in part by the taxpayers through one arm of the government to pay multiple times as each hospital bought the program.

That made no sense at all to me. Where was the direction and leadership of the government. There were some signs under the latter part of the Paul Martin government that it was showing some interest in developing programs that could be used on a national basis.

We did encourage the provinces to get together and exchange programs, which worked to a certain extent, but it fell down because of the silo effect. People in their own little silos in their own parts of the government refused to co-operate with anyone else. We would hear arguments that it was contrary to the legislation, that it would need to alter it to the legislation in its jurisdiction or that it did not meet its capacities.

However, there were these off the shelf programs. For example, the Securities Commission in Alberta had a program that Manitoba could simply adapt because it was exactly what it needed. However, we found a lot of silo thinking where people would say that was specialized for Alberta and that they needed to have their own made in Manitoba.

In many ways we find ourselves working against ourselves and perhaps that is why the system is not as advanced at it should be.

A few minutes ago my colleague mentioned consumer legislation. In 2002 in Manitoba, we put together bill 31. I was asked to be the coordinator of it. We had to pull in all the people from four or five departments and we had that typical silo problem. Before we got them together in one room, we heard all the reasons that it could not be done or could never be done. We called them together in one room and asked them what their problems were. In a group environment they did not have a problem.

Therefore, we proceeded with a very big omnibus bill. As a matter of fact, it was designed and crafted under the Uniform Law Conference of Canada suggested wordings and it was the most comprehensive of its type in Canada at the time.

One of the things that got the bill moving a lot quicker was the idea of putting in some consumer legislation. We discovered that there were between one and four states in the United States that had laws that said that if people did not receive their product or service that they ordered on line that the credit card companies would be held responsible to reimburse them. That sounded very intriguing. That was 10 years ago. That was at a time when Internet commerce was still in its infancy and we were trying to encourage it in Manitoba. However, we did not want people to be afraid of it and think that somehow if they bought something on line and they did not get it they would be out their money and would not know how to retrieve it.

In bill 31, we made the credit card companies responsible for any Manitoban's purchases online and if they did not receive the product or the service, the credit card company would be responsible.

Can anyone guess what happened? We went to committee and we heard from the credit card companies. Some of them were not too happy about this but Visa, which is a very big organization, did not put up that much of a fight.

We put forward that particular piece of consumer-friendly legislation and we put forward other pieces of consumer legislation but the reason we brought in this legislation in the first place was to streamline the government and make it more efficient.

We were trying to use the common business identifier. In the old days, the federal government and the provinces were using their own business numbers. We had situations in provincial governments where people were not even paying their PST or GST to the government and, in fact, were in receipt of grants from other parts of the government. This was an intolerable situation and it is something that should never happen.

Therefore, by having a common business identifier and a centralized computing system, we were able to tell if a person had applied for a grant from a certain department and whether the person was in arrears on his or her PST or whether the person owed the taxpayers all sorts of money that he or she had not paid back through taxes. We were trying to put a stop to that. We were also trying to make the system easier to use for businesses so they could file their returns. We were cutting down the paperwork involved in business.

The Conservatives just love to talk about red tape. One of the first things Conservative politicians love to talk for hours about is reducing red tape. The former member for Portage--La Prairie, who was in this House for several years, made his career on cutting red tape in the Manitoba legislature. He also made his career on eliminating the pension plan in the Manitoba legislative assembly. I can tell the House that it was not a very happy group of former MLAs when he moved to the federal scene and proceeded to collect his own federal pension when they in fact had lost their own, but that is an aside.

Nevertheless, the legislation before us today is long overdue. As a matter of fact, we have a danger here that this legislation will need to be re-tweaked. As I mentioned at the beginning of my speech in response to some comments by the member for Timmins—James Bay, nothing in this bill involves any criminality.

We just had a case in the last two weeks where Facebook got a judgment against a Canadian guy for $1 billion. He did a huge amount of spamming on the Facebook system and has made a hero out of himself by getting all kinds of free publicity around the world. What has he done? He has simply declared bankruptcy. We could go to all this trouble of finally passing this bill after all these years and find out that it is totally ineffective when we have people running huge spamming operations in this country right under the noses of the authorities and then, when they finally do end up in court and get sued, they just simply declare bankruptcy and are gone or simply change countries.

Clearly, if we are passing legislation now, we should ensure there are enough penalties in here that will make people responsible and try to correct the behaviours that we are seeing.

However, as we indicated, there are bigger issues. This is an important issue and we need to deal with it, but the member for Timmins—James Bay talked about the other areas, such as the broadband strategy that is lacking from the government. The vision on broadband is very vital to this country and especially to the survival and development of rural Canada. There is also the whole issue of government online programs, which we hear nothing about from the government.

Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam ActGovernment Orders

October 18th, 2010 / 1:50 p.m.
See context

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Bloc Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be speaking about Bill C-28, Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act. The word “wireless” is important, as we will see later on, given that there are important developments in that area, particularly with 3G, which is becoming more significant.

The Bloc Québécois is in favour of the principle of Bill C-28, which was previously Bill C-27 but died on the Order Paper at prorogation. It is important to note that the government is dragging its heels on this file and is taking as long as possible to deal with this problem. However, this new legislation, with a few small amendments, specifically targets unsolicited commercial electronic messages. This bill has been needed and requested by society as a whole for a long time now. Governments, Internet service providers—which I will refer to later as ISPs—network operators and consumers are all affected by the problem of spam.

In this type of bill, it is important to define the terms. What is meant by the term “spam”? Spam can be defined as a commercial electronic message sent without the express consent of the recipient. It can be any text, audio, voice or visual message sent by any means of telecommunication, including email, cellular phone text messaging or instant messaging, whose content is such that it is reasonable to conclude that the purpose of the message is to encourage participation in commercial activity. Any electronic message that offers to purchase, sell, barter or lease a product, goods, services, land or an interest or right in land, or a business, investment or gaming opportunity is considered spam for our purposes.

Note that the following types of commercial messages are not considered as spam: messages sent by an individual to another individual with whom they have a personal or family relationship; messages sent to a person who is engaged in a commercial activity and consist solely of an inquiry or application related to that activity; messages that are, in whole or in part, an interactive two-way voice communication between individuals; and messages that are sent by means of a facsimile to a telephone account. This bill does not include them, but we know that faxes can also be a form of spam. Messages that are voice recordings sent to a telephone account are not spam. Earlier, I mentioned 3G technology, which goes through cell phone towers and is becoming increasingly significant.

We must create safeguards for legitimate electronic commerce. It is now essential to our economy. Not only are commercial emails sent with the prior and ongoing consent of the recipient important to electronic commerce, but they are also essential to the development of the online economy. It is quite clear that our commerce is heading in that direction.

The Bloc Québécois is pleased to see that Bill C-28 takes into account most of the recommendations in the final report of the task force on spam.

I would remind this House that the task force on spam was made up of people from government, industry and consumer advocacy groups. So it was a very broad task force whose members reached a consensus after a few months of work. They tabled their report in 2005. This bill has been on the table for a long time. In 2005, the multipartite task force tabled the bill that the government more or less adopted as its own. It was the task force that essentially came up with this bill.

We are very upset that the legislative process has taken so long. The legislation was tabled in 2005, and it is now 2010. Parliament may have been prorogued, but we are not sure the government really intends to deal with this bill quickly. It is quite likely that the bill will be delayed further, because it is hard to know whose interests will be served, so the government does not want to rush this bill through.

The committee study will be an opportunity for many industry stakeholders to come back and update it and for consumer advocacy groups to have their say about the new Electronic Commerce Protection Act. It is a question of updating it—

Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam ActGovernment Orders

October 18th, 2010 / 1:10 p.m.
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NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I too rise to join members in my caucus and all parties in the House to support the idea of Bill C-28. It is important to protect consumers and those who are affected by what is really more than just a nuisance, and that is spam.

I should also note that it is probably the first time the word “spam” has been debated so fervently and thoroughly. Most people would compare this to affordable food, but this is in fact a widespread nuisance, a deterrent to the free access of information. Some people use technology not only to create a nuisance, but also to scam people. It is not just about stopping spam; it is also about stopping scams.

We have had enough time with the new technology known as the Internet to understand that there needs to be a balance between access to information, that is, people being able to decide what they want to put online, and protecting people from being abused by the information on the Internet.

It has been mentioned by my colleague from Sudbury that this bill looks familiar. It was around before with one digit less than the one in front of us, Bill C-27, which was in the last Parliament before it prorogued. It is unfortunate that we had to wait so long to get this legislation going, because it is affecting many consumers right across the country. We must also look at how we are measured by our partners: we are the only G7 country without legislation on this matter. Clearly, the time for it is now, and we in the NDP welcome it.

I want to acknowledge my colleague from Windsor West. He has done a lot of work on consumer protection and anti-spam legislation, both on the legislation in front of us and on previous legislation. I want to acknowledge his work and thank him.

The technical term for spam does not roll off the tongue quite as readily as the abuse of electronic messaging systems. This includes most broadcast media, through which digital delivery systems are used to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately. While the most widely recognized form of this is email spam, the term applies to other abuses like instant messaging. We have seen a lot of that lately by news groups that throw out spam.

Search engine spam is probably one of the most ubiquitous in that it is able to take the information from surfing the net, synthesize it, and throw the history of what one has been surfing back with advertisements and spam. There is software to block it, but that costs money. There is also spam in blogs and something called WikiSpam. There is spam for pretty much every aspect of our online culture these days.

We had this challenge before, and I see it from time to time with our faxes. There is a need to have proper regulation, not only to protect consumers but also to ensure that international scammers are curtailed and held to account. We must remember that this is not just a domestic problem.

Often these spam organizations and boiler rooms are looking for low-hanging fruit. They are looking for jurisdictions where there is not sufficient regulation. It goes without saying that Canada is wide open for this. It is analogous to how people use tax havens: we have not regulated enough to make sure our regulations are adequate for the 21st century.

It is a real problem and a costly one. The longer we have less spam regulation, the more it will cost businesses, individuals, and institutions to deal with it.

Spam results in large cost overheads for major corporations and small businesses. Consider the bandwidth problem and the net throttling that has gone on these last few years. There is less capacity for businesses, homes, and institutions to receive information, because of the spam being carried through the bandwidth. That means there are traffic jams on the Internet, because there is all this extra traffic in spam, which need not be there.

There is the cost of contacting each additional recipient. Once the spam has been constructed and multiplied, it proliferates. Trying to get to the source of it is a cost for people. Instead of chasing down who is spamming them, they could be doing something else.

Generally, there is also a social cost when we consider some of the spam that is put out. Some of it is offensive to families.

My colleague from Sudbury talked about having homes wired up with access to a computer. Some of the spam is offensive, either because of the nature of the spam, the pornographic content, or because certain messages convey values contrary to ours.

This is not just commercial. It is not just about selling us things we do not want. It is also about offensive material that costs us not just financially but socially as well.

JusticeOral Questions

October 28th, 2009 / 3:05 p.m.
See context

Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles Québec

Conservative

Daniel Petit ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Lévis—Bellechasse has indicated his great interest in protecting his voters.

Two years ago, our government—yes, our government—introduced Bill C-27. It was our first attempt to protect citizens from organized crime and identity theft. This bill has finally been adopted. This long journey, despite the many obstacles put up by the opposition, shows that Quebeckers can only rely on the Conservative Party and our Prime Minister to ensure their protection.

JusticeOral Questions

October 27th, 2009 / 2:55 p.m.
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Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the member is quite correct. Two years ago, we introduced Bill C-27, which was our first attempt to protect Canadians from the growing crime of identity theft.

We had to reintroduce this legislation and I have been calling upon the opposition for months to get this passed. I am pleased to say that we finally got it through the House and Canadians will be better protected from identity theft by giving police the tools they need.

There is only one party and one government prepared to stand up for victims in this country and it is this Conservative government.

JusticeOral Questions

October 20th, 2009 / 3 p.m.
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Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, two years ago, we introduced Bill C-27. This was our first attempt to protect Canadians from the growing crime of identity theft. Unfortunately, that bill was hijacked by the opposition at committee.

We have had to reintroduce that important bill and I have been calling upon the opposition for months to get that passed. It is before Parliament today and is being debated. Let us get it passed.

The point is clear. Canadians know that when it comes to standing up for victims and law-abiding Canadians there is only one party and one government they can count on and that is this Conservative government.

September 17th, 2009 / 9:40 a.m.
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Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

I couldn't agree more that we should get on with this. It is exactly what we said about Bill C-27 before you guys pulled the plug and had an unnecessary election.

A moment ago, you ascribed comments that were mine to Mr. LeBlanc. We had a conference and we don't know who should be more upset. So just to clear that up immediately—

September 17th, 2009 / 9:25 a.m.
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Conservative

Rob Nicholson Conservative Niagara Falls, ON

You've made an excellent point, Monsieur Lemay, particularly with your comments about bringing our criminal law into the 21st century. When I introduced the original bill, Bill C-27, in Montreal in the previous Parliament, I was asked by a reporter if this was my attempt to get ahead of the bad guys. I said, “Look, I just want to catch up with the bad guys.” This is what we want to do, because the technology is changing so quickly.

It's interesting that you would mention the Americans and the Europeans, because I have been at a number of G-8 justice ministers meetings that include a number of European countries, including France, Germany, and the United States, and this is precisely the area that I raised with them. I said that the extent that we could coordinate and update our laws so they are similar to each other would facilitate everything from the exchange of information to the cooperation between law enforcement agencies, even when it comes to questions such as extradition. As you know, under the Extradition Act we do not extradite somebody to another country unless there are similar types of laws or offences there.

So that was the message that I had to my colleagues, that this is becoming a huge problem in Canada and the United States, and we do work very closely with American authorities. And I raised this with my European counterparts, so work is being done on this. Interpol spoke to the conference on both occasions and they made the very same point, that this is where the future is taking us and we all have to work together.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

June 16th, 2009 / 3:05 p.m.
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Fundy Royal New Brunswick

Conservative

Rob Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

;

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join today's second reading debate on Bill S-4, which would amend the Criminal Code to address the serious and ever growing problem of identity theft.

Although introduced in the Senate, the bill's proposed reforms are familiar to hon. members as its predecessor, Bill C-27, which was virtually the same, was introduced in this chamber in the previous Parliament and had received all party support at second reading.

I hope Bill S-4 can similarly receive all party support now and be quickly passed into law. Canadians urgently need the protection it would provide against identity theft, a problem that the Canadian Council of Better Business Bureaus has estimated cost Canadian consumers, banks, credit card and other businesses more than $2 billion each year and a problem that has enormous personal and psychological impacts on its victims. I should add that oftentimes the victims of identity theft are the most vulnerable Canadians.

Identity crime encompasses the collection, possession, trafficking and use of identity information belonging to another in committing crimes such as personation, fraud or misuse of debit card or credit card data.

For example, it occurs when somebody pretends to be an account holder in a transaction and uses the true account holder's identity to access his or her credit or actual funds. It also occurs when someone acquires and uses the identity of another to carry out otherwise ordinary transactions, such as to rent an apartment or to buy a cellphone, which are then used as part of a broader criminal scheme. In these instances, if the crime is eventually detected, the trail leads back to the identity of the unfortunate innocent person whose identity was stolen. We know that organized crime and terrorism routinely engage in identity crimes to carry out their criminal operations. I doubt that any one of us, within our constituency, cannot name someone who has been the victim of identity theft.

Bill S-4 proposes to create three new offences that will target the preliminary stages of identity crime and will enable police to lay charges, for example, before the crimes of fraud or impersonation are committed.

The first new offence would be called identity theft and would apply to attaining and possessing identity information with the intent to use the information deceptively, dishonestly or fraudulently in the commission of a crime.

The second new offence is trafficking in identity information, an offence that targets those who transfer or sell information to another person with knowledge of or recklessness toward the possible criminal use of the information. This offence targets the middlemen, and that is those who traffic the stolen identity information from one person to another, but who may not otherwise be involved in the fraud or other crimes in which the information is destined to be used. The trafficking of such stolen identity information is often part of organized crime's identity fraud activities.

The third new offence is for unlawfully possessing or trafficking in crucial government-issued identity documents that pertain to other people.

Each of these new offences would carry a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and would complement existing Criminal Code offences such as fraud, impersonation and forgery that already prohibit the most harmful consequences of identity abuse.

Bill S-4 proposes other new offences that will complement other existing Criminal Code mail and forgery offences. It will create the new offences of fraudulently redirecting or causing redirection of a person's mail, possessing a counterfeit Canada Post mail key and possessing instruments, often referred to as skimming devices, that are used to extract and copy debit and credit card information.

Bill S-4 would also facilitate law enforcement's investigative activities by adding new offences and certain existing offences to the list of offences for which a wiretap order may be obtained.

Importantly the bill would enable sentencing courts to order an offender to pay restitution to a victim of identity theft or fraud where the victim had incurred expenses related to rehabilitating the reputation and credit history.

Bill S-4 also proposes two exemptions to address potential negative impacts on the undercover work of law enforcement. I want to spend a moment on this aspect of the bill, as this issue attracted significant interest in the Senate. It is important that these are clearly understood for what they are and are not.

The exemptions in clauses 7 and 9 have been carefully crafted to permit the police to obtain and use identity documents in a fictitious name to support undercover activities. Concealing the true identities of undercover police officers is a problem akin to a uniformed officer carrying a sidearm. The law exempts police officers from offences that would otherwise by committed by carrying their guns, for example. The proposed exemptions will do the same thing for undercover officers with respect to identity documents.

Some will argue that these exemptions are unnecessary and inappropriate, since it is already a scheme in the Criminal Code that operates as justification for offences committed by the police during a criminal investigation. While it is true that sections 25.1 to 25.4 of the Criminal Code could be used to justify the use of false identity documents by the police, that approach would require each officer to weigh the proportionality of using the documents each and every time he or she relied upon them.

While this is an appropriate test where the police are engaging in conduct that amounts to an offence that has not been specifically authorized by Parliament, it is the government's view that it would be inappropriate to require the police to rely on this scheme for a discreet, pre-defined activity that is clearly in the public interest. It is essential to keep in mind that the proposed exemptions do not give the police the authority to commit identity theft or other fraudulent activities. Any other offences that an officer may be required to commit in the course of a criminal investigation would have to be justified under the scheme contained in the appropriate sections of the Criminal Code.

Lastly, the Senate legal and constitutional affairs committee, which undertook a thorough study of the bill, amended it to provide for a five-year parliamentary review. This would provide us with a welcomed opportunity to assess the impact of the reforms in combatting identity theft.

Bill S-4 would provide much needed new tools for Canadian law enforcement and much needed protection for all Canadians against identity theft. I urge all hon. members to consider the most vulnerable in their constituencies when they consider the bill. As we all know, many members of our communities have been the victims of identity theft and the psychological impact of having one's identity stolen or misused can be quite profound.

I urge all hon. members to support the bill and support its swift passage.

Truth in Sentencing ActGovernment Orders

April 20th, 2009 / 12:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, I listened intently to my colleague across the way. He mentioned something about a committee to further look at something. I want to talk about some time that I spent with the hon. member on the justice committee in the second session of the 39th Parliament. I remember the day was March 11. Last spring the member and his colleagues, along with the Bloc Québécois, tabled a motion at justice committee that basically rendered that committee into a political stalemate where no legislation was discussed for the remainder of the spring.

The legislation that happened to be there was Bill C-25, An Act to amend the Youth Criminal Justice Act. That legislation was never talked about because of the railroading of that motion. Bill C-26, An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act would have allowed for mandatory minimum prison sentences for people who deal drugs or who use guns in the commission of selling drugs. That motion railroaded Bill C-27, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (identity theft and related misconduct). Those are the kinds of bills that were waylaid.

Does the member honestly think that his born-again crime-fighting party, the Liberal Party of Canada, has any credibility left at all when it comes to saying the Liberals are actually going to get tough on crime? Why should Canadians trust the member and his party?

JusticeOral Questions

April 1st, 2009 / 2:50 p.m.
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Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to thank the hon. member for Edmonton—Leduc for all the work that he has done on this issue. We all owe him a debt of thanks on this issue.

This bill is similar to Bill C-27 that we introduced in the previous Parliament, but we are not able to get it out of committee because of the tactics of the opposition. I hope that changes. Canada needs new ID theft legislation, like this one.

This is one more step in our fight against crime in this country, and it should have the support of all members of the House of Commons.

Extension of Sitting HoursRoutine Proceedings

June 9th, 2008 / 3:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am glad that the hon. member raised the question about the justice committee. At the justice committee, the meetings have not been adjourned by the Conservative chair. It is the Liberal vice-chair who has refused to call votes and who has adjourned the meetings. It is not the Conservative chair, so the fault lies there.

The Liberals do not want to conduct the business there either. The only motion they are willing to consider is one that has nothing to do with legislation whatsoever. They wish to have another one of their side show legislative committee inquiry Star Chambers.

However, in the process what bills do those members not want to deal with? What bills are they obstructing? They obstructing Bill C-25, the Youth Criminal Justice Act, which is long overdue, something which Canadians want to have dealt with, something that was referred to the committee. They want to study something else instead. There is Bill C-26, drug penalties, which has been there for some time and something with which Canadians want dealt. They would rather study something else instead of that. There is Bill C-27, identity theft, again is other legislation. Three items of legislation are before that committee. We would like to see them out of that committee and into the House so we can pass sit.

Guess what? The opposition parties, in their ongoing campaign to delay and obstruct our justice agenda, our getting tough on crime agenda, continue to find excuses to delay that, including having their Liberal vice-chair adjourn every meeting and not allow it to proceed on to the important business of that legislation. That is the problem. It is that kind of delay and obstruction that resulted in over 1,400 total delays to our justice bills in the first session of Parliament.

It is those kinds of delay and obstruction tactics that make it necessary for us to seek the kind of permission, which the rules contemplate, for additional hours because we have a tremendous amount of work to do, a very full legislative agenda. It just seems that some do not want to show up to do that work.

June 5th, 2008 / 10:10 a.m.
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Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Wetaskiwin, AB

The committee has not had a formal meeting since March 11 where any legislation has been discussed. We have Bill C-27, Bill C-25, Bill C-26, not to mention the number of private members' bills. Before March 11 the committee had been meeting extra hours just to get through the legislative backlog.

May 27th, 2008 / 4:10 p.m.
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Conservative

Russ Hiebert Conservative South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

Okay.

You've introduced Bill C-27, which is an act to deal with identity theft through the Criminal Code. I'm wondering if there are other things we could do to the Privacy Act that might address some of the concerns that are perhaps left unaddressed or are perhaps not properly dealt with through the Criminal Code. There might be some avenues that haven't been appropriately addressed. Sometimes the Criminal Code can be a blunt instrument. There might be other ways of assisting with the changes to the Privacy Act that you're trying to accomplish. I'm wondering if you or your colleagues have any suggestions along those lines.

April 17th, 2008 / 5:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Russ Hiebert Conservative South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

I think both ideas are good. All right, I'll ask the chair to proceed on both those fronts.

Ms. Stoddart, I have questions on three different subjects: identity theft, national security, and data matching.

On the issue of identity theft, you probably know that the government has introduced Bill C-27. It is designed to amend the Criminal Code so as to crack down on identity theft. You noted in your own report of 2006-07 that there are other ways to help prevent identity theft. Your report refers to “Privacy Act reforms requiring stronger protection of personal information held by government institutions”. I'm wondering if you could briefly expand on what you mean by “stronger protection”. How would you suggest we amend the Privacy Act to prevent identity theft?