An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (certificate and special advocate) and to make a consequential amendment to another Act

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

Sponsor

Stockwell Day  Conservative

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is now law.

Summary

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

This enactment amends the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to add provisions relating to a special advocate to Division 9 of Part 1 of that Act. The special advocate’s role is to protect a person’s interests in certain proceedings when evidence is heard in the absence of the public and of the person and their counsel. The special advocate may challenge the claim made by the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to the confidentiality of evidence as well as the relevance, reliability, sufficiency and weight of the evidence and may make submissions, cross-examine witnesses and, with the judge’s authorization, exercise any other powers necessary to protect the person’s interests.

The enactment eliminates the suspension of consideration of the reasonableness of a security certificate that occurs when the person named in it makes an application for protection.

The enactment also provides that, when a person is detained under the security certificate regime, a judge of the Federal Court must commence a review of the detention within 48 hours after the detention begins and then, until it is determined whether a certificate is reasonable, at least once in the six-month period following the conclusion of each preceding review. A person who continues to be detained after a certificate is determined to be reasonable and a person who is released under conditions may apply to the Court for a review of the reasons for their continued detention or for continuing the conditions if a period of six months has expired since the conclusion of the preceding review.

The enactment permits the appeal of a determination whether a security certificate is reasonable and of a decision resulting from a review of a person’s detention or release under conditions to the Federal Court of Appeal if the judge certifies that a serious question of general importance is involved.

It also permits a peace officer to arrest and detain a person who is subject to a security certificate if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person has contravened or is about to contravene their conditions of release.

The enactment enables the Minister to apply for the non-disclosure of confidential information during a judicial review of a decision made under the Act and gives the judge discretion to appoint a special advocate to protect the interests of the person concerned.

It also contains transitional provisions and makes a consequential amendment to the Canada Evidence Act.

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.

Votes

Feb. 6, 2008 Passed That the Bill be now read a third time and do pass.
Feb. 6, 2008 Passed That this question be now put.
Feb. 4, 2008 Passed That Bill C-3, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (certificate and special advocate) and to make a consequential amendment to another Act, as amended, be concurred in at report stage.
Feb. 4, 2008 Failed That Bill C-3 be amended by deleting Clause 1.
Nov. 20, 2007 Passed That the Bill be now read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security.

The House resumed consideration of Bill C-3, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (certificate and special advocate) and to make a consequential amendment to another Act, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

January 31st, 2008 / 3:05 p.m.
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York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, since this is the first Thursday question of the year, I want to formally welcome everyone back to the House of Commons. Hopefully, we will be even more productive in 2008 than we were in 2007.

Judging by the first sitting day, I think we will be.

So far, the House has passed Bill C-8, on railway transportation, and Bill C-9, on the settlement of investment disputes.

Moreover, Bill C-31, An Act to amend the Judges Act, and Bill C-27, on identity theft, have been referred to committee.

This is a rather good start.

We hope to keep up that level of productivity by quickly passing our legislation to strengthen the security certificates process, which started debate at report stage today. That is of course Bill C-3. We now have a House order to assist us in facilitating that debate. We will continue to debate the bill until report stage is completed.

While all members of the House do not understand the importance of the bill, I believe that the official opposition does. I hope that we can work together in a spirit of cooperation and bipartisanship to have it passed before the date identified by the Supreme Court of Canada as the date by which it would like to see the law passed, February 23.

Following Bill C-3 tomorrow we will continue with the unfinished business from this week, namely Bill C-33, renewable fuels; Bill C-39, the grain act; Bill C-7, aeronautics; and Bill C-5, nuclear liability.

Next week will be a safe and secure Canada week.

Debates will continue until the bill is passed by this House.

After that, we will debate Bill C-25, which would strengthen the Youth Criminal Justice Act, and Bill C-26, which imposes mandatory minimum penalties for producers and traffickers of drugs, particularly for those who sell drugs to children. We also hope to discuss the Senate's amendments to Bill C-13, on criminal procedure.

Finally, in keeping with next week's theme, I would suggest that my hon. colleague opposite explain to his colleagues in the Senate the importance of quickly passing the Tackling Violent Crime Act, the bill which is overwhelmingly supported by Canadians across the country, and which was the number one priority of the government throughout the fall session of Parliament and which passed this House last fall. It has already been in the Senate longer than its entire time in the House of Commons, yet the Liberal dominated Senate has not even started committee hearings on the Tackling Violent Crime Act.

While the elected accountable members of the House rapidly passed the bill, which I would like to remind everyone was a question of confidence, unfortunately it looks like the unelected, unaccountable Liberal dominated Senate is up to its old tricks again of delaying and obstructing in every way. Let me be clear. This government will not stand and allow Liberal senators to obstruct, delay and ultimately kill the bill. The Tackling Violent Crime Act was quickly passed in the House and Canadians expect the Liberal dominated Senate to act in the same fashion and pass it quickly.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

January 31st, 2008 / 3:05 p.m.
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Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the government House leader could indicate his intentions for House business over the next week at least and hopefully two weeks.

I would point out to him that the House business advice that he gave to other parties last Tuesday is now obviously outdated because of events that have taken place in the meantime.

I would be particularly interested to know his plan for disposing of Bill C-3, because there is a court imposed deadline for dealing with that issue.

I would also be interested to know if he is yet in a position to designate any of the opposition days that must be designated during this supply period.

I wonder if I could ask as well whether there would be unanimous consent in the House for a motion that is on the order paper standing in the name of the member for Winnipeg South Centre which states:

That this House endorse the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on September 13, 2007, and call upon the Parliament and government of Canada to implement fully the standards contained therein.

The House resumed consideration of Bill C-3, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (certificate and special advocate) and to make a consequential amendment to another Act, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.

Use of Standing Order 56.1Points of OrderGovernment Orders

January 31st, 2008 / 1:45 p.m.
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NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, a few minutes ago we had a vote in this House where Standing Order 56.1 was used and 25 members were required to stand in order to defeat a motion by the government to continue the debate on Bill C-3. In actual fact, if you look at Standing Order 56.1(1)(a), it is quite clear and I quote:

In relation to any routine motion for the presentation of which unanimous consent is required and has been denied, a Minister of the Crown may request during Routine Proceedings that the Speaker propose the said question to the House.

At that time we were not in routine proceedings. We had passed routine proceedings in the second vote. I believe that had the government wanted to go back and have that vote taken again, it would have required a motion to return to routine proceedings, a unanimous consent decision, and then if the government so chose, we would have returned to routine proceedings and it could have moved the motion.

I believe that the vote that we took under Standing Order 56.1 should not have been allowed under Standing Order 56.1 because we were actually not in routine proceedings. I believe that this vote should not be allowed to stand. If the government chooses to return to that point, it can try to do that, but that vote was not valid in this House because we were not in routine proceedings and therefore, Standing Order 56.1 could not be used.

Speaker's RulingImmigration and Refugee Protection ActGovernment Orders

January 31st, 2008 / 1:30 p.m.
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NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

There are 12 motions in amendment standing on the notice paper for the report stage of Bill C-3. Motions Nos. 1 to 12 will be grouped for debate and voted upon according to the voting pattern available at the table.

I will now put Motions Nos. 1 through 12 to the House.

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActRoutine Proceedings

January 31st, 2008 / 1:10 p.m.
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Prince George—Peace River B.C.

Conservative

Jay Hill ConservativeSecretary of State and Chief Government Whip

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 56.1, I therefore move:

That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice of the House, on any day that Bill C-3 is under consideration, the House shall sit beyond the ordinary hour of daily adjournment and shall not be adjourned before such proceedings have been completed except pursuant to a motion to adjourn proposed by a minister of the Crown.

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern DevelopmentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

January 31st, 2008 / 1:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Jay Hill Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, at this time I would also seek the unanimous consent of the House for the following: that, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice of the House, on any day that Bill C-3 is under consideration, the House shall sit beyond the ordinary hour of daily adjournment and shall not be adjourned before such proceedings have been completed except pursuant to a motion to adjourn proposed by a minister of the Crown.

Status of WomenCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

January 31st, 2008 / 12:15 p.m.
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Conservative

Ron Cannan Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House this afternoon to lend my voice to this very important issue.

I would like to thank the hon. member for having brought this matter to the attention of the House because trafficking in persons is a vile criminal act. It strips individuals of their freedom and basic humanity, and leads ultimately to a life of exploitation, usually in the sex industry or forced labour. These individuals are coerced into such a life, often through violent assault or threats to their families.

I also rise at this time to remind opposition members that they do not have the monopoly on care and compassion for Canadians. Our government takes this matter very seriously and we have taken a number of measures to deal with this issue.

I would like to take the time to explain the role that our public safety agencies are playing in combating this crime in Canada and abroad, led by the hon. Minister of Public Safety.

The Government of Canada is taking a collaborative approach to dealing with trafficking in persons. The government has made the interdepartmental working group on trafficking in persons the focal point for all federal anti-trafficking efforts. This working group brings together 16 departments and agencies, and serves as the central depository of federal expertise. It works to strengthen federal responses through the development of government policy on human trafficking, information exchange and the facilitation of international and national cooperation.

We are also working collaboratively with the provinces and territories to respond to this issue. For example, we are utilizing various federal, provincial and territorial networks, including FPT ministers responsible for justice, the FPT heads of prosecutions, the coordinating committee of senior officials, and criminal justice and FPT victims issues.

The federal government's strategy for dealing with this heinous crime is consistent with other international approaches. This reflects the unanimous agreement for the need for a multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral response.

In essence, the government is addressing this issue through a variety of responses aimed at prevention, protection of victims and bringing perpetrators to justice. The government is committed to fighting this crime within its own borders and abroad.

Victims may be exploited within Canada or transported through Canada for final destinations in the United States. This is a challenging issue, but fortunately our public safety agencies are working diligently to crack down on this crime.

Both the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Border Services Agency play a crucial role in combating trafficking in persons. For instance, the RCMP has established the human trafficking national coordination centre to coordinate the federal government's law enforcement efforts to combat human trafficking and provide training.

This includes offering specialized training for law enforcement; producing awareness-raising material for municipal, provincial, federal and international law enforcement officers to help identify a potential victim and traffickers through, for example, a new awareness video; building an extensive network of partnerships with domestic and international agencies; and gathering, sharing relevant domestic and international information and intelligence through a team of analysts across the country to help law enforcement at home and abroad coordinate their approach.

For its part, the CBSA is contributing greatly to the fight against human trafficking by providing enforcement at various ports of entry, but more than that, the CBSA works to screen and intercept inadmissible individuals before they arrive in Canada. It has been proactive by doing research and making sure checks and balances are in place as much as possible before these individuals arrive into the country.

The CBSA monitors regular migration to Canada and publishes regular intelligence analysis which identify trends and patterns in irregular migration and migration-related crimes, including trafficking in persons.

The CBSA also performs a number of functions to help shut out the flow of victims by preventing their transport to Canada as well as to deter trafficking organizations from using Canada as a destination country or a transit country.

CBSA's network of migration integrity officers works overseas with airline security and local authorities in 39 countries around the world to prevent irregular migration, including migrant smuggling, by taking measures to intercept individuals before they arrive in Canada.

CBSA intelligence officers also work with Canadian and U.S. partners and integrated border enforcement teams, known as IBETs, that bring a harmonized, specialized approach to cross-border criminal activity. IBETs are strategically placed at our shared borders to detect and apprehend individuals who commit illegal activities, including migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons.

Integrated border intelligence teams also support IBETs and partner agencies by collecting, analyzing and disseminating tactical, investigative and strategic intelligence information pertaining to cross-border crime between Canada and the United States. This intelligence is shared with participating agencies to target international, national and criminal organizations, once again an example of an integrated, coordinated, unified approach.

To effectively combat trafficking in persons, the government is providing additional resources and encouraging training for law enforcement agencies. One of the most horrible aspects of human trafficking is the fact that young children get caught up in this exploitation.

As we have heard from various speakers today, it is truly the ultimate when children are being victimized. Consequently, in budget 2007 our government allocated an additional $6 million to strengthen current activities to combat child sexual exploitation and trafficking.

Initiatives related specifically to human trafficking include: reinforcing law enforcement capacity to combat trafficking in persons; providing for public education, awareness and outreach to combat trafficking in persons; and working with the Canadian Crime Stoppers Association to launch a national campaign on human trafficking and provide for a central point to report potential cases of trafficking in persons.

The central Okanagan and the area that I represent, Kelowna—Lake Country, have incredible crime stoppers organizations that have been recognized internationally for their efforts. I would like to applaud them as well for their coordinated work in helping to reduce human trafficking and identifying those involved in human trafficking in British Columbia, Canada and around the world.

Coming from British Columbia, I am very concerned. It will be two years next Wednesday that the countdown will start to the Olympics. We are doing all we can to ensure that we can stop the trafficking of humans, not only in 2010 but from today forward.

There are initiatives to conduct research to assess the impact of trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children and the impact on aboriginal and visible minorities communities, as well as help communities and individuals whose social economic status affect their prosperity and allow them to be victimized.

Funding is one thing, but promoting training to ensure our people are well equipped to deal with this crime is all the more crucial. That is why, for example, in November 2007 officials from the RCMP, Justice Canada, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the CBSA provided four one-day intensive workshops on trafficking in persons to RCMP officers, municipal police, border services and immigration officers, as well as to victim service providers in Alberta. These workshops were built on previous ones organized in Toronto and elsewhere.

I had the privilege of attending a workshop in my own riding that involved a variety of organizations throughout my riding and the province that are very concerned about human trafficking. It was hosted by a member of the RCMP. It was well attended and was an excellent education forum, an example of how we are trying to continue to raise the awareness and education for all Canadians of this heinous crime that is taking place.

The RCMP and CBSA continue to provide training for their officials on this issue, supported by a range of resource materials, including computer-based learning modules, videos, toolkits and reference cards.

I would like to say in conclusion that trafficking in persons is a horrible crime. We are taking a multifaceted approach to fight it and it is providing results. Back in mid-January, for example, Toronto police arrested four individuals allegedly involved in a human trafficking ring. Such arrests give hope to law enforcement agencies that this difficult crime can be thwarted.

From speaking to RCMP members, they find it very discouraging. They go through the exercise, but when they go to court, the accused persons often get off on a technicality. The government and all elected officials need to stand and give the tools to the men and women who are providing the safety in our communities, so they can bring justice where it is required, in this case arresting these individuals involved in human trafficking and making sure justice prevails.

More important, it gives hope to victims that someone is working to end their ordeal. It gives hope to our RCMP officers, hope to those agencies that are working in the communities to support and encourage the elimination of human trafficking. It gives hope to our children, who are our future.

As the hon. member for Kelowna--Lake Country, I thank the member for bringing this issue to the House. My concern is that our government has been working diligently and cooperatively with all these agencies, as I mentioned, and we are trying to bring forward legislation such as Bill C-2, which is being delayed in the Senate right now. We would like to see some cooperation from the opposition parties, specifically the Liberals, to get their members in the other house to pass that legislation. One item that is on the agenda for today that is being delayed because of this concurrence motion is Bill C-3, which deals with security certificates.

Hopefully we can all agree that we need to work more cooperatively and get action from both houses so we can make Canada a stronger, safer, better country.

Bill C-3 -- Immigration and Refugee Protection Act -- Speaker's RulingPoints of OrderOral Questions

January 29th, 2008 / 3:10 p.m.
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Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I am now prepared to rule on the point of order raised on December 13, 2007 by the hon. member for Joliette concerning a proposed report-stage amendment to C-3, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (certificate and special advocate) and to make a consequential amendment to another Act.

I thank the member for Joliette and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons for their interventions. I am aware of the particulars of this case, since the hon. member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin was courteous enough to inform me of them in a letter that he wrote to me earlier, in December.

Let us review the events that have brought us to this point today. The hon. member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin proposed the amendment in question during clause-by-clause consideration of the bill in committee.

The amendment was ruled inadmissible by the committee chair on the grounds that it was beyond the scope of the bill. It was contended that on the contrary his amendment was within the scope of the bill because it simply expanded the appeal provision already contained in the bill.

The hon. member therefore appealed the ruling which was however sustained by a majority of the committee members.

As the hon. members know, at report stage, the decision with respect to the admissibility of motions rests with the Speaker of the House. Therefore, when the hon. member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin submitted the same amendment to Bill C-3 at report stage, I too had to consider the matter of admissibility. With regret, I had to inform the member that, in my opinion, the amendment was indeed inadmissible on the same grounds, namely that it was beyond the scope of the bill.

I would like to take a moment to explain the reasons that led me to that conclusion. In essence, what we are dealing with is the distinction between the principle of the bill and its scope. The principle refers to the purpose or objective of a bill, while the scope refers to its legislative scheme or the mechanisms that will give effect to the principle, purpose or objective of a bill. In the case of Bill C-3, the principle with which we are concerned is the right to appeal. The scope of this right to appeal is set out in clause 4 of the bill, more specifically in lines 35 to 39 of page 3, where we read the following:

An appeal from the determination may be made to the Federal Court of Appeal only if the judge certifies that a serious question of general importance is involved and states the question.

Admittedly, the hon. member’s amendment deals with this same principle, namely the right to appeal, but where it goes beyond the scope of the bill is in relation to the conditions under which the appeal may be made. More specifically, the amendment would allow the appeal to be based on a question of law, a question of fact, or both. In my opinion, this goes beyond “a serious question of general importance”. I would point out that the hon. member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin himself has stated that the effect of his amendment is to expand the principle of the right to appeal. Consequently, even if the principle remains the same, its scope is clearly expanded.

Last, I refer the hon. member to page 654 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice which states:

An amendment to a bill that was referred to a committee after second reading is out of order if it is beyond the scope and principle of the bill.

I appreciate that this is a matter of some importance to the hon. member, but for the reasons just given, I am not able to accede to the hon. member's request.

I believe the hon. member for Scarborough—Rouge River has a submission to make on a question of privilege that was before the House earlier today.

Bill C-3—Immigration and Refugee Protection ActPoint of OrderRoutine Proceedings

December 13th, 2007 / 10:25 a.m.
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Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have a brief point of order.

On behalf of my colleague from Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, I am appealing to you with regard to a decision made by the chair of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security on December 6. The chair deemed that an amendment introduced by my colleague on behalf of the Bloc Québécois was out of order.

I will explain very quickly. This has to do with Bill C-3 concerning security certificates. The bill already allows an appeal, but only in very restricted circumstances. An appeal can be made only if a judge believes that a serious question of general importance is involved. Only then can the case be re-examined.

Since the bill opened the debate on appeals and in light of the serious consequences of security certificates, we amended this appeal process to broaden it. People can be detained for several years on the basis of these security certificates. We therefore wanted the appeal process to go beyond what the bill allowed and be governed by more or less the same provisions as in the Criminal Code.

When my colleague from Marc-Aurèle-Fortin introduced his amendment, which we felt was in order because it amended an existing part of the bill—namely, the appeal process—the amendment was ruled out of order because it was considered to be outside the scope of the law. Consequently, we were unable to discuss the amendment in committee, and our colleague was not even able to present his arguments.

I would like to bring to your attention the French and English dictionary definitions of “scope of the law”, which in French is rendered as portée de la loi. The English term is found in the eighth edition of Black's Law Dictionary.

It states that “scope of authority” is:

The range of reasonable power that an agent has been delegated or might foreseeably be delegated in carrying out the principal's business.

The French term “portée”, or scope, is defined in the third edition of the Dictionnaire de droit québécois et canadien:

Scope: term used to refer to the area of application or effects of an act, agreement, legal decision, etc.

Consequently, in our opinion, the amendment introduced by the member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin was completely in order because it pertained to an existing clause of the bill. Certainly, it broadened that clause, but in our opinion, when a bill is being studied clause by clause, nothing prohibits a member from introducing an amendment that broadens or restricts an existing clause of the bill—in this case, the appeal clause.

We are therefore calling on you to rule that this amendment was in order, so that we can introduce it here, in Committee of the Whole, when we discuss Bill C-3 regarding security certificates.

Public Safety and National SecurityCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

December 10th, 2007 / 3:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security in relation to Bill C-3, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (certificate and special advocate) and to make a consequential amendment to another Act.

This bill incorporates the amendments required to make security certificates a tool that our officials can use to maintain Canada's safety. These changes were made necessary because of the ruling by the Supreme Court. Bill C-3 needs to be dealt with in a timely fashion.

December 6th, 2007 / 4:40 p.m.
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Conservative

The Chair Conservative Garry Breitkreuz

It says that Bill C-3 in clause 4 be amended replacing line 21 on page 6.

December 6th, 2007 / 3:45 p.m.
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Conservative

The Chair Conservative Garry Breitkreuz

I'd like to bring this meeting to order. It's the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, meeting number 10.

We're continuing with Bill C-3, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (certificate and special advocate) and to make a consequential amendment to another Act.

I would like to note that we have some people here from the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to give us advice. Welcome to Lynda Clairmont, associate assistant deputy minister, emergency management and national security; Edith Dussault, director of the operational policy section, national security policy directorate; and Warren Woods, senior policy analyst, operational policy section, national security policy directorate. From the Canada Border Services Agency we have David Dunbar, the general counsel. From the Department of Justice we have Daniel Therrien, acting assistant deputy attorney general for the citizenship, immigration and public safety portfolio.

Welcome to all of you. We will depend on you for advice from time to time throughout these proceedings, I'm sure.

Today we're going through the clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-3, and I think without any further ado we'll go into it. We have quite a number of amendments and we've been trying to make sure they're all dealt with in the correct order, so I hope you will speak up when your amendment comes.

Mr. Ménard, before we begin, you had indicated to us here that you wanted to introduce something. You may go ahead and introduce what I believe is your first amendment. It's a bit unusual, and I don't know if anyone's mentioned to you that it's probably inadmissible because of its form.