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.

November 27th, 2007 / 4 p.m.
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NDP

Penny Priddy NDP Surrey North, BC

Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Minister.

Because the NDP takes a somewhat different position on this, I'm going to use about a minute of my seven minutes to put some context around that. I think the minister knows that the NDP is opposed to this legislation. We think terrorism and espionage and organized crime are very serious matters that should be dealt with under the Criminal Code of Canada. We don't necessarily think Canadians are safer when people who are a threat to our system are simply made to leave the country. We do have a very good justice system here in our country. So we believe that anyone who's responsible for a criminal act should be charged under the Criminal Code, regardless of their status in Canada.

We are concerned that under these circumstances the security certificate process proposed in Bill C-3 undermines some fundamental values in our justice system. Even with the provision for a special advocate—and I know we will talk more about that—security certificates, we still think, violate certain civil liberties that are important to any democracy.

So in light of those objections, I'd like to explore just a bit with the minister some questions that I might have, and I thank you for answering those.

If a foreign national or permanent resident is suspected of terrorist activities, they are detained, and may appeal--correctly--and perhaps then be deported as the next possible step under the security certificate process. What happens if a Canadian citizen is charged with the same crime? Would they then be arrested, charged, tried, and punished? So why are there two separate processes?

Secondly, when a permanent resident or a foreign national is deemed to be a threat in Canada and is deported back to their own country, what happens to them when they arrive in their own country? Are they free, then, to go back to organizing all of those things that we were worried they would organize here? Or are they under some kind of penalty when they return?

November 27th, 2007 / 3:45 p.m.
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Conservative

The Chair Conservative Garry Breitkreuz

Sir, with all due respect, I think you were part of the agreement that we were going to study the topic at hand, Bill C-3. Correct me if I'm wrong.

November 27th, 2007 / 3:35 p.m.
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Conservative

The Chair Conservative Garry Breitkreuz

I'd like to bring this meeting to order. This is meeting number 4, for 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. You have the agenda before you.

I'd like to welcome the Minister of Public Safety, the Honourable Stockwell Day.

The usual practice at this committee is to give you approximately ten minutes or so, and then the questioning will begin with the official opposition and go around the table.

Welcome, sir. If you're ready, you may go ahead.

November 22nd, 2007 / 3:50 p.m.
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Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

As to what witnesses you invite from time to time, the committee would meet in camera, or otherwise the steering committee could meet and deal with those issues.

Let's not jump ahead and think we're not going to be able to do this. I think we will be able to do this.

I agree that we had agreed to deal with Bill C-3 as a priority, and that still remains a priority. If we can get this work started before Christmas, it won't be finished for several months. I'm hoping that by then we will be able to have some benefit from the other studies. Some of them will be completed.

We should do Bill C-3. We should, if at all possible, do witness protection as well. I'm a little more flexible with respect to witness protection. If we can put in a meeting or two on this issue before Christmas, and witness protection, and go beyond the new year—and this, obviously, will continue for some time—I'm okay with that.

I'm happy to be bound by the other members of the committee if they want to do Bill C-3. Obviously we all want to finish Bill C-3 because of the court prescription. If we want to finish witness protection before Christmas, I will reluctantly go along with the committee.

The idea here isn't to be obstructionist, but if we can commence this work, even one meeting on this, and then finish it in the next sitting, I'm happy with that as well. I understand the constraints on our time.

November 22nd, 2007 / 3:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Or that particular airport. But I don't know why it should be just that airport, if we're talking about services. I think we're getting almost to the point where anything concerning an airport....

I would like, with respect to Mr. Dosanjh's motion, to say that I think it's a good idea, as I mentioned at the last meeting, that we look at this issue. But to do it justice, I think we have to do a lot of things to make sure we hone it to exactly what the intent is.

We are, if we count Nova Scotia now, getting into six and seven—and we'll make it eight—examples, and I agree that this is a federal issue. When we're dealing with CBSA, RCMP, and airport authorities, definitely the federal government has almost exclusive jurisdiction in those areas—with deference, of course, to the administration of justice.

But I also am cognizant of the work ahead for the committee. We were all in agreement that we would go along this line and discuss this issue, provided it didn't hold up Bill C-3 and one other thing we're dealing with and are almost right at the end of, and that's our witness protection issues.

I think there's almost unanimity here that we do this, so let's now figure out the mechanics of how we're going to deal with those three issues.

November 22nd, 2007 / 3:30 p.m.
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Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Thank you.

The motion is before you. I'm sure I'm not required to read it, but I'd be happy to read it if you so wish; it's pretty brief. I move that we study the incident involving Robert Dziekanski in Vancouver and invite the representatives of the Canada Border Services Agency, the Vancouver International Airport Authority, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and other parties or interested individuals to make representations to the committee to that effect.

Of course, one of the issues to be discussed would be the tasers, but that wouldn't be the only issue.

I'm suggesting that we invite witnesses. If there's a consensus in the committee, that would be better, but if there's no consensus, we might have to vote on it. A list of witnesses can be put together by the clerk. Some of these people would be representatives of CBSA, RCMP, Transport Canada, the Vancouver International Airport Authority, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, and Amnesty International; use of force experts with knowledge of taser use; medical experts or doctors with knowledge of tasers; a representative of the manufacturer of tasers; police training experts with knowledge of the police training manuals for tasers and training generally; perhaps individuals with personal experience of being tasered, such as Matthew Gray or Karen Geldart; and in addition to them, perhaps even some officers who may have had the experience of tasering individuals, so you can hear firsthand from officers and under what circumstances they have used tasers and to what effect.

I know that Bill C-3 is coming before us and that it's a priority, but I'm suggesting that as we do Bill C-3, we do some of this as well before the break. Then, of course, we can come back and finish off after the break, as we do witness protection as well.

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActGovernment Orders

November 20th, 2007 / 5:40 p.m.
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Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

It being 5:41 p.m., the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at the second reading stage of Bill C-3.

Call in the members.

The House resumed consideration of the motion 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, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

November 20th, 2007 / 5:15 p.m.
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Conservative

The Chair Conservative Garry Breitkreuz

That was part of my suggestion--that whenever these people are available, we'll fit them in and work around Bill C-3. We're a bit flexible on Bill C-3, as long as we get Bill C-3 done before it's too late.

Do we have a consensus on this now?

November 20th, 2007 / 4:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Conservative Oxford, ON

Mr. Chair, with all due respect, and I understand what the member is saying, but this committee went through the Anti-terrorism Act. We've done study after study. The immigration committee studied it. The Supreme Court has studied it. What we're dealing with here is after the Supreme Court looked at the whole issue, they said, here are two issues that need to be addressed, and they have to be addressed by a certain time. It's not to cut them off, but maybe what we should look at is doing another study afterwards, but dealing with Bill C-3, which is only these two small issues. We're not trying to shut them off or not give them an opportunity, but....

November 20th, 2007 / 4:45 p.m.
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Conservative

The Chair Conservative Garry Breitkreuz

We have the 22nd, when possibly the officials can come, and the minister can come on the 27th.

The next meeting is on the 29th. For the 29th, do we wish to invite witnesses on Bill C-3? Keep in mind that we also want to do the witness protection and wrap that up here before Christmas.

We've had five requests to appear on Bill C-3: the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, the Canadian Bar Association, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, there's a group, in French, here....

November 20th, 2007 / 4:45 p.m.
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Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Since he's here, he might as well. Why not? We're free to ask questions.

I can read your notes on Bill C-3. There's not much he can tell me that I can't learn.

November 20th, 2007 / 4:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Conservative Oxford, ON

It's just that I think there's a problem with time on Bill C-3.

November 20th, 2007 / 4:40 p.m.
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Conservative

The Chair Conservative Garry Breitkreuz

November 20th, 2007 / 4:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Conservative Oxford, ON

Mr. Chair, I would just say to the member that we would like to have that as one of the couple of things we'd like to put forward to the committee. One is the DNA databank and the other is the sex offender information registry.

But I think our priority on this side, as it is for the official opposition, is to clean up the two issues. Our priority, obviously, at this point is Bill C-3, but we'd like to get the witness protection matter cleaned up and then have a clean slate going into the new year.