An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (appointment of special counsel)

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

This bill was previously introduced in the 39th Parliament, 1st Session.

Sponsor

Navdeep Bains  Liberal

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)

Status

Not active, as of June 22, 2006
(This bill did not become law.)

Summary

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

This enactment provides for the appointment of a special counsel to represent the public interest in cases where

(a) a security certificate relating to a permanent resident or foreign national signed by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness has been referred to the Federal Court under section 77 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act so that a judge may determine whether the security certificate is reasonable; and

(b) the judge has decided to hear information or evidence relating to that determination in the absence of the permanent resident or foreign national and their counsel.

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.

Security Certificate ProcessStatements By Members

September 25th, 2006 / 2 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, many people in Canada are critical of U.S. policies dealing with terrorist suspects, yet they have failed to see our own national policy failures. Many Canadians have condemned secret prisons and have condemned the existence of Guantanamo Bay. However, I believe that Canadians should also condemn the current security certificate process.

In the next few months, the Supreme Court of Canada will decide on the constitutionality of the security certificate process. In case the Supreme Court does not abolish the use of security certificates, I have tabled Bill C-345 to help start the process toward reform.

Last week the Arar report was released. It demonstrates what can happen when information is faulty and not challenged appropriately. Mr. Arar was designated as part of an Islamic extremist group even though the description was inaccurate and without any basis.

The current security certificate process is set up in a manner whereby a similar situation can occur. These individuals might be guilty or they might be innocent. However, when they are detained on a security certificate process, they are not given an opportunity to challenge the evidence nor are they granted the right to due process.

I hope the House will join me and help push for the reform of the security certificate process.

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActRoutine Proceedings

June 22nd, 2006 / 10:30 a.m.
See context

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-345, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (appointment of special counsel).

Mr. Speaker, last week the Supreme Court of Canada held hearings challenging the constitutionality of security certificates. It is well-documented that the present process in place for issuing security certificates and detaining individuals without the right to see the evidence against them denies an individual due process. The process needs to be consistent with charter principles, and I believe that we can accomplish that and restore public faith in our system.

My bill would make it mandatory for a special counsel to be appointed in order to scrutinize the evidence and the methods used to gather that evidence against an individual detained on a certificate. The purpose of the special counsel would be to ensure all constitutional and charter rights of the detained individual are respected. The bill makes the special counsel a representative of the public interest rather than the individual in order to avoid a conflict of interest that could arise from solicitor-client privilege.

There are extreme views on both sides of this very sensitive issue. There are those who want to see national security trump all individual rights, while there are those who would like to see the security certificate process abolished completely. I believe the government needs to find a more balanced approach. It needs to balance national security concerns with individual rights, and I believe this bill would accomplish that.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)