Keeping Canadians Safe (Protecting Borders) Act

An Act to implement the Framework Agreement on Integrated Cross-Border Maritime Law Enforcement Operations between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America

This bill was last introduced in the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session, which ended in March 2011.

Status

First reading (House), as of March 10, 2011
(This bill did not become law.)

Summary

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

This enactment implements the Framework Agreement on Integrated Cross-Border Maritime Law Enforcement Operations between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America signed on May 26, 2009.

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.

June 5th, 2012 / 5:30 p.m.
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NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

So what we have here is the spirit of bills C-60 and S-13, less a part that, it was felt, should be left for another bill.

June 5th, 2012 / 5:30 p.m.
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NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Do you think the provisions in bills S-13 and C-60 are much like what is in division 12 of the bill?

June 5th, 2012 / 5:25 p.m.
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Senior Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section, Department of Justice

Michael Zigayer

First came Bill C-60, then came Bill S-13.

June 5th, 2012 / 5:25 p.m.
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Senior Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section, Department of Justice

Michael Zigayer

Then we were at the stage of completing the study of Bill S-13 in the Senate when there was the election last year.

May 17th, 2012 / 12:30 p.m.
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C/Supt Joe Oliver

I believe the Senate committee has studied this on two occasions: in relation to Bill S-13, and most recently in relation to the pre-study they are doing for Bill C-38.

May 17th, 2012 / 12:10 p.m.
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Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Thank you very much for joining us today.

During the Senate study on Bill S-13, some of the senators wanted to know the cost of this legislative measure. They were told that the RCMP would be able to absorb the cost of the requirements of the implementation, but we've already had the Auditor General warn that the RCMP can't absorb further costs for additional requirements without compromising operations. Given that concern, can you give us some specific figures of what it will cost to implement these measures? I think we all share the concern that the RCMP's resources are being stretched further, given the constraints they're already under.

May 17th, 2012 / 12:05 p.m.
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Director, Border Law Enforcement Strategies Division, Public Safety Canada

Stephen Bolton

Of course.

Joe Oliver of the RCMP will be joining us momentarily, when he gets through security.

I'm here to speak to the Shiprider operation part of the BIA. Division 12 of the BIA is required to implement regular Shiprider operations between Canada and the United States. Shiprider enables specially trained and designated Canadian and U.S. law enforcement officers to conduct seamless, continuous law enforcement operations across the border on shared waters. This new and innovative cooperative policing model not only leverages law enforcement resources more efficiently, but has proven to be a more effective method of detecting and interdicting cross-border criminality.

Just to give you a sense of it, the idea is that there would be police law enforcement vessels in shared waters on the Canada-U.S. border, and they would be jointly crewed by Canadian and U.S. law enforcement. It's very important to note that all Shiprider operations will be conducted under the direction and control of law enforcement officers of the host country, so in Canada under the control and direction of Canadian law enforcement, and in Canada it would be conducted in accordance with Canadian laws, policies, and procedures, and the same on the U.S. side.

Looking at some of the key elements of this legislation, the act would define the scope of operations for Shiprider; specify the authorities being granted to designated officers; outline the role of the Canadian central authority, which would be responsible for managing the day-to-day operations; specify the appointment process, including the mandatory criteria for appointment; outline how the seizure of goods and detention of persons are to be managed in Canada; and establish a civilian oversight mechanism for the conduct of designated officers.

Legislation seeking to implement Shiprider has twice been introduced to Parliament, the latest being former Bill S-13, which died on the order paper when Parliament was dissolved in March 2011.

Regularizing Shiprider operations will permit the government to realize one of the key law enforcement commitments in the Beyond the Border action plan between Canada and the United States. Importantly, it would also allow Canada to ratify the Shiprider framework agreement signed by the public safety minister and the homeland secretary back in May 2009. With this legislation in place, it is hoped that regular Shiprider operations could be implemented this summer.

This is the mounted cavalry riding in. This is my colleague, Joe Oliver, director general, border integrity, RCMP.

March 24th, 2011 / 8:50 a.m.
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Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Thank you, Mr. Chair and members of the committee. Once again I welcome the opportunity to be with you to discuss the estimates of the public safety portfolio.

As you indicated, Mr. Chair, I am joined here by the Deputy Minister of Public Safety, Mr. William Baker, as well as by senior officials of the five agencies in the public safety portfolio: the Canada Border Services Agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Correctional Service of Canada, the Parole Board of Canada, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The committee has before it the main estimates for fiscal year 2011-12, which seek an increase in funds of $797.4 million over the fiscal year 2010-11 for the portfolio. The committee also has before it supplementary estimates (C), which seek approval for funds of $48.5 million for the current fiscal year. These estimates do not reflect initiatives announced in Budget 2011.

As demonstrated in this week's tabling of the budget, the next phase of Canada's economic action plan recognizes the importance of keeping our communities safe by investing in crime prevention and the justice system, with such measures including investing $20 million over two years in the youth gang prevention fund to promote the provision of community-based educational, cultural, sporting, and vocational opportunities for youth; promoting safer aboriginal communities by investing an additional $30 million over two years in the first nations policing program to supplement existing policing services; funding of $8.4 million per year to Canada's no-safe-haven policy for persons involved in war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide; providing $26 million over two years to support the federal victims’ ombudsman to promote access to justice and participation by victims in the justice system; funding $20.9 million to continue to waive firearms licence renewal fees for all classes of firearms from May 2011 until May 2012; and contributing $1.6 million annually to support security enhancements for communities victimized by hate-motivated crime.

These are only a few highlights of this week's budget; however, they stand as a testament to our government's continued commitment to protecting the safety and security of all Canadians.

The committee has before it the main estimates for fiscal year 2011-12, which provide for the day-to-day operations of the portfolio throughout the fiscal year in accordance with our government's ongoing commitment to continue building safer communities for all Canadians at a time of government restraint.

In addition, funds would be prudently invested to provide the Correctional Service of Canada and the National Parole Board of Canada with the resources to implement the Truth in Sentencing Act and the Tackling Violent Crime Act.

It would allow the RCMP to meet incremental requests for policing services by provinces, territories, municipalities, and first nations communities while also implementing or renewing a number of initiatives to further crack down on the activities of organized crime groups as well as others who would threaten the safety and security of Canadians.

It would strengthen the ability of the Canada Border Services Agency to keep our borders secure while expediting the legitimate flow of people and goods across them, and it would allow the agency to support the integrity of Canada's immigration and refugee program by implementing the Balanced Refugee Reform Act.

It would deliver on the commitment I believe all of us share to protecting Canada's digital infrastructure from current and emerging cyber threats by providing needed resources for the implementation of Canada's cyber security strategy, which our government announced in September.

Our efforts to tackle crime will cost more money. We understand there is a cost to keeping dangerous criminals behind bars, and we're willing to pay it. This is a small price to pay to ensure dangerous criminals don't create new victims or terrorize previous ones. We want to ensure that Correctional Service Canada has the resources it needs to keep dangerous criminals behind bars and ensure that our methods and infrastructure keep up with, indeed get ahead of, new forms of criminality.

The protection of Canadians must come first. As victims have repeatedly told us, releasing criminals onto our streets early has a much higher cost than keeping criminals behind bars. In fact, a recent report released by the Department of Justice estimated the total cost of crime to Canadians in 2008 to be $99.6 billion. I'm very pleased that Conservative members of this committee have recently written the Parliamentary Budget Officer requesting a study analyzing the socio-economic cost of crime for victims, governments, and our communities. I agree with my colleagues on the committee that this is an area that has not received adequate priority and analysis.

Our government is aware of the reality and we are prepared to take the steps that will be needed to ensure that Correctional Services of Canada has the tools they need. The main estimates for fiscal year 2011-12 seek an increase to Correctional Services of Canada's budget of $521.6 million, of which $458 million relates to the implementation of the Truth In Sentencing Act, and a further $19.6 million is requested for the implementation of the Tackling Violent Crime Act.

In addition, the main estimates for 2011-12 seek an increase to the Parole Board of Canada's budget of $2.8 million, of which $1.6 million represents the third of six annual increases related to the government's Truth In Sentencing Act. Canadians have told us they want to feel safe on their own streets and in their own communities. They have told us they want police to have the resources they need to do the job. They have told us they want stiffer consequences and stiffer punishments for serious crimes, especially violent gun crimes. They have told us that they want offenders held more fully to account for their actions, and they have told us that they want the interest of victims put ahead of those of offenders. That is what our government is doing.

We are working with Canadians to restore faith in our justice system. All of us have been busy in this session. We have worked together on Bill S-13, which is the Protecting Borders Act, more commonly referred to as “Shiprider”. This is important legislation that would permit designated Canadian and American law enforcement personnel to jointly work on maritime law enforcement vessels in boundary waters and pursue criminals who try to exploit law enforcement gaps at our shared waterways.

We have worked hard on Bill C-42, An Act to amend the Aeronautics Act, which is important and very much needed by Canadian travellers as it is going to allow Canadian airline companies to continue accessing southern destinations in the most timely and cost-effective way possible. And it is going to ensure that we continue to strike the appropriate balance between complying with international laws while also protecting the rights of Canadians.

We've worked together to pass reforms to the pardon system so that the Parole Board of Canada has the discretion it needs to determine whether or not granting a pardon might bring the administration of justice into disrepute.

Our children have the right to be safe from sex offenders. That's why I'm very proud that all of us worked to pass legislation to strengthen the national sex offender registry and the national DNA data bank so that all sex offenders are registered with the police.

Tackling crime on all fronts remains a key priority for our government, which is why we also recently introduced legislation to combat the despicable crime of human smuggling. This is indeed a major concern for our government. We need the help of all members of Parliament to pass our firm and reasonable measures that would prevent human smugglers from abusing our fair and welcoming immigration system.

Most recently, we passed reasonable measures to ensure that convicted con artists, fraudsters, and drug traffickers won't be released automatically onto our streets after serving just one-sixth of their prison sentence.

Finally, our Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act passed through the Senate, and we have announced new RCMP technology that will help reduce wait times for individuals, including hockey coaches and teachers, to receive police checks to be able to work with the most vulnerable in our society.

Keeping our communities safe has been a priority for this government, and I know it's a priority for members of this committee. We have taken action on a number of fronts to deliver on our commitment. We will continue to do so in the future, and I look forward to working with this committee over the coming months on a number of fronts to keep Canadians safe.

I am now prepared to answer questions, Mr. Chair.

Message from the SenateGovernment Orders

March 10th, 2011 / 5:55 p.m.
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Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I have the honour to inform the House that a message has been received from the Senate informing this House that the Senate has passed Bill S-13, An Act to implement the Framework Agreement on Integrated Cross-Border Maritime Law Enforcement Operations between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America, to which the concurrence of the House is desired.

It being 5:56 p.m., the House will now proceed to the consideration of private members' business, as listed on today's order paper.

Disposition of Abolition of Early Parole ActGovernment Orders

February 14th, 2011 / 6:55 p.m.
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Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to participate in the debate on the motion to prevent debate on the content and substance of Bill C-59. I find it rather odd that the Bloc has supported the government's attempt to stifle any attempt at debate on the substance of this bill.

No one in the House can accuse the Liberals of not supporting the idea of eliminating parole eligibility after one-sixth of the sentence is served for economic crimes. Two years ago, my colleague from Bourassa, our candidate in Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert and our member for Lac-Saint-Louis participated in a press conference with several of Earl Jones' victims to call on the government to quickly bring forward a bill to eliminate parole eligibility after one-sixth of the sentence is served, especially for criminals who commit major fraud and have multiple victims.

No one can accuse the Liberals of not supporting that idea. I think it is really dishonest of the government to make that kind of accusation when it knows very well what the Liberals' position is. This was pointed out by my colleague from Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine.

Now I would like to talk about the debate and the fact that the Conservatives and the Bloc members want to limit the scope of the debate. Just seven months ago the members of the Bloc rose in the House to criticize the government for doing the exact same thing it is doing now with Bill C-59. The government moved a motion to block debate.

Last June, the member for Saint-Maurice—Champlain rose in the House to criticize the government for moving a motion to block debate on the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act. The Bloc member for Hochelaga also rose to oppose a government motion to block debate on Bill C-9, the Jobs and Economic Growth Act, by imposing time allocation.

We are opposed to this time allocation motion because we believe that Bill C-59 addresses a very important issue. Furthermore, for two years now, the Liberals have been calling on the government to eliminate parole eligibility after one-sixth of the sentence is served for economic crimes like those committed by Earl Jones, Vincent Lacroix and others.

I think it is a shame that some would have people believe that the Liberals do not want to protect victims. That is simply not true. When the government introduced Bill C-21 on economic crimes and it was referred to committee, the Liberal justice critic proposed an amendment to the bill to eliminate eligibility for parole after one-sixth of the sentence in cases of economic crime. The Conservatives and the Bloc defeated the motion.

Every MP is entitled to his or her opinion on bills that we are called on to debate in the House. It is a fundamental aspect of the democratic process. The operative word here is “debate”, and the collusion between the Conservatives and the Bloc is preventing us from acting as responsible parliamentarians.

We would like to hear from experts. We want to know how this bill will truly address a gap in the law, how it will do justice to victims, how this bill will improve the chances of rehabilitation for those who once lost control of their lives.

Perhaps we should indeed eliminate parole after one-sixth of a sentence for offenders who have committed serious economic crimes and left a number of victims.

However, for non-violent criminal acts that are not fraud, we believe that evidence has shown that parole after one-sixth of a sentence has been very effective and that the rate of recidivism is much lower.

We will never know what the experts might have said since this closure motion eliminates any chance to consult experts. With this government so eager to control everything, it has become somewhat of a tradition to just pass a bill without any idea of the facts that might call it into question.

The Liberals are against this closure motion. It is not justified, and we regret that the Bloc has decided to join the Conservatives to limit the debate on this bill. As far as the substance of the bill is concerned, in the past and still today, no one could accuse the Liberals of not showing their support for eliminating parole after one-sixth of the sentence for economic crimes.

In order to illustrate the government's intellectual dishonesty, I would like to present a chronology of the Conservatives' failures in their so-called fight against crime.

I am referring here to the various bills that have died on the order paper for all sorts of reasons or that have remained in the House or at committee indefinitely.

Here they are. Bill C-15, An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, died on the order paper when Parliament was prorogued; Bill C-19, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (investigative hearing and recognizance with conditions), died on the order paper before the House had a chance to vote on it; Bill C-26, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (auto theft and trafficking in property obtained by crime), also died on the order paper. It is certainly not the opposition that forced the government to prorogue Parliament.

Bill C-31, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act and the Identification of Criminals Act and to make a consequential amendment to another Act, died on the order paper, and Bill C-36, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, on the faint hope clause, died on the order paper before being brought back this session. One committee meeting was held on Bill C-46, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Competition Act and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, before it died on the order paper. Bill C-52, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (sentencing for fraud), which is related to Bill C-59, the bill we are dealing with today, died on the order paper when Parliament was prorogued. Bill C-58, An Act respecting the mandatory reporting of Internet child pornography by persons who provide an Internet service, died on the order paper. The prorogation of Parliament killed many bills.

Among the bills introduced by the Minister of Public Safety was Bill C-34, the Protecting Victims From Sex Offenders Act, which also died on the order paper. The bill to deter terrorism and to amend the State Immunity Act died on the order paper. Bill C-43, An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and the Criminal Code, died on the order paper. Bill C-47, An Act regulating telecommunications facilities to support investigations, died on the order paper. Bill C-53, An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (accelerated parole review) and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, died on the order paper. Bill C-60, An Act to implement the Framework Agreement on Integrated Cross-Border Maritime Law Enforcement Operations between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America, died on the order paper.

To date, no meetings have been held to discuss Bill C-16, An Act to amend the Criminal Code. Bill C-17, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (investigative hearing and recognizance with conditions), was given first reading 51 days after Parliament was prorogued, and the committee still has not met to discuss that bill.

Bill C-21, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (sentencing for fraud), was fast-tracked at committee in just one meeting and still has not reached second reading. Bill C-22, An Act respecting the mandatory reporting of Internet child pornography by persons who provide an Internet service, was given first reading 64 days after Parliament was prorogued, and the government delayed it for 26 days at report stage because of the debate on the short title.

Bill C-48, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make consequential amendments to the National Defence Act, was given first reading 89 days after Parliament was prorogued, and we are still waiting for the next step. Bill C-50, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (interception of private communications and related warrants and orders), was given first reading after 94 days, and we are still waiting. First reading of An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Competition Act and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act took place 243 days after Parliament was prorogued. Bill C-53, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (mega-trials), was given first reading and nothing more.

Bill C-54, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (sexual offences against children) only made it to first reading. Bill C-5, An Act to amend the International Transfer of Offenders Act was introduced at first reading by the Minister of Public Safety 15 days after prorogation. Two committee meetings were held and nothing has happened since. As for Bill C-23B, An Act to amend the Criminal Records Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, we are still waiting. After a few meetings on the subject, the minister was supposed to come back with amendments that he felt were necessary in order to make the bill more comprehensive and definitely more respectful. Bill C-39, An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts was introduced for first reading 104 days after prorogation and we still have not met in committee to discuss it. Bill C-49, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Balanced Refugee Reform Act and the Marine Transportation Security Act was introduced for first reading 232 days after prorogation and there it remains. Bill C-52, An Act regulating telecommunications facilities to support investigations was also introduced for first reading 243 days after prorogation and we are waiting for the next step. The Senate introduced Bill S-7, An Act to deter terrorism and to amend the State Immunity Act for first reading 49 days after prorogation and we are still waiting for the next step. Bill S-10, An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts was introduced for first reading in the Senate 60 days after prorogation. Bill S-13, An Act to implement the Framework Agreement on Integrated Cross-Border Maritime Law Enforcement Operations between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America was introduced for first reading 237 days after prorogation.

I am pointing this out to prove that it is not the opposition parties that are slowing the process down. For all sorts of unknown reasons, the government introduces these bill and then goes no further with them.

To conclude, I would like to question the justification for Bill C-59 and the fact that the Conservatives and the Bloc felt this was urgent enough to warrant this closure motion, which is an affront to parliamentary dialogue.