Nuclear Terrorism Act

An Act to amend the Criminal Code

This bill was last introduced in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in September 2013.

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 Criminal Code to create four new offences relating to nuclear terrorism in order to implement the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.

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

May 21, 2013 Passed That the Bill be now read a third time and do pass.

Nuclear Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

October 15th, 2012 / 6:20 p.m.
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NDP

Sylvain Chicoine NDP Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his work on the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, which will examine this bill.

He has pointed out to the members of the House several unusual elements. This is a bill that should have been introduced much sooner.

In 2005, when this convention was ratified, we committed to make changes. However, the government did not consider this issue and, instead, left it up to our colleagues in the Senate to do the work.

It is strange that we have to examine this bill after the Senate. This bill should have been introduced six years ago. It is important to take all the time needed to consider it carefully. We have full confidence in the hon. member for Toronto—Danforth. The committee must ask the right questions and take the time to examine the bill, even if that requires a few extra weeks.

This is a good reason not to rush the process and to take all the time needed to carefully examine the bill. I am convinced that my colleagues that sit on the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights will be diligent in their work.

Nuclear Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

October 15th, 2012 / 6:20 p.m.
See context

NDP

Sylvain Chicoine NDP Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her excellent question.

This bill was introduced in the Senate last March. There were some oversights. Liberal senators made some amendments, which were adopted unanimously. It is important that we continue to closely study this bill to ensure that there are no other oversights.

I do not remember the exact oversights, but there were some. A Liberal senator proposed some amendments. We will continue studying the bill in order to ensure that there are no other oversights.

Nuclear Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

October 15th, 2012 / 6:25 p.m.
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NDP

Francine Raynault NDP Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.

When the Senate studied the bill, it may have pointed out areas that were overly broad in scope in order to prevent criminalization. I will read a short excerpt.

The intent of the Department of Justice was to adhere as closely as possible to the provisions of the convention. However, some of the new offences in the Criminal Code are broader in scope than the offences found in the international agreements.

Must we ensure that the overly broad scope of this new part will not result in excessive criminalization and will not violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

Nuclear Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

October 15th, 2012 / 6:25 p.m.
See context

NDP

Sylvain Chicoine NDP Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Joliette for her excellent question, which makes some very important clarifications.

The scope of this bill is possibly too broad, since the justice department's intention was to stick as close as possible to the provisions of the convention. However, some of these new offences in the Criminal Code have a much broader scope than the offences found in the international agreements.

We must ensure that the broad scope of this new part will not cause excessive criminalization and will not violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights will have to make some clarifications.

Nuclear Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

October 15th, 2012 / 6:25 p.m.
See context

NDP

Craig Scott NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague from Châteauguay—Saint-Constant made a very good point about the delay of this legislation arriving in Parliament. We know that the operative treaties that underlie this legislation were both adopted in 2005 and it is now 2012, seven years later. Even giving the government a year or a year and a half to prepare the implementing legislation, this seems excessive.

Does my colleague feel that the government's approach to these two treaties has harmful effects on our reputation internationally, especially among the community of states that take very seriously measures to protect against nuclear terrorism?

Nuclear Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

October 15th, 2012 / 6:25 p.m.
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NDP

Sylvain Chicoine NDP Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Toronto—Danforth for his excellent question.

The answer can be found in the question itself, in that the seven-year wait was excessive. Many countries take these questions very seriously. We are talking about the safety of Canadian citizens.

Many countries took these issues much more seriously—if I may say so—and addressed nuclear safety issues much more quickly.

The fact that Canada waited so long to address the nuclear safety issue has only tarnished Canada's international reputation, which had been excellent up until now. Canada's reputation has been tarnished by our delay in addressing this issue. My colleague was correct in pointing that out.

Nuclear Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

October 15th, 2012 / 6:25 p.m.
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NDP

Djaouida Sellah NDP Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, as my colleague pointed out and I just realized, unfortunately, since this morning only NDP members have been defending Bills S-7 and S-9, which have already been studied in the Senate. That does not surprise me. Each time, the Conservative government has washed its hands of these matters, and it has done the same with health concerns.

However, I am not surprised by how they have handled these two bills. They have let representatives appointed to the Senate do the work of members elected by Canadians to represent them in the House of Commons.

That being said, I listened carefully to my colleagues' speeches. Concerns were raised in the Senate, especially about the sentences. They say that there are no mandatory minimum sentences in Bill S-9. Can my colleague talk about that?

Nuclear Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

October 15th, 2012 / 6:30 p.m.
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NDP

Sylvain Chicoine NDP Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would quickly say that it is a good thing that there are no minimum sentences in this bill because they are constantly challenged in the courts anyway. What is more, in the near future, they would probably be declared unconstitutional. So, it is a good thing that there are no minimum sentences. There are however maximum sentences that can be as long as life in prison for most of the offences. That is appropriate. This will give judges the flexibility to rule according to case law, case by case, and to come up with the right sentence.