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

March 28th, 2013 / 1:10 p.m.
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NDP

Jonathan Genest-Jourdain NDP Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for the question.

As he said, cuts have been made to service delivery and services to the public, and also to environmental assessment.

The Conservatives claim to be tough on crime.

I would say that adding these new provisions to the Criminal Code will cause problems. I am speaking from the point of view of a criminal lawyer. I still like to think of myself as one, even though I do not currently practice law. I know that some of my clients who were not in full control of their faculties would utter threats left and right without necessarily being in a position—especially physically—to carry out those threats. A number of those clients, who had mental health issues, might threaten to use nuclear devices even though such devices are not available to the average citizen.

Canada's complacency towards environmental assessment might please the mining lobby and very specific individuals, but it exposes Canadians to serious threats, including in the nuclear industry in terms of monitoring waste storage sites. This is currently a serious problem.

The potential for nuclear terrorism is right under our noses, here in Canada.

Nuclear Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

March 28th, 2013 / 1:10 p.m.
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NDP

Raymond Côté NDP Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very honoured to follow the hon. member for Manicouagan, who is sitting beside me, but who will likely have to leave the House to attend to business. I wish him a happy Easter weekend.

Before I begin, I would like to indicate that I will be sharing the time I have been given to speak about Bill S-9.

I am trained as an archivist and historian, and I have been interested in history and international issues for a long time now. To put Bill S-9 into context, it is important to understand that, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, we moved fairly quickly from a very polarized world to one that was more fractured. Previously, the world was relatively simple to understand and keep in balance. The two major powers that divided the world were making extraordinary efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. They had the means to use them, but they also had to deal with the related security issues.

Now we live in a more fractured world. Among the sovereign states, there are states whose sovereignty is more or less assured, as well as states that are completely disorganized. What is more, there are groups throughout the world in possession of nuclear weapons. Their ability to act is difficult to assess, but they are scattered throughout the world.

This fractured world has created additional hazards, security hazards related to the possession, handling and use of nuclear material. As a result, it is particularly appropriate and vital—I would even go as far as to say urgent—to consider a bill such as Bill S-9, which makes it possible to take measures related in part to Criminal Code amendments.

I would like to talk about some of these measures. A number of my colleagues have already spoken very eloquently on the subject. Nevertheless, I am going to spend much of my time talking about the methods used and the impact, since those are the most important factors. In fact, this was my pet topic when I had the honour of being a member of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. It was a wonderful opportunity to talk about, understand and learn more about how Canada's Criminal Code works.

We fulfill our responsibility for implementing effective and comprehensive measures through bills. Yet that is far from the only method that can be used. In fact, as I have said before, when you come right down to it, a bill alone is nothing more than a marketing ploy that gives the appearance of solving all the problems, if there is no way of implementing it. In reality, a law without the means to act, without the means to be implemented, can be completely powerless.

Our legislative system is one of the pillars of our society, of our democracy, but it is not the only one. That is why the judicial system is completely independent. This system acts with the legislative system to enforce legislation. The judicial system obviously cannot be effective and productive without police forces, without the tool society has developed to investigate and understand what goes on in society. We obviously need courts to try people who are accused of planning or committing crimes that threaten our society.

As my colleagues and I have said, our responsibility is greater because the bill is associated with a multilateral treaty.

As a country that is rich and advanced and has an excellent international reputation on nuclear issues, Canada has a much bigger responsibility to implement nuclear measures. We must also act as a leader. We must at least reach out to help less fortunate or less advanced countries that have a nuclear liability or legacy meaningfully and effectively address the situation.

This situation is far from benign. A fractured world has given rise to more opportunities. The circle of nations that are developing nuclear weapons or that have nuclear facilities—either for energy production or research—has expanded a lot in the past 20 or 30 years. The so-called threat has expanded, and we have to pay attention because it remains a reality.

Canada has pulled out of the multilateral anti-drought convention. The government sent a rather strange message. It would be funny if it were a joke, but this message is just bad. This could cause our allies, the world community, to lose trust in us, even if we pass Bill S-9.

I cannot help but speak to the economic consequences of implementing Bill S-9. As a member of the Standing Committee on Finance, I will not hide the fact that I am concerned by the current dynamic. The government has no qualms about blindly cutting left, right and centre.

I am very concerned about the fact that this may well be a useful bill that would give us the potential means to deal with a threat of nuclear terrorism. Unfortunately, it will be practically unenforceable because the government will not have taken the measures to secure sites and draft protocols.

I am also concerned about management and planning. Management is not necessarily the government's strong suit, as it has amply demonstrated over the past seven years. I have no idea how the urban legend about the Conservatives being good managers came to be.

A tree is known by its fruit. Up to now, that fruit has been mostly rotten tomatoes, which Canadians do not find very appealing. The Conservatives do not have a very good record. I have often felt sick to my stomach because of some of the decisions this government has made.

I jest to lighten the mood, but that does not change the fact that it is essential that the government give research institutions, universities, existing and even private facilities the means to truly ensure that we can prevent theft or any type of nuclear threat in our society.

We also need to be able to arrest people who could use a nuclear threat to terrorize the public or to retaliate on behalf of a cause. Certain causes may be fundamentally just, but with the world the way it is, even just causes can be perversely and deviously manipulated and threaten lives.

Nuclear Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

March 28th, 2013 / 1:20 p.m.
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NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am curious specifically about the member's riding. Chalk River has spent nuclear fuel that it will be transporting back to the U.S. under an agreement we reached the last time Mr. Obama was here, I believe, or around that time. There have been concerns raised about the safety of transporting it like that and the risk of somebody trying to intervene and steal it.

As this is weapons-grade fuel, I am wondering what the reaction has been in the member's riding.

Nuclear Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

March 28th, 2013 / 1:20 p.m.
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NDP

Raymond Côté NDP Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Hamilton East—Stoney Creek very much for his question. I particularly thank him for bringing up that point of view.

Among the five federal ridings in Quebec CIty, the Beauport—Limoilou riding has the distinctive feature of containing three of the five major hospitals in the region. Hospitals are potential threats because they still make significant use of radioactive material and there are safety standards related to the use of such material.

The government's massive cuts to health and other transfers to the provinces could threaten the management of this risk. Not to mention that all this radioactive material could be diverted for use in poisoning large numbers of people. It might not kill them, but it could pose a threat and frighten people, thereby paralyzing public authorities, governments and average citizens. This could be petty crime, and not just far-reaching and large-scale terrorist crime.

Nuclear Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

March 28th, 2013 / 1:25 p.m.
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Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I want to pick up on the last question.

The member made reference to the medical use of isotopes. We need to recognize that within Canada we do use nuclear materials. Hydro is one company or organization, and there are other stakeholders out there. Our provincial governments are somewhat involved in terms of the monitoring that takes place.

My question to the member is this. Can he provide his thoughts on the importance of the Government of Canada developing a plan because of the threat of potential local terrorist activities? Also, how important is it that it takes stock of or knows of the potential targets in Canada? What is it doing to minimize the potential threat of terrorist actions, even here in Canada, underlining the importance of working with the different stakeholders in particular and different levels of government?

Nuclear Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

March 28th, 2013 / 1:25 p.m.
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NDP

Raymond Côté NDP Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Winnipeg North for his question, which I find fairly ironic. Like him, I agree on the importance of having a plan, but what good is it if we do not have all the means to implement it?

I find it ironic coming from a member of a party that, back in the day of the Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin governments, made massive cuts in transfers to the provinces. In other words, he is from a party that shovelled its deficit onto the backs of the provinces, thereby weakening, for lack of resources, the capacity of the provinces and related institutions, including health and higher education institutions, to manage and secure sites and to implement some kind of plan.

Yes, we need a detailed plan, but without the resources to implement the plan, it has no more actual value than a bill that cannot be implemented for lack of resources.

Nuclear Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

March 28th, 2013 / 1:25 p.m.
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Ajax—Pickering Ontario

Conservative

Chris Alexander ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am always pleased to ask my hon. colleague from Beauport—Limoilou a question.

Given that this is the second day that we are studying this bill at third reading stage and that neither he nor his NDP colleagues have given any reason why we should not take action to ensure nuclear safety, why does the hon. member believe that we should wait some more before taking action and passing this bill?

This bill will allow Canada to fulfill some very important national obligations and address a very urgent global challenge. We have yet to see an act of nuclear terrorism, but without the measures proposed in this bill, Canada is exposed to certain risks.

Nuclear Terrorism ActGovernment Orders

March 28th, 2013 / 1:25 p.m.
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NDP

Raymond Côté NDP Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my esteemed colleague for his question.

I will answer in another way. I hope he took the time to listen to my speech. After passing Bill S-9 relatively quickly, we will have to implement it and meet our international obligations. However, Bill S-9 will not be enough. I hope that the member was listening carefully.

Will the government implement measures to ensure that Bill S-9 is not just a document that is not worth the paper it is written on? We have to be able to secure sites and have adequate police resources to deal with this famous terrorist threat. Above all, the provinces must be able to use radioactive material in a safe manner.

Nuclear Terrorism ActRoutine Proceedings

March 18th, 2013 / 4:45 p.m.
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NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to Bill S-9, an act to amend the Criminal Code, otherwise called the nuclear terrorism act. I also want to note that I will be sharing my time with the member for Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert.

It is interesting that the legislation comes forward on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq war, and I will be speaking about that later. However, first, let me provide some background information about the proposed legislation.

Introduced in the Senate on March 27, 2012, Bill S-9 would amend the Criminal Code in order to implement the criminal law requirements of two international counterterrorism treaties: the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, CPPNM, as amended in 2005; and the 2005 International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, or ICSANT.

The nuclear terrorism act is a 10-clause bill that would introduce four indictable offences into part II of the Criminal Code. The bill would make it illegal to possess, use or dispose of nuclear or radioactive material or a nuclear or radioactive device or commit an act against a nuclear facility or its operations with the intent to cause death, serious bodily harm or substantial damage to property or the environment. It would also make it illegal to use or alter nuclear or radioactive material or a nuclear or radioactive device or commit an act against a nuclear facility or its operation with the intent to compel a person, government or international organization to do or refrain from doing anything. It would also make it illegal to commit an indictable offence under federal law for the purpose of obtaining nuclear or radioactive material, a nuclear or radioactive device, or access or control of a nuclear facility. Finally, it would make it illegal to threaten to commit any of the other three offences.

The bill would fulfill Canada's treaty obligations under the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. This would include extending international measures beyond protecting against the proliferation of nuclear materials to now include protection of nuclear facilities. It would also reinforce Canada's obligation under the UN Security Council Resolution 1540, in 2004, to take and enforce effective measures to prevent the proliferation of nuclear materials, as well as chemical and biological weapons.

In a case where the implementation of a treaty would require amendments to Canadian legislation, the treaty would be ratified only when such amendments or new legislation have been passed. To date, Canada has not ratified either the ICSANT or the CPPNM amendment. This is because Canada does not yet have the legislation in place to criminalize the offences outlined in the ICSANT or some of the offences outlined in the CPPNM amendment.

The amendments in Bill S-9 that would be introduced into the code represent Canada's efforts to align its domestic legislation with what is required by both conventions. If these amendments become law, Canada would presumably be in a position to ratify both the ICSANT and the CPPNM amendment, something Canada, as well as other countries, committed to work toward at both the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington, D.C., and the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit held in Seoul, Korea.

A number of experts have spoken out on this important topic. I would like to introduce some of their comments for the record.

Sabine Nolke, the director general of non-proliferation and security threat reduction at DFAIT, said:

Furthering nuclear security, enhancing the physical protection of facilities, installing radiation detection equipment, especially at border crossings, reducing the use of weapons-usable materials, is one of the key tools to prevent these materials from falling into the wrong hands.

Miles Pomper, a senior research associate with the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, had this to say. Mr. Pomper said:

—I want to point out generally how important it is to global security that Canada ratify these treaties. As you know, Canada and other countries, at the 2010 and 2012 Nuclear Security Summits, committed to ratifying these conventions. At the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit, just held a few months ago in Seoul, states also made a particular commitment to have the 2005 CPPNM amendment enter into force by the time of the next nuclear summit in 2014. For this to happen, two thirds of the 145 parties to the original CPPNM, or 97 states, need to ratify the treaty. To this date only 56 have done so. In ratifying this treaty, therefore, Canada will not only bring us one step closer to the magic number needed for entry into force. Canada is deeply respected in the international community for its leadership on nuclear issues and its commitment to multilateral diplomacy. Its ratification will encourage other countries to move forward with their own ratifications and improve global security.

Finally I would like to add what Matthew Bunn, associate professor of public policy at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, had to say. He said:

At the moment, unfortunately, the mechanisms for global governance of nuclear security remain very weak. No global rules specify how secure a nuclear weapon or the material needed to make one should be. No mechanisms are in place to verify that countries are securing these stockpiles responsibly. Fukushima made clear that action is needed to strengthen both the global safety and security regimes because terrorists could do on purpose what a tsunami did by accident. A central goal leading up to the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit must be to find ways to work together to strengthen the global framework for nuclear security and continue high-level attention on this topic after nuclear security summits stop taking place. Ratifying the conventions that are under consideration now is important, but it is only the beginning.

I would like to comment about Fukushima. It is timely. Coming from the west coast and also being the west coast deputy Fisheries and Oceans critic, I find that this event is very relevant and relates to this topic. Last week, for example, the Japanese government announced a $1 million grant to support the cleanup of tsunami debris washing up on Canada's west coast. B.C.'s coastline is approximately 26,000 kilometres long. It is estimated that 1.5 million tonnes of debris will wash up on B.C.'s shores following the 2011 Japanese tsunami. That is half the amount of garbage generated by metro-Vancouver in the year 2010. That is a lot of debris floating toward west coast shores.

The funds provided by the Japanese government will go toward cleanup of this debris, planning for the cleanup of future debris and addressing the increased threat of invasive species turning up on our shore. Two years ago, in March 2011, the world witnessed one of the most catastrophic events in recent times. The 9.0 magnitude earthquake and consequent tsunami and nuclear disaster killed approximately 16,000 people, with over 2,500 individuals still considered missing. It caused an estimated $235 billion in damage.

The Fukushima nuclear disaster was the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. The fear of what could have been created worldwide panic and generated a shift in societal attitudes toward nuclear power. In Canada, many considered the potential threats to our domestic nuclear facilities located in Ontario. The Fukushima disaster also reminded us of the importance of multilateral diplomacy and international co-operation in areas of great common concern.

I mentioned the Iraq war in my opening remarks and I want to make mention of it here. It was indeed 10 years ago that the Canadian government supported the Iraq war. I would add that this illegal invasion was supposedly based on Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction or nuclear weapons.

It is critical that Canada and indeed the world participate in developing the appropriate protocols to deal with nuclear terrorism. Canada needs to live up to the international conventions and obligations that call for human safety, peace and security.

I would like to conclude my remarks by outlining what it is that Canada's New Democrats are looking for. We are committed to multilateral diplomacy and international co-operation, especially in areas of great common concern, such as nuclear terrorism. We need to work with other leading countries that are moving toward ratifying these conventions.

Canada has also agreed to be legally bound by these conventions. It is important to fulfill our international obligations. Canada cannot officially ratify these conventions until the domestic implementation is complete.

Nuclear Terrorism ActRoutine Proceedings

March 18th, 2013 / 5 p.m.
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Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's comments, especially at the end, about what the opposition is looking for in order to support the bill. It would be prudent to remind him of what some of the key new offences are under the debate of the bill, including possessing or trafficking nuclear or radioactive material or a nuclear or radioactive device or committing an act against a nuclear facility or its operations with the intent to cause death, serious bodily harm or substantive damage to property or the environment, et cetera. There are about four key provisions that greatly increase the capacity of the Criminal Code of Canada to deal with these types of threats.

I was just hoping he could comment on his party's position on some of these key changes, which are really in the best interests of Canadian security. Regarding some of the other things he talked about in his speech, I would like to hear a clear commitment on the support of the bill, as well as some of the important issues that he talked about in his speech, which are actually met in the outline of the bill right now.

Nuclear Terrorism ActRoutine Proceedings

March 18th, 2013 / 5 p.m.
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NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, in fact, Canada's New Democrats are supporting the bill. We are pleased to see it move forward. However, there are some concerns, which some of the experts pointed out. I just wanted to highlight a couple of those points.

Why was the making of a nuclear or radioactive device not included in Bill S-9 when introduced to the Senate, resulting in a Senate amendment? If this was in fact an oversight, does this not give rise to concerns about the lack of care in the process of determining how these two treaties would be implemented? Also, why has it taken the government so long to introduce the legislation? It has taken over five years for this to become a serious priority.

These are some of the concerns that we have, but as I say, we are supportive of this moving forward.

Nuclear Terrorism ActRoutine Proceedings

March 18th, 2013 / 5 p.m.
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NDP

Anne-Marie Day NDP Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to Sabine Nolke, between 1993 and 2011, the International Atomic Energy Agency identified close to 2,000 incidents related to the use, transportation and unauthorized possession of nuclear and radioactive material.

Does the member not think that we need to move forward on this and that it is more important that Canada ratify this treaty, since it has been dragging its feet on this file?

Nuclear Terrorism ActRoutine Proceedings

March 18th, 2013 / 5 p.m.
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NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the member is quite correct. Over the last 20 years, there have been over 2,000 incidents in Canada. This is obviously a concern. It could easily be stated that this is unacceptable. It highlights the importance of Canada being a part of this and moving forward on the signing of these treaties, and of the government making it a higher priority than has been demonstrated so far.

I am sure that the government will hear the opposition's comments and move forward as quickly as possible to really focus on this important issue of keeping our country safe from nuclear accidents and materials that could enter our atmosphere or the country.

Nuclear Terrorism ActRoutine Proceedings

March 18th, 2013 / 5 p.m.
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NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, Bill S-9, Nuclear Terrorism Act, amends the Criminal Code to implement the criminal law requirements contained in two international treaties to combat terrorism, namely the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, which was amended in 2005, and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, signed in 2005.

Like my NDP colleagues, I believe that we must seriously address the issue of nuclear security and comply with our international obligations in order to better co-operate with other countries on counterterrorism strategies.

For the past 10 to 12 years, the United Nations and its members have been concerned about terrorism, including nuclear terrorism. They have adopted resolutions and played a key role in developing treaties and agreements, so that member states can give themselves the necessary tools in terms of legislation and policy to be able to keep up with the ever-changing terrorist threat. My speech here today will summarize some of the main resolutions and conventions that have been adopted or drafted, as well as Canada's efforts to respect its obligations in that regard.

I cannot even imagine the impact these kinds of activities would have on the people affected. We need only consider the repercussions of past nuclear incidents, like Hiroshima, Chernobyl or even Fukushima one year ago, to understand that it would be extremely damaging and powerful. The effects on health would be felt for decades, even on people who would not be directly affected.

Nuclear terrorism is a difficult concept to grasp. We do not have any concrete examples, aside from what we see in certain catastrophic Hollywood films. However, since the International Atomic Energy Agency has counted close to 2,000 incidents related to the use, transport and unauthorized possession of nuclear and radioactive material between 1993 and 2011, we must remain cautious and, above all, aware of the danger. In this sense, Canada must participate in the multilateral efforts internationally to ensure that the phenomenon remains confined to Hollywood movies.

The International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism was passed by the United Nations. It is the first international convention on terrorism to be signed since the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001. It is an extension of the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings.

The International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism was signed by Canada in 2005 and came into effect in 2007. However, since the treaty requires amendments to legislation, Canada has not yet ratified it. In Canadian law, it is not enough to simply have a treaty signed by a Canadian representative for it to automatically take effect or be implemented. The signature is simply Canada's agreement in principle. If amendments to Canadian legislation are required for a treaty to be implemented, the treaty is ratified only once the amendments are made or new legislation is passed.

In this case, several amendments to the Criminal Code would be required. It is unfortunate that this government did not decide to introduce this bill until this past year.

The government decided that ratifying the convention was not a priority. And here we are today.

Bill S-9, on nuclear terrorism, is a 10-clause bill that introduces four new offences to part II of the Criminal Code, which deals with offences against public order.

Adding these new offences, with respect to certain activities in relation to nuclear or radioactive material, nuclear or radioactive devices, or nuclear facilities, makes it illegal to possess, use or dispose of nuclear or radioactive material or a nuclear or radioactive device, or commit an act against a nuclear facility or its operations, with the intent to cause death, serious bodily harm or substantial damage to property or the environment.

It also makes it illegal to use or alter nuclear or radioactive material or a nuclear or radioactive device, or commit an act against a nuclear facility or its operations, with the intent to compel a person, government or international organization to do or refrain from doing anything.

It also makes it illegal to commit an indictable offence under federal law for the purpose of obtaining nuclear or radioactive material or a nuclear or radioactive device, or access to or control of a nuclear facility, and to threaten to commit any of the other three offences.

In addition, Bill S-9 introduces into the Criminal Code other amendments that are incidental to these four offences, but that are nonetheless significant. The bill provides definitions of certain terms used in the four offences outlined above, such as “environment”, “nuclear facility”, “nuclear material”, “radioactive material” and “device”. It also amends the definition of “terrorist activity”.

A new section is added to the Criminal Code to ensure that individuals who commit or who attempt to commit these offences, even if abroad, can be prosecuted in Canada.

The bill also amends the wiretap provisions found in the code to ensure that they apply to the new offences and amends the code so that these new offences are considered primary designated offences for the purposes of DNA warrants and collection orders.

There is also the amendment of the Canadian rule on double jeopardy, so that if an individual is tried for or convicted of these four new offences abroad, the double jeopardy rule, in other words, being convicted of and tried for the same crimes, does not apply if the trial abroad does not meet certain basic Canadian legal standards. In that case, a Canadian court can try that person again for the same crimes of which that person has already been convicted in a foreign court.

I am quite comfortable with these objectives.

I will conclude my remarks with a quote from Matthew Bunn, an associate professor of public policy at Harvard University, who made this comment during his testimony before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, which I think should convince the members of the House and Canadians of the importance of passing this bill.

Since the September 11 attacks in the United States, both countries have improved security for their own nuclear materials, helped others to do the same, helped to strengthen the International Atomic Energy Agency's efforts, and worked to strengthen other elements of the global response. But if the United States and Canada are to succeed in convincing other countries to take a responsible approach to reducing the risks of nuclear theft and terrorism at the Nuclear Security Summit in the Netherlands in 2014 and beyond, then our two countries have to take the lead in taking responsible action ourselves.

Hence, it is important for both of our countries to ratify the main conventions in this area: the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, the amendment to that convention, and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.

To conclude, I will do my part by voting in favour of the bill.

Nuclear Terrorism ActRoutine Proceedings

March 18th, 2013 / 5:10 p.m.
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NDP

Anne-Marie Day NDP Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I know this member, who gave an excellent speech, very well. She is a doctor and she is from Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert.

I would like to focus on nuclear waste, and on medical waste in particular. We know that isotopes are used to treat various diseases and in various equipment, including scanners.

I wonder if she could confirm the importance of signing this treaty quickly, to ensure that people will be completely protected. We need to propose measures regarding nuclear waste, and medical waste in particular.