Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act

An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Canada Evidence Act, the Competition Act and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act

This bill was last introduced in the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session, which ended in August 2015.

Sponsor

Peter MacKay  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 Criminal Code to provide, most notably, for

(a) a new offence of non-consensual distribution of intimate images as well as complementary amendments to authorize the removal of such images from the Internet and the recovery of expenses incurred to obtain the removal of such images, the forfeiture of property used in the commission of the offence, a recognizance order to be issued to prevent the distribution of such images and the restriction of the use of a computer or the Internet by a convicted offender;

(b) the power to make preservation demands and orders to compel the preservation of electronic evidence;

(c) new production orders to compel the production of data relating to the transmission of communications and the location of transactions, individuals or things;

(d) a warrant that will extend the current investigative power for data associated with telephones to transmission data relating to all means of telecommunications;

(e) warrants that will enable the tracking of transactions, individuals and things and that are subject to legal thresholds appropriate to the interests at stake; and

(f) a streamlined process of obtaining warrants and orders related to an authorization to intercept private communications by ensuring that those warrants and orders can be issued by a judge who issues the authorization and by specifying that all documents relating to a request for a related warrant or order are automatically subject to the same rules respecting confidentiality as the request for authorization.

The enactment amends the Canada Evidence Act to ensure that the spouse is a competent and compellable witness for the prosecution with respect to the new offence of non-consensual distribution of intimate images.

It also amends the Competition Act to make applicable, for the purpose of enforcing certain provisions of that Act, the new provisions being added to the Criminal Code respecting demands and orders for the preservation of computer data and orders for the production of documents relating to the transmission of communications or financial data. It also modernizes the provisions of the Act relating to electronic evidence and provides for more effective enforcement in a technologically advanced environment.

Lastly, it amends the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act to make some of the new investigative powers being added to the Criminal Code available to Canadian authorities executing incoming requests for assistance and to allow the Commissioner of Competition to execute search warrants under the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters 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

  • Oct. 20, 2014 Passed That the Bill be now read a third time and do pass.
  • Oct. 1, 2014 Passed That Bill C-13, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Canada Evidence Act, the Competition Act and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, as amended, be concurred in at report stage.
  • Oct. 1, 2014 Failed That Bill C-13, in Clause 20, be amended by adding after line 29 on page 14 the following: “(2) For greater certainty, nothing in this Act shall be construed so as to abrogate or derogate from the protections for personal information affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada decision in R. v. Spencer 2014 SCC 43.”
  • Oct. 1, 2014 Failed That Bill C-13 be amended by deleting the short title.
  • Oct. 1, 2014 Passed That, in relation to Bill C-13, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Canada Evidence Act, the Competition Act and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, not more than one further sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration at report stage of the Bill and one sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration at third reading stage of the said Bill; and that, 15 minutes before the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders on the day allotted to the consideration at report stage and on the day allotted to the consideration at third reading stage of the said Bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this Order, and in turn every question necessary for the disposal of the stage of the Bill then under consideration shall be put forthwith and successively without further debate or amendment.
  • March 26, 2014 Passed That, in relation to Bill C-13, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Canada Evidence Act, the Competition Act and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, not more than one further sitting day after the day on which this Order is adopted shall be allotted to the consideration at second reading stage of the Bill; and that, 15 minutes before the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders on the day allotted to the consideration at second reading stage of the said Bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this Order, and, in turn, every question necessary for the disposal of the said stage of the Bill shall be put forthwith and successively, without further debate or amendment.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act
Government Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 10:45 a.m.
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NDP

Niki Ashton Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for expressing our opposition to the bill. As someone who also deals with issues surrounding cyber-misogyny in particular and the attack on women of all ages online, which is especially vitriolic, could she speak to the way in which the bill would do nothing to deal with that kind of cyberbullying?

The government's agenda, when it comes to women and discrimination against them, is left wanting. The Conservatives use examples of cyber-misogyny and tragic examples to drive this egregious agenda. Could my colleague speak to that?

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act
Government Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 10:50 a.m.
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NDP

Charmaine Borg Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the member is absolutely right. Unfortunately, some women are particularly vulnerable targets for misogynist comments on the Internet. The case of Amanda Todd is a good example. A sexual image of her was distributed because sometimes, people unfortunately see women as sexual objects.

The member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord moved a motion that we work on prevention. I think that prevention is very important, but it is nowhere to be found in this bill. If we work together, we can get to the root of the issue and figure out why cyberbullying happens and why people distribute sexual images without consent. We need to get to the root of the problem.

We can impose sanctions on people all we want, but if there is no means of preventing this crime, we cannot attack the problem on all fronts. Prevention is important, especially in the case of women who are the victims of these types of attacks. To combat this problem, we need to get to the root of this problem.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act
Government Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 10:50 a.m.
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NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, as you know and as all members on both sides of this House know, cyberbullying causes a lot of pain for the young women—and also young men—who fall victim to this crime. In most cases, the victims are young people who are still in high school and who do not have much power in society.

I would like to clarify something with the member for Terrebonne—Blainville. If I am not mistaken, the member thinks that the government is mismanaging this issue by associating cyberbullying with intrusive provisions regarding Internet spying. From what I understand, she demonstrated that these two topics should be separated. Could she explain why?

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act
Government Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 10:50 a.m.
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NDP

Charmaine Borg Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is something we have said over and over. We should be able to split this bill in two. Cyberbullying victims deserve a debate on these problems. They deserve that we tackle the issue of cyberbullying and debate provisions that would help fix these problems. I repeat that we also need to address prevention. Unfortunately, these two issues are being dealt with at the same time.

I would like to talk about what Carol Todd said during her testimony in committee. She said that she did not want people's privacy to be invaded in her daughter's name. That is fundamental.

Why could we not adopt only the parts of the bill on cyberbullying and the sharing of non-consensual images, and then examine the other parts later, especially in light of the Spencer decision, which changes everything?

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act
Government Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 10:50 a.m.
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Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, one concern I have expressed in the past is that the amount of exploitation that takes place on the Internet is exceptionally high, and has been for a number of years. Cyberbullying takes place every day and the need for legislation has existed for a number of years. The opposition, whether the Liberals or the New Democrats, has brought forward legislation to try to deal with some of these problems. In recognition of just how badly we need some legislation, the Liberals will support this.

Would the member comment on the lost opportunities in not passing more progressive legislation earlier? Certain aspects of this legislation received overwhelming support from all political parties and had the government acted on those portions, cyberbullying and exploitation over the Internet could have been dealt with a few years ago. Would she not agree?

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act
Government Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 10:55 a.m.
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NDP

Charmaine Borg Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to commend my colleague from Dartmouth—Cole Harbour for his excellent work and for introducing a bill with provisions that were very similar to those in the first few pages of the bill we are debating today.

We could have acted very quickly. We could have passed the motion moved by my colleague from Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, which would have allowed us to examine the issue of cyberbullying and find ways to prevent it. Unfortunately, the Conservatives voted against the motion moved by my colleague from Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, despite claiming that they are committed to combatting cyberbullying. That is extremely disconcerting.

In response to my Liberal colleague's question, I am extremely disappointed to hear that they are supporting this bill and that they are supporting this government's desire to violate the privacy of Canadians.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act
Government Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 10:55 a.m.
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Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, much like at second reading, I am pleased but also troubled to speak to Bill C-13, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Canada Evidence Act, the Competition Act and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act.

I am pleased that Parliament and the government are moving forward with measures to combat cyberbullying. It is, as many others have said, a scourge on our society and is especially troublesome, creating stress, strain and in some cases a loss of self-worth, among our youth.

As my colleagues, the critic for justice and the critic for rights and freedoms, have stated, we support very strongly that aspect of the bill. Support measures that would provide law enforcement with additional tools to combat cyberbullying is an area where the Criminal Code needs to be updated to reflect the realities of modern technologies and these times. Bill C-13 would do a reasonable job in bringing the Criminal Code up to date.

I will speak a little further on other measures we believe, beyond the Criminal Code, that must happen to really deal effectively with cyberbullying. The Criminal Code can only be one aspect. We need to take many more measures in prevention and awareness, et cetera, beyond the Criminal Code.

However, at the beginning I said I am pleased, but I am also troubled. I am troubled because tagged onto the bill were measures of the old Bill C-30 on lawful access that so many Canadians spoke out against. Efforts were made to split the bill at committee and yet, despite the urging of the new Privacy Commissioner and many other witnesses, including Carol Todd, the bill was not split.

I will complete my remarks after question period.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act
Government Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 12:10 p.m.
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Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I recognize that I have about seventeen minutes left. I expect I will not use that, just to warn the next speaker who may be on the list, as I have spoken to this bill before.

Before question period, I was outlining that I was pleased but also troubled to speak to Bill C-13. I outlined that the Liberal Party is very supportive of the cyberbullying aspects of the bill, but troubled over the parts that are measures in the old Bill C-30 on lawful access, which so many Canadians spoke out against.

Efforts were made, and I am disappointed that the government did not accept those efforts by both opposition parties, to split the bill. It was not only the opposition members who wanted to split the bill; it was the new Privacy Commissioner and many others, including Carol Todd, who knows very well about the difficult and troubling aspect of cyberbullying.

The bill was not split. However, regardless, we do feel within the Liberal Party that cyberbullying is such a scourge on society that we are going to have to put not only a little water in our wine, but a fair bit, in fact, because we are very seriously troubled over aspects of the bill. This tends to be what the current government does. The Conservatives will put a couple of good points in the bill and add a whole lot of other material that should not be in that particular bill.

The Liberals believe that a balance must be struck between civil liberties and public safety, particularly when it comes to warrants that may be intrusive and overboard. We do not support the measures that were in Bill C-30, which the government had to withdraw because of Canadians' outrage. The problem is that some of those points are back in this bill. Some of this bill duplicates the rejected Bill C-30, such as word-for-word reproductions of the changes to subsection 487(c.1) of the Criminal Code; and all but one-word changes to subsection 492.1 and section 492 regarding warrants.

We are very concerned about efforts to reintroduce “lawful access”, which the Conservatives promised was dead.

Though the title is the “protecting Canadians from online crime act”, nobody would be protected under this act. In typical government fashion, this is all about punishment rather than prevention. Complex problems like cyberbullying require more than blunt additions to the Criminal Code. This omnibus bill touches everything from terrorism to telemarketing, and cable stealing to hate speech. It is an affront to both democracy and the legislative process in the way it was handled.

If it had been split, what could have been a bill on cyberbullying, which probably would have had the unanimous support of the House, is no longer possible. What is seen from us is reluctant support because we have to, regardless of the consequences, deal with the cyberbullying side. That is certainly why I am troubled.

I want to turn to a couple of quotes that outline the extent of the problem in terms of the way that the government has dealt with this bill.

There was an editorial in The Globe and Mail, on November 22, entitled “Not Without a Warrant”, from which I will quote:

Under current law, a wiretapping authorization will only be issued by a judge if police can show a “reasonable ground to believe that an offence has been or will be committed.” But under Bill C-13, wireless wiretaps can be authorized on the looser standards of “reasonable ground to suspect.”

The editorial goes on:

Why not make police applications for a wireless wiretap clear the same, high legal hurdle as a traditional wiretap? And why is the government burying all of this inside an unrelated piece of legislation covering the highly emotional topic of cyberbullying? Parliament should be debating and voting on each measure separately, on its merits. Once again, the Conservative government is engaging in unnecessary legislative acrobatics. Time to cease and desist.

I will read one more. This is an editorial, also on November 22, from the Ottawa Citizen, entitled “More than 'cyberbullying'”. I will just read a piece of it:

If the government wants to make cable theft a criminal offence, or increase police powers to track online communication, it is perfectly within its rights to propose those things. There is no reason to bundle it in with a bill that has an entirely different purpose. The announcement about the bill calls it “legislation to crack down on cyberbullying.” This suggests the Conservatives never learned the main lesson from the Toews' debacle, and are still trying to bundle and brand their legislation instead of simply defending it on its merits.

We are certainly not the only ones who are troubled about how the government approaches these bills, rams stuff through committee, and fails to give proper legitimate debate to each item on its own merits, so that at the end of the day this place can be proud, on all sides, of what we have passed.

However, as I said, the cyberbullying issue is of such an urgency that we cannot deep-six, if I could put it that way, that aspect of the bill that we do not like. We are forced to vote on a bill that we are troubled over, and, reluctantly, we will.

However, we will put a red flag on all areas infringing upon privacy that we are concerned about, and hopefully in a future Parliament we will see democracy break out in this place, where committees can do their job, as the founders of this country envisioned it would be done.

Let me close by saying that on the cyberbullying aspect, the Criminal Code is not the only instrument that needs to be embellished, if I could put it that way, in order to deal with the problem of cyberbullying. We believe that these legislative measures alone are insufficient to combat cyberbullying, and we urge the government to commit to a broader, more holistic strategy to deal with cyberbullying.

It would also include public awareness resources for parents and kids. In other words, there has to be an education campaign, a publicity campaign, whether it is police forces, or community leaders, or whatever, who go into our school system to talk about the problem of cyberbullying and how this new technological world that we live in can haunt us, and, in fact, is used to haunt certain individuals in society.

In order to save time, I will close my remarks. I appreciate having had the opportunity to speak at third reading of this bill.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act
Government Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 12:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Ryan Leef Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member talked about a broader and more holistic approach to dealing with online crime and cyberbullying, and I would not disagree.

However, the member speaks as though that is not occurring. Our government has made significant investments at the community and local level as well as at the provincial and territorial level in support of victims of crime.

I would remind the member that every time we do that, in all the budgets we have put forward that bring important programs through that holistic and broad approach he is talking about, the Liberal members vote against those measures.

Is the member able to look at this bill as though it is not in a vacuum but is one more measure in a broad suite of things that our government is doing to protect victims of crime, to stop online bullying, to stop bullying generally, to stop assaults, and to stop victimization?

Will the member commit that when our government brings the monetary measures forward, the legislative measures forward, and the policy measures forward, he will finally support those measures?

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act
Government Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 12:25 p.m.
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Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I get such a kick out of backbench members in the governing party. They are always on their feet saying “Well, my golly, you voted against that and you voted against this.” What foolishness.

In what happens at committee and in this place, there are always certain aspects that members may or may not like. Just because a member votes against a particular piece of legislation does not mean they dislike the whole of it.

The strategy of the government is such that their members and others can get up and say, “Oh, my goodness; you voted against that”, trying to use it politically.

Political business takes place during election times. Between elections, we should be doing good debate in here and respecting each other, instead of getting that kind of malarkey from the government side all the time.

Let me get to the member's point.

There are measures that the government has undertaken in terms of other aspects of dealing with cyberbullying beyond the Criminal Code, but a lot more needs to be done. That is what I am expressing in terms of this bill.

I would say to the member in conclusion that if the government had split the bill, as we asked it to do, then I think there would have been great support in this place on the cyberbullying side. The government could have then said that all parties supported what it was doing.

However, the strategy of the government is that it really does not want the opposition parties to support it. It likes to use the excuse that they voted the other way.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act
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October 10th, 2014 / 12:25 p.m.
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NDP

Raymond Côté Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Malpeque for his speech, but his reluctant support of this bill, which is riddled with highly questionable—or even dangerous—provisions, required such an intellectual contortion that I must admit that I am a bit worried about his back and other parts of his body.

For example, the bill opens the door to arbitrary, extrajudicial decisions that would put personal information into all kinds of hands.

How can the member justify this reluctant support, in light of these excessive provisions?

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act
Government Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 12:25 p.m.
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Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, it is not hard to justify. We cannot wait around. If the legislation had been split, it would have been easy, but the reality out there is that people are falling prey to cyberbullying every day. The risk is there.

The member is right that there are some terrible aspects to this bill, and hopefully a future Parliament can deal with them, but cyberbullying, in and of itself, is an urgent concern. Therefore, we feel obligated to support that particular part of the bill, knowing full well that we really do not support other aspects of it. However, we need to deal with that serious issue in Canadian society.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act
Government Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 12:25 p.m.
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Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for a good speech. I know he made it low key.

With his experience, I want to give him a chance to explain. Since the current government has been in place, has he seen other examples of bills, whether we call them omnibus, Trojan horses, or any of the other words we have used, that have been totally unacceptable and have only succeeded in dividing the House instead of trying to work for Canadians?

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act
Government Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 12:30 p.m.
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Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I am wondering if the member is suggesting that a low key for me is unusual. I do not know.

In any event, no, this is not the only bill. In fact, most of the government's bills are that way. The budget bill was a particular example. In it there were endless pieces of legislation that had no relation to the budget.

I expect we are going to see that the next budget has copyright in it. The real strategy of the government is to find a TV clip of someone to use as an attack ad. That is why it is going to be in the next budget bill. It is not going to be debated in its own right; it is likely going to be thrown into the budget bill.

The government is always up to those kinds of tricks. This is a government that believes in creating division and in wedge politics, and that is kind of sad to see in this country, because it is importing the kind of debate that we see south of the border, which is really divisive and often unproductive.

I know it would take a lot, but I would encourage the government to come to its senses and put legislation forward on the specifics of what the bill is supposed to deal with.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act
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October 10th, 2014 / 12:30 p.m.
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NDP

Carol Hughes Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is quite ironic that we have the Liberal opposition saying that it is reluctant to support the bill. If Liberals are reluctant, then they should know that they should not be supporting this bill.

The member knows full well that there was a court decision on language similar to what is in this bill. The court decision was made in light of the Spencer case, in which the Supreme Court of Canada ruled, the day after the adoption of the bill by the Conservatives at committee, that Canadians have a right to be anonymous on the Internet and that police must obtain a warrant to uncover their identities. This bill would actually prevent that from occurring.

The Liberals attempted to do something similar when they were in power. They tried to pass a bill that would have amended the Criminal Code to allow police services to carry out lawful access on their networks.

My question to my colleague is this: why are Liberals supporting a bill that they say they are reluctantly supporting? Do they actually firmly believe that it is proper for people's privacy to be infringed on, as this law would do, knowing full well that the government continues to put bills forward that are very controversial in nature?

The government knows that people are supportive of addressing and fixing the cyberbullying situation, but in the meantime it keeps putting in a poison pill by throwing the whole kitchen sink into the bill. The government knows Canadians will not be in favour of these other measures, but by making the opposition look like they are against a situation such as cyberbullying, which is not the truth, it can gain points.