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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 ActGovernment Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 10 a.m.
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Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Conservative

Robert Goguen ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to participate in the third reading debate on Bill C-13, the protecting Canadians from online crime act.

Bill C-13 has received wide media attention, and almost every Canadian who has heard about it has had an opinion on it. Unfortunately, much of what has been reported in the media has disregarded the spirit of this legislation, and this has hampered an informed debate on this important piece of legislation.

Bill C-13, in simple terms, would do three very important things that would help make the world safer for Canadians.

First, it proposes to amend the Criminal Code to create new offences for the non-consensual distribution of intimate images, or what some refer to as “revenge porn”. Bill C-13 would also update existing offences, such as the harassing telephone call provision, to make them relevant in the Internet age. Some of these amendments would be particularly useful for police in relation to cyberbullying cases.

The second important component of Bill C-13 is the proposed enhancement of the investigative toolkit police use to deal with cybercrimes and electronic evidence. These amendments, which comprise the modernization of existing investigative powers as well as the creation of new production orders for specific information, would provide Canadian police with the tools that many other police in other countries have been using for over 10 years. The modernization of the toolkit would ensure that police could access the information they need, and only the information they need, to advance an investigation into an offence.

By providing police with these modern tools, Parliament would not only be facilitating the investigation of crimes involving electronic evidence in Canada but would be enhancing privacy protection for Canadians generally by requiring the appropriate level of judicial scrutiny for all information in relation to which there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Finally, Bill C-13 will allow Canada to access and provide greater international cooperation in criminal matters. This is of vital importance because so much evidence in relation to cybercrimes, such as that related to cyberbullying and the non-consensual distribution of intimate images, is stored and located outside of Canada. In many cases, where there is no international cooperation, no investigation can proceed.

As was previously pointed out at the report stage, Bill C-13 was thoroughly reviewed by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. The review involved 10 committee meetings and appearances by over 40 witnesses. While there were appearances by witnesses who opposed aspects of the bill, primarily the investigative tools, many of the witnesses were supportive of the entire legislation package. However, it should be noted that the new intimate images offence received almost universal support, including from members of the opposition.

During his testimony before the justice committee, the Minister of Justice explained that the proposed non-consensual distribution of intimate images offence would prohibit the sharing of sexual or nude images without the consent of the person depicted. It is most important to respond in this manner to cyberbullying that involves this activity, which can cruelly humiliate and shame its target and cause irreparable emotional and psychological harm to the victim, particularly Canadian youth. The minister explained how this would remedy a gap in the criminal law.

The minister also noted that Bill C-13 reflects recommendations made in June 2013 in a federal-provincial-territorial report on cyberbullying and the non-consensual distribution of intimate images, which recommended both the creation of a new offence and updates to the existing offences and investigative tools. The report was unanimously supported by the federal-provincial-territorial ministers responsible for justice and public safety.

The committee also heard from a number of victims of cyberbullying and parents of deceased victims of cyberbullying, many of whom have become advocates for change to better address cyberbullying. Many of these witnesses expressed support for the proposals in Bill C-13. Mr. Glen Canning, the father of Rehtaeh Parsons, expressed concern about the challenge faced by police in trying to respond to modern crimes using antiquated tools. He also believes that had Bill C-13 been law at the time of his daughter's harassment, it would have made a positive difference.

The Committee also heard from police, including the president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, the CACP, and the chief of the Vancouver Police Department, Jim Chu.

The CACP represents over 90% of the Canadian police community, including federal, first nations, provincial, regional and municipal agencies.

Chief Chu clearly stated that the CACP fully supports Bill C-13. He offered the committee compelling testimony on the challenges of crime in the online environment and on its growth in areas of traditional crime, such as harassment, fraud, and kidnapping, as well as in relation to new crimes more closely linked to technological advances. He also explained to the committee the challenges police face because of the international nature of cyber activity.

Chief Chu articulated how technology can facilitate traditional bullying and make it more persuasive and painful. He also expressed concern about the lack of a safe haven and the difficulty of erasing anything from the online environment once it has been distributed. He said rapid intervention is needed before things get worse for victims, who may suffer consequences of this behaviour for the rest of their lives. He explained to the committee that the modernized tools in Bill C-13 are essential for this response.

Chief Chu explained that the bill does not create authority for police to obtain information without judicial warrant and that the police support Bill C-13's proposed judicial oversight as a good way to balance investigative needs and privacy protection. He also noted, however, that these tools need to allow police to respond quickly, which is essential in the online environment.

He also responded to the inaccurate portrayals of Bill C-13, in some instances, as creating authority for police to wiretap without authority. Bill C-13 does not provide police with this power, and they will continue to require prior authorization by the courts to intercept any private communications. Nothing in Bill C-13 changes this.

The committee also heard from Greg Gilhooly, a lawyer who was a victim of an Internet predator when he was in his youth.

Mr. Gilhooly expressed his strong support for the proposals in Bill C-13 and provided the committee with personal insight into the urgency and importance of acting precipitously to enhance the law in this area because, as he put it, “there are monsters among us,” and police need tools to enable them to act and protect Canadians.

The committee also heard from Mr. David Butt, legal counsel for the Kids' Internet Safety Alliance and a front-line criminal lawyer who commended the government for striking the right balance between investigative needs and privacy protections with the proposals in Bill C-13.

I would like to share with members this quote from his testimony to the committee:

...let's have vibrant police powers to investigate digitally, coupled with significant judicial oversight to control those police powers independently. That's the sweet spot that I say this bill hits. That's my measure of success in a bill: does it enable the police to act effectively, but does it also give another branch of government, the judiciary, the appropriate tools to oversee? If you've got both of those, you've got the right mix, and I say you've got the right mix here.

While other witnesses expressed similar views to the committee, I found this a particularly eloquent statement of what Bill C-13 accomplishes.

I would like to continue by citing the support for Bill C-13 expressed by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. Lianna McDonald, the executive director of this organization, appeared before the committee and explained that her organization is a registered charity providing national programs and services related to the personal safety of all children.

Ms. McDonald explained at the committee that her goal in appearing was to provide both insight and support for Bill C-13. After over 30 years of working for child protection, she considered the bill to be something that would address the challenges her organization is very familiar with as first-hand witnesses to what she described as the collision between sexual exploitation, technology, and bullying. She explained to the committee that Cybertip.ca, Canada's national tip line for reporting the online sexual exploitation of children, has received more than 100,000 reports of sexual abuse and exploitation of children, which has resulted in more than 500 arrests and in removing numerous children from abusive environments.

Ms. McDonald expressed concern that technology has become a powerful weapon and tool in the hands of those who wish to hide their criminal behaviour behind a cloak of anonymity, making it easier to engage in reprehensible harassment behaviour. She urged the committee not to fail in understanding the role of technology in the commission of offences and to be conscious of the importance of modernizing the law. She also expressed concern that the privacy rights of victims have been neglected in the focus on privacy issue discussions, and she indicated that Bill C-13 would be fully supported by her organization. Ms. McDonald also expressed support for having the new offence of the non-consensual distribution of images apply to victims of all ages, as the impact of this behaviour is significant regardless of age.

I hope that I have succeeded in conveying the reality of the broader witness testimony, which is that while there were some dissenting voices, many informed and engaged witnesses considered the proposals in Bill C-13 as necessary and advisable. Unfortunately, media coverage focused primarily on those who expressed criticisms of the bill. Some of those criticisms demonstrated a lack of understanding of the proposals.

Another aspect of the proposals that has not reached much attention but that may be of interest to note, given the prevalence of online crime, is the amendments to the Competition Act proposed in Bill C-13.

We know that there are complex forms of white collar crime, and sometimes there are businesses that push the envelope too far and break the law.

The Competition Act is a federal law governing most business conduct in Canada. The Competition Bureau, headed by the Commissioner of Competition, is an independent law enforcement agency responsible for the administration and enforcement of the act. The Competition Act includes both criminal and civil provisions aimed at preventing anti-competitive practices and other harmful conduct in the marketplace. It is designed to ensure that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive, innovative marketplace. In particular, the Competition Act sets out certain criminal offences, including, among other things, price fixing, bid rigging, deceptive telemarketing, pyramid selling, and false or misleading representations that are knowingly made recklessly. It also includes civil provisions that deal with false or misleading representations and deceptive marketing practices, mergers, abuse of dominance, agreements between competitors, price maintenance, exclusive dealing, tied selling, and market restriction.

Bill C-13 would amend certain definitions found within the Competition Act to ensure that they are clear and technology neutral and that they align with those in the Criminal Code, the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, and Canada's anti-spam legislation. This bill would also incorporate in the Competition Act, by reference, the new powers in the Criminal Code regarding preservation demands, preservation orders, and production orders for historical transmission data so that they could be used in investigations of all conduct under the Competition Act, both criminal and civil. As is the case throughout the bill, preservation and production orders sought by the bureau would be subject to judicial oversight.

In closing, I strongly support Bill C-13, and I encourage all members to vote in support of this important piece of legislation and to send it for further consideration to that other place.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 10:15 a.m.
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NDP

Charmaine Borg NDP Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice's speech. I am concerned about two of his comments.

He said that the bill is enhancing “privacy protection”. He also said, “Nothing in Bill C-13 changes this”.

I am very surprised because there is a specific clause in the bill that would grant legal immunity to any Internet service providers that choose to share their clients' personal information when asked by any government agency.

What the government is doing is quite separate from the judicial oversight system and the process for obtaining warrants. I am very curious to know how the member can think that does not violate privacy protection.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 10:15 a.m.
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Conservative

Robert Goguen Conservative Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, the bill contains an immunity clause pertaining to the submission of documents. As I mentioned in my speech, one of the witnesses who appeared before the committee was Mr. Gilhooly. He is a corporate lawyer who used to work for Global. Mr. Gilhooly was a victim of Graham James, I believe, and he had the courage to come testify.

In his testimony, he said, as a corporate lawyer, that the immunity would allay any doubt corporate lawyers might have about what is already enshrined in law. There is already immunity. Immunity was granted on a statutory basis, which confirms the state of law, before this was done. Nothing has changed.

Mr. Gilhooly said that the immunity set out in the bill would remove any doubts corporate lawyers might have so that they could immediately hand the information over to police. That would allow the police to preserve the evidence. In such situations, the evidence disappears very quickly. Once it has disappeared, an investigation is impossible and it also becomes impossible to protect the victims, who are mostly young children.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 10:15 a.m.
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Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, the issue of cyberbullying and the phenomenal amount of exploitation that has taken place on the Internet and through technology has been a significant issue over the last number of years, an issue colleagues of mine within the Liberal Party have brought forth in the form of other pieces of legislation, private member's bills in particular. It is an issue Canadians are concerned about no matter what region of the country we look at.

Given the level of interest and the amount of potential legislative changes opposition parties have brought forward, such as my colleague from Vancouver who represents the Liberal Party, why does the member believe that the government has not really responded? Given the high level of interest in this issue, a keen sense of co-operation among all political parties to do more on the issue, why does he feel that the government has not acted on private members' initiatives that would have gone a long way in addressing some of the concerns he talked about in his speech.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 10:20 a.m.
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Conservative

Robert Goguen Conservative Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, I believe the justice committee struck a very good balance in considering the concerns of the opposition parties. There were 10 meetings. Every single witness requested to appear did appear, and we believe the bill that has come forth has struck a good balance between the privacy rights of those who commit the offences and the protection of those most vulnerable people whom they attack, the children of Canada.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 10:20 a.m.
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NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to ask the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice a question because, as a young mother, I feel more and more concerned about cyberbullying and all that it entails, particularly when I think about my daughter's future. I am very concerned when I see what can happen to children all across Canada.

What worries me even more about Bill C-13 is that we were unable to reach an agreement with the Conservative government to divide the bill. The official opposition completely agrees with a large portion of the bill. Can the parliamentary secretary explain why the Conservative government is acting in such bad faith when it knows full well that all of the members on this side of the House completely agree with such a large portion of the bill?

The government could split the bill in two and very quickly pass the portion we all agree on so that it could become law as quickly as possible. We could then discuss the part that we still have issues with and come up with amendments or another way to move forward with that part of the bill.

Why is the Conservative government acting in such bad faith and why is it refusing to split Bill C-13 into two separate bills?

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 10:20 a.m.
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Conservative

Robert Goguen Conservative Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, I have to wonder what would have been the point of splitting a bill when all of the witnesses invited by the parties appeared and there were 10 meetings. I am not convinced that the outcome would have been any different.

We believe that this bill truly strikes a balance. It protects the privacy of the victims and the accused, as well as the young and the vulnerable. That is the purpose of this bill, and we believe we have achieved it.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 10:20 a.m.
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NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, what we put forward makes a lot of sense, because even the Minister of Justice agreed to one of our amendments, but the government refused it. Basically, the member is telling us that all of the witnesses appeared, but he is not telling us that all of them were in favour of this.

Mr. David Fraser said:

Even though the definition excludes content, just the transmission data tells you a lot more about really what's going on.

I would suggest this can be fixed by either raising the standard from reasonable grounds to suspect to reasonable grounds to believe with respect to this data, or re-crafting the definition of transmission data....

He added a little bit more, but the whole idea here is that although the government allows witnesses to appear, it does not listen to what the witnesses are saying. Again, we see a government that continues to victimize the victims and makes it legal to do illegal things.

Can the minister indicate whether or not the government is absolutely sure that this will not constitute a constitutional debate?

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 10:20 a.m.
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Conservative

Robert Goguen Conservative Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, each and every law, before it is adopted, goes through very rigid scrutiny as to its constitutionality. This is a procedure that we have followed. We believe that it has struck the right balance.

Certainly, there are witnesses who were not in favour of the bill, as there were many who were in favour of it. However, the key issue is that in intercepting information to protect the most vulnerable, the children, there is always a level of judicial oversight. The courts are the protectors of the charter. The courts intervene in each instance to make sure that the privacy rights of the accused are protected, as are the rights of those who are being victimized.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 10:25 a.m.
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NDP

Raymond Côté NDP Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the parliamentary secretary for his speech, which I found very enlightening, especially with respect to the Conservatives' usual tactic: pretending to be the victims of the mean old media that focus heavily on their bill's shortcomings.

The parliamentary secretary's affirmation that every single government bill goes through rigid scrutiny before making its way to the House of Commons is not reassuring at all. Both the parliamentary secretary and I know very well that, over the past nine years, several of the bills that the Conservative government pushed through have had parts struck down by court rulings, even by the Supreme Court.

In Spencer, for example, the Supreme Court prohibited Internet service providers from disclosing their clients' names and contact information to law enforcement officials who simply ask for it.

Is the parliamentary secretary not worried about yet another fiasco resulting from his obstinacy?

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 10:25 a.m.
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Conservative

Robert Goguen Conservative Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, since Confederation, the Supreme Court has ruled on constitutionality in a number of cases. That is the beauty of our democracy. Bills are passed and analyzed, and then the brightest legal minds of the Supreme Court get us back on the right track when we stray.

Investigations will always be subject to judicial review. The court determines the value of a request to protect victims.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 10:25 a.m.
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NDP

Charmaine Borg NDP Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is very disappointing that we are once again being forced to debate a very important bill under a time allocation motion. I have lost track somewhat, but I think this is the 80th time allocation motion. It has happened so many times under this government that there have been many complex, important bills that we have not had a chance to debate.

On top of that, the government decided to hold the third reading debate on this extremely important bill on a Friday, when everyone knows that most members are not present in the House on Fridays. I think that is appalling.

I would also like to talk about the vote at second reading. There was a vote at report stage and another one on this part of the bill, and it was revised in committee. That said, I must denounce the fact that the Liberal Party voted in favour of the bill, even though it had criticized the bill repeatedly. It boggles my mind. I am not normally a member of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, but I was there when this bill was being studied.

When they were asking the parliamentary secretary questions, some members said that the bill's first aim was to address bullying. On that issue, at least, we agree 100% with the Conservatives. All members on all sides of the House agree that cyberbullying must be stopped, for it is a very serious issue.

New technology has completely changed the problem of bullying. In the past, once you were home, nasty people at school could no longer bother you, since you were in a safe place. These days, new technology and social networks allow bullies to follow us everywhere.

If someone does not like what you wore to school, it will be shared on Facebook or in an email. Disturbing images can also follow us. Unfortunately, that is what happened in a couple of highly publicized cases, such as the Amanda Todd case. No matter what she did, that image followed her. I agree completely that this must be stopped.

That is why we asked that the bill be split. That way, we could pass the essential elements and make positive changes to combat cyberbullying and non-consensual distribution of images. It is too bad that the government did not have the good sense to get this part passed quickly. We agreed to do so. This part of the bill could have been at the other place by now. Unfortunately, the government did not want to go ahead.

It is a real shame because cyberbullying is a very important issue to me. I would like to use my 20 minutes to talk about only the parts of the bill that have to do with cyberbullying. Unfortunately, I cannot because we also have to talk about the problematic parts of this bill that could have very serious consequences for Canadians' privacy.

Victims of cyberbullying deserve better. The families of cyberbullying victims came to committee to share their stories. They were very courageous. Nonetheless, there are thousands of other cases that are not in the media, unfortunately or fortunately, I am not sure which. These victims deserve a debate on this issue alone. Unfortunately, we must debate both because this government is incapable of co-operating.

Some of my constituents are working very hard to combat cyberbullying. Someone even developed a website to create a safer social network where people cannot be anonymous. It is very interesting.

I want to point out all the daily efforts these people are making. Some are forming groups to combat cyberbullying. These are truly exceptional Canadians, and I want to thank them.

We have to talk about the other aspects because, unfortunately, very few pages and clauses of this bill really have anything to do with cyberbullying. The vast majority are on changes to the Criminal Code. Some parts of the bill are just fine, but others will seriously jeopardize Canadians' privacy.

The government keeps talking about the judicial oversight system for obtaining warrants to get personal information. Indeed, some parts of the bill call for a warrant. I will talk about the problems with warrants later.

However, what the government did not say in its speech and what it seems to have completely forgotten about is that a parallel system is being created, and that it completely bypasses all the mechanisms for obtaining warrants. That was part of the government's own bill. We are completely setting aside judicial oversight, which is the basis for our legal systems. We are creating a parallel system where someone can pick up the phone, call an Internet service provider and make an urgent request, and the service provider will send the information. The Liberals created this loophole in the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and the Conservative government is taking advantage of it.

We know that there have been abuses. The acting information and privacy commissioner announced that in one year, government agencies made at least 1.2 million requests for information from Internet providers. That is huge. I have trouble believing that there are 1.2 million terrorists, for example, or 1.2 million criminals running around in the streets and that we need to obtain information about them.

Furthermore, it was the Internet service providers that informed us about the 1.2 million requests, not the government, which has shown an appalling lack of transparency. It does not want to give us that information.

Also, there was no explanation as to why these requests were made. There is no oversight system for these types of requests that could guarantee to Canadians that they were made in extraordinary cases. I believe that Canadians are prepared to accept extraordinary cases. There are urgent situations where we cannot turn to the regular processes and where we must obtain a warrant after the fact. However, in light of the 1.2 million requests, I find it hard to believe that Canadians would not think that there had been abuses and that there is a flaw somewhere.

I actually asked the government a question on the order paper about how many times it requested this kind of information from Internet service providers. That was just for one year, 2012-13. The Canada Border Services Agency said that it had made over 13,000 requests in one year. I asked the agency what kinds of cases or situations would result in such requests being made. Only two of the 13,000 requests were made for national security reasons. Can we honestly say that these are exceptional cases or national security cases? I think not. The question was asked, but the answer did not cut it.

I asked the government another question because it was not going to share that information. I asked how many times government agencies had made such requests for 2001, which is when the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, PIPEDA, was passed. Here is something very disturbing: they did not have the data. We were told that there was no system to keep track of those kinds of requests and that the information could not be provided.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 10:30 a.m.
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NDP

Charmaine Borg NDP Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

For crying out loud. The member behind me said that because it is true. For crying out loud. They would have us believe that they can use this back door to ask Internet service providers for personal information, such as a person's IP address, but that they cannot track this stuff.

The government is saying that it cannot go back to determine, for example, how many requests were made and how many of those cases had to do with cyberbullying, child exploitation, national security or anti-terrorism. It claims that it does not have that data. How are we supposed to make sure that this is not being abused? Exploiting loopholes has become the norm, and that poses tremendous problems.

This bill grants legal immunity to Internet service providers that choose to share their clients' personal information when requested to do so by any government agency or on their own initiative. However, most of the time, it is government agencies that make a request.

A parallel system ensured that an Internet service provider that shared data it had no right sharing could be sued if it abused the process. That is the one and only aspect that gave people any sense of security.

In certain cases, Internet service providers refused to respond to a request because they did not want to take the risk of being sued. Bill C-13 takes away this one thing that made Internet service providers think twice. That is a major problem.

When the Conservative and Liberal members—since they voted together—say they want to ensure that there is balance and a warrant system, that is false, for they seem to be forgetting that they gave Internet service providers legal immunity in this bill.

Furthermore, the IP address reveals a great deal of information about users, including their conversations and where they go. Contrary to what the Conservatives like to say, it is not the same information that can be found in the phone book.

I talked a lot about the shortcomings created by PIPEDA. Rather than correcting the situation, the provisions in Bill C-13 make matters worse. In addition to providing legal immunity, Bill C-13 also reduces the threshold for intercepting communications—that is, the content of an email or text message—to reasonable suspicion.

There already was a threshold for obtaining a warrant, which was good. We should respect existing thresholds for being able to access personal information or communications. However, that threshold has been reduced to “reasonable suspicion”, which opens the door to abuse.

I would like to point out another very specific aspect of this bill. If government agencies can ask Internet service providers to hand over personal information, public servants will have access to that information with a simple phone call. Here is how “public officer” is defined in Bill C-13:

“Public officer” means a public officer who is appointed or designated to administer or enforce a federal or provincial law and whose duties include the enforcement of this or any other Act of Parliament.

I can think of many positions that would be included in this definition, including mayors. There are good mayors and bad mayors. Can they all be trusted? Are there any provisions to prevent abuse? No. This just opens the door wider.

When this bill was examined in committee, the NDP proposed 37 amendments, which were all rejected. We heard from a number of witnesses, and contrary to what the parliamentary secretary just said, the witnesses did not all agree.

Here is what Carol Todd, Amanda Todd's mother, had to say:

I do not want my privacy invaded. I do not want young people's privacy compromised. I do not want personal information being exploited without a protection order that would support individuals. I do not want any Canadian hurt in my daughter's name. I want her legacy to continue to promote hope, celebrate our differences, and give strength to other young people everywhere.

I think she would have been pleased to see us split this bill. She does not want anyone's privacy to be invaded, or the threshold for obtaining communications to be lowered, or for government agencies to be given access to personal information without a warrant. That is what she wants for her daughter's legacy. It is really quite clear.

There is another aspect that the committee was unable to assess because it happened after review in committee and that is the Supreme Court ruling in Spencer. It is an extremely important ruling that brought certainty to something that may have been rather vague before. In Spencer, the Supreme Court ruled that no one could have access to clients' names, addresses, telephone numbers and IP addresses without a warrant. Nonetheless, in Bill C-13 we just included statutory immunity for Internet service providers who share information without a warrant.

There is some serious and legitimate uncertainty as to whether these parts of the bill are constitutional and whether they will be blocked.

That being said, why could we not have sat down together and sorted this out? We know that the Conservative government seems to be short on respect for the Constitution and the Supreme Court's rulings, as we saw during the process for appointing a new justice to the Supreme Court. It is the government's responsibility to ensure that every bill, every law it wants to enforce respects the Canadian Constitution. It is the government's fundamental duty. When the Conservatives say that there was a review, that legal experts assessed the bill to ensure it was consistent with the Constitution, that is great, but the Spencer ruling was handed down after the bill was drafted.

I am puzzled by something else. As we know, the government is refusing to respond to this decision. It claims that everything is in order and that the bill is constitutional even though many experts doubt that it will pass the test of the Constitution in light of the Spencer ruling. What is interesting is that we expected the government to respond, but it was actually the Internet service providers that did so. Now Rogers and TELUS will no longer respond to requests for information about their clients made by government agencies. Why is the government not taking its responsibilities seriously by declining to make these requests? That would be the responsible thing for the government to do. Instead, it is the other side doing this. That really bothers me.

I agree completely that we must amend the law. It must keep pace with new technologies and the new problems that society faces. Many new things are happening, and we have to keep up to date. However, we cannot and should not put the protection of people ahead of the protection of privacy. We can find a balance. No matter what the Conservative MPs would like to think, this is not a balanced bill. Furthermore, there is a high probability that it is unconstitutional. It is therefore very problematic.

The government says that it is opening the door, that it is all right in certain situations. Yes, there are exceptional cases. However, I am afraid that the government is violating privacy and that once it opens the door, it will open it wider. Where will that take our society?

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

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

Jean Rousseau NDP Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate my colleague and acknowledge her contribution to this debate.

Why did the government not split the bill in two as the NDP asked in committee? That would have made it easier to meet the growing needs regarding cyberbullying and the protection of personal information. Those are two very different things. As my colleague said earlier, this bill will allow for the invasion of privacy and we do not know how far it will go. The bill does not set any limits in that regard.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

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

Charmaine Borg NDP Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague is absolutely right. We asked for the bill to be divided. The provisions pertaining to cyberbullying, namely the specific clauses that deal with the distribution of images without consent, could already be law and could already be protecting children.

The government decided to run television ads to announce the fight against cyberbullying when a law to that effect has not yet been passed. Things could be different if we could work together properly. I have already mentioned this, but I find it very disappointing that I had to spend about 15 of the 20 minutes of my speech talking about privacy. I really would have liked to speak on behalf of the victims of cyberbullying in my riding and across Canada and let them know that we are going to take action and work together. Unfortunately, the government put these two parts of the bill together and the debate is about both of them.

What is more, as a result of the Spencer ruling, some provisions of the bill will likely be deemed unconstitutional, which will block the entire bill. If we could have had a bill that included only the provisions about cyberbullying, this would not have been a problem, and we could have considered whether some of the provisions were constitutionally legitimate.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

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

Niki Ashton NDP 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?

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

Charmaine Borg NDP 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 ActGovernment Orders

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

Anne-Marie Day NDP 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 ActGovernment Orders

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

Charmaine Borg NDP 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 ActGovernment Orders

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

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal 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 ActGovernment Orders

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

Charmaine Borg NDP 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 ActGovernment Orders

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

Wayne Easter Liberal 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 ActGovernment Orders

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

Wayne Easter Liberal 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 ActGovernment Orders

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

Ryan Leef Conservative 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?

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

Wayne Easter Liberal 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.

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

Raymond Côté NDP 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 ActGovernment Orders

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

Wayne Easter Liberal 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 ActGovernment Orders

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

Massimo Pacetti Liberal 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?

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

Wayne Easter Liberal 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.

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

Carol Hughes NDP 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.

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

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I guess the simple answer to that question is that Liberals are hopeful that within a year's time we will be able to get rid of the people who are putting those poison pills in the bottle. In that way, there will not be poison pills in the future, and there will be a government in this place that would be able to correct some of the concerns that I know the member has, as we do.

The fact of the matter is that those who are impacted by cyberbullying right now cannot wait a year. It is a difficult call, but it is a judgment call that we in the Liberal Party believe has to be made. We tried and fought hard to split the bill so that we could vote against those aspects, but we see the need for the cyberbullying part. It is a judgment call, and it is all about taking the right kind of leadership position.

I can assure everyone that the Liberal Party is up for providing leadership to Canada and Canadians, and we are going to vote in support of the cyberbullying side.

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October 10th, 2014 / 12:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Ryan Leef Conservative Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, before I begin I would like to confirm that I will be splitting my time with the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour.

It is great to follow on the heels of the member for Malpeque. We certainly appreciate his reluctant support, far more than we appreciate their responsible neutrality on other issues in this place.

It is a great opportunity to stand and be part of a government that understands the needs and challenges of Canadians. That government gives us lowly backbenchers an opportunity to speak in the House, which I know the member for Malpeque also has a tremendous amount of disdain for.

I am pleased to speak today about Bill C-13, the protecting Canadians from online crime act, which proposes key amendments to the Criminal Code, the Competition Act, and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act in order to bring them up to date with 21st century technologies.

The bill is both timely and vitally important. We so frequently remark that the world is getting smaller and smaller by the day that it is just a cliché. The barriers that distance used to create between people are becoming less and less relevant as technology advances.

The advent of the Internet, e-mail, web addresses, and all this technology has meant that we can stay connected from almost anywhere in the world. These technologies have obviously brought about incredible opportunities for Canadians. It is increasingly possible for Canadians to conduct business easily and efficiently on a global scale. We can keep in touch with our loved ones while pursuing opportunities in distant lands. We can learn about the world we live in by using the vast resources available on the Internet today.

It is not an understatement to say that these new technologies have changed the way we live. Unfortunately, some of them have also changed the way crimes are being committed and the kinds of evidence that are left behind. These technologies have made it possible to commit crimes that transcend geographical borders. Existing methods of investigating just will not work in this environment, and no country can conduct these kinds of cross-border investigations without co-operation from other countries.

That is why Bill C-13 is so important. It would provide police with the tools they need to investigate not only crimes committed here in Canada but also transnational crimes. Crucially, Bill C-13 would allow Canada to ratify the Council of Europe's Convention on Cybercrime.

This convention is the only international treaty that is specifically designed to provide a standard set of legal tools to help in the investigation and prosecution of computer and Internet-based crime as well as more general crimes involving electronic devices. It would also assist parties to the convention by providing them with a mechanism for international co-operation. Canadian police will be able to access the Criminal Code's new investigative tools in appropriate cases and coordinate with other countries for transnational investigations.

I would like to focus my remarks on the convention.

The convention facilitates national and transnational investigations by requiring three principal things. It will require a minimum standard of offences, it will require a minimum standard of investigative tools, and it will require a point of contact in each country that is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

The convention requires signatory states to adopt a minimum set of standard offences for computer-related crimes. For instance, the convention requires that countries criminalize certain illegal uses of computers, such as hacking. It also requires that all participating countries criminalize illegal interception, data interference, system interference, misuse of devices, and, of course, child pornography. These measures will help to reduce the overall incidence of computer crime by deterring the use of the states parties to the convention as safe havens for criminal purposes.

It is important to note that Canada already has a great set of offences to combat cybercrime. However, Bill C-13 is designed to fill the gaps that remain, and I can assure members that those are very few.

Ensuring that all state parties have laws that are similar would allow for better co-operation in the investigation and prosecution of crimes that have connections to multiple jurisdictions. To this end, the Convention on Cybercrime would assist to ensure that convention partners would have compatible cybercrime-related offences.

However, the convention does not just deal with crimes themselves. The convention also deals with the investigation of crime. Computer crimes that transcend national boundaries often leave behind digital evidence in multiple locations. The nature of investigations is changing, both in technique and in scope. The convention would ensure that participating countries would have the tools they need to combat cybercrime at home, and equally important, that they would be able to assist each other in the investigation and prosecution of crime at a multi-jurisdictional level.

For instance, participating nations would be required to adopt tools that would facilitate the tracing of communications and would be able to order the production of data related to the routing of telecommunications.

The bill contains amendments that would provide for such things, including preservation orders and demands. These powers would require the computer data that would be vital to an investigation to be preserved from destruction so police would have the time to obtain the warrants or orders to obtain that data.

Importantly, the convention requires participating nations to have readily identifiable contacts to increase communication and co-operation on investigations. Specifically, it requires that each country designate a point of contact that would be available 24/7 to give immediate assistance to those kinds of investigations.

Knowing who to call in another country can make all the difference to an investigation involving electronic evidence where time is literally of the essence. For example, in the time it may take to identify the responsible foreign authority, information important to an investigation could be lost forever.

Becoming a real party to the convention on cybercrime is all about that. It is about ensuring that Canadian investigators have all the tools they need at their disposal to conduct efficient and effective investigations, both in Canada and in the context of investigations that reach beyond our borders. It is about ensuring that we are not in the fight against cybercrime alone. It is about taking responsibility for our role as a nation in transnational crime, supporting transnational investigation and benefiting from the assistance of our international partners in return.

I hope all members will support this bill so Canada can join its partners in making the world a safer place.

Finally, it should be noted that Canada is the only G7 country that has not has not yet ratified the Convention on Cybercrime. Further, all countries, including Canada, publicly endorsed the convention for its substantive and procedural framework. It is a model for international co-operation. All of Canada's main partners recognize the convention as a foundation on which international co-operation can be facilitated. Canada's ratification of the convention would extend the reach of Canadian law enforcement across the globe and enhance our ability to better protect Canadians.

We need to do our part and encourage other countries to join us in rising to these important challenges. Ratification of the Convention on Cybercrime is a necessary step in that direction, and Bill C-13 would enable that.

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October 10th, 2014 / 12:40 p.m.
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NDP

Philip Toone NDP Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the bill has been a long time coming. I just do not understand why the Conservative government was so slow in moving it forward. We proposed amendments during the process, but they were rejected. That could have moved the bill forward much more quickly.

In the past as well, our member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour presented Bill C-540. A number of the elements that are in the beginning of Bill C-13 were in fact in his private member's bill, but the government side rejected it.

Why did the member vote against Bill C-540?

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October 10th, 2014 / 12:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Ryan Leef Conservative Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, my colleague mentioned the speed at which this bill could have progressed through the House and the parliamentary process. While I indicated in my speech that we were the only country left to sign the convention, we encourage other nations to step up and do their part.

It is also important that we ensure we get this legislation right, not only within the context of the convention but also within the context of a Canadian need, within the context of our realities and our own challenges, with the advent of cybercrime, with the evolution of technology and with the increasing complexity and complete and increasing sophistication that both the perpetrators of these crimes possess and demonstrate and the tools that our law enforcement community needs.

It was clearly important for our government to ensure we got this legislation right and that we were able to involve our stakeholders and our law enforcement partners in this decision. It was important to ensure that the tools we provided them in this legislation were the ones that would be effective and would work.

I certainly hope the member opposite and his party will join us in moving this legislation forward now at the right pace, with the right tools and the right support services that will help end this problem.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 12:45 p.m.
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Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley Nova Scotia

Conservative

Scott Armstrong ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, this has been a huge and impactful issue for young people in my riding of Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley. As a former school principal, I have seen first hand the damage that cyberbullying can do, and continues to do, to our young people. Unfortunately, in my riding we have had over four young people commit suicide, in part or in full due to cyberbullying because they were being tortured online, sometimes by adults, sometimes by peers within their own school community.

I had the opportunity to sit with the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness a couple of summers ago and with the parents of children who had committed suicide due to ongoing persecution online, many times by their peers.

We absolutely have to take hold of this issue. I give credit to the minister for bringing this legislation forward. It is very needed. I am proud of the fact our government has stood in support of our young people across the country.

Would the hon. member inform the House why it is so important that we pass this legislation as quickly as possible so we can step up and protect our children?

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 12:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Ryan Leef Conservative Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, online cyberbullying and cyberbullying generally is prolific right across North America. In fact, reports and statistics are clear that the vast majority of bullying is going on over the Internet and with other forms of electronic tools. Unfortunately, the impact on our youth in our school system is the single greatest effect. It is affecting attendance rates, the health and well-being of our young people, and their self-esteem.

As the parliamentary secretary indicated, in some cases it leads to very sad and tragic consequences. That cannot be overlooked by any member of the House of Commons. The seriousness of this cannot be overlooked by any party. It is one component of this legislation, but I think we would all argue in this place that probably the most important part of it is the cyberbullying component.

I am grateful the parliamentary secretary raised that point. We need to get this through the House to ensure we protect Canadian young people from these types of crimes.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 12:45 p.m.
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Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo B.C.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour and for Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to join this important debate on a Friday before Thanksgiving. I would also like to wish everyone here a happy Thanksgiving and a productive constituency week.

I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak in support of Bill C-13, which is the protecting Canadians from online crime act. This bill would give enforcement officials the tools to conduct their investigations in a world that has moved from old fashioned telephone calls and snail mail to a constantly evolving telecommunications environment.

I might date myself a bit, but I remember in the late 1980s, early 1990s, learning about the Internet. If we look at what has happened since then, we had giant computers and now most of us sit here with our smartphones and small iPads. There has been an amazing change in the world, and to be quite frank, our tools have not kept up with these enormous changes.

Although the primary objective of Bill C-13 is to ensure that the criminal justice system is able to keep pace with this new environment, as well as changing the nature of how criminals operate, the government has to be attentive to the privacy intrusive character of investigative techniques. This is what I will focus my remarks on today.

The media, through some commentators, has characterized Bill C-13 as bad for the privacy of Canadians. To be quite frank, that is not accurate. Bill C-13 would enhance the privacy protections for Canadians.

While a police investigative tool, such as a search warrant or production order will naturally impact upon a person's privacy, all the amendments included in Bill C-13 have been very carefully crafted to balance the pressing need to provide police forces with the effective investigative tools they need in the current environment with the constitutional imperative to protect the rights of Canadians to a reasonable expectation of privacy. A good term for that is “privacy with precision”.

The Criminal Code already contains several tools that allow police to obtain evidence of crimes. For example, there are judicial warrant provisions to allow police forces to collect evidence themselves in real time, such as through tracking of a person. There is also judicial production orders, which allow the police to ask a third party to produce certain types of historical data or documents, for example, a record of phone calls.

These current tools were designed and implemented before the advent of much of the technology and social media that we rely on today, making them inefficient in today's world and too privacy invasive in some respects. Therefore, the approach we have taken with Bill C-13 is aimed at ensuring that the privacy of Canadians is adequately protected, while meeting the investigative requirements by providing police appropriate investigative tools that have been judicially authorized for specific investigative needs.

For example, C-13 would create new types of production orders to obtain specific information of a less personal nature, such as the path of a telecommunication, rather than relying on the current general production order, which allows access to all types of information, including those of a more personal nature, such as the content of the data that has been stored on a computer.

Police officers today basically have access to only one means of compelling the production of documents and data in relationship to the electronic evidence, and that is the general production order. Whether they want to attain a library full of information on a suspect or one single piece of information, such as an email address, police officers must use the same judicial protection order. To put it another way, and I think it is more illustrative, we can think of a general production order as a large net that authorizes police to catch everything within reach of that net.

I am going to use a bit of an analogy here, coming from a family that loves to fish. If we think of the police as the fisher, the fisher would use this net to catch everything the net came into contact with, such as mackerel, cod and salmon. It would be appropriate for the fisher to use the net if he or she was authorized to catch all those fish and the fisher wanted to catch all those fish. In the same way, when police want all data and documents a third party has on a suspect, it would be appropriate to use the net, in this case, what we term the general production order.

However, let us say the fisher is only authorized to catch a subsistence quantity of cod, so that he may be able to put food on the table for his family. If he were to use a net, the fisher runs the risk of not only catching the cod but also the mackerel and the salmon, which the fisher neither wants nor is he authorized to catch. For this purpose, the fisher should be using a more precise and more specific tool. A fishing line and a jigger is a good example. With the cod jigger, the fisher can catch his three or four fish and be on his way without fear of over-catching or taking fish that he does not want or need.

In this vein, the new privacy with precision production orders in Bill C-13 provide the police with tailored tools that grant access to specific and limited information. The specific judicial production orders are like the cod jigger, only capable of catching cod, for example.

In the context of production orders, a specific production order would only give police access to a limited range of information that does not have an elevated expectation of privacy, such as historical data related to the tracing of a communication or historical data related to the tracking of a transaction.

The use of these specific tools provides police with the information they want and need to continue an investigation, while at the same ensuring that police are not over-obtaining the personal information of Canadians.

These new tools under the reasonable suspicion standard have been crafted to reflect the leading decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada and mirror existing Criminal Code provisions, some of which date back to 1993. I mention this because these proposed new production orders have been criticized for introducing the reasonable suspicion standard to the Criminal Code.

Let me be clear, this standard is not new. It has been employed in Canadian criminal law since 1993. On this point, I am going to go back to my net analogy one more time in relation to judicial scrutiny. One could characterize this as a resource issue for police, because for police the difference between meeting the judicial standard of reasonable belief and reasonable suspicion is the amount of time and proof they need to meet each standard. In this regard, we could say that meeting the standard of reasonable belief is more resource intensive than meeting the standard of reasonable suspicion.

For the fisher, this would be the cost of his equipment or his tools. The fisher must decide whether he will spend $100 on a net or $5 for a line. While the net would give the fisher access to whatever is in the sea, the fisher may really only want a few cod for dinner. The net would be overkill and could catch things the fisher should not be catching. Again, the fisher, for this purpose, should be using the cod jigger.

I apologize for the analogy, but I think if there are Canadians watching, sometimes those analogies do help make a little sense out of what can be some very complicated legal issues.

Conversely, if the fisher is entitled to a commercial catch and authorized to catch a certain tonnage, he would probably prefer to use the net.

For the police, it is more appropriate for them to provide more proof to the courts and to spend more time preparing the application when they need all the data and documents related to a suspect for which there is a high expectation. Conversely, it is also appropriate that they meet a lower level of judicial oversight when the information they want is limited and less privacy invasive.

Before I conclude, I would like to emphasize that nothing in Bill C-13 would permit the police to compel the production of any personal data without a judicially authorized warrant or order. There are absolutely no provisions in the bill that would authorize the warrantless access of private personal data.

In addition to privacy with precision, the bill also includes other privacy enhancements. For example, Bill C-13 proposes to increase the threshold for obtaining a tracking warrant in situations involving the tracking of an individual's movements.

While reasonable suspicion would remain the test for obtaining a warrant to track the movement or location of things, the government strongly believes that tracking an individual's movements is a much more serious infringement on the right to a reasonable expectation of privacy. Hence, the legislation proposes to provide a more stringent test, which the police would have to meet before they could obtain a warrant to track an individual.

The Government of Canada is strongly committed to maintaining the rule of law through all of its legislation. It will continue to ensure that such authority will be exercised, bearing in mind the privacy interests and human rights protected in Canadian laws, such as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Privacy Act, and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.

Bill C-13, protecting Canadians from online crime act, is a prime example of this commitment. Again, I would like to urge all members in this chamber to support Bill C-13 and to see it put in place.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 1 p.m.
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NDP

Charmaine Borg NDP Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, I listened very carefully to the parliamentary secretary's speech. I want to talk about her fisher analogy.

She seems to think that this bill will not allow anyone to access personal information without a warrant, but does she realize that there is already a parallel system to allow any government agency to cast a line and a big net to an Internet service provider—which would be the ocean in this case—and to catch all kinds of fish?

That does not seem clear to my colleague. Perhaps the government did not explain all the details of the bill to her. I do not know everything, but I know that this provision is in the bill. I would like to know whether she likes that.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 1 p.m.
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Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, I need to reiterate that the investigative powers would be subject to appropriate judicial oversight. None of the lawful access orders such as, for example, production orders, preservation orders, interception orders and search warrants, would permit information to be obtained in the absence of a warrantee or lawful authority.

We have talked about how the world has changed, and I thought the New Democrats had maybe come along a little way toward recognizing these significant changes in terms of what is happening out there. Just yesterday, there was another example of a young woman whose intimate images were distributed without her consent, and there was a devastating impact. Again, I have to encourage the opposition members not only to support the bill but to really recognize the importance of giving the tools and moving forward in terms of making this a reality for Canadians.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 1 p.m.
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NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, every year, over 700 million Canadians are subjected to bullying in one form or another. It happens most often on mobile phones.

The member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord introduced an anti-cyberbullying bill and the government voted against it.

If cyberbullying and protecting victims are so important to the government, why did it vote against that bill?

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 1 p.m.
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Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, what we have with Bill C-13 is a comprehensive bill that would get the job done. It is also important to recognize that not only do we have the bill in front of us here, but we have many other measures. We talk about the need for prevention. We talk about the need for education. This is one piece of an important puzzle, but what this piece of legislation would do is be comprehensive in terms of how it would tackle this issue in an effective way.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 1 p.m.
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NDP

Philip Toone NDP Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the parliamentary secretary. Her presentation was thoughtful and there were interesting elements to consider. I do worry about her analogy of the small fishing boat and the fisherman. I would suggest to her that there is a possibility that there is a fishing trawler behind that, sucking up all the information as it goes along.

One of the witnesses we heard in the committee represented the Canadian Bar Association. That witness certainly thought that the bill went far beyond what is being discussed here, but also made major modifications to general provisions regarding search and seizure. I would like to hear the member's comments on that.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 1 p.m.
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Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, what I did in my comments, and I hope I did it effectively to reassure my hon. colleague, was talk about the different levels of tools, depending on the issue in terms of what the police actually need. Again, there are times when the information that is required is perhaps more precise in nature. The bill would give the tools for that, versus the times when the police need to have the more general production orders.

What we have tried to do is recognize that it is very much a different situation in terms of small, targeted, precise information that continues to support the investigation, versus the more general production order.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 10th, 2014 / 1:05 p.m.
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NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise in this House to speak to this very important bill. I want to thank my colleagues who, both in committee and in the House of Commons, have defended our New Democrat position in opposition to the bill, and have spoken of what we expected from our proposal to ensure that the bill is about putting a stop to cyberbullying, as it says it is.

Unfortunately, what we have, once again, is the Conservative government using language—and in this case, I would also argue, using people who are in vulnerable situations—to put forward a regressive agenda that has everything to do with attacking people's privacy. It leaves tremendous loopholes in terms of powerful actors gaining access to private information, and that would do very little to put a stop to cyberbullying, which is a very serious and sometimes tragic problem in our society.

We have heard from my colleagues as to why we do not support the bill. We put forward, I believe, 37 amendments at committee to improve the bill. We indicated that whether it is the private member's bill put forward by my colleague, the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, for an anti-bullying strategy, or the bill put forward by my colleague, the member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, to deal with sexual images and exploitation online, there are ways we can try to put a stop to cyberbullying and to the way in which too many people are exploiting privacy, private images, and taking advantage of people, in many cases young women, online.

What I find most disturbing about the debate and discussion around Bill C-13 is the way in which the tragic stories of young women who took their own lives as a result of cyberbullying are being used by the current government to push its agenda.

I do not know how many more ways we can say that this is wrong, that this is beyond disrespectful. It is disturbing, frankly.

I have had the opportunity to meet with the mother of Amanda Todd, and I have met with other youth, including those involved in Jer's Vision, who have done a great deal to try to fight bullying and cyberbullying in our communities. These are people with ideas. Sometimes these are ideas that come from places of immense pain, of having lost a loved one or having themselves experienced suicidal thoughts to get away from bullying. Despite that, they are proposing ideas. They are finding ways in their communities, and they are calling upon leaders at all levels of government, particularly at the national level, to take steps that would have an impact on ending bullying.

I am particularly encouraged by those who are applying a gender lens to this kind of bullying because we know it has a gender lens. There were the high-profile cases of young people who took their own lives as a result of cyberbullying, and they were women. In many of the cases, unfortunately, particularly in the mainstream media, women's experiences when it comes to the use of bullying was missed. Sexual objectification is very different and can lead to some very devastating situations.

I also want to acknowledge the way in which LGBT youth, lesbian, gay, and trans youth, are often the targets of cyberbullying, which has a gendered lens as well. Yet nowhere in Bill C-13 is there any plan to act on, not just bullying, but the cyber-misogyny that we see running rampant online and in our society.

I would like to turn the attention of the House and of those who are listening to the phenomenal work being done across the country to draw attention to cyber-misogyny and the way in which we can take legal action, but more importantly, employ policies and invest socially in order to put an end to cyber-misogyny.

I want to draw attention to the recent report by West Coast Leaf called “#CyberMisogyny” that is entirely about what all of us at the federal, provincial and municipal levels, in our schools and even in our homes can do to begin putting an end to cyber-misogyny. It is not a quick fix and it certainly is not Bill C-13. What it requires is real leadership and tackling the very serious issues of inequality, violence against women, sexual harassment, and the marginalization of girls and women in our society.

It also means taking bold action when it comes to putting an end to the discrimination of trans people and the particular discrimination that trans women face, and recognizing that we have a role to play. Sadly, all I hear in the House is the way in which the Conservative government is using the stories of young women who experience cyber-misogyny to put forward its own agenda, which has nothing to do with that. The hypocrisy, and frankly, the disregard for these women's memories is, like I said, disturbing.

In taking the next steps, I would encourage the government to not only see the value of dropping this badly thought out bill, which stands to benefit some of the government's agenda with regard to pulling people's private information and having access to people's private lives in a way that it sees as helpful, I guess. However, there are other steps it ought to be taking.

For one, it could support the motion that I put forward, a national action plan to end violence against women. It could work with this side of the House to try to find a way to build a comprehensive anti-bullying strategy, including working with community organizations and young leaders who are on the front lines and understand what it means to be a victim of cyberbullying.

It could also look at specific measures, as I have indicated, including Bill C-540 that was introduced in the House last June, which would make it an offence to produce or distribute intimate images of an individual without his or her consent. The list goes on, and many of my colleagues have been pointing to the actual steps that the government could be taking to put an end to cyberbullying.

I would like to end with a demand that so many people have, that the memories of those young women such as Amanda Todd and others not be used as a front for what is, once more, a piece in the regressive agenda put forward by the federal government. It can do better.

Bill C-13—Time Allocation MotionProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 3:25 p.m.
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York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

moved:

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 of the report stage and one sitting day shall be allotted to consideration of the third reading stage of the said bill; and

That, fifteen minutes before the expiry of the time provided for government orders on the day allotted to the consideration of the report stage and on the day allotted to the 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.

Bill C-13—Time Allocation MotionProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 3:25 p.m.
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NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, shame on the government and on the Minister of Justice, who seems to forget he is also the Attorney General of Canada, for the 78th motion for time allocation.

It is absolutely incredible.

Bill C-13, which is before us right now, is not just any bill. The same thing happened with the prostitution bill last week. We had roughly half a day of debate on Bill C-36. Third reading of that bill is planned for Friday. The same thing will happen with Bill C-13, but that comes as no surprise.

My question request for splitting the bill was rejected. My request at committee to wait for the decision from the Supreme Court of Canada, which was rendered a day after we finished the clause-by-clause, to suspend so we could read it was denied. We have time allocation at second reading, time allocation at report stage and at third reading.

Manon Cornellier wrote an extraordinary piece on this a year ago, saying that time allocation was becoming the norm in the House of Commons: “There was a time when limiting debate was the exception and invariably caused outrage [including that of the Conservatives]”.

Last week, Michael Spratt, of iPolitics, wrote:

The Conservatives proposed a controversial law that would expand the state’s Internet surveillance powers. The bill was attacked by experts...as unconstitutional....The Conservatives have the gall to claim that the decision confirms what they’d been saying all along — that the new law is justified. Black is white, love is hate, peace is war—

Bill C-13—Time Allocation MotionProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 3:25 p.m.
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NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

I am right there, Mr. Speaker, but considering the time we are having on Bill C-13, could you give me a tiny leeway?

Mr. Spratt goes on to say:

In short, the government is doing its best to obscure the fact that our highest court has articulated the constitutional limits of invasive police investigative techniques...

If we cannot change reality, is rushing it and blurring it the next best thing?

Bill C-13—Time Allocation MotionProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 3:30 p.m.
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Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what was stated by my friend, there has been significant debate. There has been opportunity both inside and outside the House to look at this significant issue.

However, let us not lose sight of what the bill is about. The bill is about protecting people. It is in response to a very real need. Cyber-intimidation, cyberbullying, cybercrime is a very serious issue in this country today and we have seen instances where it literally cost young people their lives. Therefore, when we are talking about the provisions to improve the Criminal Code, to improve the ability to investigate online crime, we are talking about in some cases modernizing sections of the Criminal Code that were in place pre-Internet. Issues of intimidation and harassment are by necessity being updated in the legislation.

It is of the essence that we do this in a timely fashion and that we do this in a way that is respectful of the courts, which it is. With technology continuing to move at breakneck speed, I would suggest that languishing and repeating the same lines over and over about splitting the bill and that we should always go to the courts first, that is not the role of the democratically elected body of the House. It is certainly not the view shared by the government that we do everything only at the behest and at the request of the Supreme Court.

Bill C-13—Time Allocation MotionProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 3:30 p.m.
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Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, we share the minister's view and the government's view and I think the view of all Canadians that cyberbullying and cyber-intimidation is a horrible crime. We have seen in the minister's own province the tragic results that it can inflict on families. There are other examples, unfortunately, in other parts of the country. All of us recognize the need to modernize the Criminal Code to give law enforcement authorities the appropriate balanced tools to ensure that people who participate in this kind of heinous crime are prosecuted to the full extent of the law and that the law is modernized, as he said, to recognize that this kind of offence is something that we all abhor.

We also share the concern of many Canadians around privacy rights, around the importance of protecting private information, about not allowing police authorities or other governmental agencies to have access to private information, to Internet information, of Canadians who are law-abiding persons. I know in a previous version of the bill there was some concern around warrantless searches where authorities may perhaps have been allowed to go beyond what had been a traditional standard required of police authorities.

I am wondering if the minister could reassure us that warrantless searches and the appropriate balance between the privacy rights of Canadians is respected while at the same time allowing the full prosecution of these horrible offences to take place.

Bill C-13—Time Allocation MotionProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 3:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, that is in fact the very crux of the issue, striking that balance between protection of online activity while at the same time giving police modern powers with judicial oversight. There were certainly criticisms and legitimate concerns raised in the past and with respect to the bill about unlawful access online to information. The bill requires judicial oversight. The bill does not create new powers for police that go beyond the Criminal Code. It does not allow for any new online investigation without judicial oversight.

It is important that people understand that if the police want to use the powers contained in Bill C-13, they by necessity have to get a warrant from a judge, so the judicial oversight provisions are here. They are alive and present in the bill. They are also respectful and responding to recommendations that came from a very intense consultation with provinces and territories, not to mention what we heard at committee and not to mention what we have heard from experts such as the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime who said:

This legislation, if passed, will help to provide tools necessary to assist in reducing cyberbullying and in providing victims with much-needed supports.

It will empower the police to protect people online.

Bill C-13—Time Allocation MotionProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 3:35 p.m.
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Mississauga—Erindale Ontario

Conservative

Bob Dechert ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the minister had an opportunity to hear the words of Mr. Glen Canning, the father of Rehtaeh Parsons, when he testified before the House of Commons justice committee in May this year. He said:

I do believe, if properly enforced... Bill C-13 would have made a difference to Rehtaeh. I will never know if the police had the power and ability to stop that photo from spreading. If they had, it's quite possible l'd be looking at my daughter's picture in a yearbook instead of a newspaper article.

He went on to say:

I respect privacy as much as any Canadian does; however, I believe Bill C-13 is not about an invasion of privacy. It's about allowing police officers to effectively address the many challenges of instant mass communication and abuse. Technology has changed our lives dramatically, and we need to provide new tools so police officers can hold accountable those who use this technology to hurt and torment others.

I wonder if the minister could tell us how he interprets Mr. Canning's comments in respect to the need to pass the bill quickly.

Bill C-13—Time Allocation MotionProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 3:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, I recall well the words of Mr. Canning, Rehtaeh Parsons' father, as well as her mother and other witnesses, family members, who have suffered the pain, the indignity, humiliation and ultimately the untimely loss of life as a result of persistent and pernicious online bullying.

The non-consensual distribution of intimate images can literally take lives. I cannot emphasize enough, as my friend has said and Mr. Canning and others have said, the urgency with regard to moving the legislation forward, putting in place those necessary protections found in the Criminal Code and giving the police the power to intervene and pre-empt and prevent the type of activity that led to the death of Rehtaeh Parsons, Amanda Todd and others.

That early intervention is what allows a parent to have the natural joy they should expect in seeing their children grow up, graduate and go on to lead healthy and productive lives. That is what is at stake.

An alarmist attitude has been expressed by some, including some of the so-called experts, that this is going to allow police to snoop online. The police are more interested in catching child pornographers, terrorists and those who are preying on the elderly with online fraud schemes. These are the types of activities we are out to enable police to intervene on, investigate and ultimately prevent.

Bill C-13—Time Allocation MotionProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 3:35 p.m.
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NDP

Charmaine Borg NDP Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to reiterate that we are talking about the urgency of adopting provisions on cyberbullying. The NDP has always said that we need to adopt this part very quickly. Nonetheless, we want to properly assess the parts that may cause serious problems when it comes to protecting Canadians' privacy.

What is more, the Minister of Justice responded to my colleague from Gatineau by saying:

“It is not our duty to slow things down here”.

I am sorry, but it is our responsibility. As parliamentarians, we must be sure to uphold the Canadian Constitution and Supreme Court rulings.

Can the Minister of Justice tell me why he does not even want to sit down and address the Supreme Court ruling to see whether the provisions of Bill C-13 are indeed constitutional?

Bill C-13—Time Allocation MotionProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 3:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is because I rely, not on the advice of the member opposite, but on the advice of departmental officials, lawyers and those who argue the case, those who are involved intimately in tracking the Spencer decision and drafting this legislation. This is not some sort of a fly-by-night written on the back of an envelope piece of legislation. This has been in the works for some time. It has been studied extensively. We have heard from numerous experts and we have heard from the people most affected, the victims. They have told us of the urgency.

The member said, just a moment ago, that they are not trying to hold up the bill. There have been some 20 speakers from the NDP on the bill. We have ample time to look at the bill in further detail, not this type of banter back and forth in the House of Commons but in committee.

Therefore, when it comes to the constitutionality of Bill C-13, we believe strongly that this not only passes constitutional muster, but it does what it is intended to do. That is to allow police, with judicial oversight, to do proper investigations that protect the public at large.

Bill C-13—Time Allocation MotionProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 3:40 p.m.
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Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, in his last answer, the minister indicated there has been wide consultation and that the bill has been informed by officials within his department. My question is with respect to the role of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and whether his opinions and his views on the bill should be taken into account. He testified at committee that he had numerous concerns with regard to the bill, whether it is the immunity that is afforded to telephone companies, or the lack of any reporting required by telephone companies as to the volume and types of inquiries they receive for voluntary disclosure.

Given these concerns expressed by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, concerns that were subsequently, basically, confirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada in the Spencer decision, could the minister inform the House of the importance, if any, and relevance of the opinion of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada with respect to the bill?

Bill C-13—Time Allocation MotionProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 3:40 p.m.
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Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, of course, independent watchdogs, offices, ombudsmen, people like the Privacy Commissioner and the privacy office have indeed voiced their opinions, as have many others, as have experts.

Here is a stunning revelation for everyone. Sometimes experts disagree. Sometimes lawyers even disagree, or parliamentarians.

We believe, fundamentally, the legislation not only respects the Spencer decision, it answers the questions that have been asked with respect to judicial oversight and it answers with respect to the constitutionality of the bill itself. It is an attempt to modernize the tools that are in the hands of the police to allow them, with that judicial oversight, to investigate very sophisticated criminal activity online.

I remind my friend that the Spencer decision does not require amendments to Bill C-13. In fact, this decision addresses very plainly the ability for the police to obtain private information with a valid warrant.

Nothing in Bill C-13 is intended to create any new powers to obtain information without a warrant, as has been suggested by some members of the NDP. Simply put, the bill puts forward privacy safeguards, which are built into the legislation and built into the investigative powers of the bill. It is tailored to meet those expectations around privacy, but at the same time allow the police to do this critically important work of protecting the public from online criminality.

Quite frankly, we know this online criminality is prolific, growing and in some cases is causing young people, because of intimidation and harassment, to take their own lives. That is what is at stake.

Bill C-13—Time Allocation MotionProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 3:40 p.m.
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Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, as we are now debating time allocation in response to what the Minister of Justice and the government House leader have moved, I want to again address the disservice to this place, the disrespect, indeed the contempt toward this place and the role of individual members of Parliament that is constituted in 78 time allocations in this Parliament.

I know that you, Mr. Speaker, are considering carefully the motion I brought forward, the question of privilege I brought forward on September 15, and the numerous legal opinions that lean in the direction of concluding that our ability to do our job, which is a matter of privilege, to hold the government to account, is significantly compromised, in fact savaged, by the constant application of time allocation.

I referred to the decision of Mr. Justice Binnie and the Vaid decision in 2005, that the heart and essence of what we do as MPs is to hold the government to account. The ability to do that job requires adequate time for debate.

I understand the Minister of Justice believes we have had more than enough time for debate. However, the reality is that the privacy commissioners of this country, many of them, believe the bill would violate rights of privacy. Lawyers and experts with the Canadian Bar Association believe it will not stand the test of a Supreme Court challenge, yet we are asked to rush it through.

This is a violation of our rights. I ask the Minister of Justice to reconsider. We shared the same law school. I would like to think we share something else, which is respect for Parliament.

Bill C-13—Time Allocation MotionProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 3:40 p.m.
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Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, I have been around this place a little while, since 1997, and I sat, literally, where the member is sitting.

We hear the hyperbole of “savaging democracy” and “stifling debate”. As I have told the member, we have had significant debate on the bill. We have had examinations at committee. We have had input from attorneys general and justice ministers at the provincial and territorial level. We have had input from lawyers and experts of well-renowned reputation when it comes to cyber and the use of Internet, and the use of the modern information age.

Now is the time to move forward. Now is the time to make actual progress on the legislation and the insertion of Criminal Code amendments that will help protect people from the scourge of online criminality. That is what this is about.

We can argue procedural points in the House of Commons, but there is no getting away from the fact that, and I believe my colleague from Saanich—Gulf Islands would agree, as a lawyer, as a person with a legal background, there is a necessity and a pressing need to modernize our Criminal Code and bring forward amendments that empower our investigators and our courts and our entire system of justice to improve upon a system that has been outdated, and is proven to be lacking when it comes to the necessary protections for online criminality.

These sections of the Criminal Code were put in place prior to the Internet. We have talked about and I reiterate that this does not create new police powers. It does not give them new investigative powers without judicial oversight. That was very much considered, both in the drafting and presentation of the bill. It was also very much considered in the wake of the Spencer decision, which I remind members, just for emphasis, was a case involving possession and distribution of child pornography.

Let us come back to reality. Let us come back to the importance of having legislation and Criminal Code amendments that will protect Canadian citizens, protect our ability to do the important work of online investigations that will prevent the likes of what we saw in the terrible tragedy of Rehtaeh Parsons.

Bill C-13—Time Allocation MotionProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 3:45 p.m.
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NDP

Ève Péclet NDP La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, one of the elements that the Privacy Commissioner of Canada indicated may be unconstitutional is the fact that there are no oversight mechanisms for information sharing.

We know that the Supreme Court already struck down a section of the Criminal Code—I believe it was section 184—saying that it was unconstitutional not because it granted access to data without a warrant but because this type of access without a warrant did not include any sort of review mechanism for government decisions.

Is the minister prepared to tell us today that his bill is constitutional even though it grants access to data without a warrant and without oversight from the judiciary or an officer of Parliament? It is my understanding that the Supreme Court already ruled on the constitutionality of those kinds of measures.

Bill C-13—Time Allocation MotionProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 3:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, that is a false dichotomy in the question because, in fact, this bill would not create warrantless access. That is a mythology. It is an incorrect, factually wrong statement that is being repeated time and time again by members opposite.

This bill would require and necessitate judicial oversight. It does not attempt to go around that power. It does not propose to bestow new powers on the police to perform warrantless search. They would have to get access with a judicially authorized warrant.

That was the very crux, the ratio decidendi, of the Spencer decision. It talked about the fact that people have a reasonable expectation of privacy when they go online. I do not know whether all Canadians actually believe that when they go online; we know there is lots of hacking that is not being done by the government that puts some of that data at risk.

The reality is that this legislation is about modernizing the Criminal Code sections, about putting in the hands of the police tools with judicial authorization that would allow them to go after fraud artists, child pornographers, and those who are using the Internet to intimidate and harass people. They could go after those who are taking part in activities that in the real world, not the virtual world, clearly would be criminalized.

That is what we are attempting to do through this bill. It is modernizing it. It is moving us into the 21st century, into the modern age of technology. That is what we are doing. To suggest that we should split the bill and put the Criminal Code sections in one part and put the police powers in another is like saying we should give somebody a paddle but not a boat.

Bill C-13—Time Allocation MotionProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 3:50 p.m.
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Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, as can be seen by the different lines of questioning, there is a great deal of interest in this bill, and one can understand why. It is because it is of great importance to Canadians. My colleague from New Brunswick and the Liberal Party critic have expressed both concern and a rationale as to why it is important that the legislation ultimately continue to go through.

However, the motion before us right now is again that of time allocation. Despite our great interest in debating this legislation, the government is using time allocation to force through its legislative agenda.

It is important for us to recognize that no other government in the history of Canada has used time allocation in the manner the current government has chosen to do so. There are no exceptions whatsoever. The only way the government has been able to get its legislative agenda through is to implement time allocation for virtually every aspect of the legislation it has brought before the House.

My question to the minister is this. Does he not recognize that there is much valuable information and many ideas that members of Parliament from all sides, I suspect, would have contributed by participating in this debate, if the government had not once again used time allocation to force through legislation? On the other hand, if the government had separated out aspects of the legislation, I suspect we could have passed components of it months ago if the political will had been there from the government side.

Bill C-13—Time Allocation MotionProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 3:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, one thing is certain: that member who just spoke will always have his time on the floor of the House of Commons. To his credit, I do not think there is a member who has participated more in debates of all kinds and on all subject matter.

He may be able to hoodwink some people who are here, or perhaps those who do not follow Parliament closely, but I have been around a while, as has my friend from Calgary, and I can say that there were prior governments that used time allocation. Time allocation was not invented by the current government. It is a way to manage House time. It is a way to move important legislation that has clearly become stalled.

We have heard 20 members from the NDP alone on this subject. We have heard members from the Liberal Party pronounce themselves. We will have an opportunity to examine it further. The other place, as the procedure moves along, will pronounce itself.

The bill is of importance. It is timely. It is urgent. It puts in place a regime that ensures judicial oversight. It gives the police the powers that they need, but they must act with discretion. They must, of course, as we do, respect the Supreme Court and its interpretation of the law.

We believe now is the time to move forward for the protection and the betterment of the administration of justice in Canada.

Bill C-13—Time Allocation MotionProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 3:50 p.m.
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NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I still remember what the minister said in response to the question asked by my colleague from Chicoutimi—Le Fjord after a time allocation motion was moved.

The member had worked on putting a stop to bullying and had moved a motion on this topic, but the motion was defeated by the Conservatives. He asked the minister whether the minister wanted to hear what he had to say, and the minister replied that he did not feel inclined to listen. He at least gets points for honesty.

We are getting that same message today with this time allocation motion. The minister absolutely does not want to hear what people have to say, and he is even denigrating what we say, as if we were just repeating ourselves. However, each one of us is interested in different parts of the bill.

For example, my colleague from Terrebonne—Blainville is very much interested in online privacy, while I am particularly interested in cyberbullying.

We are interested in as many topics as our constituents give us. However, it seems that the government is not interested in listening to us and it could not care less about what we have to say.

Does the minister not realize that just six clauses in this bill address the topics he talks about all the time, namely cyberbullying and the distribution of images, and that the rest of the bill addresses other topics such as telecommunications theft and other—

Bill C-13—Time Allocation MotionProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 3:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, of course I am interested in what she and members here have to say. That is why I follow this debate very closely. That is why I am here. That is why I go to committee. I go to committee, I suspect, as much as or more than any minister in our government. I go to take part in the debates that matter. I go to put forward the government's position, to back up with facts and figures the legislation that we bring forward and to bring rigour to the debate and examination that naturally follow in this place.

It gives me the opportunity to talk about more than just the debate and the legislation. Our government has also put in place a strategy with $10 million in funding to help with the creation of new crime prevention products. We now have in place the Get Cyber Safe campaign, which I know the members opposite would heartily support. It enables Canadians to get more information about how to protect themselves and their families from online threats, including cyberbullying. I know the hon. member is very interested in and very supportive of all of these efforts.

There is a National Bullying Awareness Week, which I know all members here embrace. The government created a special section on children and cyberbullying that has tips and help for teens on the use of social media.

All of this, including the private sector work being done through the needhelpnow.ca website, when coupled with this legislation, will make our youth safer. That is something I know members opposite and government members can agree on.

Bill C-13—Time Allocation MotionProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 3:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Leon Benoit Conservative Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, in this debate on time allocation, it is interesting to listen to the Liberal members opposite complain about our government's use of time allocation.

I was here from 1993 for 13 miserable years of Liberal governments, and the Liberals used time allocation all the time. They did not complain when it was them.

Then when we listen to the NDP, we see that the reason we have to use time allocation is that members opposite repeat the same message again and again. A certain amount of repetition is reasonable, but they say the same thing over and over again. They are being mischievous. The reality is that they understand the need for us to use time allocation, because, quite frankly, they are not being responsible with all the time that is made available, which is hours in the House and hours at committee. They must start to be more responsible.

Bill C-13—Time Allocation MotionProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 3:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, I know that the member is a long-standing member of this place, and I do share his observations with respect to the necessity of managing House time.

We are now entering, as we all know, a very busy time. There are many bills and legislative initiatives, including private members' bills from the opposition, as well as the budget. All of this requires management of House time.

We have had sufficient debate on this legislation. It is time to move it forward for all of the reasons that we have discussed over the last half-hour. These reasons include the necessity to give the police the powers and the judicial oversight they need in order to prevent and pre-empt the type of online harassment and criminality that have caused harm and heartbreak in so many households in Canada.

Report StageProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 4:35 p.m.
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NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, we have just seen for the 78th sad time the use of time allocation and closure by the government. It is a sad record that stands even worse than the former Liberal government's record. There is an appalling lack of respect for the Canadian public, discussion and debate.

The problems with this bill, though we agree with it in principle, are the questions around constitutionality and the government trying to ram through the bill without due regard for putting in place the kinds of amendments that make it constitutional and avoid the problems that the government has seen half a dozen times so far this year, with courts rejecting government legislation. With this idea of ramming the bills through, unfortunately, there are things like a court system and constitution that have to be respected.

Does my colleague from St. John's East feel the government has done its due diligence in this bill, given that it is so controversial, that there are concerns about its constitutionality and that there are real concerns about the impacts that go far beyond cyberbullying?

Report StageProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 4:40 p.m.
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NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, my colleague's question is important because it has to do with the differential role between what the House of Commons does and what the Supreme Court of Canada does. The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that legislation coming before the House meets the constitutional standard.

We have a case now before the federal court with an affidavit and suggestion. From the government's point of view, if there is some possibility, maybe a 5% possibility, of an arguable case that a law is constitutional, it is good enough for the government. I do not think is right.

It is the constitutional responsibility of the government to ensure that legislation coming before the House meets the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Serious questions have been raised and they ought to be answered first. As well, the government should have a broader view of constitutionality than the narrow one it seems to follow.

Report StageProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 4:40 p.m.
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Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to rise again to take part in this debate on this important legislation. As members opposite would know, the legislation is intended very much to protect people, young people in particular, our most vulnerable; to protect seniors from online criminality and fraud that could defraud them of their life savings; to protect individuals from the security breaches and attacks that we know are happening regularly online.

The bill is about modernizing sections of the Criminal Code, respecting precedent, including recent Supreme Court decisions, and respecting the Constitution. However, it is about modernizing in a way that takes Criminal Code sections from the age of the rotary dial phone into the 21st century, the Internet age. We have more information available at our fingertips now and youth are more able to access information than at any other time in world history. Therefore, it stands to reason that we would want to bring legislation forward that would similarly modernize the Criminal Code and the rules that govern online criminal activity.

The bill is about amending the Criminal Code in a way that would create a new offence of the non-consensual distribution of intimate images. It would also update a number of offences and the investigative tools that allow police to use modern technology to police the Internet, so to speak, by amending other statutes such as the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act.

Bill C-13 would also allow Canada to co-operate with like-minded countries in the investigation of cybercrime. I know my friend from Lévis—Bellechasse, the Minister of Public Safety, fully appreciates, from his daily interactions with police and investigators, that they need this capacity to protect people from online criminality. The portions of the bill that we are bringing forward are consistent, related, and support the common objective to give the police the ability to prevent online criminal acts.

Bill C-13 would also achieve these goals in a balanced way, something that was recognized by many of the witnesses who have already given testimony and appeared before the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, where the bill was thoroughly examined.

Following this review at the committee and to reflect concerns about the difficulty of forecasting the impact that these important changes to the law and the amendments that were adopted by the committee, this was done as part of the parliamentary process and in recognition of the contributions of members and witnesses. It was done in a way that proposes changes to Bill C-13.

An important change was that after seven years of coming into force, there will be a thorough review. This is not an uncommon provision, but when breaking new ground, as the bill would do, it provides sufficient time to lapse before we assess the implementation and the impacts of the reforms.

I mentioned that the thorough review of the bill by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights took place. This review involved 10 committee meetings, hours of examination, with appearances by over 40 witnesses. Many of the witnesses came to urge the committee to pass the legislation, to move forward and address the serious problems particularly around cyberbullying. We heard from people like Glen Canning, who tragically lost his daughter to a very pernicious and persistent act of cyberbullying. Therefore, there is urgency in bringing this legislative movement forward.

Those most passionate that we heard at the committee were victims, those who had felt the sting of the loss resulting from ongoing harassment and humiliation online. In several of the cases, the people who had lost loved ones because of this modern plague of cybercrime urged the government and committee members to move post-haste in getting these provisions to the Criminal Code in place.

The insidiousness of some of this behaviour is troubling in the extreme and what happens in the virtual world can have deadly consequences in the real world. While some witnesses expressed concern about the proposals, most witnesses saw the wisdom of the bill. They congratulated the government on taking action to address cybercrime, which, I am quick to add goes far beyond just the legislative initiatives.

We have put in place programs and assistance to help with getting information into schools and spreading the word, particularly to young people, about how they can get help and how they can help remove some of these offensive images that cause them such stress and anxiety. That type of information is very important, as well as the improvement and modernization of the investigative tools, which require judicial oversight and the authorization of a judge before that type of information is sought.

This is a comprehensive and balanced bill. It is about protecting the public through this new offence that is designed to address the aspects of cyberbullying. In particular, it is about modernizing existing offences and the investigative tool kit. It is very much there to give the police the ability to do in a virtual world what they do in the real world, and to seek out those who are causing this type of harm through the Internet.

The offence of non-consensual distribution of intimate images prohibits the sharing of intimate photos or photos containing nudity without the consent of the individual shown in the photos.

It is important to respond in this manner to cyberbullying, which involves activities that can cruelly humiliate and shame its targets. It can cause irreparable emotional and psychological harm to the victim. There are far too many of these cases that we could enumerate here. Suffice it to say, the pain being felt and experienced by the families is unquantifiable. The anonymity of what happens online sometimes emboldens people and empowers some to act in a cruel and wicked fashion.

Bill C-13 would respond directly to recommendations that were made in a June 2013 federal, provincial and territorial report. Therefore, there is broad support and consensus among our provincial and territorial partners to move in this fashion. The report was unanimously supported by my predecessor, the Minister of Public Safety, as well as all of those provincial attorneys general and public safety ministers.

I also alluded to the committee, which heard from a number of victims of cyberbullying and sadly the parents of some deceased victims, many of whom have now become advocates for change to better address the scourge of cyberbullying. Most of these witnesses expressed strong and unconditional support for the proposals found in Bill C-13.

In particular, and his name has been mentioned previously, Mr. Glen Canning expressed serious concern to the committee about the challenge faced by police in responding to modern crime using outdated tools. He also expressed his belief that had Bill C-13 been law, it could have had a positive impact and might have saved his daughter, Rehtaeh Parsons.

These are compelling arguments to be made for passing the bill. Further delays would leave more people vulnerable, simply put, and online crime to go unchecked. The alarmist rhetoric and some of the partisan banter here is not going to change that. Moving the bill forward will in fact fill the gap.

I hope the House understands just how important the proposed legislation is. Our police need these modern tools for modern times. Criminals are certainly using the Internet to great effect, and it is time to fight back. Bill C-13 would give the police the means to investigate and hold offenders accountable online, just as in the real world. It would provide the police with increased, judicially authorized, 21st century police tools and techniques.

I urge all members to support the bill. It is a balanced, necessary approach to putting in place offences and investigative tools that would provide the means to respond to criminal law challenges in this century and those that arise from cyberbullying.

Report StageProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 4:50 p.m.
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NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the Minister of Justice for his speech at report stage.

The committee did not have a chance to examine the Spencer decision and see how it relates to and affects Bill C-13, even though I asked the committee to do so, since we finished the clause-by-clause study on June 12 and the Supreme Court handed down its decision on June 13.

A number of experts have said that the decision tears Bill C-13 apart. The minister seems to be saying that that is not the case. Does he not believe that the burden of proof has been diminished? Besides the fact that it is used in other sections of the Criminal Code, how is privacy still being protected when the burden of proof required for the police to obtain private information on Canadian citizens is being diminished?

In other words, the expression “reasonable and probable grounds to believe” has been replaced by “reasonable grounds to suspect”, which seriously undermines the previous standard.

Report StageProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 4:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, I still firmly believe that the protections are there, that the protections do in fact exist. When it comes to the judicial oversight that is required in order for a warrant to be granted, the standard the member referred to may be described as less, but it is still going to be in the decision-making power of the judge. Therefore, to cast aspersions on the judiciary, to suggest somehow they are going to make improper decisions in granting that warrant, I would suggest is not helpful in this regard.

We are very much putting our trust, our confidence and our faith in the system to work when it comes to those important decisions. Let us not lose sight of the enormity of the challenge that the police are facing and the insidious nature of what is taking place online without the proper oversight. We know that there is an explosion of activity happening on the Internet. We know we do not have sufficient tools, which is why we are acting in this regard. We know that efforts have been made not only in this Parliament, but going back some years by previous governments to move in this direction. This is not a new issue. This is not a new phenomenon. What is urgent is that we put these tools in place, that we allow greater protections and afford the police greater ability to protect people from online crime.

Report StageProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 4:50 p.m.
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Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, we all agree on the aspects of the bill that deal with the non-consensual disclosure of intimate images. The problem, as the minister knows, is with the non-consensual distribution of subscriber information, which is done without a warrant and on a voluntary basis.

My question for the minister relates to the advice that he receives from the Department of Justice. It is the Department of Justice lawyers who put together the bill. At the time they put together the bill, their view of the appropriate safeguards around subscriber information was in accordance with what the law was at the time the bill was put together. That changed in Spencer. That changed when the hearings were finished. In the Spencer case, it was those Department of Justice lawyers who argued that subscriber information does not attract a reasonable expectation of privacy. Given that the advice that the minister received in putting together the bill was subsequently found to be incorrect by the Supreme Court of Canada, does he not agree that it is now time to go back to the drawing board?

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October 1st, 2014 / 4:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, no I do not. I do not think it will come as a surprise to the member or anyone in the House that I do not agree with that assessment. In fact, I can assure him that those same justice lawyers who helped craft the bill, who researched extensively the policing powers and the privacy balance that has to be sought and achieved, their advice remains consistent and the same. That is that Bill C-13, as currently drafted, does not in fact create new police powers. It does not enable them to go around existing requirements under the law to respect privacy.

I am little surprised and somewhat flummoxed by the position of the Liberal Party because it was its members who brought forward similar provisions in the past, through private member's bills, and spoke very favourably for the same supportive updating of the Criminal Code. In fact, the member for Beauséjour who was here a moment ago said the old tools, the old laws and regulations in common law around search warrants, lawful access, et cetera, have not kept up with the technology that organized crime is using. A former justice minister from the Liberal Party, Mr. Ujjal Dosanjh, said the police want to be able to apprehend or disrupt gang activity and they are at a disadvantage because of the state of the law in this area.

I do not know how the member from the Liberal Party squares those comments with his reluctance to support the bill.

Report StageProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 4:55 p.m.
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Conservative

David Wilks Conservative Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak to Bill C-13, the protecting Canadians from online crime act, now that it has been reported back to the House by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

Without the provisions contained in Bill C-13, there would be no tool in the Criminal Code to enable the preservation of computer data and ensure important evidence would not deleted prematurely. In addition, without these provisions, there would be no tool designed for the production of specific types of data such as transmission data. Nor would there be a tool to assist in tracking a communication by using one order that could be served on multiple providers when it was revealed that the person under investigation was hopping from one hiding place to the next, from one server provider to the next, simply to cover his or her tracks. Bill C-13 would bring the kind of balance Canadians expect from a 21st century system of justice.

I want to address some basic principles so everyone understands what is at stake.

The new preservation tools are crucial. With regard to the storage of data, Canada's telecommunications industry is, in many ways, unregulated. We do not have laws for mandatory data retention, contrary to what exists in the European Union, and many Canadians believe we should not have such laws. Bill C-13 does not change that.

There are a number of providers with a variety of business practices. This is not a criticism of those practices. There are many reasons why data should be deleted. Some of those reasons have to do with privacy, but not all of them. Sometimes it is cheaper. Sometimes it is just the way technology is designed. However, sometimes these circumstances are consciously exploited by criminals trying to hide their trail and get away with their crimes.

The creation of the preservation tools reflects the diversity of legitimate business practices and acknowledges the fact that the industry is not required to retain data. However, we must understand the consequences of our choices. This also means that vital data could be deleted before production orders could be obtained from a judge enabling that data to be disclosed.

Preservation demands and preservation orders act as the first step in a lawful investigation. These tools ensure the data at least exists long enough for a judge to assess the evidence brought before him or her and determine if it should be disclosed to the police so it could assist in an investigation and eventually be brought forward in open court.

Let us consider the next step: the production of evidence. The new production orders provide the necessary set of investigational powers that enable a judge to grant specific types of data as specified in the order, which could be obtained by the police. This is another aspect that has not been understood in the media or by some witnesses who appeared before the committee. The new tools are not about disclosing data in general. It may be easy to grasp that these provisions would give law enforcement the specific tools it needs in the modern world of computers and complex telecommunications. However, there is another side to it.

The provisions in Bill C-13 ensure that a judge is aware of precisely what type of data is being sought by the police in relation to a specific investigation. This is quite unique. Most countries around the world do not provide their judges with this ability to carefully consider the circumstances and to uphold the rights and freedoms of the people and their jurisdiction by granting the authorities access to only one sort of data and not another. If the police do not need access to every kind of data, why should that be permissible?

These new tools make clear that police forces can obtain what is needed, but not more. If they can convince the judge that they need access to a particular type of data in order to assist in the investigation, then the judge can empower them to obtain that data from a service provider, but only that type of data, not every type of data that the service provider might have. This type of precision, this new approach, increases accountability, transparency and privacy protection. It is a new model for our new high tech reality. It is the right balance of freedom and protection for Canadians.

These are not simple issues and they do not deserve to be dismissed by misguided motions to delete vital provisions from Bill C-13. We must begin to understand that in a complex telecommunications network, where the Internet enables mobile phones, laptops and tablets to send data through the air in the blink of an eye, there are different types of data going through the network, data which can have diverse characteristics. We need different tools for those different types of data. The warrant for a tracking device and the warrant for a transmission data recorder are examples of those kinds of tools. They are crucial tools to combatting cyberbullying and online crime in general.

The current dial number recorder provisions in the Criminal Code were put in place when most Canadians did not have a cellphone and were not surfing the web. This is not the kind of technology that police face today when conducting criminal investigations.

The new transmission data recorder provisions can be used for collecting data from both telephones and the Internet. We all know that in today's world, a cellphone can be used to place a call, surf the web, or send a text message or a digital photograph. The transmission data recorder reflects this reality. It is not restricted to one type of data from one type of device. Again, a much more cautious approach has been taken than headlines would have one believe.

We must look carefully at the details. The new provision is important because it establishes appropriate safeguards. The transmission data recorder may be a mouthful to say and it may be difficult to understand some of the technological wording, but basically it is about the data that devices send to each other to connect into the network.

There are many different bits of data that could fall under the definition of transmission data, making a long, complicated list looking daunting. However, there are three things to remember.

First, police officers have to get approval from a judge. They must present evidence to a judge in order to use a transmission data recorder.

Second, the transmission data recorder is basically about mapping networks. It is about identifying devices and messages. It is not focused on identifying an individual person. That means it is not centred on the sort of attribution that was the focus of the Supreme Court of Canada's recent decision in Spencer in June 2014.

Third, and this is absolutely important, the police cannot use this provision to intercept what people say or text to each other or the digital photos that they send. The provision is crystal clear about this. It specifically states that it cannot be used to collect content. That means the transmission data recorder cannot be used to intercept voice. It cannot be used to collect text messages. It cannot be used to read the content of emails. It cannot even be used to read the subject line of an email. It cannot be used to collect a digital photo. To do that sort of thing would be to conduct an interception. To conduct an interception, the police would need a full-blown wiretap authorization, and that is the way it should be.

The police need the right tools, but Canadians need their privacy protected. Bill C-13 would strike the balance.

The warrants for the tracking device and the transmission data recorder not only improve police capabilities, but also strengthen the privacy protections for Canadians generally by ensuring that judicial standards are respected for different types of data.

Let us use another example to make that clear. The amended tracking order provisions distinguish between tracking things and tracking people. Now the existing provisions in the Criminal Code do not make the distinction. Therefore, if the police were tracking a package, like a drug shipment, that is one thing. However, if the police are trying to track a person, using a device usually carried or worn by the person, the new provision demands that the police meet a higher threshold of proof. The police must bring more compelling evidence before a judge, before that judge would permit a tracking warrant to be used to follow a person's movements. That is the way it should be.

The new provisions enhance privacy protections above the old provisions in the Criminal Code. The old tool is not good enough in today's society. The new provisions strike the balance between law enforcement needs and privacy protections.

I call upon all members to give their full support to Bill C-13 to ensure its swift passage.

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October 1st, 2014 / 5:05 p.m.
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NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet NDP Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, earlier we debated a time allocation motion on this bill. The Conservatives told us that this was urgent and we needed to vote right away. However, if this was so urgent, why did they not support Bill C-540, introduced by my colleague from Dartmouth—Cole Harbour? Indeed, much of that bill is repeated in Bill C-13.

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October 1st, 2014 / 5:05 p.m.
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Conservative

David Wilks Conservative Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, we have some leading precedence to this. The bill needs to be through by December 22. If it is not, then certain things will happen.

However, from a perspective of Bill C-13, the bill recognizes the importance of modernizing the Criminal Code and police techniques. Police forces cannot work in the century behind us right now. They need to get into the 21st century. The bill would do that.

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October 1st, 2014 / 5:05 p.m.
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Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Kootenay—Columbia for his service on the justice committee. He brings a perspective to the committee from his many years of police work that is extremely valuable.

I would like to ask him about the immunity provision contained in the bill. We heard a lot about it during the hearings. We have heard the government say that the immunity provision really does not do much. It does not convey any new powers.

We did not hear anyone at committee say, “We asked for this”. We did not hear that from law enforcement. We did not hear from any telco, so they could not tell us whether they asked for it.

Could the member offer any rationale for why it was there? What was the demand for an enhanced immunity for telephone companies included in the bill?

Report StageProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 5:05 p.m.
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Mississauga—Erindale Ontario

Conservative

Bob Dechert ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, I join with the Liberal justice critic in complimenting the member for his experience as a police officer and how that helps the committee do its work.

In respect of that, I thought he made a good speech about what was meant by the term “transmission data recorder”. A lot of comment has been made in the House and elsewhere about the difference between the standard of reasonable grounds to believe versus reasonable grounds to suspect.

As a police officer, could he tell us what is necessary to prepare that kind of warrant application before the court, how much more time is required to prepare a warrant under the threshold of reason to believe and how would that delay an investigation in a matter where a young person was being harassed over the Internet?

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October 1st, 2014 / 5:10 p.m.
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Conservative

David Wilks Conservative Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his good work on the justice committee.

The fact is that the police need time, especially in this electronic age, to put investigational tools together and the information that is required for a warrant.

When we talk about a preservation order, that is only to hold data in place so police forces can then go back to a judge to ask for additional warrants to actually look at it. Otherwise, they are not even looking at it. They are just providing the opportunity to do that.

However, police need that time. In this digital age where everything, as I said in my speech, can be moved in the flash of a light, police officers need to slow it down so they can create the proper evidence and information for the judge to make a good decision on reasonable and probable grounds.

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October 1st, 2014 / 5:10 p.m.
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Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak to this bill, an act to amend the Criminal Code, the Canada Evidence Act, the Competition Act, and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act.

The title is cited as “protecting Canadians from online crime act”, and I have to say at the beginning that I am constantly bothered by the way the government names its bills.

The naming of the bill goes to the heart of the way the government operates in titling its various legislation. There is a lot of spin and a certain amount of deception, because this bill would not actually protect Canadians from online crime in any discernible way. It would provide investigative tools to police and new offences, but all this assumed conduct would be in progress or would have already occurred; it would not be prevented by this legislation.

It has to be said, in fairness to the government, there is some preventive aspect in the fear of the penalties among people who would do these kinds of things. However, as is so often the case with the Conservatives, the title is exaggerated and, I would say, deceptive. Members have heard me say a number of times in this House that we have now had eight years of deception from the current government.

The principal incentive behind this legislation has been the growing problem of cyberbullying, which has led to some tragic consequences. There is no question cyberbullying is a scourge on our society and that cyberbullying is a particular strain on our young people. We could go through all kinds of cases of that, and other speakers have. The Liberals are supportive in principle of legislative measures that would provide law enforcement with additional tools to combat cyberbullying. This is an area where the Criminal Code urgently needs to be updated to reflect the realities of modern technologies.

We believe, however, that legislative measures alone, while helpful, are insufficient to combat cyberbullying, and we urge the government to commit to a broader, more holistic strategy to deal with cyberbullying that also includes public awareness resources for parents, kids, and the general public.

The Liberals introduced cyberbullying legislation in the last session that would have modified some Criminal Code offences to cover modern technology, as is done in Bill C-13. The Conservative members and the New Democrats voted against that legislative measure in the last session.

The Liberals, while in government, also introduced legislation that would have addressed new technologies back in 2005. The current government is only now figuring out that police need these tools to keep up with technologies that are increasingly a part of today's crime.

We believe that a balance must be struck between civil liberties and public safety, particularly when it comes to warrants that may be intrusive and overly broad. We do not support the measures that were in Bill C-30, the previous bill, which even the Conservatives had to withdraw because of Canadian outrage. Sadly, some of this bill duplicates the rejected Bill C-30, such as word-for-word reproductions of the change to subsection 487.3(1) of the Criminal Code and, except for one word, the changes to sections 492.1 and 492.2 regarding warrants.

We are very concerned about efforts to reintroduce “lawful access”, which the Conservatives promised was dead. Why the current government continues to tag on measures that push the envelope, so to speak, on privacy issues makes no sense to me. The immediate issue is important and cannot be lost, so we feel we have to support it, but why do the Conservatives play politics with everything, using cyberbullying to get what they wanted in the old Bill C-30?

My colleague, the member for Charlottetown, raised a question in the House in which he asked the minister to split the bill, but that was refused. That would have made a lot of sense, in that both aspects of the bill could have been studied in their own right and the cyberbullying aspect of the bill could have been dealt with very rapidly.

This omnibus bill touches upon everything from terrorism to telemarketing to cable stealing to hate speech, and in some parts is an affront to both democracy and the legislative process.

In particular, the bill resurrects elements of the old Bill C-30, Vic Toews' famous “either stand with us or with the child pornographers” bill when he was the previous justice minister. Many in this House will remember that.

The past justice minister, now the Minister of National Defence, promised Canadians on February 11, 2013, while killing Bill C-30:

We will not be proceeding with Bill C-30 and any attempts that we will continue to have to modernize the Criminal Code will not contain the measures contained in C-30, including the warrantless mandatory disclosure of basic subscriber information or the requirement for telecommunications service providers to build intercept capability within their systems.

He went on to say:

We've listened to the concerns of Canadians who have been very clear on this and responding to that.

I heard what the previous speaker said, and he dealt with this issue somewhat. However, there is a real question in this legislation as to whether the minister's words hold true or not. Again, it goes to the heart of why the bill was not split so that both aspects could be dealt with appropriately.

We must ensure that adequate protections are included in the bill to protect the civil liberties and privacy interests of ordinary Canadians. We are very concerned that with this omnibus bill, under the guise of cyberbullying prevention, the government is slipping things through the back door.

Ultimately, while we agree the Criminal Code must be updated to keep pace with technology, the hodgepodge bundling of bills is highly problematic. Some of it, such as the changes to the hate speech provisions and the introduction of the cable stealing offence, has been presented without any explanation of why the modifications are being made and without making any rational connection to cyberbullying.

We agree with the need to address cyberbullying and support the creation of a new offence for the unwanted distribution of intimate images. We also agree that some of the Criminal Code sections being modified are woefully out of date and must be amended to better reflect modern technology.

We strongly disagree, however, with the use of omnibus legislation that precludes nuanced discussion and debate on disparate issues. Moreover, we strongly disagree with the reintroduction of the universally panned legislation on lawful access from the old Bill C-30.

In short, we believe the provisions of the bill would unnecessarily infringe the civil liberties and privacy interests of Canadians. While we support this legislation, we want to place on the record that, as has happened in the past with the government's so-called crime agenda, the courts could ultimately find that many of the provisions of Bill C-13 would be illegal.

It would have served the government and Canadians well had the government accepted some of the concerns that were raised, allowed some amendments at committee, and, most notably, accepted the demand by my colleague, the member for Charlottetown, to split the bill, with the cyberbullying elements contained in a stand-alone bill rather than in what we are now debating.

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October 1st, 2014 / 5:20 p.m.
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Mississauga—Erindale Ontario

Conservative

Bob Dechert ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, the member mentioned the concept of splitting the bill. We have heard a lot about this, and we heard about it in committee.

I do not know if he has had an opportunity to read the testimony from the justice committee's hearings on this bill. He would note that the committee studied it for 10 days. It heard from more than 40 witnesses, and there was extensive discussion about the investigative powers provisions of the bill. I fail to understand what more could be added if a separate study of all that was done again, with the same witnesses coming before the committee again.

The member probably heard Mr. Canning's comments when he said that we need this bill and that the police need these tools to prevent another tragedy such as the one that befell his daughter, Rehtaeh Parsons.

I would like to read the comments of Mr. Allan Hubley, who is the father of Jamie Hubley, who was bullied right here in Ottawa. He said:

Bill C-13 in my view is meant to help reduce cyberbullying and help police obtain the evidence needed to punish those among us who prey on our beautiful children. Our children need you to use your power as parliamentarians to protect them. Parents across Canada are watching and hoping you will do something to help them.

Remember the words of Churchill and please ensure change is progress by passing this bill and giving law enforcement the tools needed.

I wonder if the member could comment on that and tell us if he still thinks that this bill needs to be delayed and split and studied another time.

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October 1st, 2014 / 5:20 p.m.
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Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary, to a certain extent, misses the point. The bill should have been split long ago. We are not suggesting that today.

We accept the reality that we have to support this bill, but a better process could have been instituted whereby there could have been more debate on both aspects.

The fact of the matter is that telephone companies were not witnesses. No one involved in the Spencer case in the Supreme Court was invited as a witness.

I am sure that you know already, Mr. Speaker, that I am not on the justice committee. However, at the committee that I operate in, because of the government majority there is a certain weighting toward witnesses that the government wants, witnesses who will talk their language. If I might say so, the way the Conservative government operates in committee has undermined the committee process, and it is undermining the very essence of how democracy works in this country.

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October 1st, 2014 / 5:20 p.m.
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NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

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

Sometimes it feels as though the debate on Bill C-13 is a dialogue of the deaf. There are two things going on at the same time here. There is the section that deals with cyberbullying and the illegal distribution of images. Then, there is the much more complex section that takes up about 40 of the bill's 52 pages. Some witnesses in committee expressed some serious concerns about this part. The Supreme Court also examined the issue in R. v. Spencer.

The NDP submitted 36 amendments in committee, but they were all rejected. I mentioned a dialogue of the deaf, since we all tried to split the bill so that we could make sure everything was done right. The parliamentary secretary asked what other witnesses the committee could have heard from. We could have heard from experts to explain how the Spencer ruling affects the bill. That did not happen, since the ruling came after the study was done.

Could my colleague speak to that?

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October 1st, 2014 / 5:25 p.m.
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Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the member basically confirms her own point by raising the fact that there were 36 amendments. None were carried. There was an amendment by the Liberal member for Charlottetown to have a compulsory review in three years. Those might not be the exact words that were used, but it was amended by the committee to do it in seven years. That is a wee bit of progress, in that there is a compulsory review in place.

However, it comes back to my original point: this is a government that is operating in a very dictatorial way. It fails to take ideas from all members of the House, including the opposition parties, that would make bills better. These ideas would do a better job for all Canadians, and perhaps even prevent some of the Supreme Court challenges that are being tossed back at the government as legislation that does not meet the test of the charter.

Report StageProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 5:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to speak to Bill C-13.

I will put my speech aside, because I want to respond to the accusations just made by the member opposite. I am actually the chair of the justice committee, and as chair, part of my responsibility is to make sure that everyone gets a fair opportunity to be heard. I think members of the committee work very well together, to be perfectly honest.

The way it has worked and will continue to work at committee is that each party is able to submit the names of witnesses they would like to hear from. Based on the numbers we get, we ask members to prioritize who they would like to hear from, because time may run out.

If I recall correctly, there was no set time for this particular bill. If the committee did not hear from certain segments, it was because those witnesses were not recommended or brought forward. The committee did not call those witnesses not because the government was trying to do something inappropriate but because the witnesses were not asked for. The government cannot be blamed for not calling witnesses who were not asked for.

Conservatives had an opportunity to ask for witnesses. New Democrats asked for witnesses and the Liberals asked for witnesses. I take some offence that the member said this was not done appropriately. It was absolutely done appropriately. It was done in this committee in dealing with Bill C-13 and is done for all other legislation that comes to the committee.

I think the committee is operating well, and everyone has an opportunity to have their say. If parties, including my own, want to hear from witnesses, they can put them on the list. There will be a discussion as to how many meetings there will be on it, and then we will hear from those witnesses. That is how it has worked and will continue to work as long as I am in the chair. We will see if that continues.

I also want to respond to the issue of splitting this omnibus bill. I have the bill in front of me. It is in French and English, as all bills are. It is 53 pages long, plus 12 pages of explanatory notes. It is not a very big bill. If members can read it in both languages, that is great, but let us assume that most read in one language or the other. That would make it about 25 or 26 pages long. It did not need to be split, in my view. I think there is lots of opportunity to talk about all the issues. It is not a very difficult bill to grasp. I think someone could read it in a few hours.

There are a number of issues in the bill, but the process at committee did not limit members to talking about just certain parts of the bill. Members could have brought forward witnesses and we could have had a discussion, which we did, on all parts of that bill. I have to take some offence on the issue of what happened.

As we know, as the minister and the previous speaker on this side have pointed out, the bill would do a number of things, but in general, it would create a new offence for the distribution of non-consensual pictures on the Internet.

I did not know how big a problem it was, to be perfectly honest. I had not really experienced it in my office or had anyone come to see me. I took the opportunity to ask my daughters, who just graduated and are in university now. They were able to illustrate to me a number of actual cases, in their own high school, of young women who had had photos taken of them that were then posted on different people's sites as revenge or cyberbullying. This was a surprise to me.

That does not make the news. What makes the news is when it goes too far and the bullying is so egregious that someone, unfortunately, takes his or her life. Then it makes big news. This is a problem that is happening every day in every community across this country, so we needed to act.

There was mention of the previous legislation that was brought forward in Bill C-30, and appropriately so. The government recognized that there were some issues that needed to be dealt with, so we brought it back, took it off the table, and redid the bill.

We made changes based on the public and the response in this House in terms of the changes that needed to be made. I believe that those were made. Do we get credit as a government for making those changes? No, and the previous speaker criticized us, saying that we did not do it right in the first place.

I am sure that opposition members believe that they are perfect, and maybe even some of us think we are perfect on this side, but let us be honest. We had a bill in front of us, we recognized that there were some issues, we took it back, and we made changes and improvements. We addressed those problems and brought something back that we could all pass.

I am not sure what the NDP are doing. I heard from the last speaker that the Liberals are supporting the bill going forward, and I appreciate that.

I do not think as a government that we should be criticized for hearing the concerns and then making changes. I will agree that there were a number of amendments put forward, 30-some amendments, and one, on a review period, did pass, which I personally supported. I do not vote on the committee as the chair, but I do support that.

As we all know, it takes some time for legislation, especially with the Criminal Code, to get through the system, get in place, and get tested in practice. I think it will take some time before this piece of legislation is tested, and that length of time for the review is appropriate.

The other issue we heard a lot about was that the bill would give the police a lot more power than they already have. I think the issue on Bill C-30 was that it looked like the police could do things without a warrant. Well, this bill would clearly resolve that issue, in my view.

Bill C-13 clearly indicates that for preservation orders and for the police to be able to do their jobs in terms of attacking the problem of cyberbullying in particular cases, they need judicial support to move forward.

I think it is important to give the police those tools. In this electronic environment of the Internet, things move so fast, on or off, we need to be able to do that.

We experience that around here all the time. If a member of Parliament makes a mistake or does something on the Internet, and somebody catches it, a few hours later, if not less, it is gone. We have all experienced that in this House with members of Parliament doing things on electronic systems.

When it is a criminal activity, we need to have the police able to go after it quickly. We need to give them those tools to make that happen. I am very supportive of the opportunity for the police to be able to do their work.

We have been asked as a government to do something about the cyberbullying problem. This is not an easy area to legislate. We cannot legislate cyberbullying to stop. It is not that easy. I appreciate that we have looked at opportunities and issues in terms of addressing cyberbullying through our legal system, which is what this bill would do.

Bill C-13 would give the police better tools to track and trace telecommunications. It would streamline the process of obtaining multiple warrants so that the police could execute their jobs.

The witnesses we saw whose families were affected by cyberbullying were fully supportive of what we were doing. I want every member of this House to think about that. If it was their son or daughter whose photo was online and who was being bullied, would they want the police to be able to act to resolve the issue and have a penalty for cyberbullying? I believe the answer is yes, and it is yes for the vast majority of Canadians. That is why we need to support Bill C-13.

Report StageProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 5:35 p.m.
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NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague, who is also the chair of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

In my opinion, he is taking offence at very little; we are not criticizing him for the number of meetings that were held or the quality of the witnesses. However, we asked some witnesses whether it would not be more prudent to wait for the Supreme Court's ruling, which was handed down just a few hours after the time provided for the clause-by-clause review had ended.

On one hand, I agree with my colleague that this is an important issue and that we want to help the victims, parents, families and everyone involved so that they can rest easy. On the other hand, I want to be able to guarantee them that the work we are doing here will not be dismissed out of hand by an impending ruling.

It would have been wiser to wait for the ruling. That was certainly a valid request. It is impossible to conduct a study without knowing the outcome of the ruling. We cannot ask constitutional experts questions about a ruling that has not yet been issued. There is no need to take offence to that. In this case, we did not feel as rushed as we did in other cases, but it certainly would have been better to wait until the ruling was handed down.

I would like to hear my colleague's comments on that. How could the witnesses share their opinions on a ruling that had not yet been issued?

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October 1st, 2014 / 5:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague across the way. She does an excellent job on behalf of her party at committee.

It would not be wise for this committee or any committee to wait until the Supreme Court decides on the issue. I am not a lawyer, but if we look at the decision that was brought down, it defined activities of the police, but it did not change what was in the bill.

The wheels of justice move relatively slowly in this country. Getting legislation through the House moves slowly. Cyberbullying is one of those areas that is not moving slowly. It is progressing every single day. We needed to act, and we acted appropriately.

If in the future, after this is reviewed, if changes to legislation need to be made based on rulings from the Supreme Court, that can happen, but we should not have to wait until the Supreme Court has decided on everything. As elected officials, we decide here in the House.

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October 1st, 2014 / 5:35 p.m.
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Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, I thank the chair of the justice committee for his speech. There are a couple of matters he raised that I would invite him to come back to. First, toward the end of his speech, he indicated that every single witness who appeared before the committee whose family was touched by cyberbullying was strongly in favour of the bill. I would ask him to recall the testimony of Carol Todd, the mother of Amanda Todd, who spoke very passionately about not wanting to see privacy rights taken away in the name of her daughter. I would invite the member to perhaps adjust what he said with respect to that generalization on the part of victims.

I also want to come back to his comments with respect to witnesses. As the chair of the committee, he would be very well aware that the Liberal Party requested that the wireless association of Canada testify, but it was not invited. We did not hear from telephone companies. Could the member provide us with any explanation as to why the government did not invite telephone companies? Are the opposition parties solely to blame for the fact that we did not hear from telephone companies, companies that are going to receive immunity under the bill?

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October 1st, 2014 / 5:40 p.m.
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Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will start with the second question first. If there are witnesses that any of the parties wanted to see but did not invite, it is their fault that they did not hear from them. If the Conservative Party did not desire to hear from telephone companies and did not put them on the list, they would not be invited. I do not recall any telephone companies being on the list to be invited. My recommendation to the committee is that if there are people or organizations that members want to see, get them on the list. If they are a priority, make them a priority. As a group, we will decide how many meetings to have, and it is usually based on how many witnesses we have. If there are only a few witnesses, there are fewer meetings.

With regard to Carol Todd, she did not want privacy rights trampled on, and I do not believe the bill tramples on any privacy rights.

Report StageProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

October 1st, 2014 / 5:40 p.m.
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NDP

Charmaine Borg NDP Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, since I do not have a lot of time, I will get straight to the point.

Cyberbullying is an extremely important issue and the NDP wants to do something about it. We suggested splitting the bill in order to pass this part quickly. I want to reiterate that, because it seems that the members across the way are under the impression that this issue is not important to us. That is not true.

We are deeply concerned about the fact that the government is in the process of creating an entirely new system to gain access to personal information. I heard Conservative members say that this will change nothing when it comes to accessing personal information, but that is not true. Providing protection to Internet service providers who voluntarily comply with a request and hand over information, or who do so on their own initiative, is extremely problematic.

We have the Supreme Court's ruling in the Spencer case before us. We have not really had the chance to hear what the government has to say about this. We do not even know whether this bill is constitutional. I am not sure. Some telecommunications companies, such as Telus and Rogers, have even said that they no longer respond to requests from government agencies because they now believe it is not constitutional. Why can the government not open its eyes and realize that such things as an IP address do indeed constitute personal information?

As the court stated in its ruling, you need a warrant to obtain this information. There have been decisions against creating an entire system, a back door, for calling a telecommunications company to obtain personal information. I believe that the government has a duty to consider this before simply cutting off debate and quickly moving to a vote.

I would like to add that we are constantly being told that these requests are made in exceptional circumstances. That is not true. We saw that the Canada Border Services Agency made more than 13,000 requests in one year. Only two of these requests were listed as being required for national security reasons. I am sorry, but their argument does not hold water.

Furthermore, we were told that these requests are transparent and subject to review. However, there is no transparency. There is absolutely no oversight. When I asked the government in writing for the data for the past 10 years from all agencies, it did not have the data. The government has no record of the requests. How can we have a transparent system without even having the necessary data?

Speaker's RulingProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 3:20 p.m.
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Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Before providing my decision on the selection of report stage motions for 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 would like to address the concerns raised and the supplementary information provided earlier today by the hon. member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, concerning report stage Motion No. 3, standing in his name on the notice paper.

I would like to thank the honourable member for having raised this matter.

As mentioned by the member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, he also did write to me to urge that I select his report stage motion on the basis of exceptional significance.

I wish to reassure the hon. member that I have carefully reviewed all the relevant contextual and substantive circumstances surrounding the matter. While each case is different, and occasionally there are exceptional circumstances that merit the selection of certain report stage motions, ultimately I must be guided by the procedural practice relating to the selection of report stage motions.

House of Commons Procedure and Practice sets the following general principle with respect to the selection of report stage motions. At page 783 it states:

As a general principle, the Speaker seeks to forestall debate on the floor of the House which is simply a repetition of the debate in committee…the Speaker will normally only select motions in amendment that could not have been presented in committee.

More guidance as to the selection of report stage motions can be found in Standing Orders 76(5) and 76.1(5). The note accompanying those standing orders states, in part:

A motion previously defeated in committee, will only be selected if the Speaker judges it to be of such exceptional significance as to warrant a further consideration at report stage.

As evidenced by his first having written a detailed letter, and now having raised the matter again in the form of a point of order, the member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca clearly feels that the circumstances surrounding the committee's consideration of his amendment are exceptional, and on that basis, the House as a whole should decide whether Bill C-13 should be amended in the fashion he is proposing. While I understand his argument, I would remind him that the Chair cannot make decisions on selection based on the likely outcome of the vote.

As I stated in the decision on December 12, 2012, page 13224 in the Debates, in relation to a point of order raised by the government House leader:

The Chair is and will continue to be guided by procedural imperatives in all of its decisions, not by somehow substituting the Speaker's prediction of the likely outcome of a vote expressed by the House itself.

His belief that the outcome might be different in the House from what it was in committee, or that a certain foreknowledge exists as to the will of the House on a given question, is not sufficient grounds for the Chair to determine that exceptional circumstances exist that would warrant the selection of this particular amendment.

Furthermore, I would note that Bill C-279, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (gender identity) at present stands referred to a Senate committee. The Criminal Code has not yet been amended in the manner that Bill C-279 proposes. Presumably, as both Bill C-279 and Bill C-13 advance through the legislative process, Parliament will, in due course, choose which approach it prefers.

With respect to the existing practice relating to report stage, I would remind members that since 2001, report stage has undergone a significant evolution so as not to repeat debate that already occurred in committee. As such, the Speaker is empowered to decline to put report stage motions that would be tantamount to a repetition of the work that was already done in committee.

Were I to select Motion No. 3 on the basis of the arguments put forward by the member, I fear it could lead exactly to a situation that our report stage practice was designed to avoid, namely a repetition of the debate that occurred in committee on this matter. Therefore, I must inform the member that Motion No. 3 will not be selected for consideration at report stage.

There are nine motions in amendment standing on the notice paper for the report stage of Bill C-13.

Motion No. 3, as indicated previously, as well as Motion No. 6 will not be selected as they are identical to amendments defeated in committee.

I shall now propose Motions Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5 and 7 to 9 to the House.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 3:25 p.m.
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Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

moved:

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.”

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 3:25 p.m.
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NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

moved:

Motion No. 7

That Bill C-13 be amended by deleting Clause 23.

Motion No. 8

That Bill C-13 be amended by deleting Clause 26.

Motion No. 9

That Bill C-13 be amended by deleting Clause 47.

Mr. Speaker, this morning we debated the bill on prostitution. This afternoon, we turn to the bill on cyberbullying. I am almost tempted to start out the same way. This bill also garnered a lot of attention and caused quite a stir. I received many comments from my constituents in Gatineau about this. These people had the same concerns I did. That told me that I was on the right track when it came to the position that the NDP and I took on this file.

I believe it is important to reiterate that many people take the government at its word and believe that it can have a positive impact on the lives of the young people who have suffered all kinds of bullying, their parents and everyone who has been affected by bullying.

As we all know, Bill C-13 was created in the wake of tragic situations involving certain Canadians. Young people committed suicide. Suicide can happen anywhere, in the armed forces and in the general population. Bullying is not a new concept. It has existed for many a moon. I think that we need to find real solutions to offer help instead of playing politics.

From the outset, our approach was not to hold up Bill C-13, but to allow it to take its course. We wanted to be sure that there was an in-depth study in committee and that various witnesses would be able to share their point of view on the bill.

The bill is known as the protecting Canadians from online crime act. It contains 47 clauses and is 53 pages long, but it does not even touch on cyberbullying or online crime. Rather, Bill C-13 addresses the distribution of images, one very small part of bullying. The rest of the bill addresses issues as varied as immunity for Internet service providers, the concept of peace officers and public officers, telecommunications theft and so on. Bill C-13 covers a lot of ground.

We shared these concerns with the minister, the Attorney General of Canada. We thought it would be wiser to split the bill in two so that we could tackle the image distribution issue head-on since it was not as controversial. As for the touchier violation of privacy issue, there are tools that the minister makes a point of talking about regularly, saying that we cannot do one without doing the other. He would have us believe that there are currently no tools available, but there are. We wanted to make sure that what we were doing on that score was completely reasonable. However, the government turned a deaf ear.

Naturally, witnesses told us exactly the same thing and said they were very concerned. Many aspects of Bill C-13 resemble Bill C-30, even though the government agreed to some changes and realized it could not go any further with that particular vision. It did make some minor concessions. The government tried to address cyberbullying via image distribution and the highly publicized cases of Rehtaeh Parsons, Amanda Todd and others who did the worst thing imaginable. Seeing no way out of the problems they faced, they saw that as the only solution. That really breaks my heart.

Everyone will agree that there is nothing worse than thinking that suicide is the only way to solve a problem or the only way out. As a society, we are failing miserably. In my opinion, claiming that Bill C-13 will save young lives is laying it on rather thick.

I do not want to dwell on the issue, but even Amanda Todd's mother told the committee that she did not want people's privacy to be invaded in order to keep others safe. That was not necessarily the objective. Once again, the government is failing to be transparent. Like Sophia Petrillo-Weinstock in the television show Golden Girls, I am tempted to say, “Picture it”.

Thursday, June 12 was the last day set aside for the clause-by-clause examination of Bill C-13. On Friday, June 13, the Supreme Court of Canada was scheduled to render its decision in Spencer v. The Queen. This case dealt with the matter of police access to personal information. Several witnesses who appeared before the committee said that this case would definitely have an impact. At the very least, the government should have exercised caution and waited for the Supreme Court ruling.

Some believe that the committee merely conducted a concept study, but that was not the case. The government was producing legislation. The government bill is 53 pages long and we examined it. Then, the committee heard from witnesses with regard to the various aspects of the bill that they were concerned with. For some, it was the distribution of images. For others, it was the violation of privacy and technology. We heard from a whole slew of witnesses who were concerned about very different aspects of the bill.

The people who were dealing with the part related to the interception of data and the gathering of information without a warrant or court authorization felt it was important to wait for the Spencer ruling. After it was tabled, some experts indicated that the June 13 ruling contradicted certain aspects of the government's bill. That is what we were trying to avoid. We had therefore asked the government to wait.

Time and time again in committee, I asked whether we should not wait until June 13. Should we not read the ruling? Should we not seek advice from staff at the Department of Justice who could explain the ruling to us and tell us whether or not it would have an impact?

In law, if you put five lawyers in a room, they would not all say the same thing. In the House, not everyone is a lawyer. Furthermore, even amongst those of us who are lawyers, not everyone is a specialist in every subject. That is why we study things in greater depth in committee, come back to the House with our recommendations, and then vote with full knowledge of the facts.

At this very moment, regardless of my personal opinion and the fact that several specialists said that the ruling in R. v. Spencer goes against many aspects of the bill, I am quite worried. If there is one area in which I do not want to see any glaring errors, that is justice. Justice must be applied correctly and equally across the board.

All that explains why we changed our position. We supported the bill at second reading, but all of our fears regarding this government bill were confirmed in committee.

It seems that the government is using this bill to try to score political points rather than make any meaningful changes. The evidence is quite clear. The fact is, the government voted against the motion moved by my hon. colleague from Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, M-385, regarding cyberbullying. Furthermore, it also voted against the bill introduced by my hon. colleague from Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, Bill C-540.

Basically, if you ask me, everything is crystal clear.

There is also Bill C-279, introduced by my hon. colleague who delivered a speech on it this morning.

This all tells me that this bill is more about politics than anything of real substance.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 3:35 p.m.
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Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate very much the comments of my friend opposite.

I particularly appreciate her expressions of condolences and compassion for the victims of cyberbullying. She was right to say those things. At the same time, she said she was taking a non-partisan approach to the bill.

Much of what my friend says is undeniably true. This is a complex bill. It does go very much beyond simply the issue of cyberbullying and the government's efforts to respond to this very real problem that has affected the lives of so many people in Canada, particularly young people.

However, in her reading of Spencer, she somehow would leave the House, and Canadians, with the impression that this creates new police powers or this is somehow going to lead to further breaches of privacy. Nothing could be further from the truth. What Spencer did in fact was confirm the fact that no new powers were going to be bestowed upon the police. What we are attempting to do is to very much ensure that the police do have, with lawful access, the ability to protect people online, to protect seniors, to protect young people, to protect businesses from flagrant abuses or breaches of privacy that allow criminality to happen online. The bill is very much an attempt to modernize those practices and also to ensure that people's privacy is protected.

We, of course, will respect the Spencer decision. We believe that the bill does meet the balance that is called for in the effort to give police powers to investigate, but at the same time to protect privacy rights. We believe, as well, that there is still ample opportunity to examine the bill in a meaningful way.

I do appreciate the fact that we have had a debate in the House of Commons now and that there will be debate in the other place. However, it is important that we continue to move forward and make progress in this critical area where people's lives are literally at stake.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 3:40 p.m.
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NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for his speech.

That being said, he is proving my point. It is interesting to hear the minister's version of Spencer. Nonetheless, what would have been the big deal to wait until the day after the Spencer ruling, for instance, or a few days afterward to have experts confirm what the minister just said. That is his interpretation, but I have heard others that say exactly the opposite.

We proposed 36 amendments. I appreciate the minister's compliments. It is true that I try to look at justice bills in a non-partisan way. However, every time we present something, even amendments as benign as those asking for accountability, they are all rejected. Eventually, we have to say, listen, we take our work seriously. Beyond their words and compliments in this chamber, the members across the way might want to put their money where their mouth is.

Specifically, we asked for the inclusion of a gender equality clause, which had been already accepted. When I asked the minister, he said he had no problem with that. However, in regard to this amendment, the Conservatives should not have played back-room games and try to place people we never see on the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights just to try to defeat the amendment.

It is those types of actions that make it hard for us to recognize the government's open mind and so-called transparency.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 3:40 p.m.
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Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, I want to know whether the hon. member for Gatineau agrees with me that there is something about this bill that is moving too fast and something that is moving too slow.

Does the debate that we are having here today and what has transpired on June 13 of this year not simply drive home the importance of the motion that this member brought before the House when the bill was introduced, that this bill needs to be divided?

The landscape has changed since this debate started. The Supreme Court of Canada pronouncement on June 13 has changed the landscape, as does the interaction with what is happening in the other place in Bill S-4, which also has a connection.

Given what has happened since the bill was introduced in the Supreme Court of Canada and in the other place, is the case for the dividing the bill not even more pronounced now than it ever was?

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 3:40 p.m.
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NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will answer quickly. In any case, I think that my Liberal colleague knows the answer to that. A good lawyer does not ask a question unless he knows the answer.

We are not spending enough time on the issue of violating privacy, which is the bulk of Bill C-13, and too much time on the issue of the distribution of images, which could have changed quickly. Once again, it goes without saying that the bill could be split.

Once again, it is very unfortunate that this is not a possibility. I think it is wrong to play politics at the expense of victims. I always say that there is nothing worse than dragging victims to a press conference to try to give everyone the impression that they are being supported. Then it is truly sad to see their expectations deflate when they are faced with the inadequate reality.

In this context, we know that the government wants to pass Bill C-13 as quickly as possible in order to hold other press conferences. However, this has also opened the eyes of the victims and their parents. Like Amanda Todd's mother, they have realized that this bill may not do exactly what the government claims it will do. We need to further consider and analyze the provisions.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 3:45 p.m.
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Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to speak today to Bill C-13. It is a sad moment because this bill contains all the flaws it had at first reading.

I want to also put on the record that I regret the Speaker's decision. I understand the Speaker's reasoning, but I would have fully supported the request by the hon. member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca for that amendment to be selected. That is an important issue of gender identity and ending discrimination, and I think it is a shame that we missed the opportunity today to have that amendment before the House of Commons.

The point was well made just moments ago by my hon. colleague from Charlottetown that it is a terrible shame that the bill was not divided. There is no doubt that easy passage would have created a bill that genuinely dealt with cyberbullying and did not, once again, resurface efforts at what is called “lawful access” but which is generally known in common parlance as Internet snooping by the state into the private lives of Canadians.

There are many troubling aspects on the Internet snooping or lawful access part of the bill that has bedevilled the part that we all would want to support to genuinely deal with cyberbullying. Therefore, my comments will be in relation to those portions that should have been split out, dealt with separately, and not brought forward as though there is nothing wrong with them. Those are the sections that relate to so-called lawful access.

Those sections that deal with the release of private information and private communications of Canadians under much less stringent circumstances than in the past, contrary to what the Minister of Justice said just moments ago, is very worrying. Had it not been worrying, we would not have seen such strong statements from various of our privacy commissioners, our former federal privacy commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart, and the Ontario privacy commissioner, Commissioner Cavoukian.

Many privacy experts have spoken out and said the bill would, as have so many other bills that have been put forward by the Conservative administration, violate our charter rights, certainly violate our privacy rights. The Canadian Bar Association and the Criminal Lawyers' Association have spoken out strongly, saying sections of the bill, with modest changes, could be made acceptable. However, those changes were all shot down in committee.

This is a case where, as the member of Parliament for Saanich—Gulf Islands and as leader of the Green Party, I was invited—I suppose that is the right term, “coerced” might be the one that comes to mind more often—by the new process that applies to members in my position, those with fewer than 12 members in the party in the House or independents, with 48 hours notice to come before various different committees. I brought forward a dozen or so amendments on Bill C-13 to the committee on this issue to try to deal with those sections where we would now ask for deletions. We would like to see the bill improved even now at report stage. Unfortunately, all my arguments were shot down and all the amendments were defeated.

In short form, I will cover the basic themes of what we find. Of course, some of themes have been well touched on by the hon. member for Gatineau in her quite strong explanation of what is wrong with the bill.

The provisions that allow for the telecom companies' voluntary disclosure of private information to be held harmless against any subsequent prosecutions are unnecessary. In fact, we now have the Spencer decision, which has been referenced as well this afternoon, that makes it clear that the bill is out of step with the Supreme Court. We do not need to make it easier for telecom companies to voluntarily turn information over without a warrant and without some of the protections that we used to see in other descriptions of when such information could be turned over.

The fact that we can see various levels of public officials asking for such information is worrying, in and of itself. The fact that they can do it voluntarily and be immune from prosecution is a further worry that we will have significantly more invasions of privacy in the guise of doing something about cyberbullying.

The second area of concern is the lack of accountability and oversight. We used to require that the police have reason to suspect. Now it is a watered-down provision.

We need to have more oversight when we are dealing with issues of privacy. In this Internet age, we are more aware than ever that the private information of Canadians, the kinds of things that we used to keep in our homes under lock and key, that a stranger would have to knock down the doors and rifle through our cabinets to get, now through technological breakthroughs and the Internet is easily accessible by the state through the simple process of pressuring a telecom to release the information to us. This is a significant threat to privacy rights in Canada.

Should this bill pass as currently before us? If it does, it would be a significant violation. It would inevitably lead to violations of the privacy rights of Canadians.

The other piece that has been widely criticized in this bill is the scope of public officers who can have access to this information. It has become too broad.

Justin Ling, who has a good sense of humour, had an opinion piece in the National Post on May 4, 2014. I know it was something of a spoof, but it was certainly a telling way to make the point that the list of public officers who would have unprecedented access to the private information of Canadians would extend to the current mayor of Toronto. Now, while he certainly is dealing with a personal tragedy in his life, and we hope nothing but the best for his health and recovery, the point was made that we do not want to have the private information of Canadians so widely accessible to such a broad group of individuals. Of course, it would also include CSEC, the Communications Security Establishment Canada. It would also include CSIS, as well as public officers of all kinds, including mayors.

This is not the kind of oversight, accountability, and control Canadians would come to expect when the apparatus of the state decides to reduce the tests and lower the threshold for having access to the private information of Canadians.

We will certainly have debate on this. In know that the hon. member who is now the Minister of Justice will have defences and will say that it absolutely does not reduce privacy rights. Why then do so many privacy commissioners think it does? If it does not intrude on civil liberties, then why do the major law organizations and legal scholars in this country say that it does?

There are a lot of members of Parliament on the other side of this place who describe themselves, in their own conversations, as libertarians. They distrust the state. They distrust government reaching into their private lives. I ask them this: How have they gotten so far from a distrust of the state to a cult of Big Brother? I am wondering how it happened that we have moved from a nanny state to a Big Brother state. If the government wants this information about Canadians, those of us on this side of the House who want to defend privacy rights, as a former minister, Vic Toews, said in this place, somehow “...stand with us or with the child pornographers”. Are we to continue to hear that when we stand for the privacy rights of Canadians, we do not care enough about ending cyberbullying?

It is not too late, still, to split this bill and allow us on the opposition benches to strongly support the measures that will protect the vulnerable from cyberbullying, but please, let us draw the line at letting Big Brother have more access to private information. This bill goes too far, and they know it.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 3:55 p.m.
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Mississauga—Erindale Ontario

Conservative

Bob Dechert ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, the member mentioned in her speech that she thinks this bill should be split into two pieces, one being a specific criminal provision having to do with the non-consensual distribution of intimate images, and everything else, that is, any investigative power, in a separate bill.

First, I did not hear from her what additional witnesses she thinks should come before the committee, since the committee had extensive hearings on this issue. My colleagues on the opposite side who were on the justice committee will confirm that.

Second, I wonder if the member has read the CCSO Cybercrime Working Group report, “Cyberbullying and the Non-consensual Distribution of Intimate Images”, and, in particular, recommendation number 4 of that report, which says:

The Working Group recommends that the investigative powers contained in the Criminal Code be modernized.... These amendments should include, among others:

Data preservation demands and orders;

New production orders to trace a specified communication;

New warrants and production orders for transmission data;

Improving judicial oversight while enhancing efficiencies in relation to authorizations, warrants and orders;

Other amendments to existing offences and investigative powers that will assist in the investigation of cyberbullying and other crimes that implicate electronic evidence.

How can the member stand here and say that we do not need these investigative powers to prevent the next Rehtaeh Parsons or Amanda Todd case from happening?

I would like to know if the member agrees with recommendation number 4 or if she disagrees with any of the parts of recommendation number 4.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 3:55 p.m.
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Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, we know that the Criminal Code contains a lot of the measures we need for investigating cybercrime. The current Criminal Code contains the following:

For greater certainty, no production order is necessary for a peace officer or public officer enforcing or administering this or any other Act of Parliament to ask a person to voluntarily provide to the officer documents, data or information that the person is not prohibited by law from disclosing.

We know that we can do more. We can track down cyberbullying. We want to support law enforcement. However, we always need to bear in mind that our role here, as members of Parliament, is to hold to account a government that is increasingly exercising abusive powers in terms of the way bills are rammed through this House and in terms of the new powers given to the state to intrude into the lives of Canadians. We have continually less respect for civil liberties and more trust in the idea that Big Brother can handle things.

I submit that the existing Criminal Code elements go quite far in giving us the powers that we need, and this bill would go too far.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 3:55 p.m.
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NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her speech, which was as eloquent as ever.

I want to read part of an interesting article from Global News that I read this morning called:

“Why anti-‘revenge porn’ pioneer doesn’t like Canada’s cyberbullying law”.

This is someone who would normally support the kind of initiatives the government is preparing to take.

“Mary Anne Franks has made a name for herself fighting “revenge porn”—the dissemination of intimate photos of a woman (it’s almost always a woman) without her permission or knowledge—often by an estranged partner.”

This says something that I thought was pretty interesting, and I would like my colleague to comment. She says, “I do not think it's ever going to work to try to protect privacy by invading privacy.”

Could I have the member's comment, please?

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 4 p.m.
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Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Gatineau. As usual, I think she is right. That is a very interesting quote and I completely agree.

They will never protect privacy by invading privacy. They will never get more law and order by putting people in jail when they should be creating the circumstances that keep people out of criminality to begin with.

We need to actually think about what is getting passed in this place so that we can ensure that the rights and liberties of Canadians are not constantly whittled away in the creation of greater talking points and slogans for the next election.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 4 p.m.
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Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise at report stage of Bill C-13.

Bill C-13 does three things. It responds to a need to protect victims from the non-consensual distribution of intimate images. That is something on which I think we all agree. However, it is an omnibus bill that also expands police powers.

The third thing it does, in furtherance of the expansion of police powers, is provide immunity to telephone companies and Internet service providers for the non-consensual, secret, warrantless, but lawful, disclosure of subscriber information.

What I will do today is talk about each of those three aspects of the bill and also about the Spencer decision, which has very much changed the landscape, and where we ought to go as a result of the Spencer decision.

The first aspect of the bill is truly non-controversial, and it is somewhat troubling that we are still here talking about it, and that is the parts of the bill that are there to protect the Rehtaeh Parsons and Amanda Todds of the world. It is the part of the bill that is there to criminalize the non-consensual distribution of intimate images.

The opposition parties have offered to fast-track these provisions by splitting the bill, and it is somewhat troubling that we are here today, ten months after the bill was introduced, and that these measures have not been brought into law. There is a willingness within the House to bring them into law forthwith.

The reason for that is that we have an omnibus bill that has bundled in an expansion of police powers. We have an omnibus bill that has revived the Vic Toews e-snooping provisions, and it is troubling that these provisions have been included and wrapped in the flag of the victims of some terrible crimes.

I would like, for the benefit of the House, to share the testimony of Carol Todd, the mother of Amanda Todd, on May 13, to give a sense of how she feels about this omnibus legislation. She testified before our committee:

Bill C-13's cyberbullying provisions are needed for my wish to come true as a mother of a cyberbullying victim. While I applaud the efforts of all of you in crafting the sextortion, revenge porn, and cyberbullying sections of Bill C-13, I am concerned about some of the other unrelated provisions that have been added to the bill in the name of Amanda, Rehtaeh, and all the children lost to cyberbullying attacks.

I don't want to see our children victimized again by losing privacy rights. I am troubled by some of these provisions condoning the sharing of privacy information of Canadians without proper legal process. We are Canadians with strong civil rights and values. A warrant should be required before any Canadian's personal information is turned over to anyone, including government authorities.

We should be holding our telecommunications companies and Internet providers responsible for mishandling our private and personal information. We should not have to choose between our privacy and our safety. We should not have to sacrifice our children's privacy rights to make them safe from cyberbullying, sextortion, and revenge pornography.

Later in her testimony she said:

On my own behalf, I have one request. If there is any way we can separate these controversial provisions from the law designed to help other Canadians avoid the pain experienced by Rehtaeh and my Amanda, I would support that process. This would allow the bill to be free of controversy and to permit a thoughtful and careful review of the privacy-related provisions that have received broad opposition.

I do not want my privacy invaded. I do not want young people's privacy compromised. I do not want personal information being exploited without a protection order that would support individuals. I do not want any Canadian hurt in my daughter's name. I want her legacy to continue to promote hope, celebrate our differences, and give strength to other young people everywhere.

That is Carol Todd, the mother of Amanda Todd, urging us to do the right thing, expedite the passage of those provisions that deal specifically with cyberbullying and take our time to get it right on the others.

With respect to the online surveillance provisions in the bill, this is the latest installment of a prolonged and concerted campaign by the Conservatives to play big brother.

In 2007, Stockwell Day launched an online consultation process with respect to the mandatory disclosure of customers' names and information. After it was exposed, he promised not to authorize warrantless access. That promise was broken in 2009, when the Conservative government brought in a bill, the first bill that was introduced. It had 13 identifiers that mandated warrantless disclosure of subscriber information. An election derailed that effort. At that time the Minister of Public Safety was the present government House leader.

The Vic Toews' version was then introduced, and it narrowed the identifiers from 13 down to six. We know what happened to the Vic Toews' version after the outburst against the member for Lac-Saint-Louis that one is either with us or with the child pornographers. Due to the outrage around the e-snooping provisions in the Vic Toews' bill, there was a promise by the next justice minister to not reintroduce those provisions. However, 37 of the 47 provisions of the Vic Toews' bill are in this bill.

What the government has done, however, in the bill is that it has kept out the most offensive aspects of the Vic Toews' bill dealing with warrantless disclosure, but it has come at it through the back door. Instead of mandating warrantless disclosure, what it has done is made voluntary disclosure easier by giving immunity to those who co-operate with police. Another bill that is going through the other place takes this one step further. It expands the audience. It expands the circumstances and the parties who may receive this voluntary warrantless disclosure.

The testimony on May 6 before the committee was quite telling. We had an expert in privacy law from Halifax, a fellow by the name of David Fraser, comment on this immunity that is being offered to telephone companies.

He said:

...I would touch very briefly on the issue of service provider immunity that's touched on within this statute. I find this to be gravely problematic. I think it's a very cleverly crafted provision. We're told that this is simply for greater certainty, but it goes beyond that. Everything we know suggests otherwise.

It says that you will not be liable for handing over any data that you're not prohibited by law from handing over, and if you do so you're civilly immune. Now, only the criminal law and other regulations create prohibitions against handing over information, but you can hand over information when you're not legally prohibited and still incur civil liability. Civil liability is there for a reason. I may not be legally prohibited from accidentally driving my car into yours, but if I do that, you're entitled to damages from that. I should be paying for the harm that is caused.

The immunity provisions are very problematic because the government is trying to do indirectly what it cannot do directly. This was pronounced upon by the Supreme Court of Canada in the recent Spencer decision. Here is what the government argued to the Supreme Court of Canada:

...does a person enjoy a reasonable expectation of privacy in subscriber information? Put another way, should the police have to get judicial authorization to determine the physical address of an internet connection and the subscriber's name before they apply for judicial authorization to search that physical address?

The answer to those questions must be “no”....

That is what the government said. The court rejected that argument. The court found a privacy interest in that information and that the charter had been breached in the circumstances. That changes the landscape. That changes the debate. We need to split the bill.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 4:10 p.m.
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Mississauga—Erindale Ontario

Conservative

Bob Dechert ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, the member mentioned that the government likes to wrap itself in the testimony of victims, as if there is something inappropriate about telling Canadians about the stories of victims that have led to this specific bill. Then he goes on to extensively quote from the testimony of Ms. Todd, which is terrific. I think people have a right to know what was said in committee.

I wonder if the member heard that Ms. Todd met with the Minister of Justice following her appearance at the justice committee and then did a subsequent CBC Radio interview about two or three days later. I wonder if the member heard that interview and what she said then. Maybe he could quote from that next time he has an opportunity. If he has not had a chance to hear that interview, I would be happy to provide him with a transcript. He would find that after speaking with the Minister of Justice, Ms. Todd understood why many of these investigative powers are necessary in order to prevent the kind of thing that happened to her daughter from happening again.

The member also did not mention what Glen Canning or Allan Hubley said about Bill C-13 or why they think these investigative powers are critical to ensure that what happened to their children does not happen to other children.

I would like the member to tell us if there are any parts of recommendation 4 from the Cybercrime Working Group report of June 2013 that he disagrees with. That group of experts said that those recommendations were necessary in addition to the criminal offence of distributing an intimate image to ensure that these types of crimes can be properly investigated and prevented. Perhaps the member could tell us about that.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 4:10 p.m.
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Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, I anticipated the last question. It was the very same question that was asked earlier in this debate. It was also put to me after my initial speech on the bill, and that is in respect to recommendation 4 from the working group.

The parliamentary secretary is correct that the bill would implement many of these recommendations, including recommendation 4. However, he is going much too far with his interpretation of the group's call for Criminal Code modernization. The government's talking point that this report calling for the update of some sections to reflect communications constituted a carte blanche for the government to do anything it wanted touching communications, from stealing cablevision to hate speech, is simply an overreach. It is not the case.

Yes indeed, I am fully aware of the immense pressure that was placed on Carol Todd after her testimony and her subsequent public statements.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 4:10 p.m.
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NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the member for Charlottetown. We all heard members on the Conservative benches tell us that Ms. Todd had taken back some parts of her testimony. The committee worked based on the testimony heard. The testimony will certainly be recorded in parliamentary history. We all sympathize with what she has been through.

I think that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice is laying it on a bit thick with his question regarding recommendations. I do not think that the minister's colleagues in the provinces and territories asked him to go as far as changing the burden of proof so that people could obtain the private information of Canadians. A number of experts, including Mr. Fraser, as quoted by the member for Charlottetown, Michael Spratt, and also Michael Geist, came to tell us that it was dangerous to change the burden of proof for obtaining private information to “reasonable grounds to suspect” instead of “reasonable grounds to believe”. Could my colleague comment on that?

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 4:15 p.m.
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Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, I completely agree. A few experts testified in committee. All of them, in particular Mr. Geist, highlighted this subject.

Mr. Geist has written a few articles on the impact of the Spencer decision since his testimony. This decision is very important and is very relevant to the debate. A number of things have changed since the committee's meetings. I think that we need to continue the debate. For example, we did not hear from the telephone companies, and those are essential witnesses.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 4:15 p.m.
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Mississauga—Erindale Ontario

Conservative

Bob Dechert ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, I am thankful for the opportunity to participate in today's very important debate on Bill C-13, the protecting Canadians from online crime act.

Bill C-13 would provide a strong criminal justice response to the problem of cyberbullying. Cyberbullying, much like bullying in general, is a very complex social phenomenon that requires the attention of all segments of society. Most bullying behaviour is not a criminal behaviour and should be dealt with outside of the criminal justice system. However, we know that the reach of the Internet, the speed at which information can be shared, and the ability to act anonymously have made cyberbullying a serious concern.

This problem cannot be fixed simply by enacting a new law that would adequately cover all instances of this behaviour, but that does not mean that the criminal law cannot be strengthened in this area. This is why Bill C-13 provides a targeted response within the government's broader commitment to address the issue of bullying and cyberbullying.

If passed into the law, the proposed Criminal Code amendments would create a new offence of non-consensual distribution of intimate images with accompanying complementary amendments. The second main purpose of Bill C-13 is to provide the police with tools to give them the ability to address all crimes committed via the Internet or that involve electronic evidence.

Let me state the obvious here. All of the elements of Bill C-13 logically go together. Police will be able to more effectively and efficiently investigate the proposed new offence and other crimes committed via the Internet or that involve electronic evidence with the proposed legally authorized tools.

Absent the new production and preservation orders proposed in Bill C-13, there would be no tool in the Criminal Code to enable the preservation and ensure that important evidence is not deleted. There would be no tool designed for production of specific subsets of tracking data and transmission data, nor would there be a tool to assist in tracing a communication by using one order with multiple providers. Without these tools, law enforcement's ability to protect Canadians from online crime and cyberbullying would be seriously hampered.

I would like to focus my remarks today on a specific provision included in Bill C-13, proposed subsection 487.0195(2) of the Criminal Code, which would provide immunity from civil and criminal liability to persons who voluntarily assist police. In a nutshell, proposed subsection 487.0195(2) would amend existing subsection 487.014(2) of the Criminal Code, which was enacted in 2004 with the creation of production orders in the Criminal Code. Subsection 487.014(2) was designed to clarify that the new production orders were not intended to preclude ongoing voluntary assistance where such assistance was not precluded by law and to reconfirm existing legal principles that such assistance would not create any liability, either civil or criminal.

When new authorities such as production orders are created in law, the result can be that common law authorities are displaced. This was not the intent when production orders were introduced into the Criminal Code in 2004, nor is it the intent with respect to the updates to production orders and the new preservation authorities proposed in Bill C-13.

The ability of the public to voluntarily assist police is essential to effective policing and a core component of ensuring public safety. Police may request information on a voluntary basis in many situations, including general policing duties that may not relate directly to investigating a crime, such as requesting information so they can contact family members when there is an accident.

However, I want to be clear. Bill C-13 would not create a new authority for voluntary assistance. It would simply clarify that any existing authority for voluntary assistance continues to be in place where not prohibited by law. It would also not create a new protection from civil or criminal liability but reconfirms the existing protection. This provision simply reconfirms existing legal principles that if an entity is legally permitted to turn over data to the police, then that entity will not be subject to civil or criminal liability for doing so. If an entity is prohibited by law from disclosing information, for example, by legislation or by contract, then immunity will not be available.

The minor revisions to existing subsection 487.014(2) that are proposed in Bill C-13 are primarily to make the provision more transparent and understandable by specifying that the protections from civil and criminal liability that are currently provided in section 25 of the Criminal Code, which deals with the protection of persons acting under authority, apply not only in the context of the current production orders but also in the context of the new production orders proposed in Bill C-13. The proposed amendments would also reflect the addition of preservation demands and orders to the Criminal Code.

This existing provision, which did not receive any attention when it was first enacted in 2004, attracted considerable criticism in the media and during committee hearings on Bill C-13. Indeed, this provision was wrongly reported as providing police with warrantless access to personal information and has been inaccurately described as a means of opening the floodgates of data between the private sector and the police.

In addition, some have also called for the deletion of this provision as a result of their interpretation of the June 2014 unanimous decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Spencer.

I wish first to confirm what the government has stated all along, a view supported by the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in R. v. Spencer: that proposed subsection 487.0195(2) does not create any new search and seizure powers. Second, the proposed section continues to be required for those who continue to voluntarily assist the police where not prohibited by law. Those words are very specifically spelled out in the proposed legislation.

Specifically, the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Spencer said in paragraph 73 of the decision that the existing voluntary disclosure and immunity provision is “...a declaratory provision that confirms the existing common law powers of police officers to make enquiries”, as indicated by the fact that the section begins with the phrase “for greater certainty”. The decision makes it clear that Bill C-13 does not, and never did, create new police powers to access telecommunications data without a judicial warrant.

In R. v. Spencer, the court expanded the privacy protections afforded to information related to an Internet protocol, or IP, address in certain circumstances, thereby taking this information out of the realm of information that can be provided voluntarily. However, the court did not suggest that voluntary disclosures were now impermissible. Rather, it held that voluntary assistance could still be provided in exigent circumstances, or pursuant to a reasonable law, or where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy. This clearly leaves scope for permissible voluntary assistance and provision of information without judicial pre-authorization.

Since the R. v. Spencer decision still allows for voluntary assistance to police in those circumstances, the clarification and the protection from immunity contained an existing subsection 487.014(2) and proposed subsection 487.0195(2) are still needed.

Bill C-13 was thoroughly examined by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. The committee amended the bill to require a parliamentary review of proposed sections 487.011 to 487.02 of the Criminal Code—i.e., the new preservation demands and orders, the updated production order scheme, and the assistance order provision—seven years after these provisions come into force.

I agree with this amendment and said so at the justice committee. Given the highly technical nature of these reforms, I believe that a parliamentary review would be helpful to assess if the reforms have achieved their intended impacts. This amendment may also serve to alleviate some concerns expressed by privacy advocates, as it provides a future opportunity for inquiry into the privacy impacts of the legislation.

In summary. Bill C-13 was strengthened at committee and deserves to be passed into law in the form in which it was reported back to the House. I urge all hon. members to make this possible by ensuring the swift passage of the bill.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 4:25 p.m.
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NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech. I recognize a lot of things other members of the Conservative benches have already said on this topic.

I am particularly interested in a few issues, which I touched upon earlier with previous speakers. The article was rather interesting. I sometimes meet people who fight their whole lives to get their message across.

I would like to share another quote from the article entitled, “Why anti-‘revenge porn’ pioneer doesn’t like Canada’s cyberbullying law”, written by Anna Mehler Paperny and published today on Global News.

Mary Anne Franks is one of those people who travels all over the world defending the rights of people who are attacked after their images are shared on the Internet.

Here is what she said:

But Franks’ more serious objections have to do with the bill’s contents: “It seems like a way to get Canadians to accept a greater intrusion on the part of government and police into their personal lives and using revenge porn as a pretext for doing that, which is incredibly upsetting. … We don’t want to use a legitimate recognition of harmful behaviour as a pretext for violating people’s civil rights.”

I would like to hear what the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice thinks about Ms. Franks' rather harsh criticism of the Conservatives' legislation. Did they receive any legal opinions regarding the Spencer decision that the opposition and official opposition benches would have an interest in seeing? It would be interesting to see what kind of information they have that we do not, aside from comments that this decision tears Bill C-13 apart.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 4:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Bob Dechert Conservative Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments and questions by my colleague from the justice committee. She will know that the Spencer decision had been mooted in the lower courts and that everyone was quite well aware of those arguments. I think everyone on the Justice committee at the time that this bill was studied was aware of the arguments that were put before the Supreme Court.

The opposition seems to have a position that the government should wait for the courts to make decisions in cases. There are dozens of cases before the courts of this land at any given time, but what our government needs to do and intends to do is rebalance our justice legislation between the rights of the accused and the rights of the victims in order to restore people's faith in the justice system. We think Bill C-13 does that with respect to cyberbullying. We are implementing the recommendations of the cybercrime working group, and the member will know that those provisions are very necessary in order to allow the legal authorities to investigate such crimes and prevent these crimes from happening again in the future.

We need to move quickly. The member has called for a split of the bill. She will know that virtually every expert who was called by the opposition appeared before the committee, that these issues were significantly debated, and they will be debated again when the Senate debates the bill.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 4:25 p.m.
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Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the parliamentary secretary restating the government's position with respect to the innocuous nature of that immunity provision. We do not share their view, but their view is indeed clear. Given that it is innocuous, it really defies explanation as to why it is there to clarify existing law. Was it really that unclear?

My question for the parliamentary secretary relates to the witnesses who were called before committee. We had asked that the head of the Canadian wireless association appear, and he did no, nor did a single witness from a telecom company. Given that some, but not all, of the telecom companies have changed their practices with respect to co-operating with authorities as a result of the Spencer decision, does the parliamentary secretary not agree that it is now time for Parliament to hear from them? We have not heard from them yet.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 4:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Bob Dechert Conservative Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, my hon. friend did not make that case very clearly at the time the justice committee was choosing witnesses to appear before the committee. However, I will point out that as a result of the Spencer decision, telecom providers have changed their practices, as is appropriate. They are applying the law, which is what the provisions of Bill C-13 do: they say that it is when “not prohibited by law”. If the Supreme Court has decided it is prohibited by law to release the information, then that would now be the law.

The telecom providers will have an opportunity to speak to that matter at the Senate hearings, I assume in a very few weeks. There is no way that the government can operate by waiting for the many cases that may be percolating through the court system on any given issue before moving forward. What the courts do is clarify, and that is what they have done in this case. In our view, they have not changed the application of Bill C-13 at all.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 4:30 p.m.
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NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure today to rise and speak on a motion that I believe to be critical, so it saddens me that I will have to speak against it. It is 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.

Let me give a bit of perspective. In that regard, I want to congratulate my colleague from Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, who introduced Bill C-540 in 2013, following the tragic death of Amanda Todd and other victims of cyberbullying, including Rehtaeh Parsons. These deaths moved the nation. I would say that the feelings across the country were palpable. It did not matter whether one lived on the west coast, on the Prairies, or on the east coast; families right across Canada lived the pain that those families went through.

The bill put forward by my colleague was a fairly reasonable one. As members know, at that time the Conservatives introduced legislation as well, Bill C-30. Bill C-30 was from the minister of the day, who is no longer in the House. There was a huge, almost unprecedented reaction to that bill, especially through social media. Just to remind us all, Bill C-30 was called the “protecting children from Internet predators act”. That bill was rejected not only by the NDP, based on what was included in it, but also by privacy advocates and the public. That reaction forced the Conservative Party to back away from it.

I can remember some of the rhetoric from that time when it backed away from that legislation, which was ill thought out and an absolute invasion of privacy. At that time, I can remember hearing commitment from the government side that any attempts to modernize the Criminal Code would not contain the measures contained in Bill C-30. Now here we are on Bill C-13.

There are parts of this legislation that the official opposition heartily and happily supports. On more than one occasion we have suggested to the government that if it is serious about taking action on cyberbullying, it should separate the bill. We offered to expedite it through the House. It would have been law already.

However, once again I find the party sitting across from this side playing games with a very sensitive issue, producing a bill that has some good parts to it that we want to support but then throwing in parts that it knows will make it difficult for us to support the bill.

The NDP is never scared of hard work, whether it comes to standing up to speak on issues in the House and taking up allocated time spots, and normally filling in even for the government side because it does not take up all its speaking slots, or when it comes to committee work. In order to make this bill palatable and make it go through the House, the opposition put forward 37 amendments. They were all reasonable amendments that would have added some balance to the bill.

What is shocking is that the government did the same as it has done on bill after bill. It was its way or no way. It rejected every single one of those amendments.

The Canadian Bar Association came to present as well. I am not talking about a radical group here. I am talking about lawyers. The Canadian Bar Association expressed the same concerns as the NDP and other witnesses. It put forward 19 possible amendments to the bill, but not one of those amendments was taken into consideration.

Once again, the Conservatives are trying to bury things in a bill so they can get their agenda through, but at the same time they are trying to bury some legislation that is absolutely needed.

I have been a teacher all of my life. I am also a mother and a grandmother. The world has changed for our children. They are spending more time on the Internet or attached to their cell phones, although many of us are guilty of that too. They are socializing differently as well.

We have to look at modernizing the way we see bullying. It is no longer just about bullying in the playground, where a child is bullied physically or verbally, face-to-face. Cyberbullying allows for a certain amount of anonymity. We have seen the tragic results of that kind of bullying. We have seen its impact on young people.

It is upsetting for me today to speak against a bill that contains a component that I support. I would urge my colleagues across the way to take a second and consider that we could have the cyberbullying component in the bill turned into legislation quickly. We need to get off the ideological idea that we cannot have a simple bill that deals with one issue. We have to get off the ideological idea that other stuff has to be thrown in to get the ideological agenda done. It also gives those members an opportunity to stand up later and say that the NDP voted against this.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 4:35 p.m.
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NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Yes, Mr. Speaker, it is true. I have heard my colleagues say that. I wonder if that is what drives members across the way when legislation is put together. Instead of tackling an issue like cyberbullying and the protection of our children, they mire legislation with other stuff just so they can have political talking points at a later date.

Once again, right in this legislation, the Conservatives are trying to hide controversial aspects of their failed Internet snooping bill, and they are slowing down the passage of an important bill that would protect our children. It is time for the games to stop. Let us just deal with what is real.

This is not just something that I am saying. It is quite moving for me. I would like to quote, for the record, Amanda Todd's mother, Carol Todd, who said:

I do not want my privacy invaded. I don't want young people's privacy compromised. I don't want personal information being exploited, without a protection order that would support individuals. I do not want any Canadian hurt in my daughter's name. I want her legacy to continue to promote hope, celebrate our differences, and give strength to other young people everywhere.

I plead with my colleagues across the way to do the right thing, separate the bill, and let us get it done.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 4:40 p.m.
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Mississauga—Erindale Ontario

Conservative

Bob Dechert ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, it was clear to me that when the member called for the separation of Bill C-13 into two parts, one of which is the criminal sanction against the non-consensual distribution of intimate images, that she had not read the report of the CCSO, Cybercrime Working Group, dated June 2013, called “Cyberbullying and Non-consensual Distribution of Intimate Images”.

These are experts from every province and territory of Canada. They are the expert legal advisors who advise the provincial and territorial ministers of justice. The member has probably heard, if she has been here for the duration of this debate today, what the experts recommended in recommendation number 4. However, nobody is addressing what investigative powers that are recommended by the experts the government should enact in the Criminal Code.

Which of these provisions does the member disagree with? She is saying to separate it and to pass the non-consensual distribution of images part, which would not give the police any power to investigate anything. It would not stop anything from happening, the next Amanda Todd or Rehtaeh Parsons or Jamie Hubley, and the list of victims goes on.

In order to enable the police to help people, they need things such as the data preservation demands and orders. Does the member agree or disagree with that? They need new warrants and production orders for the transmission of data. Does she agree or disagree with that, yes or no?

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 4:40 p.m.
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NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to give a quote from Michael Geist. He said this over and over again, on the threshold needed to gain a warrant and the fact that the threshold is far too low in this bill. He said:

Given the level of privacy interest that is involved with metadata, the approach in Bill C-13 for transmission data warrants should be amended by adopting the “reasonable grounds to believe” standard.

It is not going to come as a surprise. There are some serious concerns already about this bill and the overruling powers it would give. We have already had the Supreme Court of Canada make a ruling that bars Internet service providers from voluntarily disclosing the names, addresses, and phone numbers of their customers to law enforcement officials in response to simple requests. There is a possibility that this bill may be unconstitutional.

Why is it that the Conservatives, even when the courts have made a ruling, continue to go down that path? They seem to feel that they know better than our court system.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 4:40 p.m.
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NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for her speech.

I would like to ask her the following question.

Is it a responsible practice for legislators to repeatedly use these types of political tactics in order to try and hide previous bills in new ones and then turn around and say that we voted against a bill when we actually supported many parts of it?

Does the hon. member think that it is responsible for legislators to do that and to try and play politics with bills that are this important and issues that are this critical for Parliament?

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 4:45 p.m.
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NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague, a hard-working member, whom I know is stellar in his service to his constituents. He does amazing work here in the House as well.

This bill is all about politics. It is about playing politics. We have parts of a bill that the current government said would never come forward again, and elements of that bill in Bill C-13 right now that are from Bill C-30. This bill, or kernels of it, originated with the NDP, as I said, by my hard-working colleague from Dartmouth—Cole Harbour.If this bill were separated, we could have passed it months ago. That concerns me. However, once again, the Conservatives would rather bury things that get into invasion of privacy.

Even the mother, in one of our most tragic deaths, says that this bill goes too far.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 4:45 p.m.
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NDP

Ève Péclet NDP La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House for the second time to speak to Bill C-13, which addresses cyberbullying.

When the government announced Bill C-13 to combat cyberbullying, everyone thought it was a good idea. Perhaps the government had finally come up with a good idea. Everyone here knows that cyberbullying is taking a heavy toll on our youth. The people who work on the front lines—psychoeducators who work in high schools, street outreach workers and everyone else who works with youth—know how bullying can destroy lives, individuals and families. Some cases have made headlines, including the case of young Rehtaeh Parsons. Unfortunately, we know just how far cyberbullying can go. It can lead to suicide. No one in the House would say that we can remain indifferent about an issue as important as cyberbullying.

In the first speech I gave on Bill C-13, I emphasized the need to take action on the ground. I could even draw a parallel with the speech I just gave this morning on Bill C-36. The Conservatives often think they can use justice to solve all the problems inherent in a given situation. In the case of prostitution, for instance, inherent problems include poverty, exclusion and mental illness. The same is true when it comes to bullying. Some of the factors involved in bullying cannot be addressed through criminalization.

The provisions of Bill C-13, which makes it an offence to distribute intimate images, are a good start. In fact, the bill fits in with the bill introduced by my colleague from Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, which aims to prevent the kinds of situations that unfortunately led to the suicides of several young Canadians over the past few years.

Upon closer examination of the bill, one can see that it refers to various subjects ranging from cyberbullying to terrorism, banking information, telemarketing and theft of a telecommunication service.

Most of the provisions have very little if anything to do with cyberbullying. This bill is similar to the Conservatives' previous Bill C-30, which allowed access to Canadians' personal information.

The parliamentary secretary said that it was debated extensively and thoroughly examined in committee. That is all wonderful, except that all the experts agree that the study should have been even more thorough when it comes to the provisions regarding access to information. That is why we asked that the bill be split. Unfortunately, because we ran out of time, the provisions on cyberbullying were not examined much, if at all. We focused on the access to information provisions.

This issue is very important for our young people, and I find it extremely unfortunate that the debate is centred around access to information. That has nothing to do with our young students or the young girl who is being bullied by her classmates or receiving hateful messages on Facebook.

Access to information will have no impact on this girl, or perhaps it will, unfortunately, if the government wants access to her private information, which would be too bad. This is not going to help young people who need their government to work for them and do something about this.

A number of experts said that Bill C-13, together with Bill S-4, might have extremely significant repercussions on access to our private information, including access without a warrant.

I also asked a number of questions about an oversight mechanism. I would like to point out that the Conservatives refused to adopt such a mechanism. My colleague from Gatineau proposed an amendment requiring the department to report to Parliament on the use of this type of power. I would like to note that section 184.4 of the Criminal Code has already been struck down by the Supreme Court, not because the mechanism allowed information obtained without a warrant to be shared, but because application of that section did not include any oversight mechanism or notification mechanism. According to the Supreme Court, the rights of people being wiretapped were intrinsically violated because they did not know they were being tapped. At the end of the day, without an oversight mechanism, we are giving the police and the government power without accountability. We can agree that we are giving nearly absolute power to the minister and police officers to access Canadians' information.

The Supreme Court was clear. I have not even touched on the Supreme Court's recent decision in Spencer, which reiterates that telecommunications companies do not have the right to turn Canadians' private information over without a warrant. It is a violation and it is unconstitutional because there is no oversight mechanism.

I made a comparison with section 188, which was not struck down by the Supreme Court. That section allows for warrantless wiretaps, but it includes an oversight mechanism. The department is therefore obliged to report to Parliament on warrantless wiretapping.

According to the Supreme Court, this is clearly unconstitutional. Unfortunately, the Conservatives refused to adopt our amendments on creating such a reporting mechanism, which is too bad. We can already see that part of the bill will likely be challenged in court or even deemed unconstitutional.

Who will be the main victims of that challenge? My colleague from Gatineau told us several times. The main victims of the Conservatives' incompetence at drafting bills and studying issues thoroughly are the victims of bullying. The main victims will not be parliamentarians, lawyers or judges. No, the main victims will be victims of bullying, who unfortunately will have to wait for a legal challenge—which could take years and could go all the way to the Supreme Court—before justice is served.

I would like to underline the fact that when the Minister of Justice held his press conference, he said that Bill C-13 only legislated on a specific issue, namely cyberbullying. I know of several articles that quoted him as saying that this was not an omnibus bill and that its only purpose was to legislate on cyberbullying.

However, this bill contains a clause that gives not only peace officers, but also public officers access to these powers. Several experts wondered who would have access to these powers. Who would have access to Canadians' information? Would it be only the police, and only in specific situations, or would it be public officers from Revenue Canada in other situations?

This bill is so badly written that, unfortunately, the main victims who will be denied justice will be victims of bullying. Is that really what the Conservative government wants?

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 4:55 p.m.
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Mississauga—Erindale Ontario

Conservative

Bob Dechert ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, the member was a member of the justice committee when we studied this bill, and I believe she sat through almost all of the hearings.

If I follow her argument, she said that the NDP proposed a bill that was one paragraph long. It talked about the institution of criminal sanction for the non-consensual distribution of intimate images. We all agreed on that, so we could have just passed it, but then we had to spend time at committee dealing with that aspect and all of these other things. We actually spent most of our time talking about the investigative powers.

I did not quite follow the logic, because I think what she said was that everybody agreed on that criminal sanction. We say, and the Cybercrime Working Group also says, that, in addition, we need to provide the law enforcement authorities with some powers so they can properly investigate such crimes and bring people to justice for those crimes. She admits that we had significant debate about those issues, because she said that it was pretty much all that we discussed when we heard from the witnesses.

I would appreciate it if she would tell us specifically what other witnesses we should have heard from. Her party put forward a list of witnesses and the committee strove to hear from them all. In addition, specifically, what provisions is she concerned about that were not discussed or debated at committee? I think everything she is concerned about was debated.

She disagrees with the decision that the committee made, but they were debated. Maybe she could fill us in on what was not debated and what other witnesses we should have heard from.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 4:55 p.m.
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NDP

Ève Péclet NDP La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, to answer my colleague's comments, I remember him asking questions about metadata. We had professionals and experts answer what that was. However, I clearly remember that my esteemed colleague, the parliamentary secretary, did not agree with the experts. I clearly said, and I have my statement here, that it was not up to the parliamentary secretary to choose which data was more important than others.

I said that if we wanted to discuss what metadata really was and what we could do to protect it, my esteemed colleague really should have brought more experts. I specifically said this to him. Maybe we should have had more experts on metadata and what powers this bill would create to lawfully access this metadata without a mandate.

It is not up to Parliament to decide which data is more important than others. It is up to the experts, but the parliamentary secretary never called any experts to contradict what other experts had said at committee.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 5 p.m.
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NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to offer one word in the beginning of my remarks, which is Snowden. When we talk metadata and improper access, he has released to the world thousands upon thousands of examples of where metadata has been abused and put into the wrong hands.

I am a little concerned, especially hearing my friend's speech, about the fact that perhaps with bullying, it is something like a magician. A magician distracts with one hand and picks pockets with the other. We are very concerned that this is opening a door to allow access to data that is well beyond what anybody would understand is necessary to help prevent bullying. That distraction is very concerning.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 5 p.m.
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NDP

Ève Péclet NDP La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, I think it is extremely important. The main point of my speech was that right now, we are giving public officers powers that are not defined in the bill. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice spoke about customs officers and officials from Fisheries and Oceans Canada. There is no definition included in the bill. There are no guidelines for this type of power.

We are being told that if the official opposition really cares about helping victims of bullying, we should pass this bill quickly. All of the experts have clearly indicated that we must ensure that personal information is protected. However, we know that the government is not interested in protecting Canadians' personal information.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 5 p.m.
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NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise in the House today to speak to Bill C-13, which has already been debated for three hours today and has just come back from the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

A lot of hard work has been done on this bill. I am thinking, in particular, of the many witnesses who appeared before the committee. I am happy to hear that good work was done in committee.

However, the results of that work are perhaps not quite what we on this side of the House expected. Unfortunately, the amendments that were made to this bill were not sufficient for us to be able to support it at report stage.

I must first say that this bill may be a rather sensitive subject for some people. It may hit close to home and be a sensitive subject for some people because it involves bullying and there is often mention of the unfortunate incidents that were reported in the media. It is vital that we remember the importance of the work we are doing as parliamentarians to try to address this issue, which sometimes has tragic consequences. Bullying is a problem in our society that has evolved over the past few decades. Obviously, the Internet is one of the elements that has changed the problem of bullying. It is becoming easier to bully someone online today because we can easily access the Internet with our cell phones and computers.

This problem has evolved and has become quite a significant issue for our youth and also for adults. As parliamentarians, we must discuss this problem and try to solve it, even though there is no magic solution. We have to consider the underlying causes. My colleague from La Pointe-de-l'Île often talks about the underlying causes. Furthermore, we must not believe that the solution to the problem is to create a Criminal Code offence and that all of a sudden there will be no more bullying. It is never that simple. It is therefore important to discuss this problem and other ways of dealing with it.

We were also somewhat disappointed with the process that led to the drafting of this bill. Members will remember that Bill C-30 was also introduced in the first session of the 41st Parliament and that there was significant opposition to that bill from civil society and the different political parties. It is unfortunate that Bill C-13 contains some of what was widely rejected in Bill C-30. I am talking about the provisions concerning the electronic surveillance of Canadians.

My impression is that the government is taking Bill C-13 and the issue of bullying—which is a very important and sensitive issue—and integrating certain parts of Bill C-30, which was very controversial, as I said. It was abandoned by the Conservatives after the uproar that followed its introduction. It is sad that they are using this tactic and are trying to do indirectly what they said they would not do. It was abandoned. It is disappointing to see that it is now being included in Bill C-13.

This issue could have been settled quickly, or at least more quickly. I do not think that we are going to solve the problem of bullying overnight. However, we could have at least moved in the right direction.

The hon. member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour introduced a worthwhile bill. Unfortunately, it did not receive the Conservatives' support. However, one part of his bill did find its way into the Conservatives' current bill. I find that somewhat curious.

If I understand correctly, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice seems to have an explanation. He says that it is all well and good to add an offence to the Criminal Code, but it is also important to grant investigative powers to the police.

I do not remember when exactly during the process of studying the bill this happened—it may have been the day after it was introduced—but the Spencer decision provided some clarification. Unfortunately, the bill did not change, even in light of the decision, which defined the limits that can be placed on electronic surveillance and the amount of personal information Internet service providers can share about Canadians.

I believe that the government should have complied with the Spencer decision, but that is not the case, unfortunately. That is the main reason we are opposing this bill.

I would like to clarify the court's decision in Spencer, which had to do with providers sharing information. The decision clearly established that Canadians had the right to online anonymity and that the police had to get a warrant to find out Internet users' identity.

However, Bill C-13 creates a new policy that allows access to personal information with or without a warrant. This opens the door to obtaining personal information without a warrant even though the Spencer decision said the opposite. It said that a warrant was absolutely necessary to get personal information about a Canadian citizen on the Internet.

Internet service providers have access to that information. They can find that information and share it with law enforcement to investigate bullying cases, for example. The Spencer decision set boundaries for getting information by requiring a warrant. However, Bill C-13 opens the door to getting personal information without a warrant.

All of this is unfolding in an era when people have growing concerns about electronic surveillance because the government is monitoring our actions more and more. Not long ago, groups met peacefully to talk about issues or met in the streets to demonstrate. We know that the government, which has thousands of employees who monitor Canadians, would watch what such groups were doing during those completely peaceful meetings and demonstrations that could not have given anyone any reason to believe there was a threat to Canada's security.

This is unfolding in an era when people feel that the government is collecting more and more information about Canadians. We also have to set clearer boundaries about how this information is obtained and about Canadians' right to privacy.

I would be pleased to answer my colleagues' questions.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 5:10 p.m.
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Mississauga—Erindale Ontario

Conservative

Bob Dechert ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, the member mentioned the Spencer decision of the Supreme Court in his speech. Perhaps he did not have an opportunity to hear the speech I made earlier, but I will just quickly restate my position, which is that the provision in Bill C-13 that he refers to says that where a person is not prohibited by law from sharing information with police authorities, they will not incur any civil or criminal liability.

The Spencer decision of the Supreme Court said that in specific circumstances where telecom companies, which is one small part of information that might be provided to law enforcement authorities in cases like this, do that voluntarily, going forward, that will not be permissible by law. Therefore, this provision of Bill C-13 simply upholds the decision of the Supreme Court in Spencer. In other words, it has clarified the law, and the provision specifically says it is things that are not prohibited by law from being disclosed. What was previously disclosed voluntarily in that specific situation can no longer be voluntarily disclosed without prior judicial authorization.

However, there are other things that can be. It is a general rule of law that people have a right to co-operate with the police, and we wish them to do so in order to keep our citizens safe.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 5:10 p.m.
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NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for that clarification.

In light of his explanation, I believe that a door has been opened. Perhaps it has been opened too wide in that it allows telecommunications companies and Internet service providers to voluntarily provide more information. In my opinion, the door has been opened too wide. My colleagues on this side of the House share that opinion.

The door has been opened too wide. In 2014, we must be very careful about this kind of measure and new provisions that may threaten Canadians' privacy. We have to be very careful in this regard. In this case, a line has been crossed. The government should have been more restrictive and more careful. The work is not finished. The bill is still being examined, and the Senate also has to look at it. Perhaps some improvements will be made there.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 5:15 p.m.
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Liberal

Sean Casey Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting to be here and to talk about telephone companies. However, the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights did not hear from any witnesses who represented telephone companies.

Does the member share the parliamentary secretary's opinion that the testimony of these representatives was not relevant and that the blame for not calling these witnesses falls squarely on the opposition?

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 5:15 p.m.
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NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, I think that is an interesting question, particularly since I did not participate in the meetings held by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights on this bill.

I am rather surprised to hear that no witnesses from telephone companies, telecommunications companies or Internet service providers appeared before the committee. I am rather surprised that these types of companies were not called upon to testify given that they share vast amounts of information. They have the power to collect that information. I find it rather strange that they were not called upon to testify when they are the ones who will be passing the information on to law enforcement upon request.

I was not aware of this. I am rather surprised and disappointed that the government refused to hear from such important witnesses. They could have shared expertise that was particularly relevant to the committee's examination of the bill. I am very surprised and disappointed to hear that.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 5:15 p.m.
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NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to some extent to participate in the debate at this particular time, at the report stage.

I want to start by commending my colleagues, our justice critic and other members of the justice and human rights committee, who have worked so hard on Bill C-13 and introduced 37 amendments at the committee stage to try to take away some of the more onerous portions of this particular bill so that it would not, for example, spend the rest of its life in court being challenged constitutionally. It has taken a fair bit of effort and energy, I know, and patience on their part to do what they have done. I want them to know how much I appreciate it.

I want to, also, remind members that back on October 17, 11 months ago almost, I rose on a point of order to say that I was concerned about the issue that had been raised in my private member's bill, Bill C-540, making it a criminal offence to distribute non-consensual intimate images. While I had heard from the government in the throne speech and from utterances of the then minister of justice that he supported this in principle, I was concerned that the issue would get bundled up in a major piece of legislation, a controversial piece of legislation, and that it may get delayed or lost.

I sought unanimous consent at that particular time to consider Bill C-540 deemed read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. I did so because everyone in the House, of all parties, to a person, said that they supported the idea of holding people to account, changing the Criminal Code to ensure that the non-consensual distribution of intimate images was a crime and that people were going to be held accountable. I then moved a motion to say, let us move this to committee right now. This is a serious situation. It's affecting families. It is affecting lives across the country. Let us deal with it now. There is a will here. Let us find the way.

Unfortunately, that was turned down by the government.

It is interesting. The government then brought in Bill C-13, the initial portions of which dealt with the same issue that my private member's bill did, a little more thoroughly, of course, but it dealt with it. However, then the government did exactly what I and many of us were afraid of. It tacked on a great deal of what was in the former bill, Bill C-30, which it had to yank off the table two years ago because it was so soundly repudiated by privacy experts and others from across the country. The government attached it to the back of the cyberbullying bill.

When it introduced the bill, it did so in the company of the parents of people who had committed suicide, who had taken their lives as a result of cyberbullying, and it said, “We're here to deal with this”. It did not talk about the other parts of it.

Of course, there was great hope in those families and by advocates across the country that the government was going to move forward on this. Lo and behold, as is too often the case with the Conservatives, we got involved in a very controversial debate. We began to learn more about what was really in the bill, and advocates and privacy experts from across the country began to raise concerns.

Even one of the parents, who stood with the minister when the bill was introduced, said at committee that even though she wanted the Criminal Code to be changed to make the non-consensual distribution of intimate images a crime and that there should be consequences, she could not abide what else was in the bill, the outrageous and invasive parts of the bills that would allow for information on the Internet to be more accessible to authorities.

As was talked about in the recent Spencer case, the Supreme Court said it was about barring Internet service providers from disclosing names and addresses. It said that Canadians have the right to be anonymous on the Internet.

Here we have a bill that has been cloaked as an attempt to deal with the heartbreak and anguish experienced by families across the country as a result of their loved ones being bullied mercilessly through the Internet. It is a bill that has been identified as being meant to deal with that, yet in fact it is much more.

I had the opportunity to talk today with another parent. I explained to that parent what had happened, how things have progressed, the concerns that we have with the bill. I explained that the NDP would not be supporting this legislation.

He knew this anyway, because of work we had done in the past, the support I have provided, and the things we were doing together with other people to build awareness and to try to deal with this scourge of teen suicide. He understands my commitment. He, too, is shaken by the infringement on privacy provisions that are part of this bill. I am not going to tell the House that he gave me a pass, but he understands my concerns. He appreciates that I have tried to work, and will continue to work, with him and others to deal with this problem.

The point is that we are here. It has been a year and a half since I introduced the private member's bill, and it is another year and a half into this serious problem. We have still not dealt with it.

I get discouraged sometimes in this House when it seems that we cannot get from one point to the other without creating all kinds of controversy and hard feelings, bitterness and division.

Right now, as we speak, there are people in communities who are helping to build awareness of why cyberbullying is wrong. They are coming up with strategies to identify when teenagers and others are beginning to experience feelings of depression and suicide.

One of the parents I spoke to said that the most gratifying thing that happens as he goes across the country talking to junior and high school students is when the 12-year-olds and 13-year-olds come up to him. They are saying there is a problem and that this is what they are doing about it. The students are telling him what they are doing because they recognize it.

This is what is happening in communities across the country. People are recognizing that they have to step up and do something, because unfortunately governments are not up to the task.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 5:25 p.m.
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Mississauga—Erindale Ontario

Conservative

Bob Dechert ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour for his work on the issue of cyberbullying. I know he cares about it quite deeply. I also thank him for the bill he brought before the House.

He will know, because he has studied this issue quite extensively, about the recommendation of the cybercrime working group, which is a group of experts in the law that report to the federal-provincial-territorial ministers of justice. It recommended that in order to address cyberbullying, we needed to provide police authorities with some additional powers for investigation. They include data preservation demands and orders, new production orders to trace specified communications, like we had in the Amanda Todd case, and new warrants and production orders for transmission data. I would like to assure him that nothing in Bill C-13 allows for new warrantless release of information.

Could he tell us if he disagrees with the recommendations that are contained in Bill C-13? Perhaps he could tell us why he thought his bill would work without them.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 5:25 p.m.
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NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, there was a huge number of concerns raised about the authorities overreaching as it related to provisions within the bill. Those concerns were brought to the committee and the NDP members of the committee introduced a number of amendments to try to deal with things like changing reasonable grounds to suspect, to reasonable grounds to believe, specifying the meaning of police office to police officers and removing public officers.

The point is that we need to implement and enforce the law, but we also need to ensure that there is some control over how that is done, that there is transparency and that people need know there are limits to their authority.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 5:30 p.m.
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Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pick up on the member's comments in regard to some of the work he has done. I recognize that he had a private member's bill, which I suspect received a considerable amount of support from all sides of the House. I know my colleague from Vancouver also had a bill on the floor in anticipation that we would want to try to deal with cyberbullying. Through the advancement of the Internet, there has been a great deal of abuse. There was an expectation that Parliament would work together, build on consensus and get something done relatively quickly.

Does the member believe the government has lost some of that goodwill from members to try to act as quickly as possible on dealing with some of the concerns that many of our constituents share and want to see action by the federal government?

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 5:30 p.m.
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NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, I do not think there is any question that the government has lost its way on this and many other issues. Conservatives appear not to hear very well when people raise concerns. For example, my colleague, the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, introduced a bill calling for a national strategy against bullying that unfortunately did not get support from government members.

That is the kind of opportunity we have to provide the leadership Canadians are looking for on this and a whole host of other issues.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 5:30 p.m.
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NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak in opposition to Bill C-13, and I think that is unfortunate.

Like many MPs, I had high hopes when the issue of cyberbullying first came before the House. I had high hopes that we would recognize the urgency with which we needed to respond to cyberbullying and the risk of suicides, especially when we were faced with the unfortunate examples of Rehtaeh Parsons in Nova Scotia and Amanda Todd in B.C. taking their own lives.

In fact, we did respond relatively quickly. The member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour introduced a private member's bill in June 2013. It was a simple bill that did not include a lot of extraneous material. It was a simple bill that would have made it an offence to produce or distribute intimate images of an individual without that person's consent.

Unfortunately, despite attempts to get unanimous consent to move the bill forward, the government said that it had to do a lot more study and think a lot more about what it wanted to present in a government bill. When that bill finally got before us in November 2013, nearly a year ago, as usual with the Conservative government we found a far broader bill than was necessary. It is a bill that includes many issues that have little or nothing to do with cyberbullying, including restrictions on telemarketing, theft of telecommunication services, provisions on terrorist financing, and bank financial disclosures.

What we have before us now is a bill with a much broader scope and one that includes bringing back many aspects of the Conservatives' previous Bill C-30, which was widely rejected by public opinion and especially by privacy advocates.

As someone who worked closely with the criminal justice system for more than two decades before coming here, I have some very serious concerns about the government's attempt to expand access to personal information, both with and without a warrant, that remains in Bill C-13

I am very concerned about the new and low bar for grounds for getting a warrant to get personal information. I see no justification for lowering the grounds for a warrant from “reasonable grounds to believe”, to this new category of reasonable suspicion. For that reason, of course, we proposed an amendment to delete this clause entirely from the bill.

In fact, I believe, despite the speeches we have heard from the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice, that the Spencer case this summer brings into question the constitutionality of many provisions of Bill C-13. This was an important ruling banning Internet service providers from disclosing names, addresses, and phone numbers of customers voluntarily to the authorities.

The bill would also create a worrying new category of those entitled to our personal information. It has expanded from the well-defined, in law, concept of peace officers, and we know who they are, to this unclear new concept of “public officers”. Does this mean tax officials? Who does this mean are public officers?

In committee we proposed 37 different amendments to try to narrow the scope of the bill. As my colleague for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour so eloquently put it a few moments ago, we were trying to make sure that this bill did not spend the rest of its life being challenged in court. Unfortunately, we did not see any of those amendments adopted, and I do not think we will see our amendments adopted at report stage.

I want to return to one surprising inclusion in Bill C-13 that I was happy to see there. For whatever reason, the government decided to reopen the hate crime section of the Criminal Code in clause 12 of Bill C-13. There is some connection there with cyberbullying and cyberbullying's relation to an escalation into hate crimes.

I think perhaps there was a justification, but I was very surprised to see that when the government listed the new identifiable groups to receive protection, it added national origin, sex, age, and mental or physical disability. Yet what was left out was gender identity.

The House of Commons had already agreed, in a vote on my private member's bill, Bill C-279, on March 20, 2013, by a margin of 149 to 137, with support from all parties, to include protection on the basis of gender identity. Therefore, there was a deliberate omission from this list of new protected grounds of something that we had already decided in the full House.

This is why earlier today I proposed an amendment to clause 12, which I had already placed in the justice committee. I was optimistic that we would be allowed to debate this bill again. I proposed this amendment in committee to try to correct what I felt was an error in the drafting of Bill C-13. It should have included gender identity, precisely for the reason I cited: we had already voted on this provision here in the full House of Commons.

I was very optimistic in committee. After all, two of the five government members in the justice committee had voted for my private member's bill. Therefore, I expected when I proposed the amendment it would pass in committee by a vote of 6 to 3 in favour, because that is how those members had previously voted on the very same provision in Bill C-279. However, at the last minute, one Conservative changed his vote and one member was substituted out of committee. Hence, my amendment was defeated 5 to 4.

This is why I placed my amendment on the order paper again and asked the Speaker to take the unusual step of allowing it to be put before the full House again. The Speaker ruled that my amendment did not meet the test set out in our rules, which would have allowed it to come before the House today as part of this debate.

The problem, of course, is not the Speaker's ruling. It is instead that the government, which always posed as neutral on the provisions of my private member's bill, has found a way of using a government bill to undo the decision that had already been taken in the House on Bill C-279 to provide protection against hate crimes to transgender Canadians. This shows a fundamental disrespect for the will of the majority as already expressed in the House. Therefore, when it comes to respecting the rights of transgender Canadians, it turns out the government is not as neutral as it was pretending to be. This perhaps explains what has happened to the same provision we could have been talking about today, over in the Senate in Bill C-279.

The second problem we have in achieving protection against hate crimes for transgender Canadians is, of course, the Senate. The bill has been before the Senate two different times. The first time was in the spring of 2011. It was approved by the House of Commons and sent to the Senate, which failed to act at all before the election was called. Therefore, that provision died before the Senate.

As I mentioned earlier, Bill C-279 passed the House of Commons on March 20, 2013, a year and a half ago. It has been in the Senate for a year and a half. I know they only meet three days a week, but there are still plenty of sitting days for them to deal with this. In fact, in 2013, it did pass second reading. In other words, it received approval in principle. Now we have the House of Commons saying that what we were supposed to be dealing with in the bill to be true and the Senate, in principle, agreeing. It was sent to the human rights committee, which held hearings and approved Bill C-279 without amendment and returned it to the full floor of the Senate, where a third reading and final vote was not called. The House prorogued and that bill started over.

Here again is where the supposed neutrality of the government on protecting transgender Canadians against hate crimes comes into question. The bill could have been expedited through the Senate, as it had already been through all the stages there. Even simpler, the bill could have been sent back to the human rights committee, and since it had already held hearings and dealt with the bill, it could have been returned quickly to the floor of the Senate. Instead, the government leadership in the Senate sent the bill to a different committee, the legal and constitutional affairs committee. This is an interesting choice. This not only meant that the committee would have to hold new hearings, but it is the busiest committee in the Senate, with the government's crime agenda. It means this committee will have to deal with bills like the one we have before us today, Bill C-13; Bill C-36, dealing with sex work; and Bill C-2, dealing with safe injection sites. It will have to deal with all of those before it ever gets to a private member's bill.

Again, the fig leaf of neutrality claimed by the government is looking a little withered, since decisions on where the bill is going and its timing are made by the government leadership in the Senate. It is beginning to look a lot like the government intends to let Bill C-279 die in the Senate once again.

The final obstacle to achieving protection for transgender Canadians against hate crimes, and I think the real reason gender identity was omitted from the new groups protected in the hate crimes section 12 of Bill C-13, is the failure to recognize not just the fundamental justice of providing equal rights to transgender Canadians, but the failure to recognize both the urgency and the inevitability of doing so.

Transgender Canadians remain the group most discriminated against in Canada. They remain the group most likely to be subject to hate crimes and most disturbingly, they remain the group most likely to be subject to violence when it comes to hate crimes. All transgender Canadians are looking for is the recognition of the same rights that other Canadians already enjoy. We are missing a chance here in Bill C-13 to provide equal protection against hate crimes to transgender Canadians.

There was a time when other Canadians did not enjoy the equality they do today. There were provisions in our law that seem incredible now. There was a time when Asian Canadians could not vote or practise the professions. There was a time when I, as a gay man, could have been jailed for my sexual orientation, fired from my job, or evicted from my housing. Now, fortunately, that time has passed.

I am disappointed, then, that we are missing a chance today to move forward to the time when we look back and cannot imagine that transgendered Canadians did not enjoy the same rights and protections as all other Canadians. I know that day will come, and I will continue to work to make sure it is sooner rather than later.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 5:40 p.m.
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Mississauga—Erindale Ontario

Conservative

Bob Dechert ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, the justice committee heard from a number of family members of victims of cyberbullying, including Allan Hubley, the father of Jamie Hubley. I do not know if the member had an opportunity to review the testimony before the justice committee, but I will quote Mr. Allan Hubley. He stated, “When we were younger, you always knew who your bully was. You could do something about it. Now, up until the time this legislation gets enacted, they can hide behind that.” Mr. Hubley continued, “Not only does it start to take the mask off of them, but through this legislation there are serious consequences for their actions.”

Bill C-13 introduces a number of measures to take the mask off the perpetrator, such as production orders that allow for the disclosure of certain information. I wonder if the member opposite could explain why he is opposed to judicially authorized measures that will help unmask those that exploit others online, such as Jamie Hubley.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 5:40 p.m.
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NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, if that were actually being done, I might be supporting this bill, but many other things have been packed into the bill, things that I think are questionable. This is why I have lost my optimism. I thought the House of Commons could act to do something effective in cyberbullying, but I do not think this bill is it. I think it will spend its life before the courts, and I do not think we will accomplish the goal we set out to accomplish.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 5:40 p.m.
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NDP

Hélène LeBlanc NDP LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank my colleague from Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca for his speech. He highlighted the hypocrisy demonstrated by this government when it comes to defending the rights of the transgendered community. I wonder if he could elaborate a bit on this issue and talk to us a little more about what is missing from Bill C-13.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 5:45 p.m.
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NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her question and for her devotion to equality in this country, which I have seen many times in the House.

I would say that any bill that deals with cyberbullying but ignores the rights of transgendered Canadians misses the group that is bullied more often than any other group in this entire country, both in daily life, in physical presence, and online. That is why I made that a focus of my speech today.

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice raises a tragic example, but I wonder if he is familiar with the literally hundreds of examples of violence against people in the transgendered community every year in this country.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 5:45 p.m.
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Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I said earlier in part of my speech at report stage that I was dismayed that we were not able to have a debate on the specific amendment he brought forward, because the discrimination persists. When we are talking about cyberbullying, we ought to identify those groups that are significantly marginalized and underprotected in a whole range of our laws.

This is not so much a question as a comment to thank the member for his leadership on this issue. I hope his private member's bill on a related matter passes through the Senate soon. Perhaps the member wants to use any remaining time to further explore what ought to be done in this bill but is not being done.

As the member will know, for many reasons I have to vote against this bill. I do so with regret, because I would like to have us act on cyberbullying.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 5:45 p.m.
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NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands, my neighbour, for her support for equality for transgendered Canadians.

Half of my private members' bill, Bill C-279, is identical to the changes that are being made in this bill on behalf of women and those who are discriminated against on the basis of national origin or mental or physical disability. Again, I want to go back to the fact that someone deliberately omitted gender identity from that list. I think it exposes the government on this issue, in that it has not been neutral but has instead been an obstacle to achieving full equality for all Canadians.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 5:45 p.m.
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NDP

Hélène LeBlanc NDP LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is with great humility that I rise in the House today, especially after hearing those of my colleagues who are legal experts debate Bill C-13. I would like to contribute based on my own personal experience.

I was a teacher for many years. I was lucky enough to teach many classes and work with many students. As an educator, I realize that in this modern world, education and information play a very important role. These days, young people need to adapt to a society that is quickly evolving. From my teaching days, I remember how students sometimes spoke to one another, how boys and girls talked. Sometimes it was troubling, because I found that the language they used often mimicked what they heard in the media, on TV and perhaps all around them, even on the street. It always troubled me to hear such language spoken between boys and girls. I taught for many years and then I did something else. However, that memory stayed with me.

In our society, social media and the Internet play a very important role in our lives and in the lives of young people. Unlike me, my nieces and nephews have never known a world without the Internet. Protecting privacy was very important in the past. My nieces and nephews were raised in a world in which the Internet plays a very important role. They were born with the Internet, much like I was born with television. We sometimes forget that when we are in our offices or in our rooms in front of a computer, as soon as we connect to the Internet, we are no longer in the privacy of our own space. We are in a public place. We are on display for everyone to see.

That is why my colleague from Chicoutimi—Le Fjord proposed a bullying prevention strategy, as a means of increasing awareness about bullying, including cyberbullying.

We need to keep in mind that the Internet is an absolutely terrific tool for sharing information, but it can be used maliciously. On the one hand, it can be an extraordinary information tool, but on the other hand, it can be a very powerful tool for bullying. As such, it must be used very carefully. To me, education and prevention are very important. We have to know how to use a tool as powerful as the Internet, how to protect ourselves against cyberbullying, what means we can use to do so, and what resources are available if we fall victim to cyberbullying.

By providing information to young girls, young boys, women, the marginalized, and even those who are being bullied, by providing them with the tools to protect themselves and a safe place where they can be protected from these attacks, we are giving them the power to combat bullying and violence. Of course, often awareness, information and education are not enough. However, it is very important that we start with this approach as much as possible.

It is not easy to talk about bullying because it affects not only us as humans and our emotions, but also memories and things that have happened to us. I have to admit that it is not always easy to talk about it.

I am also the chair of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women. We recently studied the issue of eating disorders. As part of this study, we spoke about the impact of social media and the Internet. The way in which body image is projected—especially for women—is very interesting, as is the way that the Internet and social media put an incredible amount of pressure on girls and women, when it comes to that body image. There is work to be done when it comes to the media, social media and the Internet. At the end of the day, what can we do to bring this body image more in line with reality?

As many of my colleagues have mentioned, the current title of the bill is unfortunately misleading. The bill is called the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act. As it has done with many of its bills, the government has included a number of elements in this bill that go far beyond the issue of cybercrime. I want to stress that we are now not only talking about peace officers, but also public officers, which the bill describes as someone “who is appointed or designated to administer or enforce a federal or provincial law”.

I find these excesses troubling. Once again, I want to congratulate our new justice critic and all the members of the official opposition on the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. They presented perfectly reasonable amendments to address the excesses in Bill C-13. For example, the amendments dealt with changing the wording of “reasonable grounds to suspect” to “reasonable grounds to believe”; establishing that the term “peace officer” applies to police officers; and removing the worrisome term of “public officer”, which is poorly defined and could, once again, lead to spillover. They also proposed including a clause to require that the minister report to the House to indicate how many request and orders were submitted, and to include a certain clause.

I want to once again express my support for my colleague from Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca regarding the importance of including a clause on gender equality, in order to protect transgendered people from cyberbullying.

A great many troubling things have been added to this bill, and they have no business being there. That is why the official opposition cannot support this bill.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 5:55 p.m.
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Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Dan Albas ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I have young children who range from 2 years old to 17 years old, so I understand some of the concerns that the member opposite has, particularly around protecting our youth.

However, it seems that the NDP continue on different tracks, and it is quite confusing to this side. We have the member for Sherbrooke who said, “Do not change the Criminal Code. That will not do it. We will get the best results if we give the authorities more funding to deal with these kinds of things”.

Then we have the member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour saying, “If my private members' bill were passed, it would put provisions in the Criminal Code, and then everything would be fine”.

Then we hear from other members who say, “We can put it in the Criminal Code, but whatever you do, do not give the authorities the ability to go to a judge and lawfully be able to ask for information so that we can not just charge someone with an offence under the Criminal Code but we can actually get a conviction”.

I think the NDP continues to put out different messages. Would the member please enlighten us as to the reason they continue to not support provisions in the Criminal Code, and the investigative tools that are required to successfully convict?

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 6 p.m.
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NDP

Hélène LeBlanc NDP LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board for his question. The message is very clear: in this Parliament, government bills are introduced and they are sent to committee to be studied for a very good reason. It is to ensure that we review a bill once more to ensure that there are no problems, that an in-depth study is conducted and that amendments are made if necessary.

The official opposition always has a clear message. We study bills carefully and we propose amendments. We regret that the government rejects completely reasonable amendments that would improve a bill.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 6 p.m.
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Liberal

Arnold Chan Liberal Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a question to the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard, and I thank her for her comments.The government has often taken an approach with respect to legislation such as this in focusing on the punitive or investigatory aspects of its legislation. However, the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard I thought raised a particularly important point, which is to focus on the preventive or protective aspects of this legislation.

What would the hon. member suggest should be included to make the bill more palatable?

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 6 p.m.
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NDP

Hélène LeBlanc NDP LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question and for the fact that he recognizes that some bills are designed to punish rather than to prevent. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

I have to say that some of the provisions and amendments we suggested would have made the bill easier to stomach, if I can put it that way. Let us be frank: It is not just the official opposition that is saying so. Witnesses appeared before the committee to study this bill and they gave their expert opinion. They are members of civil society and have studied the issue. They are experts and they also agree with the amendments we proposed to make this bill much more acceptable.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 6 p.m.
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NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, last night in Halifax I was with some friends, a group of women, some feminists. We were getting together to talk about different issues. I said that I was speaking to a bill tomorrow and asked if any of them had any feedback or perspectives they thought were missing in this debate. Everyone knew instantly what bill I was talking about.

Rehtaeh Parsons' story has touched us all in Nova Scotia. It has left an indelible mark on all of us as Nova Scotians to know that this woman died by suicide as a result of images about her spread over the Internet. It has also ignited a really good and healthy debate in Nova Scotia. Everyone has taken part in this conversation, and we are trying to find solutions. The province put together a cyberbullying task force to think about what steps the province can take to prevent this tragedy from happening again. The debate has been lively, solemn, and very real. People have taken this burden seriously and have said that this is something we need to figure out as a community.

I was at this gathering of friends last night, and I told them I had to speak to this bill. One of the women I was with said, “The problem you will have tomorrow with this speech is that the Conservatives are not actually interested in issues. They are just interested in advancing their own agenda, and if they happen to find a situation or a case that helps them advance that agenda, they will use that opportunity to their advantage”. I really believe that this is what is happening here.

There are many reasons why I care about this issue. I care because Rehtaeh Parsons was a member of my community, because she was raped, because she was humiliated, and because she felt that the only option for her, the only way to end that humiliation, was suicide.

I care about this bill as a woman and as a public figure who understands the hurtful and humiliating power of the Internet. I care about this bill as a feminist. I care about this bill as a legislator, because Rehtaeh Parsons is not the only victim. I want to ensure that we have legislation in place to prevent cyberbullying. I want to send a message to Canadians that the distribution of private images without consent will not be tolerated. There are a lot of reasons to care about this bill.

I know that I speak for all of my NDP colleagues when I say that we must better protect people of all ages from the distribution of private images without consent. That is without any controversy. We were all proud to support our colleague, the member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, when he tabled his bill. He worked to present a balanced and sensible proposal to deal with this issue. He proposed Bill C-540, a bill that would make it an offence to produce or distribute intimate images of individuals without their consent. We stand in solidarity with the member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour. Rehtaeh Parsons' parents are his constituents. He made a commitment to them to figure out how we could change the law to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again.

However, as my friend said last night, the Conservatives do not have an interest in this issue. They have an interest in advancing an agenda, because Bill C-13, the bill we have before us, goes well beyond what we need to do to change legislation to prevent cyberbullying. The scope of this bill is much larger than my colleague from Dartmouth—Cole Harbour's proposal.

Members will remember when the former public safety minister, Vic Toews, stood up in this House and said that we were with them or with the child pornographers. That was in February 2012. It was a pivotal moment for me in my experience as a member of Parliament, because the response from the community was swift and strong. Canadians said, “Not on our watch does a member get away with saying stuff like that”.

That was February 2012. It was when government introduced its hyperbolically named “protecting children from Internet predators act”. It was a bill that everyone rejected. We in the NDP rejected it, privacy advocates rejected it, and the public rejected it. The government was shamed into pulling this bill, never to be heard from again or so we thought.

Here we are and it is two years later, and finally the Conservatives have figured out a way. They have found their vehicle to get those changes brought in. This is their vehicle. This is their opportunity. They are taking two very tragic events, the deaths of Amanda Todd and Rehtaeh Parsons, and are using those events to advance their own agenda because, lo and behold, two years later we find the long-forgotten aspects of the Toews bill here in Bill C-13. Only this time it is under the auspices of cyberbullying.

What does targeting banks' financial data have to do with cyberbullying? What does making changes to the Terrorist Financing Act have to do with young people and the spread of images online without consent? If they are trying to prevent cyberbullying, why in the world do they need to change rules around telemarketing and the theft of communications services? It is a gross misuse of our privilege, the privilege we have as parliamentarians. It is dishonest and it is an abuse of the trust Canadians put in us when they cast their ballots.

If we were honest about our commitment to preventing cyberbullying, we would pass my NDP colleague's motion. If we were honest about our commitment to preventing bullying, we would have passed the motion put forward by my colleague, the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, to develop a national anti-bullying strategy. If we were honest about our commitment to preventing cyberbullying, we would have split this bill a long time ago.

I would like to thank my colleague, the member for Gatineau, who has worked incredibly hard on the bill, giving us advice as members of Parliament, doing the legal analysis, going to committee. She has tried at every turn to split the bill, because we agree with parts of it but not the rest.

It would be an incredible victory if we could say that this piece of legislation passed with unanimous consent, that there we were as parliamentarians, united in working to prevent cyberbullying. Instead, we have everything and the kitchen sink thrown into one bill, so of course the New Democrats have to say no. Of course we have to vote against it and that is going to be used for political partisan purposes. Thank goodness we cannot send ten percenters into other people's ridings anymore, because I know I would have one sent into my riding saying, “Do you realize that the member for Halifax voted against protecting your children?”

It is for partisan purposes. We should be splitting the bill. We have tried to split the bill. We also have tried to bring forward amendments. These are not crazy, complicated ideas for fixing the bill. They are simple and elegant. Some of these changes are not deal breakers; it is just changing a word. An example is raising the standard from “reasonable grounds to suspect” to “reasonable grounds to believe”. It is one simple word. We know what the solution is. Change that word from “suspect” to “believe” because there is a world of difference between those two concepts. I am suspicious all the time. Do I actually believe that things are happening? Probably not. It is a big legal difference. It is an elegant and simple solution. We proposed it after hearing from witnesses at committee, yet the proposition was voted down.

When my colleague, the member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, introduced his bill in June 2013, this was, as I said, a commitment to his constituents, Glen Canning and Leah Parsons. The member did an interview with Tobi Cohen, a journalist here on Parliament Hill, on July 22, 2013. He said at that time that he does not care who gets credit as long as it gets done, and he hoped the government would introduce a piece of legislation, because as we know, the process of passing government legislation is much more swift. The member said, “I hope that they don’t try to wrap too many things into one piece of legislation”.

Maybe we should not be so cynical as to try and predict that this kind of thing is going to happen, but it is the modus operandi here these days. Perhaps I can address some of my other points when I answer questions.

I find this whole bill to be disappointing. I really wish we could have worked together on this.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 6:10 p.m.
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Saint Boniface Manitoba

Conservative

Shelly Glover ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, I was quite surprised at some of the content of the speech by the member across the way. I would take issue with the fact that she claims the Conservatives do not care about these issues. Were we not to care about these issues, we would not put forward a bill that addresses the needs of not only the Parsons and the Todd families, but of police officers who care intimately about solving these kinds of crimes. They do not have the tools required.

It is obvious just by looking at the makeup of our parties that having 12 police officers sitting in a Conservative caucus and no police officers sitting in the NDP caucus that we have some experience in dealing with victims. We are going to continue to push forward for victims.

I am hopeful my colleague will correct the statements made about us not caring about these issues and caring only about an agenda. How on earth can she explain the fact that both of these poor young women's families have agreed 100% with this Conservative government's bill? Not only do those two families agree, but Glen Canning, who was also in committee, agrees 100% with this legislation.

I hope the member will withdraw those really senseless accusations of us not caring about the issues. These are serious and heartfelt.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 6:15 p.m.
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NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I know about my colleague's history as a police officer. We were both elected at the same time and we have a friendship across the aisle. I honour the work she has done as a police officer. She has taken some brave positions in the House based on her experience as a police officer, and I applaud her for those positions.

However, I cannot agree on this bill at all. We look at the fact that the Terrorist Financing Act would be changed. What in the world does that have to do with the Amanda Todd or the Rehtaeh Parsons situation? Absolutely nothing. Terrorist financing, telemarketing and the theft of telecommunication services are in the legislation. If the government could explain to me how this would protect a 17-year-old girl who is having pictures of her spread from cellphone to cellphone maybe I could get there, but the government cannot explain it.

I do not want to get into a war of words around what parents said this or that, but I will point out that Amanda Todd's mother has had some pretty profound issues with the privacy violations that are inherent in the legislation. I would not be so quick to say that the parents are universally in support of this on that point.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 6:15 p.m.
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Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I want to pick up on the member's reference to the size of the legislation.

She made reference to some of the work that one of her colleagues had done. My colleague, the Liberal Party health critic from Vancouver Centre, has done a lot of work with respect to cyberbullying. Technology has advanced and there have been all sorts of abuses.

Our constituents and Canadians from coast to coast to coast have told us that they want to see progressive legislation brought forward to protect the citizenry. There is a need for that.

Would the member not agree that many of the pieces of legislation that were brought forward received virtually unanimous support of all members of the House? It is somewhat disappointing that the goodwill that was there for many of the private members' bills or motions seems to have been lost in the development of this legislation.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 6:15 p.m.
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NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I agree with my colleague's statement about the impact on goodwill. There are only so many times we can go in with our hats and say that we will work together on something and then have the door slammed in our face or have it twisted around somehow. At some point, we stop being willing to work across party lines. I hope we are not there yet, but we are getting there in some ways.

My colleague did bring up a good point about laws needing to be changed. He is absolutely right. They are not modern enough. They are not keeping up with the times.

It is interesting that we are having this debate today when a young man in Halifax just pled guilty to the distribution of child porn images in what the media has called a very famous child porn case. The media cannot identify what that case is, but we all know what it is. It is the case we are talking about today. The media cannot identify the victim because of the publication ban. The parents of this victim have said that it is better for the public good, that it is better for the public to know. They waived the rights of their deceased child because it is for the public good, that it is good that the public know who we are talking about.

There are moments when the laws do not make sense. We in this place listen to people. We hear whether our laws are making sense or not and hopefully we try to make some sense of them. Sometimes that means changing them.

Motions in AmendmentProtecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

September 22nd, 2014 / 6:15 p.m.
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NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to my colleague from Halifax's speech. It is very difficult to say it more eloquently than she has, particularly with her knowledge from the Halifax area of the impact that the tragedy of the Rehtaeh Parsons case had, not only on the family, but also on the whole community, in terms of it developing an understanding of how serious this is and can be.

She also has knowledge of the consequences, not only for individuals who go so far as to be induced to commit suicide, but also the thousands of others who are affected by bullying but not affected to that extent. However, they are still affected in their lives, in their self-esteem, and in their ability to carry on an ordinary life. This is particularly when we talk about cyberbullying.

For the most part, research shows that the ones who are most affected by cyberbullying are young people, particularly young women between the ages of 12 and 14. However, it can affect people at any age. This is a very vulnerable group when it comes to attacks on self-esteem and the kinds of bullying that take place online.

In its most common form, we are talking about cyberbullying as threatening or hostile emails. That affects about three quarters of victims. Hateful comments affect about half of all victims. The research considers 12- to 14-year olds to be most at risk, and girls are affected more than boys.

When we talk about this event, we are talking about vulnerable young women for the most part, and the serious damage to their mental health and well-being. It has negative effects on social and emotional levels, and schooling. It provokes feelings of despair and isolation, depression, and suicidal tendencies. An interesting research result is that victims and bullies are nearly two times more likely to commit suicide.

There are extreme cases. Amanda Todd is one of them. The perpetrator has not yet come to trial, as far as I know, but he was an Internet predator. He committed what appears to be a serious and intentional criminal act. However, if we look at the bullies being twice as likely to commit suicide, we are clearly talking about people with problems of their own who are engaged in this behaviour.

It tells me that this issue has to be dealt with as a criminal matter, because it is one. It is the causing of intentional suffering using the means of the Internet. It also has to be dealt with as a problem that needs another aspect to it, in terms of prevention. We need to deal with it as a criminal matter. The member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour brought that forward very quickly. However, we also have to have some strategy for trying to educate, prevent, and to help people understand what they are doing and how much harm it can cause.

We did have both of those reactions from this side of the House, and in a very timely manner. The member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour brought forth something that was mocked. It was perhaps not mocked, but it was a small bill that dealt squarely and head-on with the problem. It identified the problem and asked all hon. members to bring this forward and deal with it. That was a year and a half ago.

When it wants to adopt a private member's bill that meets political needs, the government will adopt it. It will bring it forward and make sure it is fast-tracked. It could have done the same thing with the bill by the member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, but it did not. If the government had said it did not work or if it did not like the wording, it could easily have been changed. There is a lot of expertise in the Department of Justice.

We have an omnibus bill now. We have our usual “throw in the kitchen sink” bill. The Conservatives will call it one thing—it is called “protecting Canadians from online crime”—but it is really about all kinds of other things. There are all kinds of other things thrown in there about protecting Internet providers or theft of communication services and all sorts of other stuff. It has nothing to do with the issue that we are dealing with.

Instead of taking it, going forward and doing the right thing for once, the government decided to use it, as my colleague from Halifax said, to have another go at this failed bill brought forward by the former minister of public safety who shocked Canadians with his statement and his approach and had to have the bill withdrawn. The elements of that bill are still here, in terms of how they are dealing with the so-called “lawful access” provisions, and I will get to that a little later.

However, I am more interested in the failure of the government to take seriously the plight of victims of cyberbullying and deal with it swiftly and uncontroversially, because it could have been done. That is what the victims, the families, the school teachers and community leaders across the country wanted to see happen. They did not get that from the current government because it has this other agenda, this other way of dealing with things that tries to push forward something along with something that is good and put in all the other things that were failed policies in the past and do not meet the tests of compliance with the general law, do not meet the standards that have been there for many years when it comes to privacy and other events, and obtaining of warrants when it is invading people's policy, listening in on their private conversations, and getting access to their data, which is based upon a warrant.

We have, sadly, a failure to do that.

Then, when the opportunity came to support a motion brought by another colleague of ours on this side calling for a national anti-bullying strategy, what did the government do? It said, “No, we're not going to do that. We're not going to support that.” That would have provided some of the other preventive educational opportunities to support the schools, which are trying to solve some of the problems among the schoolchildren, to help communities deal with this, and perhaps even to help provide education to police officers and police departments. They do not all have all the answers, either, frankly.

While we are glad for the contribution that any member of the House has made in their private life prior to coming here, we do know that a lot of work needs to be done to ensure that police departments across the country have the tools to be able to work with us. That comes by having some legislation in place, not so swiftly as to not be considered, but to take it and say this is something that we have identified as a problem, it is a shock to so many Canadians that this would go on, and let us try to ensure that the problem is solved as quickly as possible.

That brings me to the other part. As I have two minutes to deal with it, I will not repeat all of the things—I cannot obviously—that my colleague, the member for Gatineau, has so ably represented in her argument in the House and her work before the committee in identifying, along with the experts, the failings of the bill, when it comes to invasion of people's privacy, the use of standards such as reasonable suspicion instead of reasonable and probable grounds to believe as a standard for obtaining a warrant. That is something that experts pointed out, that my colleague from Gatineau pointed out. She has done a wonderful job in presenting numerous and reasonable amendments to that part of the bill, all of which were rejected by the other side.

I do not think Canadians are surprised anymore when they hear that bills go to a committee of reasonable responsible people, experts come and give their opinions as to what needs to be done to make it acceptable, those amendments are put forward and not a single one, not one reasonable amendment that would fix the bill, was adopted. However, we are used to that, and I think Canadians are used to the fact that the current government has its own ideas about things and is not prepared to listen to anyone else. It wants to ensure that it has things its own way.

That is what is wrong with the bill. We would have loved to be able to be here and have a non-contentious bill that would solve the problem and hopefully save some lives. This is a matter of life and death.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

April 28th, 2014 / 12:10 p.m.
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Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak about Bill C-13, the protecting Canadians from online crime act, which would update the Criminal Code to respond to the pernicious issue of cyberbullying. Bill C-13 achieves this goal by proposing new criminal offences of distribution of intimate images without the consent of the persons depicted.

Further, to ensure that police are properly equipped to investigate and enforce the proposed new offences and other criminal offences that involve the use of the Internet or that leave behind electronic evidence, the bill also proposes to modernize the Criminal Code's investigative tools. Similar modernization updates are being done to the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act and the Competition Act to ensure that they remain responsive and relevant to the requirements of modern technology.

The bill has received considerable attention in the media, including for the proposed amendments to the investigative tools. I would like to focus my remarks on those elements of Bill C-13 that deal with the investigative tools amendments.

It is not uncommon to hear people talking about how technology has changed their lives. The Internet allows us to book airline tickets from the comfort of our homes, at any time of day or night. GPS systems allow us to get from Montreal to Saskatoon without a road map and without stopping to ask for directions. It has also changed the way that we communicate with each other. Mobile phones keep us connected to each other no matter where we are, and text messaging has made communications so fast and cheap that it is easy to stay in touch with people halfway around the world.

Canadians are world leaders when it comes to using the Internet. In 2012, 83% of Canadians over the age of 16 used the Internet in their personal lives, and that number continues to rise. The possibilities and opportunities that these technologies open up for us are nothing short of incredible. However, just as these technologies can be used to bring people together, they can be used for nefarious ends. Technology can facilitate a wide range of criminal behaviour, including the sexual exploitation of children, identity fraud and, as we have seen most recently, serious forms of cyberbullying.

Technology has also introduced us to new crimes that simply did not exist before there were computers. Crimes like computer hacking and denial of service attacks have been added to the criminal justice lexicon.

Technology has changed the types of evidence that are left behind after a crime has been committed. Previously, a telephone number may have revealed the identity of a suspect; this information may now be found in the transmission data of an email. Conspiracies can be created in online chat rooms, and people even speak of electronic fingerprints.

It is time to update the offences in the Criminal Code to reflect these new ways of committing old crimes, as is the case when we think about bullying versus cyberbullying. The amendments in Bill C-13 would update the investigative powers in the Criminal Code and the Competition Act to ensure that investigators have the tools they need to deal with the evidence in this new technological environment.

Some of the proposed Criminal Code modernization amendments found in Bill C-13 would update existing offences, while some of them would update existing investigative tools or create new ones.

With regard to the existing Criminal Code offences, Bill C-13 proposes to update the crimes of conveying false information, indecent communications, and harassing telephone calls found in section 372. Currently these three offences contain language related to outdated technologies, such as the telephone and telegraph. With the proposed amendments, these same acts would be punishable when committed using email, text messaging, or any means of telecommunications.

As much of the prohibited conduct in section 372 is currently relevant to traditional bullying, for example, repeated and harassing phone calls, the proposed amendments would ensure that these offences are also responsive to cyberbullying.

Further, the bill proposes minor updates to other Criminal Code offences. The amendments are part of the government's efforts to modernize the Criminal Code as it relates to new technologies. For example, amendments to the offence of possession of a device to obtain telecommunications services are also being made to another possession offence in the Criminal Code in relation to the possession of computer hacking tools. These amendments make the two similar provisions consistent with each other and, in an effort to increase transparency, update them to reflect the current jurisprudence in the areas that hold that a device includes a computer program.

On this particular issue, it has been very wrongly reported in the media that Bill C-13 proposes to criminalize the theft of cable signals. In fact, the theft of cable signals has been in the Criminal Code since 1960.

As to Bill C-13's proposed modernization of investigative tools, these amendments are designed to target electronic devices and tailored to ensure minimal intrusion on privacy and civil liberties.

There has been some confusion about some of the investigative tools included in the bill. I hope to dispel some of these myths today as I explain the rationale and the reasoning behind these necessary changes to the criminal law.

First, the bill proposes two new tools aimed at preserving volatile electronic evidence. They are called preservation demand and preservation orders. I would like to emphasize that preservation should not be confused with data retention schemes.

Nothing in this legislation would require Internet service providers to collect everyone's information and keep it on hand indefinitely. A preservation demand or order would require a person or a business that is not the target of the investigation to preserve a prescribed set of computer data, for example, an intimate image found on a website. The data could be preserved only for a limited amount of time in association with a specific investigation.

A good way to think of this particular tool is as a “do not delete” order; it simply asks the person to preserve or save the information already in his or her possession for a limited period of time. This tool is essential to enable the police to conduct effective investigations in the area where crucial evidence can be deleted with a simple keystroke.

The preservation demand or preservation order would provide the police with enough time to go to a judge and get the warrants or orders needed to obtain the highly volatile evidence. The police can do this without fear that the data they need will be lost or deleted, either intentionally or inadvertently as a matter of regular business practices, during the period that it takes to obtain a warrant or production order for that data.

The duration of the preservation order would be limited to 21 days for domestic investigations and 90 days for international ones. This means that if a police officer does not get the court order or a warrant obtained for the preserved data before the demand expires, that data would not be retained in the ordinary course of business and would be destroyed. The data would not be provided to the police without a court order or warrant.

If the duration of the preservation order needs to be extended, the police would have to return to a judge or justice to obtain a preservation order. The police would then be given up to 90 days to get the production order or a warrant to obtain the data that has been preserved. If the police do not get the production order or the warrant by the time the preservation order expires, the person in possession of the preserved data is required to destroy it, unless his or her business practices otherwise require that it be retained. This means that only specific computer data would be preserved under this scheme for a limited period of time and only for the purpose of an investigation.

An even more fundamental privacy safeguard of the scheme is that the computer data that would not otherwise be kept by a business would be destroyed as soon as it is no longer needed for an investigation.

These safeguards exemplify our efforts to respect privacy throughout the bill, and to respect privacy under Canadian law.

In addition to the preservation scheme, the bill proposes to update the existing production order regime. A production order is a judicial order that requires third parties, such as a bank, to provide the police with documents containing data in connection with an investigation. This is in contrast to a search warrant that would also be issued judicially but would allow the police to search for the material themselves.

There are currently two types of production orders in the Criminal Code. These are production orders for a very particular type of basic financial information, such as the status and type of bank account, as well as the more general production order for any type of data that might be needed to conduct an investigation.

Often the requirements of an investigation are quite targeted, and general production orders could provide the police with a lot more information than they require in certain circumstances. In those cases, it makes sense to have specific tools, such as a financial data production order, that would allow the police to obtain the specific data they are looking for and that are designed to reflect the expected privacy associated with that particular type of data.

One way of thinking about this kind of tailoring is as privacy with precision. Instead of using one big tool for every problem, we would be providing several tools that are more precisely suited to specific types of problems.

The bill proposes to retain two existing categories of production orders already found in the existing Criminal Code. In addition, it is proposing three more to deal with specific types of data associated with modern technology.

In particular, Bill C-13 proposes to create production orders for historic tracking data, which would permit police to determine, for example, the pattern of bank card usage for a period of time; historic data related to the routing of telecommunications, such as the time an email was sent, and to which address, which would be known as transmission data; and historic data designed to trace specific communications.

The last type of production order would be a very important tool to address the complexities of modern communication, as it would allow the police to trace the origin of communications that may have gone through several different service providers before it reached its destination.

Other changes that are being proposed in Bill C-13 would impact the existing tracking warrant provisions. This is different from the production order for tracking data which provides information about past movements.

Police have been able to get judicially authorization tracking warrants for over 20 years, which permit them to track the whereabouts of a person in real time. As one can imagine, technology has changed a lot in that time. Where police were once able to track people with limited accuracy, there are now technologies that can track objects much more precisely and closely.

Bill C-13 proposes to split the existing tracking warrant provisions into two types of warrants: one for tracking people, and one for tracking the location of a transaction or the movement of such things as a car.

The warrant for tracking things would continue to be available on the standard of reasonable grounds to suspect, like the existing tracking warrant provision. However, this legislation proposes to increase the threshold necessary to get a tracking warrant in the situation where people would be tracked. This would mean that when police officers apply to the judge or justice for a warrant to do this more continuous and accurate type of tracking, the officer would have to meet a higher test to convince the judge that the tracking warrant is needed.

This is a dual approach, which would allow the police to retain the efficiency of the lower threshold warrant while increasing the privacy protections in situations where the greater privacy interests are at play.

Another warrant provision which Bill C-13 is proposing to update is currently known as the number recorder warrant. This permits the police to monitor the phone numbers dialed from a particular telephone and the numbers which call a particular telephone.

Although it is true that some of us still use traditional telephones to communicate, few old-fashioned dialing mechanisms are still in use. An increasing number of Canadians are using smart phones, text messaging, email, and other high-tech methods to communicate. Police need to be able to capture the routing information that these new technologies produce, the same way that we can currently capture the phone numbers under existing warrants. The proposed transmission data recorder warrant and the new production order for transmission data would allow police to do just that.

Where police could previously only get the phone number of someone who was dialing, they would now be able to get parallel updated forms of communication destination information like email addresses as well. This would provide for much-needed modernization in this area, since technology has moved well beyond telephone dialing.

I think it is important to emphasize that this warrant would retain the Criminal Code's existing privacy protections. Neither the warrant nor the production order would allow police to obtain the content of people's emails, text messages, or phone calls. They would not even get the subject line of emails using this warrant. In essence, Bill C-13 would permit police to get information about where a communication is coming from or where it is going to. That is the only kind of information they are going to get with this warrant and production order.

Besides these new and improved investigative tools, Bill C-13 also proposes to clarify and safeguard the common law powers of police. Section 487.014 would be amended to remove the requirement for police to be administering or enforcing an act of Parliament before they can ask for information. The current wording has been creating problems for the police in performing everyday duties, such as getting information for the purpose of notifying a next of kin.

There has been some concern about this amendment removing the limits on what police can ask of persons who voluntarily provide information. Let me be clear. The common law powers of the police are rooted in legitimate police business, which is one limit. Further, the existing restrictions on the provider of the information would remain. They can only provide information that they are not otherwise prohibited by law from disclosing. Indeed, providers of information will be governed by federal or provincial privacy legislation that will restrict the disclosure of personal information. To be clear, the primary purpose of this provision is to ensure that police do not need a production order every time they want to ask a question.

These amendments are the result of extensive consultations, both on the elements relating to the proposed new offence of non-consensual distribution of intimate images and on the modernization of investigative tools.

The proposals in Bill C-13 were recommended in recent federal, provincial, territorial reports on the issue on cyberbullying and non-consensual distribution of intimate images, which was released in July 2013 and supported by the federal, provincial, territorial ministers in November 2013.

The report strongly recommends both the proposed new offences and the reintroduction of the elements related to the modernization of investigative tools. The report also recommends that the enactment of new offences be supported by updated investigative tools.

Bill C-13 would provide police with a set of tools which would allow them to be effective and efficient in conducting a complex investigation in the modern world. This would apply to serious forms of cyberbullying, including the proposed new offence of non-consensual distribution of intimate images as well, or other offences that occurred in cases of cyberbullying, such as criminal harassment or extortion.

Our government is committed to combatting cybercrime in all forms. This bill is a necessary addition to the legislative tool kit.

When we look at the legislation, it is important that we really highlight the fact of what is going on. The reality is technology has changed, the environment in which our police services work in has changed, and they need modernization of the tools so they can go about doing the job they have been asked to do for many years.

We need to ensure they have access to the tools and the information, so we can still protect our families and our loved ones when they are victims of cyberbullying or cyber crime. When we see situations where someone is trying to entice someone to do something wrong, or when we see situations where people are being bullied or harassed, we will have the tools to prevent that from leading to something more serious.

It is important that we see proper legislation move forward. It is very important that we balance the privacy rights of the individuals with the rights of the police and the rights of the victim. The way this legislation is drafted, we have done just that. We will allow the data to be retained, but at the same time the police officers involved will have to receive the warrant before they can use the data. That is relevant and it makes a lot of common sense. I think a lot of Canadians would understand that.

I just hope that all members appreciate the importance of this bill. It is very important that we modernize our laws and our abilities to take advantage of new technologies as they become available, and to take on new criminal activities that are using the new technologies, ensuring we have the tools for our police officers to ensure these new technologies are not abused but are used for what they were originally intended, for public good.

I hope all members of the House will support the need for modern tools for modern times. Bill C-13 would provide just that. I look forward to questions.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

April 28th, 2014 / 12:25 p.m.
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NDP

Dany Morin NDP Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the NDP will be voting in favour of this bill, because it is very similar to the bill introduced by my colleague from Nova Scotia. However, I find the lack of prevention included in the bill really unfortunate.

I understand that the government wanted to focus on criminalization, but could the bill not have been improved by placing greater emphasis on prevention, as well as criminalization?

The House of Commons wants to protect as many young people as possible from the scourge of bullying, and right now, I do not see much in the way of prevention in this bill.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

April 28th, 2014 / 12:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, the member brings up a good point. The bill is one part of the equation. I am sure the Minister of Justice and others would agree with this, but I do not want to speak on their behalf.

If we look at this, it is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to cyberbullying. Education as well as the exact things the member is looking for are very important things that we should be considering as we debate the bill through committee.

The reality is we need to ensure we put the tools in place for the police forces so they have the ability to take on these criminals. That does not mean this is the end all and be all. This does not solve what we are looking at; it is part of the puzzle to solve the equation.

Education and other factors need to be looked at. We have to ensure that our kids are kept safe. Not only that, we have to ensure that our kids understand the consequences of their actions when they send text messages or images. They need to understand there are consequences, and that they could be hurting someone when they make that anonymous note in an email, text or tweet. Their actions will have consequences and will impact someone's life. Just because we are not looking at them, we should not think it is not happening.

It is very important that this be a part of many things to tackle cyberbullying.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

April 28th, 2014 / 12:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for outlining some of the effects of Bill C-13 and how it would help to modernize the tools available to our police forces to investigate, to actually reflect the fact that there are many changes in modern technology.

A number of years ago I introduced a private member's motion in the House, Motion No. 388, which sought to clarify an offence in the Criminal Code of encouraging someone to die by suicide. While it currently is an offence in the Criminal Code, it was not clear in the code as to whether that included telecommunications and Internet technology. Motion No. 388, which passed unanimously in the House, called on government to implement some of those changes.

I was pleased to note that in the comments made by my colleague and also some comments I was able to read that the bill would actually give police better tools to track and trace telecommunications, their origins and destinations. Could my colleague highlight how the bill would make it impossible for those who would presume to hide behind the anonymity of the Internet to continue to do that kind of devious work?

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

April 28th, 2014 / 12:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is a disgusting act to go online to convince somebody to take his or her own life. I think everybody in the House would agree with my colleague that his motion was an honourable one, a motion that definitely needed to come forward. I hope to see it enacted as we move forward.

One of the important things we are seeing in this, and which he highlighted in his question, is the fact that we are giving police the tools to actually trace where information comes from and who is doing this type of stuff. It is not being done to just one person; it is being done to multiple people. It is a sickness that needs to be dealt with. I call it a sickness because I do not know what else to call it. It is very disgusting when someone takes on the role of convincing somebody else to take his or her own life.

Having said that, we need to ensure we have balance. We need to ensure we preserve people's rights, dignity and privacy, and we want to ensure that exists. We also want to ensure that when we come across a situation where this is happening, police officers can have the data preserved so they can get court orders and warrants to do the proper investigation. There has to be a proper process put in place, which has been done in Bill C-13.

I look forward to seeing what impact these changes would have and that hopefully this bill would solve the issues involved in cyberbullying and the people who are disgusting enough to try to convince somebody else to commit suicide.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

April 28th, 2014 / 12:30 p.m.
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NDP

Mylène Freeman NDP Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, for me this issue is very important. As a young woman, I have grown up with a lot of technology around and have learned to be wary over the years. Certainly young people need to know how to protect themselves, et cetera.

My colleague from Chicoutimi—Le Fjord raised the importance of preventive measures. He presented a motion on a national strategy to prevent and end bullying. Unfortunately, the Conservatives voted against that. I would like to know why my colleague voted against that and believed it was not a good way forward to prevent bullying.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

April 28th, 2014 / 12:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, preventive measures are very important, which I think we would all agree on, but we also have to ensure we put a process in the bill, which we have done, that allows individual privacy to be protected, data to be retained and preserved, and a court order to be garnered before existing data is used. Police officers cannot simply say that they are going to start an investigation and grab all the information just for information sake. They actually have to ask for it to be preserved. They have to go the court to seek the appropriate legal warrant to use the data and then proceed with the criminal investigation. That is why Bill C-13 is so much better than what was proposed by the opposition.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

April 28th, 2014 / 12:35 p.m.
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NDP

Dany Morin NDP Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the hon. Conservative member opposite mentioned that the government's approach was better than the approach taken in the two bills introduced by the opposition, the NDP.

Based on my motion calling for a national bullying prevention strategy, we could have tackled many different kinds of cyberbullying. The Conservative bill deals only with sharing intimate photographs without people's consent. Many young people in Canada are being bullied in ways that do not include nude pictures being passed around. This can include hateful or threatening comments. Unfortunately, the government bill does not cover that.

Not only does the Conservative bill not meet Canadians' expectations, but it covers only one small part of the equation of cyberbullying.

Given what I just said, how can my Conservative colleague say that the NDP approach, which was more comprehensive, was not as good as the government's approach, which covers only the sharing of intimate photographs without consent?

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

April 28th, 2014 / 12:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is very important that we look at what we are trying to achieve here. We are not trying to get into partisan politics. We are not trying to say that ours is better than theirs, or theirs is better than ours. What we are really trying to do is focus on the fact people out there are being cyberbullied.

There is a process that needs to be put in place. There are tools available to the police services that they are not able to utilize. This bill would allow them to be utilized. It would also take on the fact that privacy would have to be respected. The bill would put in place a process to not only protect the data, but to ensure that the RCMP or the police services involved would have to get the legal warrant before they could continue on with their investigation.

The bill would safeguard privacy and would put in place tools so police forces could be effective in doing their job. These are tools that the police, at this point in time, are unable to use.

I am not going to get into partisan politics on which bill is better or who could do this better. I look forward to the debate at committee, because it is a great place for all of that to be discussed. There might be some better ideas that need to be added.

The reality is that this is a really good step. This proposed bill will save lives. It will address cyberbullying. It will address intimate images being used in cyberbullying attacks. I hope the bill will also address the disgusting act of convincing somebody to commit suicide over the Internet. It is a step in the right direction. Not only that, it is part of the bigger picture and the bigger puzzle. Education and other items of knowledge need to be passed to our kids so they understand exactly what they are doing when they send that text message or that email.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

April 28th, 2014 / 12:35 p.m.
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NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, I must start by thanking my NDP colleagues for allowing me to speak on Bill C-13 today, because as a result of the application of time allocation for what I think was the 58th time, many of my colleagues will not have an opportunity to speak on this bill. Despite all of my colleagues obviously being New Democrats, we are a very diverse caucus with different experiences, and we represent different kinds of ridings here in the House of Commons.

I have risen to speak in favour of Bill C-13, but I do so with some reservations.

Unfortunately, the bill is, in effect, yet another omnibus bill that mixes together many other issues with the one that should have been central—that is, bullying and cyberbullying. Instead we have a rather mixed bag of provisions instead of a focused response to the urgent challenges of bullying and cyberbullying.

Rather than trying to address all the issues in the bill, I want to focus my remarks today on two aspects: first, the need for effective action to combat bullying; second, the proposed amendment to the hate crime section of the Criminal Code which, surprisingly, also appears in the bill in clause 12.

Since 2011, we in this House have had several opportunities to act on the issues of bullying and cyberbullying, but unfortunately we have made little progress. Nearly 18 months ago my colleague, the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, put forward a motion, Motion No. 385, which called upon the federal government to develop a national strategy with concrete steps to combat bullying. Unfortunately, the Conservatives voted down the motion, dismissing it as a call for further study, when in fact it was a call for leadership from the federal government in the fight against bullying and cyberbullying.

Last summer, on June 17, the member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour introduced a private member's bill, Bill C-540, which would amend the Criminal Code in order to make the non-consensual making or distribution of intimate images a criminal offence. At that time, we asked the government to expedite passage of the bill in order to try to prevent further tragedies like the suicide of Rehtaeh Parsons, which took place as a result of cyberbullying. Unfortunately, the government preferred to wait for its own bill, which has delayed action on this critical issue for nearly a year.

What we have before us now in Bill C-13 is much narrower than a strategy to combat cyberbullying, though it does have some provisions similar to those the member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour proposed many months ago.

We are, of course, supporting the bill going to committee, precisely because some legislative action against cyberbullying is necessary, but again I want to emphasize that focusing on bullying after the fact can only be part of the solution.

Today I want to reiterate two points I made when speaking 18 months ago in support of our motion for a national anti-bullying strategy. They relate to the pervasiveness of bullying in our society and to its amplification by the existence of new technologies.

The prevalence and pervasiveness of bullying in Canada is truly shocking. In fact, bullying is happening around us all the time. In one analysis of Toronto-area schools, it was found that a student is bullied every seven seconds.

Egale Canada conducted a survey of homophobia and transphobia in schools across Canada. It found that 74% of transidentified students, 55% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual students, and 26% of non-LGBTQ students reported being verbally harassed. More than half of those reported that this bullying occurred on a daily or weekly basis.

One UBC study of students in grades 8 to 10 found that 64% of students reported they had been bullied. Even more saddening for me is their acceptance of that inevitability, because 64% of these same students said they found bullying to be a normal part of school life.

People are bullied for an almost infinite number of reasons, but almost all of those reasons are connected to hostility toward deviation from the perceived norm: for being too short, too tall, too fat, too thin; for where they were born, the colour of their skin, the language they speak at home; for having an accent, for the clothes they wear, for sexual orientation, for their gender, for their gender presentation, for what they are able to afford. The list goes on and on, but the result is always the same: creating a sense of exclusion for the victims of bullying.

As technology has advanced, so has the means of bullying, with social networking, smart phones, and the Internet becoming second nature to people in Canada, especially young people. So has utilizing these resources for bullying. As a result, bullying has become intensified and its impacts more widely distributed.

Bullying is no longer a problem that only happens at school, on the school bus, or on the playground. It is no longer just a workplace problem. It can now follow victims home and invade their lives 24 hours a day each and every day of the year.

The consequences of bullying and the effects of bullying need to be taken seriously. We all know that the impacts of bullying on youth can be drastic and long-lasting. Young people who are bullied are more likely to face depression. It is estimated that male victims of bullying are five times more likely, and females victims three times more likely, to be depressed than their non-bullied classmates.

People who are victims of bullying are more susceptible to low self-esteem and are more likely to suffer from anxiety and illnesses. Young people who are bullied are more likely to engage in substance abuse and self-harm, and in recent years we have seen the tragic rise in the trend toward youth bullycide. The list of those young people who have taken their own lives as a result of bullying is already too long, and unfortunately continues to grow.

The costs of bullying are found not just on its impact on individuals. Bullying has wider social costs. One study has found that of elementary school bullies, one in four will have a criminal record by the time they are 30 years old.

We can and must move beyond our platitudes and expressions of concern about bullying and not limit our responses only to actions taken after the damage has already been done.

We all know that these bullying behaviours are learned. People are not born with hearts full of hate. At the root of our response to bullying must be efforts to build a more open and accepting society. If there was a real intolerance for discrimination and hate, then bullying clearly would not be so pervasive.

We could make a good start by calling bullying what it really is. We need to recognize that most bullying is rooted in sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and classism. These are serious prejudices that most Canadians find unacceptable in theory, but for some reason they are deemed acceptable when they are expressed in the form of bullying.

The need for a broad strategy as well as for anti-bullying legislation is so obvious. Unfortunately, what we find in the rest of the bill is a mixed bag of only tangentially related provisions, some with no clear connection to the problem at all.

Some things in the bill have been brought forward from the previously failed Bill C-30, but fortunately in this version it looks as if the important principle of judicial oversight of police access to Internet communications may be preserved. I look forward to hearing from Canadians about this aspect again when the bill reaches committee.

One surprise in Bill C-13 was the inclusion of clause 12. This section proposes the addition of some important provisions to the hate crime section of the Criminal Code. I am at a loss to explain why this proposal has suddenly appeared in the bill, but I think it is a positive thing.

Bill C-13 suggests adding national origins, age, sex, and mental or physical disability to the existing provisions of the hate crime section of the Criminal Code. While the connection to the other aspect of the bill is not immediately obvious, as I said, I do believe this is a good thing, but what is missing from this section is gender identity. This House has twice voted in favour of adding gender identity to the hate crime section of the Criminal Code, yet it is not included in clause 12 of the bill.

My own private member's bill, Bill C-279, is still stuck in the Senate more than a year after being passed in this House, and while I remain hopeful it will be adopted soon, there is an obvious potential problem in the conflict between Bill C-13 and my own private member's bill. Unfortunately, if the Senate does pass Bill C-279, clause 12 of Bill C-13 would inadvertently undo half that progress. Bill C-13 in its present form would actually remove gender identity from the hate crime section of the Criminal Code if my private member's bill has already passed, so when we get to committee, we will be having a serious discussion about an amendment to add gender identity to fix this omission.

It was more than three years ago that this House, in a minority Parliament, voted to add gender identity to the hate crime section of the Criminal Code, and, as I said, more than a year ago we voted to do that in my own private member's bill, so I am hoping that this proposed amendment to the hate crime section was inadvertent in its omission of gender identity and that this omission can be fixed in committee.

Let me return to what I believe is the important question that should be at the centre of Bill C-13, which is that there is an urgent need for Parliament to provide national leadership in the fight against bullying.

Despite our concerns about the bill being an omnibus bill and despite many of the other things stuffed into Bill C-13, we are supporting sending the bill to committee so that we can continue the dialogue on the important issue of bullying and cyberbullying.

What is of concern to me, as I mentioned at the outset, is the attitude that has become prevalent on the other side of the House that when three or four members have spoken, it is time to end debate. The very root of the word “Parliament” means a place where we can talk about the important national issues.

I feel it is a great privilege to stand here and speak to Bill C-13 as a man who comes from the LGBTQ community, which suffers inordinately from bullying. I think I bring a perspective somewhat different from that of some other members of the House. As someone from Vancouver Island, where we have a lot of early adapters of new technology, I know we see huge problems of bullying and cyberbullying in local schools. Frankly, teachers are at their wits' end in trying to find ways to deal effectively with it.

One thing that has been common in the responses I have received is a warning that we not look simply to criminal sanctions for youth to combat cyberbullying and that criminalizing bullying for young people could in fact be a serious problem.

I come back to the idea that we cannot just focus on what happens after the bullying. We have to provide national leadership in coming up with ways to attack this problem before the damage actually takes place. Some may say that is not a federal responsibility, but it is in the sense that when bullying and cyberbullying reach their most vicious levels, they often result in criminal acts. Since the Criminal Code is the responsibility of this federal Parliament, then we do have a responsibility for crime prevention. I would argue very strongly that a national strategy to prevent bullying and cyberbullying is a matter of crime prevention.

On the other side of the House we hear a lot of discussion about victims. We share the concern for victims in Canadian society, but how can we do our best job in addressing the needs of victims? We can do that by preventing victimization. Once again, there is a responsibility for the House to look at what we can do to make sure that victims are not created through bullying and cyberbullying.

When we get to committee, I would ask members on the other side to keep an open mind about those other things that we can do. We do not need just to find criminal sanctions, although there are some things here that I agree are necessary and that will be useful in the most extreme cases, but there are many more things we can do to make this the Canada that we all love and believe is a great place that includes a space for all Canadians.

Unfortunately, the evidence of bullying and cyberbullying shows that is not always the case. Whether we are talking about immigrant communities and their desire to contribute to Canada fully or whether we are talking about the LGBTQ community and our desire to be accepted in Canadian society and play our role very fully or whether we are talking about those with disabilities who are often sidelined in our society, we have to take all the measures that we can to make our country more inclusive and make it one we can all be even prouder of than we are now.

How do we do that? I come back to this argument again and again. We put forward a motion calling for a national strategy to combat bullying and cyberbullying, and this is where Bill C-13 falls short. It has measures looking at what we can do after the fact to investigate criminal cases of bullying. It has measures to help apprehend those people who ultimately have performed criminal acts when it comes to bullying, but it does not have measures that would help reduce this problem in our society.

I will return to my concern over Bill C-279.

It is a difficult situation for some people to understand. My bill should have already passed through the Senate and should already be law. We now have a situation in which transgendered Canadians are subject to hate crimes and bullying and are the group most subject to violence of all groups in our society. If that private member's bill—which passed the House a year ago, as I said several times today—had already been passed, we would have some of the tools we need to combat the epidemic of violence against transgendered people in Canada.

Canada is not alone. Transgendered people are the most subject to violence everywhere around the world. I remain very sad that the Senate has taken so long to get down to business on passing Bill C-279. It held hearings and heard witnesses a year ago in June at the human rights committee. It essentially finished the process of examining the bill and found it acceptable; then, because of prorogation, the process had to start over.

I am at a loss to see why the bill has to go back to another committee, this time to a legislative and constitutional affairs committee. We have had the promise from the senators that they will take up the bill in committee soon; however, that promise was made in February and we are now in April.

I am emphasizing this in Bill C-13 because this is where the two bills come together: in clause 12 and those amendments to the hate crimes section of the Criminal Code that are in this bill but fail to include gender identity. We have this unfortunate grinding of gears between the two Houses here. If in committee we are able to add gender identity to Bill C-13, that would be a good thing, because as a government bill it would make its way through the Senate expeditiously. I have now begun to fear that Bill C-279 will face the same fate as the previous bill on transgender rights and that it will die in the Senate without action before the next election. If we can get half a loaf here in Bill C-13, I am prepared to work for that. I look for support from the other side in correcting what I hope was an inadvertent omission of gender identity from those amendments that are in clause 12.

When we go back to our ridings when Bill C-13 is in committee, I know that all of us will hear from members of our communities about the urgency of what we are doing. And I know we will hear again from the Conservatives about the urgency. However, I have to emphasize that we have had many opportunities since 2011 to actually take action on what I call “remedial actions”, those things that take place after the fact. Again, I remain disappointed that the Conservatives would not expedite the private member's bill from the member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, and we could have already had the non-consensual distribution of sexual images in the Criminal Code by this time. We would not still be waiting for that to happen. Of course, we could have already had a committee that had prepared a national strategy with concrete actions to combat bullying and cyberbullying.

As we near the summer recess, I am hoping Bill C-13 will actually get through, but then it also would face the hurdle of the Senate. Would the Senate deal expeditiously with this bill? Would it actually get these provisions passed in a timely manner? I can only hope that it would, but the irony is that Bill C-13 would go to the Constitution and legal affairs committee of the Senate where my private member's bill is also supposed to be going. The chances of both getting through before we get to summer seems kind of small. We have both the broader group of all those who face bullying and the narrower group of those trans Canadians who are depending on the Senate to take effective action soon. However, that just does not seem to be the way the Senate proceeds.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

April 28th, 2014 / 12:55 p.m.
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NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, as one of my colleagues said, it is a mystery to me.

We had Amnesty International provide leadership, in creating a letter from 100 civil society organizations, which was sent to the Senate earlier this year, asking it to take urgent action on Bill C-279. Within two days, there was a response saying that it would act immediately and nothing has happened. So obviously the sense of what “immediate” means in the Senate and in this House is quite different.

My plea with senators today is to deal with Bill C-279 expeditiously and also, when this bill gets to them, as I am sure it will before we recess for the summer, to also deal with Bill C-13 expeditiously. I have to say that I am not optimistic that this will actually happen.

In conclusion, let me say I am proud to stand in this House today and speak to Bill C-13. It does contain things that we need to take action on, but, and there is always this unfortunate “but” when it comes to legislation from the current government, too many things have been stuffed into the same bill and so we are going to have to have some serious discussions in committee about some of the other things that have been tacked on to this bill. One of those is something I am very interested in and that is the question of gender identity in the hate crimes section of the Criminal Code.

I hope we will have co-operation in committee and that we will be able to get that amendment made, get Bill C-13 through this House, and take at least some limited action against bullying and cyberbullying before we recess for the summer.

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April 28th, 2014 / 12:55 p.m.
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Liberal

Ted Hsu Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca is right that this bill is a bit of an omnibus bill. It covers everything from terrorism to telemarketing, cable stealing and hate speech.

I wonder if the member, who is very rightly concerned about the overlap between this bill and his private member's bill, Bill C-279, which is stuck in the Senate, thinks that splitting off all the provisions that relate to cyberbullying into a separate bill, which would allow the committee to leave aside examining the other parts of the bill, would be a better strategy to at least pass part of the bill and make sure it is coordinated with his own private member's bill and get it through the Senate before we rise for the summer.

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April 28th, 2014 / 12:55 p.m.
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NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, as usual, the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands takes a reasonable approach to these matters.

I would point out that when Bill C-13 was introduced, on this side we offered exactly what the member suggested. We told the government we were prepared to take out those urgent matters dealing with cyberbullying, have them in a separate bill, and pass them expeditiously through the House. It rejected that approach to doing so. Therefore, while I take seriously that the government wants this action to happen, I remain concerned that at each turn there is more and more delay on things that could have been done much earlier in the House.

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April 28th, 2014 / 12:55 p.m.
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NDP

Laurin Liu NDP Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate my colleague on the tireless work he does on behalf of transgendered people.

I feel it is important to mention during this debate that the NDP has tabled bullying prevention measures. I would like to mention the initiative of my colleague from Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, who introduced Bill C-540, as well as the work done by my colleague from Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, who moved Motion No. 385 to create a national bullying prevention strategy.

We asked the Conservatives to work with us but, unfortunately, they played petty politics with this very important issue.

As my colleague mentioned, the government often uses its bills to impose measures that have nothing to do with the bill's objective. We have seen the same thing with omnibus bills.

Could my colleague explain the link between cyberbullying and the fact that this bill includes a two-year sentence for stealing cable signals?

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April 28th, 2014 / 1 p.m.
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NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, I did not suggest that there be theft of cable signals in this bill. It is a good example of this tendency to stuff a bunch of other things into a bill which is called the prevention of cybercrime as kind of a catch-all title for the bill. Therefore, it makes it very difficult for us as members of Parliament to debate and vote on bills when the government has a bunch of unrelated things put into the same bill.

As I have mentioned, in this case we have seen bills that were dropped, such as Bill C-30, brought back into this bill, admittedly in a better form. However, I am not sure what that has to do with bullying or cyberbullying.

There have been a lot of things mixed together in this bill, which makes it difficult for us to debate and make decisions on this. When we get to committee, perhaps there will be some opportunity to narrow the focus of the bill or improve the focus of the bill. I certainly hope that is the case.

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April 28th, 2014 / 1 p.m.
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NDP

Kennedy Stewart NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague, who spoke so well, talks about the privilege of speaking here today. I have to say I do feel privileged as well on this issue, especially with respect to the comments regarding the LGBTQ community. My riding of Burnaby—Douglas was home to the great Svend Robinson, who was the first openly gay MP, and Bill Siksay, who was the tireless champion of the LGBTQ community. Now I have the privilege of sitting beside my friend, who is our critic for this area and who I would say is probably the foremost champion of LGBTQ community issues in the House. I thank him for his work. I was struck by his comments about the absence of transgender rights in this bill and was wondering if he cared to comment on that more and what we should do to fix that in committee.

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April 28th, 2014 / 1 p.m.
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NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his kind comments. It is a privilege to share a desk with him here in the House of Commons. I get the benefit of his very sharp sense of humour, which does not always appear through the microphones.

I thank him for his kind words. Like all members of the NDP caucus, he has been a firm supporter of LGBTQ rights, and I am very proud to be the spokesperson for our party. It is the only party that has a spokesperson for LGBTQ rights in the House of Commons.

I guess that I am feeling charitable today. I am going to say that I hope that the omission of gender identity from the additions to the hate crimes section was inadvertent. Sometimes, we make Machiavellian conclusions about what is happening in the House when they are not really deserved. I am just not sure.

If we were going to amend that section and the House has already pronounced twice on the issue, it would seem to be obvious then that gender identity should have gone into clause 12 of Bill C-13. When we get to committee, we will certainly be suggesting that it be dealt with at the committee stage.

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April 28th, 2014 / 1 p.m.
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NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is my turn to thank my colleague for the work he is doing on bullying and to also thank my colleagues from Chicoutimi—Le Fjord and Dartmouth—Cole Harbour. They are part of a group of MPs who have worked very hard on this issue over the past few years.

The specific question I have is about one of the subjects the member alluded to during his speech, namely the fact that new technologies sometimes make bullying harder on young people. Bullying used to happen in the schoolyard and, once students were out of the yard, there were far fewer ways to connect with young people than there are today.

Why is it important that we, as legislators, adjust our laws to these new technologies, which make it possible to engage in other types of bullying?

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April 28th, 2014 / 1:05 p.m.
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NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, the member's question reminded me of my own experience, which was of course back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was in elementary school. I lived in a rural area, and the bus ride home was hell for me because I was perceived, even at that age, to be insufficiently masculine. As a result, I faced severe bullying on the school bus each and every day. I have to say that I did not face it in the classroom at school and, of course, I did not face it at home. I was literally terrorized by the bus ride every day, and my parents had a hard time understanding why I begged them to drive me to school and begged my grandparents to take me to school. I never wanted to ride the bus.

However, for me, it was a very short period of the day when I was subjected to it. Once I was home, either at my parents' home or my grandparents' home, where I spent a lot of time, I was safe from that bullying. That is the big difference now. Technology has brought that bullying into peoples' homes. It has made it not just a short period of the day, but something that people have to live with and deal with constantly.

Additionally, the anonymity that is sometimes provided by the Internet gives people licence to be even meaner, more vindictive, and more prejudiced than they might otherwise be if their names and faces were assigned to the comments that they are making.

Technology has expanded the time and the places in which individuals are subject to bullying, and it has expanded the intensity of that bullying. It is time to recognize the difference. It is not the bullying that took place when I was a kid. This is something new that is much more pervasive and much more intense.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

April 28th, 2014 / 1:05 p.m.
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Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo B.C.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour and for Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak to Bill C-13, the protecting Canadians from online crime act.

I would like to first set out a bit of context in terms of where we have come from. Members might be aware that it was 25 years ago when the first test was done on the World Wide Web. We have to look at how far we have come in 25 years.

Facebook, a powerful tool, was introduced in 2004. I might be dating myself a bit, but I remember going to my first tutorial to learn about the World Wide Web, and it was very complicated. There were DOS commands and giant computers. Now we have the ability to take a picture with something the size of our palm and distribute it immediately around the world. That is an absolutely incredible change over a relatively short 25 years.

Before I go into the details of the bill and why it is so important, I need to reflect on the fact that this tool in some ways has been fabulous for Canadians and people around the world. I remember a colleague telling me how his grandmother in Argentina every night read a book over Skype to put his child to bed.

We have the ability to pay our bills by email. We have the ability to interact immediately with family around the world. It is much easier to keep those connections we treasure and value.

As politicians we have seen the dark side of the Internet. Anyone who has a Twitter account or a Facebook account regularly sees some of the very vicious comments that come in through those forums. As my colleague across the aisle just said, these comments are often anonymous and vicious. As politicians, we deal with that, but that is nothing compared to really overstepping the bounds and the issues some children and adults have had to deal with.

A quick Google search on cyberbullying immediately brings up hundreds of names. There is Ryan's story, Bronagh's story, and Megan's story. Look at Rehtaeh Parsons and Amanda Todd. Just recently we heard the she allegedly fell victim to someone on the other side of the world.

Times have changed incredibly, and we need to change with the times.

This legislation proposes changes to the Criminal Code, the Competition Act, and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act. The bill would create a law to address the behaviour that can occur in cases of cyberbullying. This new offence would be called non-consensual distribution of intimate images. Investigative powers need to be updated to ensure that they are in line with the modern technology I just talked about, where in one minute, something as small as one's hand reaches across the world.

I would like to expand a bit on the amendments to the Criminal Code and highlight how they are designed to ensure appropriate privacy protection in the face of the new technology. It is a difficult balancing act, because we need to ensure that privacy is protected while providing the tools to tackle these horrendous issues.

There are a few areas I would like to talk about. I will start with preservation orders and demands and updates to the tracking warrant provisions, which are essential tools to ensure that effective investigations are conducted in Canada when the police are faced with crimes involving technology.

What is this new preservation order? The preservation order would create new powers, to be used in both Criminal Code and Competition Act contraventions. The goal of these two new provisions is to ensure that volatile computer data will not be deleted before the police have time to get a warrant or court order to collect it for investigations.

The need for these tools is obvious. Not only is computer data easily deleted but it can also easily be lost through carelessness or just in day-to-day business practice.

A preservation order or demand would legally require a person to keep the computer data that is vital to an investigation long enough for the police to seek the judicial warrants and orders necessary to obtain the information. This tool would ensure that the police could get the investigation under way without the loss of really important evidence.

People may have concerns about the impact of these amendments on a person's right to a reasonable expectation of privacy. They might have heard about Europe's data retention regime and worry that our legislation is going to import that to Canada. That is not what Bill C-13 is doing.

Data retention would allow the collection of a range of data for all telephone and Internet service subscribers for a defined period of time, regardless of whether or not the data was connected with the investigation.

Bill C-13 does not provide for data retention. It provides for data preservation, and that is a very important fact. It would require that specified computer data in connection with a specific investigation and specific people be preserved for a limited period of time.

It is important to understand that this data would not be turned over to the police unless they first obtained a judicial warrant or court order for that disclosure. Also, any of the data that was preserved and whose presentation was not otherwise required for regular business purposes would have to be destroyed as soon as it was no longer needed for the investigation. This would protect the privacy of Canadians. This would also ensure that the regime created in this bill did not inadvertently result in the kind of data retention I have just described.

As members can see, the data preservation scheme the government is proposing is actually quite constrained in its focus and has been designed as a stop-gap measure so that the judicial warrants and the court order police obtain subsequent to access to the evidence are not rendered useless. Again, it is a really important intermittent tool.

Another change Bill C-13 proposes is updating the Criminal Code's existing tracking warrant provision. Of course, this warrant was created in the early 1990s. Police could obtain and use this warrant to track people, cars, or objects. Again, as I described earlier, so much has changed in tracking technology since then and in the accuracy of this tracking technology. The continuity with which it can track things has also improved.

Because of the improvements, the existing tracking warrant is outdated, and its privacy safeguards no longer reflect the reality of modern tracking technology, which could allow for greater privacy invasions than before. This is an important thing we thought we had to tackle.

Bill C-13 proposes to heighten privacy protections for the most invasive uses of tracking technology. This legislation would do this by creating a dual threshold for tracking warrants.The police would be able to get the first kind of tracking warrant the way they have always been able to get one for the less invasive type of tracking: prove to the judge or the justice that they have reasonable grounds to suspect that the warrant will assist in the investigation of an offence. The police would use this warrant to track objects, vehicles, and transactions.

However, for the more invasive technique of tracking a person using a device usually worn or carried by the person, such as a cell phone, the police would have to get a second type of warrant, which would provide for greater privacy protection than the first.

Bill C-13 would provide that to get such a warrant, the police would have to prove to the judge that they had reasonable grounds to believe that the use of a tracking warrant would assist in the investigation of the offence.

Legally, this is a tougher standard to meet, and as a result, it would provide more privacy protection than the first type of warrant, which is about tracking objects. This is an important distinction, as it reflects a higher level of protection, commensurate with the more intrusive potential of tracking persons, which is reflected in the second type of tracking warrant. It was designed to very carefully meet that difficult balance in terms of giving the police tools in the modern day that ensure that there are appropriate safeguards in place.

To bring things to a conclusion, I talked about two specific measures. Canadians have understandably been outraged by the crimes committed through the use of the Internet, including massive fraud and horribly cruel incidents of cyberbullying. I believe that Bill C-13 is both a necessary and balanced response. It would enable law enforcement to have tools to respond to these criminal activities. I encourage all members in this House to support Bill C-13.

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April 28th, 2014 / 1:15 p.m.
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NDP

Dany Morin NDP Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my Conservative colleague for mentioning the names of some of the young people who, in the time since we were elected in 2011, unfortunately took their own lives to end the pain caused by bullying.

These days, many cases of cyberbullying do not involve the non-consensual distribution of intimate images. What does the member's government propose in Bill C-13 for those particular cases of bullying?

I read this voluminous, 75-page bill and I did not see any measures for protecting our young people from cyberbullying that does not involve the non-consensual distribution of intimate images.

Can my Conservative colleague elaborate on that?

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April 28th, 2014 / 1:15 p.m.
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Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, a crime is a crime, regardless of whether or not it is on the Internet.

More importantly, we have talked about the distribution of non-consensual intimate images and the ability to remove them. He should talk about the issues we looked at in terms of some of the people. For a good majority of them, the issues are around the distribution of intimate images. We are taking an approach that is going to give police the investigative and legislative tools to truly tackle this issue.

Of course, we need to continue to do the very important work, outside of a legislative process, that is focused on education and making sure that Canadians are aware of this issue. Anything this big requires a multi-pronged approach.

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April 28th, 2014 / 1:15 p.m.
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NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague was rather sanctimonious as she spoke at length about bullying, which of course is the matter at hand today.

I wonder why the Conservatives voted against the bill introduced by our colleague from Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, which would have filled the gaps in the current legislation. It seems that part of his bill is included among the other measures in this bill. Why did the Conservatives refuse to work with us when they had a very fine opportunity to do so in the House? Today, the government is introducing more or less the same thing. Why did they refuse to work with us?

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April 28th, 2014 / 1:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, this is typical of the fundamental difference between the NDP and the Conservatives. The NDP regularly wants to have national discussions that go on and on, whereas our government is a government of action. We are a government of giving the police the tools they need. We are a government that will see that criminals receive the criminal sentences that should rightfully be coming their way.

Again, we are a government of action, not a government of continuing to talk and talk about issues.

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April 28th, 2014 / 1:20 p.m.
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NDP

Dany Morin NDP Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, as is the case for the vast majority of my colleagues in the House, the subject of cyberbullying and bullying in general is something I am deeply concerned about. This issue is so important to me that I decided that my one and only bill to be debated and voted on in the House would be about bullying. That is why, almost two years ago, I introduced a national bullying prevention strategy. The Conservatives and the Bloc Québécois voted overwhelmingly against it.

Ten minutes is not a lot of time for me to say everything I want to say about this. Before I begin my speech, I would like to respond to my Conservative colleague who has just finished her speech and answers. The parliamentary secretary talked about how proactive her Conservative government is when it comes to dealing with bullying. That is a lie. It is not true. This is 2014 and we are debating Bill C-13.

In 2011, 15-year-old Jenna Bowers-Bryanton took her own life. She lived in Truro, Nova Scotia. When the media reported the news, Jenna's parents, family and friends spoke about what this young woman had gone through. They said that she had been bullied via social media. She was receiving vicious messages and comments from anonymous sources. In these messages, she was even told that she should kill herself.

According to her parents, Courtney Brown, another Nova Scotian, was bullied via Facebook in 2011. She too committed suicide when she could no longer deal with the situation. These are two cases of young Canadian women who, in 2011, were victims of Internet bullying, which is called cyberbullying. The Conservative government, which was in power at the time, did nothing.

Meanwhile, the opposition introduced two bills. We are proactive in the NDP. I spoke about how my initiative to implement a national bullying prevention strategy was defeated. The bill introduced by my colleague from Dartmouth—Cole Harbour focused strictly on closing loopholes in Canadian legislation to prevent the distribution of intimate images without consent. The Conservatives voted against this measure twice.

I therefore do not believe the Conservative member when she says that her government is proactive. That is not true. This debate has been very emotional for me. I was talking about this earlier with my parliamentary assistant, Steve Slepchik. We sent some messages back and forth about how sad we felt when preparing my speech, which is still somewhat off the cuff. We researched the number of young people who had committed suicide as a result of bullying since we were elected in 2011. Some took their own lives as a result of cyberbullying. Others were bullied at school. We in the House of Commons know the difference, and we know that bullying in schools falls more under provincial jurisdiction. However, we also know that telecommunications fall under federal jurisdiction, and that is why the federal government must play its role in that regard, a role that goes beyond the measure this government has proposed.

I would also like to remind members that the NDP is in favour of this bill since it is quite similar to a bill that we ourselves proposed. What is more, when it comes to cyberbullying, we agree with the part of this 75-page brick that closes the loophole with regard to the distribution of intimate images without consent. However, cyberbullying has a much larger scope than that.

I have another example, and it always makes me sad when I talk about it. Todd Loik, a youth from North Battleford, Saskatchewan, also took his own life at the age of 15. He was being taunted and teased online, but it was much more than that. He was threatened and bullied on Facebook, until the night he decided to take his own life because he could not take it anymore. Even his mother, who read with great sorrow the Facebook messages to her son, called them disgusting.

She even said that he received these insults on his cell phone and home computer.

The cyberbullying of young people in Canada and around the world is more than just the distribution of intimate photos without consent. Passing Bill C-13 and giving it royal assent will not give the Conservatives—who boast about enforcing law and order, but actually do very little about it—bragging rights about having done something to set limits on and curtail cyberbullying in Canada. The distribution of intimate photos without consent is just one aspect of cyberbullying.

Youth suicide is covered extensively by the media, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Parliamentarians in every Canadian province and territory have admitted that they were victims of bullying. I am one of them. We have to do something. We must adopt a national bullying prevention strategy that will give parents more tools.

In Canada, parents who know that their child is a victim of bullying or cyberbullying do not have the tools to deal with it. The government can use the means at its disposal to inform the Canadian public and to provide parents with documentation that will help them do their job and defend and equip their children.

The Conservatives' approach would simply have us criminalize cyberbullying instead of preventing it. Unfortunately, bullying leaves scars. When a young person is the victim of bullying over the course of months or years, the harm has been done, even if the bully is punished. However, the victim is sometimes no longer even alive when the bully is punished. Is that fair? I do not think so. The families and loved ones of bullying victims, even those who do not resort to suicide, are left with scars.

I would not want any young person in Canada to be the victim of bullying, but bullying most often involves young people. It could be a matter of carelessness or cruelty on the part of these darling angels who are not aware of how much their actions can hurt others. Some young people imitate their parents or loved ones. When they see their parents saying negative things about a colleague or being mean-spirited, the children absorb this information and emulate this kind of behaviour at school, on the bus or on the Internet.

I wish we could pass legislation requiring Canadians, teens and children to show love for one another, so that we can put an end to bullying and cyberbullying, but I know that is unrealistic.

However, it is not too late to take action, and the government must not rest on its laurels. After it passes Bill C-13, it must move forward and impose further controls on cyberbullying. We need to work on prevention.

For example, the committee should look at meaningful measures to ensure that a teen who is bullied via text message, Facebook, Twitter or email can access a government-run website to complain. The teen could take a screenshot and indicate where the bullying took place, so that the police can investigate it. By working with Internet service providers, we could track down the bully and send an email warning to the owner of the IP address, which is likely the parents. That way, the parents could do their job and talk to their child about what they have done.

Those are some concrete ways to combat cyberbullying that the NDP would like to work on.

I thank my colleagues for taking all of this into consideration.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

April 28th, 2014 / 1:30 p.m.
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NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to ask a question of my colleague from Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, who gave a heartfelt speech. I know he has worked very hard on this issue. He has travelled across Canada to speak with young people and try to raise as much awareness as possible regarding this phenomenon and the repercussions it can have. I am convinced that he would have visited every school in Canada if he could have done so. However, that is unfortunately not possible, which brings me to my question.

What more can we do, besides what the government is proposing? As we have heard, the government is suggesting one very specific measure, one that had already been proposed earlier in this Parliament.

What more can we do besides tackling the very serious problem of sharing photos without the person's consent? What other measures can we take to ensure that this problem is taken into account and resolved once and for all?

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April 28th, 2014 / 1:30 p.m.
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NDP

Dany Morin NDP Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague from Sherbrooke for the question.

The government needs to listen to the opposition members, even if it does not agree with them, and it needs to listen to the Senate. I feel this is an odd thing for me to say. However, about two years ago, the Senate published a report on cyberbullying. As we know, the Senate has a Conservative majority. The report's first recommendation was to create a national bullying prevention strategy.

The report was published shortly after the government rejected my motion. When I read that report, I realized that even the Conservative senators wanted a national bullying prevention strategy, just as I had proposed to the Conservative members in the House. It really saddens me that the government voted against it for partisan reasons. Perhaps it needs to reread the Senate's report. It is a good report.

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April 28th, 2014 / 1:30 p.m.
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NDP

François Choquette NDP Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate my colleague on his speech. He spoke with great emotion. His speech was very interesting and quite relevant to the current debate.

When we talk about Canada, we need to talk about the youth who are Canada's future. We need to look after them. This bill is clearly a first step. I also think it is important to support the communities that are doing the everyday work on the ground.

In Drummondville, there are a number of local organizations and committees that are looking at the issue. We have a committee on violence and a subcommittee that works on bullying prevention. They bring together all of Drummond's social organizations.

I believe that my colleague from Chicoutimi—Le Fjord proposed a national cyberbullying prevention strategy. It was a great way to tackle the issue because it is not enough to address instances of cyberbullying; we have to work to prevent it, too.

I would like the hon. member to talk about the important role that the federal government could play in preventing bullying through a national bullying prevention strategy.

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April 28th, 2014 / 1:30 p.m.
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NDP

Dany Morin NDP Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, thank you for allowing me to respond to my colleague.

To begin, I would like to commend the initiative in his riding. He mentioned that there are groups in his riding that help young people deal with bullying. That is wonderful. That is why the fourth pillar of my national bullying prevention strategy called on the government to provide more financial and other types of support to front-line organizations that are already doing good work across Canada. We do not need to reinvent the wheel.

To prove just how important this is, and I will end with this, here is a quote from a 2012 Kids Help Phone report:

...cyberbullying can be very damaging to young people’s mental health and well-being. According to recent research, cyberbullying has a range of negative social, emotional, and educational outcomes on victims, from anxiety, to poor concentration and lowered school performance, to hopelessness or helplessness, to depression and suicidality.

Clearly, the government needs to do something, something more than just Bill C-13.

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April 28th, 2014 / 1:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Bev Shipley Conservative Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is always an honour to speak in the House as a representative of Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, particularly today as we speak in support of Bill C-13, the protecting Canadians from online crime act. As we have heard today from all speakers, it addresses the serious criminal behaviour associated with cyberbullying.

This is an issue that affects Canadians across the country, whether in small communities, like mine, or in large cities, in remote areas, or in urban areas. It is an issue of grave concern to all of us. For Barb and me, who are parents and grandparents, as aunts and uncles, as parliamentarians and as Canadians, we take this for what the act talks about.

We have all heard of the tragic results of cyberbullying. My colleagues who spoke mentioned a number of individuals who have been captured and caught in the effects of cyberbullying. There are stories of children so distraught that they take their own lives because they can no longer handle the barrage of taunts, threats, and humiliation that is absolutely heartbreaking to them and everyone around them.

We have the opportunity to take decisive action now and try to prevent, as much as we can, future tragedies. The legislation before us is one that would move us ahead with reforms to our laws to deter the effects and types of destructive behaviour. Certainly, having stronger penalties in place would act as a strong deterrent to those who would post intimate pictures of someone online without their consent. It is also critical, and we have heard a lot about that today, that every possible step be taken to prevent bullying in all its forms.

In my time today, I want to talk about our government, and specifically Public Safety Canada, which is prepared to establish a number of prevention, education, and awareness activities. As the lead federal department on the issue of cyberbullying, Public Safety Canada is tackling this form of intimidation. This includes supporting programs that work to change behaviours among young people to prevent bullying of all types, whether online or in person.

For example, our government is currently supporting the development of a number of school-based projects to prevent bullying as part of the $10 million that was committed in 2012 toward new crime prevention projects to address this and other priority issues such as preventing violence among at-risk youth and offending among urban aboriginal youth. Education and awareness are also critical to addressing this harmful and extreme behaviour. We are working on a number of initiatives to encourage youth. We need youth themselves to speak up and to let adults know what is happening.

Our government supports the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, which operates Cybertip.ca, an initiative that started in 2002, and NeedHelpNow.ca. These are websites that Canadians can use to report online sexual exploitation of children and to seek help for exploitation resulting from the sharing of sexual images.

In addition, the RCMP Centre for Youth Crime Prevention offers resources such as fact sheets, lesson plans, and interactive learning tools to youth, parents, police officers, and educators on issues such as bullying and cyberbullying. We also talk about cyberbullying during Cyber Security Awareness Month, which takes place each October.

The focus of Public Safety Canada’s Get Cyber Safe campaign is to educate Canadians of all ages on the simple steps they can take to protect themselves from people who want to do harm to them online, or for things like identity theft, fraud, and computer viruses.

Part of helping our people stay safe online includes making them aware of the dangers of cyberbullying and what they can do to stop it. As part of our efforts in this regard, Public Safety Canada launched a national public awareness safety campaign called “Stop Hating Online”, in January 2014. It does a number of things. It provides information to youth and their parents about the potential serious legal consequences around cyberbullying and the distribution of intimate images without consent.

It also informs Canadian adults that they have a role to play in the prevention and reporting of cyberbullying and raises awareness among young Canadians regarding the types of behaviours that constitute cyberbullying and the impacts of that on people. We want to help them understand that they can be more than a bystander, and give them information on how and when they can stand up to cyberbullying.

We want to make sure that we go beyond that. In order to reach as many people as possible, we want to make sure that we cover both adults and youth. Our government wants to work closely with the private sector and other government partners to deliver the campaign using a wide variety of media, awareness activities, but with a particular focus on using social media to spread the word and encourage Canadians.

I hope that members of the House were able to see some of the ads played on national TV networks between January and March. The idea was aimed at parents and youth, the latter being a little more edgy and dynamic to capture the attention of our tech-savvy youth. Both ads illustrated how easy it is for kids to share intimate images of each other through mobile phones and social media, often without much thought. Both ads end with a clear and serious message: that sharing intimate messages and images without consent is not only wrong, it is also illegal—something we are working toward with the legislation before us.

Because the younger generation is not necessarily watching the evening news, the same ads were played online and at movie theatres. The ads drove people to a comprehensive website called “Stop Hating Online”, which provides concrete tools and tips for youth, parents, educators, and all those concerned about cyberbullying. The campaign uses social media like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter to reach out to youth.

This is where we are seeing a significant engagement and positive feedback from youth and parents who are embracing this campaign and telling us clearly that they are not going to accept this destructive behaviour for themselves, their families, or their friends.

In fact, Facebook Canada reported that interest and engagement is much higher than average for the Stop Hating Online initiative. It has also had over one million views of the youth-oriented ad on YouTube since its launch. Facebook accounts for more than 60,000 times its usual hits. We are saying that when we reach out across all media and all types of contacts, it is starting to hit home. As we watch television news and listen to reports of those who have been caught in this, they need to understand the severity of it.

For obvious reasons, as a proud parent and grandparent, I would ask members of the House to support Bill C-13.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

April 28th, 2014 / 1:45 p.m.
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NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to ask my Conservative colleague a question about Bill C-13.

I want to ask her a very specific question about why the Conservatives decided to include many things that are not necessarily related to cyberbullying. This bill on cyberbullying has been given a fine title. We are pleased that this bill was introduced and we are going to support it at second reading.

However, I want to know why the Conservatives incorporated things that have nothing to do with cyberbullying, such as the two-year sentence for stealing cable. Can my colleague tell me what exactly this has to do with cyberbullying? Why did the Conservatives decide, as they do in many cases, to include many other measures that are not necessarily related to the original purpose of the bill?

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April 28th, 2014 / 1:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Bev Shipley Conservative Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned, in our justice bills, and again in this one here, there has to be a significant deterrent for those people who commit cyberbullying, or bullying of any kind, quite honestly. We tend to think of cyberbullying, but it is also the person-on-person bullying, and we have heard examples of that in here not only today but from time to time. We believe on this side that there also have to be significant consequences for those who commit those acts as they have serious consequences for those who are being bullied.

Also, as part of that, I likely have spent more time talking about prevention and assistance in terms of education as I did about some of the penalties, but it has to work hand in hand. We need to have consequences and penalties, and we also need to make sure that we spend our time and resources in making prevention as big an issue as we can.

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April 28th, 2014 / 1:45 p.m.
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Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to continue on the same line of questioning.

Listening to the member speak on the issue of cyberbullying, I was pleased with many of his comments. However, it seems to me that while the government wants to talk a great deal about cyberbullying, if we take a look at the legislation itself, we see that it deals with more issues than just cyberbullying. For example, it was cited in terms of cable theft.

If the government truly wanted to fixate on the issue of cyberbullying and allow for the debate and focus of public attention on that issue, then why would it not just have the bill deal specifically with cyberbullying?

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

April 28th, 2014 / 1:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Bev Shipley Conservative Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from across the way who, as we know, is very active on a daily basis in terms of debate, and I think that is great. He raises a number of issues, such as this one.

When we talk about cyberbullying and the Internet, if fraud is taking place, such as identity theft, or if one's correspondence with people is used by someone in an immoral or illegal way, that needs to be part of what we talk about in cyberbullying and needs to be part of what we talk about in Bill C-13.

I am pleased that the member asked that question because we want to make sure that we cover the bases as widely as we can. When the bill goes to committee, we will have another opportunity for input by witnesses. That discussion about weaknesses or concerns can be brought up and looked at in committee also.

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April 28th, 2014 / 1:50 p.m.
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Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to rise today and talk to what I believe is a very important issue. The issue of cyberbullying is very real, it is tangible, and it happens every day. It affects the lives of thousands of Canadians throughout our great land. There is a responsibility for government to do its best to ensure that we have the tools that are necessary to make a difference. That is really what we in the Liberal Party want. We would like to see a comprehensive approach to dealing with the issue of cyberbullying. That is what is really important here.

The legislation is one part of it. The additional resources, ideas, budgets, and throne speeches are another part of it, where we see a government that wants to focus its attention on dealing with an issue that many Canadians are quite concerned about. They want the government to demonstrate leadership on such an important issue.

I listened to the member, and I posed a question specifically; I appreciated the frankness in the answer that he provided. However, the point is that we have before us a piece of legislation that deals with a number of changes. Some of those changes I do not think would do any service by being incorporated into the important issue of cyberbullying. We remember the old Bill C-30, which had some fairly significant implications regarding lawful access. The government gave assurances on that bill and it died on the order paper.

Why incorporate some of the things they have into this very important issue? It made reference to the cable industry and cable theft. I suspect that if we canvass the House we would find that there is a great deal of interest in the issue of cyberbullying today. It is nothing new. It has been there for many years. We can talk about the cyber.ca website, and I would recommend that people check it. People can draw fantastic information from it. We need to get more people educated about the process of bullying that takes place.

In 2005, legislation under former Prime Minister Paul Martin was proposed. We have had other members bring it forward. In particular I look to my colleague from Vancouver, the wonderful Liberal Party health critic, who has brought forward the issue of cyberbullying. This issue has been before us for a number of years, and it keeps growing in its seriousness and the importance for the House to take more action in dealing with it.

Today, we have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and a litany of other programs and applications through the Internet that are used as mechanisms to inflict hurt upon someone else. One cannot underestimate the tragedies that have been caused by the type of cyberbullying or harassment that is taking place every day.

When we look at this legislation in principle, I believe all members, but assuredly members of the Liberal caucus, are quite supportive of taking action that would assist us in dealing with that very important issue of cyberbullying.

However, Liberals want to go further than that. We want to challenge the government to look at refocusing some of its priorities. The member made reference to advertising commercials. There is a great deal of benefit in using advertising as a wonderful tool to educate our population, because not everyone listens to the 6 o'clock or 10 o'clock news. The member is right that purchasing advertising spots in sports and children's programming would be of great value.

Think of the hundreds of millions of dollars the government spends on advertising its budget, its economic program, or whatever we want to call it. It spends hundreds of millions of dollars on something of no real great value. It is a bunch of spin coming from the government on what it is doing. Why not use some of the hundreds of millions of dollars on good, solid programs that are going to make a difference, such as developing and paying for advertising in our multimedia world today to educate individuals about cyberspace? That is what we should be doing. We challenge the government of the day to be a bit more creative on that front.

We need to work with stakeholders. How can we develop a strategy to educate and encourage people to get a better understanding of such an important issue if we are not prepared to work with the different stakeholders in society? One example would be schools. In Manitoba, there is in excess of 200,000 students attending public school. What is being done to encourage some sort of programming that educates our young people? I do not want to have to rely on Facebook and independent thinking that takes place in a locked room where all sorts of mischievous behaviour could be occurring in terms of educating our young people. It has to be far broader than that. Schools, school divisions, and departments of education all need to play a role.

What about the private sector? We talk about harassment that takes place in the cyberworld. Vindictive attitudes and how quickly individuals attack potential victims by posting pictures or images or making statements on the Internet that have strong, profound negative impacts on people's lives are incredible. Only one level of government, the national government and the Prime Minister, has to realize just how important it is that it is set as a priority issue. Every day that goes by that the Conservative government chooses not to be more aggressively proactive on this issue, we are destroying lives because we allow it to continue to the degree at which it is moving forward today, at a very rapid pace.

Liberals welcome the idea of action, support action to deal with anti-bullying, and want more of a comprehensive, all-inclusive strategy that is going to change more than the criminal law. It is time that the Government of Canada starts working with stakeholders. We could make a much larger difference if the government became interested in doing that.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

April 28th, 2014 / 4 p.m.
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Conservative

Corneliu Chisu Conservative Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to participate in the second reading debate on the protecting Canadians from online crime act. This is an important piece of legislation for many people in my constituency. I am glad that the government is following through on its commitment in the Speech from the Throne to bring this legislation forward in a timely manner.

The bill we are discussing today is a central part of the government's contribution to addressing the issue of cyberbullying, which unfortunately, with the widespread use of the Internet and social media, is becoming more prevalent in today's modern age. This bill is another key element of the government's continued agenda to stand up for victims and punish criminals who wish to prey on innocent, law-abiding citizens. As we are all aware, Canadians have fully embraced the Internet and other mobile communications technologies, such as smart phones and social media, for communicating with family and friends, seeking information, making new social connections, and creating blogs and websites.

As all members can attest to, the Internet is a large part of being an MP. We use the Internet to stay connected with our constituents, to post relevant speeches and announcements, and even to stay in contact with our families back home.

However, while most people use the Internet in a constructive manner, there have been an increasing number of tragedies where people are using the Internet or other electronic media to engage in malicious and mischievous conduct that leads to serious consequences for the victim.

With this legislation, our government was required to examine the nature of cyberbullying as it manifests itself in today's digital age. Although the issue of bullying itself is an age-old problem, technology has irrevocably changed the nature and scope of bullying. For example, bullying conducted over the Internet is faster, easier, and nastier than ever before. It also has the potential to remain in cyberspace permanently and to be done anonymously. Furthermore, perpetrators may be more likely to engage in bullying behaviour online because they cannot see or hear the effects of their actions, and because it is possible to be anonymous online. This leads me to the severity and potentially tragic nature of cyberbullying.

When we think about the bullying of the past, where some kid might have stolen our lunch money or pushed us into a puddle, we rarely associate further ramifications to these spiteful yet seemingly minor actions. However, over the past few years cyberbullying is alleged to have played a part in the decision of some young people to take their own lives. The recent stories which we are all familiar with are truly heartbreaking. I am sure I speak for all Canadians when I express our deepest condolences for the families of the victims of these tragic events. However, these incidents also prompt us, as lawmakers, to ask what the federal government can do to prevent similar tragedies.

This was the motivation behind the federal-provincial-territorial working group on cybercrime. In July, the Department of Justice, on behalf of all federal-provincial-territorial partners, publicly released its report on cyberbullying and the non-consensual distribution of intimate images. The working group studied and considered whether or not cyberbullying was adequately addressed by the Criminal Code and whether or not there were any gaps that needed to be filled. This working group made nine unanimous recommendations with respect to the criminal law response to cyberbullying.

The first recommendation in the report calls for a multipronged and multi-sectoral approach to the issue of cyberbullying and calls for all levels of government to continue to build on their initiatives to address cyberbullying in a comprehensive manner. This recommendation recognizes that cyberbullying cannot be adequately addressed by one initiative by one level of government. In fact, most experts agree that bullying and cyberbullying are most effectively addressed through a multipronged approach. Criminal law reform only represents one small portion of a much larger situation.

Getting back to the bill that is before us today, I am pleased to note that all of the proposals contained in the bill were recommended by the federal-provincial-territorial working group and are supported by provincial and territorial attorneys general.

The bill has two main goals: to create a new Criminal Code offence of non-consensual distribution of intimate images and to modernize the investigative powers of the Criminal Code to enable the police to effectively and efficiently investigate cyberbullying and other crimes committed via the Internet or that involve electronic evidence.

I would like to focus the remainder of my remarks on the proposed new offence. The proposed offence would fill a gap related to a form of serious cyberbullying behaviour with respect to the sharing or distribution of nude or sexual images which are later used without the consent of the person depicted. It is important to emphasize that the goal of this offence is not to criminalize the making of these images or even the consensual sharing of these images, as between intimate partners or friends. Rather, this offence would focus on the behaviour that is more often becoming associated with these images, the distribution of them without the consent of the person depicted.

Specifically, this new offence would prohibit all forms of distribution of these types of images without the consent of the person depicted. Quite often the perpetrator of this behaviour is the ex-partner or ex-spouse of the person depicted in the images who is seeking revenge or looking to humiliate or harass them.

To secure a conviction for this offence, a prosecutor would be required to prove that the accused knowingly distributed the images and that the accused distributed the images either knowing the person depicted did not consent to this distribution or being reckless as to whether or not the person consented.

A key element of the proposed offence is the nature of the image itself. The bill proposes a three-part definition of intimate image to guide the court in determining whether or not a particular image is one that could be subject to the proposed offence. An intimate image is one in which the person depicted was nude or exposing his or her sexual organs, or anal region, or engaged in explicit sexual activity. The Criminal Code uses a similar definition in the voyeurism section 162 and child pornography section 163 offences. However, the content of the image on its own would not be enough to qualify the image as an intimate image. The court would also need to be satisfied that the image was one that was taken in circumstances that gave rise to a reasonable expectation of privacy and that the person depicted in that image still retains a reasonable expectation of privacy in the image.

These two elements are key to ensuring that the proposed offence is not cast too broadly and does not capture images in which there could be no reasonable privacy interest. For example, if a person took sexual images of themselves in the privacy of their own home for their own personal use, the image would likely be found to be an intimate image. However, if that same person then posted those images on a public website it is less likely that the court would find that the individual retains a reasonable expectation of privacy, despite the fact that the initial recording of the image was privately done.

The proposed offence would be supported by several complementary amendments in the Criminal Code to provide protection to victims of this particularly contemptible form of cyberbullying. These complementary amendments would permit the court to order the removal of intimate images from the Internet and other digital networks as well as make an order for restitution to cover some of the expenses incurred in having the images removed.

Further, the court would be empowered to order the forfeiture of tools or property used in the commission of the offence, such as a smart phone or computer, as well as a prohibition order to restrict the use of a computer or the Internet by a convicted offender. This prohibition order would be especially useful in cases of repeat offenders.

The legislation also proposes to permit the court to issue a peace bond against a person who has intimate images in their possession where there are reasonable grounds to fear that a new offence would be committed by that person.

The proposed new offence and complementary amendments fill an existing gap in the criminal law and aim to provide broad protection to victims of this behaviour.

I understand that this legislation will not address all of the concerns that stem from cyberbullying, however, I believe this a great leap in the right direction and I strongly urge all members to support this piece of legislation.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

April 28th, 2014 / 4:10 p.m.
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NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise today 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, the protecting Canadians from online crime act.

It will come as no surprise that I will be supporting the bill at second reading. There are elements in the bill that I think we have waited too long to implement. At the same time, we have to be very conscious that when we deal with legislation, it needs to be concise but it also needs clarity.

I wonder what kind of message we send to Canadians when the title of a bill has so many components that it leaves many people wondering what the bill is really about. The fact that there are so many subheadings to the bill shows that it is not just looking at cyberbullying and consequences to update our legislation. This is another example of legislation where the government has cobbled together various pieces of its agenda and thrown in something on which I would say we have unanimous agreement.

We did request unanimous consent that the bill be divided to allow similar provisions from our colleague from Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, who, by the way, has done amazing work on this file, that is Bill C-540, and the aspect that relates to the non-consensual distribution of intimate images. We asked that it be adopted rapidly in committee, since it has all-party support.

This is where frustration sometimes sets in this House. This is something we could have done, all-party, everybody in agreement, with that particular component of this legislation. We are all in agreement. We could have separated it and passed it; I believe that component has been debated many times. Then we could have spent our time debating the rest of the bill.

There are some problems with the rest of the bill, but that part of the bill that encompasses Bill C-540, the non-consensual distribution of intimate images, could have been adopted unanimously and it could have gone on to the next stage.

I urge my colleagues across the way to consider doing that. They have a majority and could make it happen. They would certainly get consent from our side to separate it that way. We could get something moving in a very timely manner.

The world has changed since I went to school. The kinds of bullying and activities in school are very different now. Bullying is bullying. However, we have different types of bullying. There was a time that if an individual were bullied by somebody at their school, they had to write them a letter. That would happen very rarely because they did not want to get caught, or they would bully the individual to their face. With cyberbullying now, people can bully an individual 24/7 using social media.

I am often amazed at how many of our youth have cell phones. They are not just phones; all of the social media and the Internet are on there. Our youth are very actively engaged. They carry their phones with them, which brings the bullying right into their homes, 24/7.

By the way, I am not saying that we should ban all cell phones for young people. I can see our young people in the House looking at me, wondering if that is where I am going. Not at all. However, I am saying that because technology has changed how our young people interact with each other, so must our legal system. However, we have seen the shortfalls of our legal system. It was not equipped to deal with some very tragic circumstances. Because of that, we have to update our Criminal Code and law enforcement.

However, more than anything, I think we also have a responsibility to educate. Media literacy is very important. We taught children, long before we had all this technology, how to communicate in a positive way and not to hurt each other's feelings. In a similar way, I think our schools, as well as parents at home, have to work with our young people to teach them ways to manage this new world. Even though we may not live in that world, we have to help to construct a safety net for our students and young people, which is what this legislation is all about.

Months ago, we could quite easily have separated and dealt with cyberbullying in the bill proposed by my colleague, the incredibly hard-working member of Parliament for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour. Instead, here we have a very complex bill, which will now take time. Some of my colleagues will say that it does not have to take time if we agree to everything that is in the new bill. However, I cannot. There are problems with many parts of the bill before us, and I know we will be bringing amendments when it gets to committee stage.

I always want to use the word “student”. Being a teacher all of my life, that is how I think. However, for our young people, we have to do the responsible thing and try to take the politics out of dealing with this safety issue. This is an issue that has been sensitized because of a number of recent tragedies. I have talked to young people who have told me how terrible it is and how alone they feel when they have been bullied through cyberspace.

I would not say that words do not hurt because they do hurt. I can remember being at school when people got yelled at, and I could see the look of hurt on their faces. Sometimes they were beaten up because children can get into fights. However, what we are seeing with cyberbullying right now is that it is 24/7, and there is no escape.

We know the young people who are vulnerable. We know that it is people from, let us say the gay and lesbian community, the students who are not out. Even the students who are out can also become a target, through the use of anonymity and fake IDs that people can create in this world.

However, to quote the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario on Bill C-13, “the federal government is using this pressing social issue as an opportunity to resurrect much of its former surveillance legislation, Bill C-30”.

We remember when a certain minister was told what was thought of that bill. They feel that this proposed legislation is a resurrection of that bill and the government is trying to sugar-coat it by throwing in a much-needed bill to protect our children.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

April 28th, 2014 / 4:20 p.m.
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NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, if we look across the aisle during this debate, we are all feeling the importance of making sure that we address this issue.

As a father, it is important that when my kids come home from school we make sure we watch to see what they are doing on the Internet. There is some concern there, and all parents need to be concerned.

I also know that in my great riding of Sudbury, the police, through Sergeant Tim Burtt and the cyber unit, have been going to schools talking about the importance and impact of cyberbullying. It is important for us to recognize the importance of this and to get on this.

It is concerning, when we see other things have been added to this. It is something that we could have done very quickly. I would like to hear my hon. colleague's comments on that.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

April 28th, 2014 / 4:20 p.m.
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NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate my colleague for the amazing work he has done regarding the everyday pressures on Canadian families as they struggle to make ends meet. Whether it is rising gas prices or credit card fees, he knows how to handle that file and does a great job.

Members do not have to take my word or one group's word for the fact that the government has cobbled together legislation in a way that was totally unnecessary. The essential piece of it could have been passed just like that, but it was not.

Let me quote David Fraser, a Halifax-based lawyer, who said something about this piece of legislation which I think is cynical and disappointing. He stated:

There's a whole bunch of irrelevant or other stuff in here that's going to distract from the legitimate discussion on how to fine-tune this to get this absolutely right.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

April 28th, 2014 / 4:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have heard discussion, a few times, about splitting the bill. I am the chair of the justice committee, and it has done a very good job, in my view, of listening to witnesses, and suggestions and amendments by the opposition, on a number of items. There were amendments accepted from the opposition. A Liberal member sat in the last time the committee did a review and accepted amendments from the other side and was in a bit of shock that this was the kind of co-operation that happens at committee.

What I do not understand is why opposition members would want to split the bill up. Do you not have confidence in the committee system and your own members being able to bring forward amendments at the time they are discussed and debated at committee? Based on those who have requested to appear at committee, I think there is going to be a fairly long and extensive review of this bill.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

April 28th, 2014 / 4:25 p.m.
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NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have absolutely no confidence in the government doing anything right when it comes to dealing with young people's safety.

Michael Geist, a Canadian research chair in Internet and e-commerce law at the University of Ottawa, compared a number of provisions included in Bill C-13 to the controversial Internet snooping legislation. We know how divisive that was. Bill C-30 was killed by the former justice minister in the face of widespread criticism.

You had this mountain of opposition and you withdrew the bill. Now you bring it forward, and in it you bury something that is so important. It is all about protecting our young people from cyberbullying. That is playing politics.

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime ActGovernment Orders

April 28th, 2014 / 4:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Mark Adler Conservative York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak in support of Bill C-13.

This bill proposes amendments to the Criminal Code, the Canada Evidence Act, the Competition Act, and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act in order to bring them up to date with 21st century technologies.

These updates to the law would respond to new challenges posed by modern technology in the context of bullying, often referred to as cyberbullying, in a number of ways, including by creating a new offence of non-consensual distribution of intimate images.

Bill C-13 would also revise investigative powers to make sure they respond to modern technologies so that police have the tools they need to investigate offences arising in the context of current communication technology, including offences that can occur in the context of cyberbullying behaviours, such as the proposed new offence of non-consensual distribution of intimate images.

I would like to take this opportunity to expand on some particularly important and innovative aspects of the Criminal Code amendments, and in particular the new concept of transmission data. I think the proposals in Bill C-13 for changes in this area are going to have a really positive impact on how investigations are conducted here in Canada.

First I would like to tell the House about the new transmission data warrant.

For the past 20 years, the police have been able to ask a justice for a warrant that would permit the police to find out phone numbers dialed by a suspect or by someone phoning that suspect. Such warrants could be issued by the justice when there were reasonable grounds to suspect that this information could assist in the investigation of a crime.

However, these days this sort of information, sometimes referred to as call identifying information, encompasses not just telephone numbers but also the Internet equivalents of telephone numbers and includes some technical data that all kinds of more advanced calling features can generate on a network.

It is unfortunately the reality for police today that investigators face challenges when working with the existing dialed number recorder warrant. It is sadly out of date, as it was not designed for the kinds of things that can be part of call identifying information today. The provision was created in 1993 for traditional telephones.

Another change in the way people communicate that has had significant impact on investigations is the increased use of the Internet since 1993, which means that voice telephony is far from being the only way that people regularly communicate.

An additional impact on investigations comes from the convergence of different communication technologies. Nowadays the lines between traditional telephones and the Internet are certainly blurred.

Many cellphones today can be used to access the Internet if, for example, people want to see something on the Internet or send a message. Phones can also rely on the technology of the Internet to make a traditional call. Millions of subscribers use VoIP, or voice over IP, which enables the phone to make use of the Internet to make a traditional voice telephone call.

The result is that the technology uses IP, or Internet protocol, addresses in addition to telephone numbers. It is a sort of hybrid. This kind of hybridization creates problems for investigators. It was also never envisaged 20 years ago, when communication was done through the traditional phone lines for which the current warrant was designed.

This is important. These changes in communication technology have led to the proposal in Bill C-13 to update the existing dialed number recorder warrant in section 492.2 of the Criminal Code and replace it with a transmission data warrant. The proposal in Bill C-13 to create an updated warrant, called a transmission data warrant, makes sense. This new warrant will reflect the new realities for communication technology and investigative techniques.

The sorts of address data police now need to conduct investigations cannot be obtained using telephone records or standard equipment for older technology such as a dialed number recorder. The updates to the law would ensure that a criminal would not be able to avoid police investigative techniques because he uses modern technology, such as VoIP, to make his calls instead of a traditional telephone.

A new legal concept was needed for this update to the existing number recorder warrant to encompass the greater complexity of call identifying information in the modern telecommunications context. Bill C-13 proposes a way to create this new concept, a new category of information called transmission data, which would apply to Internet routing information as well as traditional telephone numbers.

Transmission data would be specifically restricted to certain parts of what is called the header data, which includes things like the email address and information about the mail servers that transmitted the email, but the concept is carefully designed to explicitly exclude the content of any message so that invasions of privacy are minimized. This means police would not be able to use the transmission data warrant to find out what a person has typed in as the subject field. More importantly, police will not be able to use this type of warrant to find out what was typed into the body of the email.

In addition to updating the dialed number recorder warrant provision by replacing it with a new transmission data warrant, Bill C-13 also proposes a new judicial production order aimed at obtaining transmission data when it is stored. This is a change to the structure of the existing number recorder warrant, which included a production order within the warrant provision. Bill C-13 proposes a separate production order to obtain transmission data located in the same place in the Criminal Code with the other production orders.

This proposal is part of the overall approach of Bill C-13 of creating a slate of specific production orders that provide specific tools for police to use to obtain particular types of information. The bill proposes specific and tailored new production orders for transmission data, for tracking data, and for tracing a communication, along with the existing specific and tailored production order for financial data and the existing general production order, all of which together compose a new scheme of production orders proposed by Bill C-13.

The threshold for the specific and tailored production orders is “reasonable grounds to suspect an offence has been or will be committed”, as these orders are narrower in scope and less invasive.

In contrast, the threshold for the broader general production order is “reasonable grounds to believe an offence has been or will be committed” to reflect its greater intrusive potential. These thresholds are consistent with the current approach to thresholds for production orders in the Criminal Code.

This approach is designed to provide tailoring to particular privacy interests through giving police specific tools designed for specific access, which allows a judge to assess each type of request to the appropriate standard.

Given the discussions currently occurring both domestically and internationally around access to metadata, it may be useful at this point to speak briefly to the distinction between metadata and transmission data as proposed in Bill C-13.

“Metadata” is a term that can be used to describe any data about data. It can encompass a fairly broad range of information, including information that would not be part of the definition of transmission data.

“Transmission data”, as set out in Bill C-13, is carefully and more narrowly defined. It is information relating only to the dialing, routing, addressing, or signalling of telecommunications. As I mentioned earlier, it is explicit in the definition of transmission data that it cannot reveal the substance, the meaning, or the purpose of the communication.

It is important to understand the limited, specific, and focused ambit of what is being proposed in Bill C-13 in relation to transmission data, as these limits address some concerns that some people have expressed about broad abilities to access all kinds of information with ease. Bill C-13 proposes a clear framework for particular types of access to data, in particular transmission data, if granted by a judge or justice.

The transmission data warrant and production order will provide police with some of the investigative tools they need to fight crime in a world of changing technology. It has been precisely designed to do so with appropriate privacy safeguards.

I therefore encourage all members to give Bill C-13 their full support.