Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act

An Act to amend the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act and other Acts

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

Sponsor

Steven Blaney  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 Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act to give greater protection to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service’s human sources. Also, so as to enable the Service to more effectively investigate threats to the security of Canada, the enactment clarifies the scope of the Service’s mandate and confirms the jurisdiction of the Federal Court to issue warrants that have effect outside Canada. In addition, it makes a consequential amendment to the Access to Information Act.

The enactment also amends the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act to allow for the coming into force of provisions relating to the revocation of Canadian citizenship on a different day than the day on which certain other provisions of that Act come into force.

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

Feb. 2, 2015 Passed That the Bill be now read a third time and do pass.
Jan. 28, 2015 Passed That Bill C-44, An Act to amend the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act and other Acts, {as amended}, be concurred in at report stage [with a further amendment/with further amendments] .
Jan. 28, 2015 Passed That, in relation to Bill C-44, An Act to amend the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act and other Acts, 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.
Nov. 18, 2014 Passed That, in relation to Bill C-44, An Act to amend the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act and other Acts, not more than one further sitting day 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.

Protection of Canada from Terrorists ActGovernment Orders

November 4th, 2014 / 1:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak in favour of Bill C-44, the protection of Canada from terrorists act. The legislation is both necessary and timely.

As members know, this House recently expressed its support of the government's decision to join the alliance to strike at the heart of Daesh, or as it is most commonly called, ISIL or ISIS. However, there are many other ways that the Government of Canada addresses terrorism at home and abroad.

The proposed legislation includes two distinct elements that work together toward one common goal, that of keeping Canadians and Canadian interests safe from the threat of terrorism.

First, the legislation includes amendments to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act, and this act is three decades old. Since that time, through its analysis, assessment, and intelligence work, CSIS has helped to protect our country from a wide variety of threats. In the process, it has become a central player in Canada's national security system and a respected member of the international intelligence community.

However, the nature of these threats has evolved dramatically since the 1980s. The 2014 public report on the terrorist threat to Canada makes it clear that we can never take our safety and security for granted. Around the world, there were more than 9,700 terrorist incidents in 93 countries reported in 2013 alone. More than half of those occurred in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

That said, Canadians should not think that our country is immune to the scourge of terrorism. In fact, as we all know only too well, just steps from where we stand today we witnessed a horrific terrorist attack that cost a young Canadian Armed Forces member his life at the hands of a radicalized violent extremist. That cowardly act was preceded two days earlier by another senseless attack by a radicalized extremist, one that claimed the life of another member of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Indeed, the legislation we are debating today is designed to address a disturbing trend: the involvement of Canadians who travel abroad to get involved with terror-related activities. These so-called extremist travellers pose a threat not only to innocent people in foreign countries but to Canadian citizens as well, because those travellers who survive their adventures in foreign countries often return armed with more tools to engage in violence and to spread hate here at home.

Fighting terrorism and violent extremism requires the concerted efforts of many players on many different levels. One way to prevent violent extremism is to build good will and trust between law enforcement and Canadian communities. Another way is to improve how we gather intelligence, and that is why we are proposing changes to the CSIS act.

A measure in the protection of Canada from terrorists act is to specifically confirm that CSIS has the authority to conduct investigations outside of Canada related to threats to the security of Canada and security assessments.

Another key measure in the act would clarify the jurisdiction of the Federal Court to issue warrants authorizing CSIS to undertake certain intrusive activities outside of Canada. To enable CSIS to properly investigate threats outside of Canada, we are proposing amendments that would clarify that the Federal Court need only consider relevant Canadian laws, namely the CSIS act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, when it is determining if a warrant is required.

A third important measure of the bill would protect the identity of human sources. As members know, the confidentiality of police informants is protected by common law. However, while this has long been the practice in the law enforcement context, the Supreme Court of Canada recently ruled that the protection afforded to police informants does not extend to CSIS' human sources. At the same time, there are no provisions in the CSIS act to protect people who provide vital information related to a threat to Canada's national security. Bill C-44 would include protection for CSIS' human sources during legal proceedings. This protection would be consistent with Canadian law.

In doing so, the protection could be challenged under two conditions: if the protection does not apply to the person or information in question, or if the information is needed for a criminal trial to demonstrate the innocence of the accused.

While it is vital to CSIS to protect human sources, it is equally important for the service to protect its employees. Existing legislation protects the identities of CSIS employees who are or have been involved in covert operations. It does not, however, protect employees who are training to be engaged in covert activity. This is a small but essential gap that must be filled. The legislation before us proposes to protect the identity of all CSIS employees who have been, are, or are likely to be involved in covert activities.

I will turn now to the second part of this proposed legislation, which relates to Canadian citizenship.

Revocation is an important tool to safeguard the value of Canadian citizenship and to protect the integrity of the citizenship program.

The proposed technical amendments would allow our government to proceed with quicker implementation of the new revocation provisions under the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, which received royal assent June 19, 2014.

A number of the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act provisions have already come into force. Based on how the coming into force provisions of that act are written, the majority of the remaining provisions are required to come into force at the same time.

With these technical amendments, we can move ahead with doing what is necessary to protect our country and ensure the safety and security of Canadians by enabling early implementation of provisions related to citizenship revocation. These provisions expand the grounds for revocation of Canadian citizenship and establish a streamlined decision-making process for revocation.

The new provisions would enable the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to recommend to Treasury Board the revocation of Canadian citizenship from dual citizens who are convicted of a terrorism, high treason, treason, or spying offence, depending on the sentence.

They would also provide the Federal Court with the authority to revoke Canadian citizenship from dual citizens for membership in an armed force or organized armed group engaged in armed conflict with Canada.

The revocation provisions underscore our government's commitment to protecting the safety and security of Canadians and promoting Canadian interests and values. They also reinforce the value of Canadian citizenship.

These technical amendments would also allow for faster implementation of other supporting provisions, including those related to renunciation, resumption, prohibitions, regulatory authorities, changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and the delegation of authority provision for the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

This earlier implementation would help better protect the safety and security of Canadians.

The provisions contained in this bill are critical to Canadian safety. We must move swiftly to strengthen our citizenship program and remove any questions about CSIS' ability to conduct investigations outside of Canada, as well as the authority of the Federal Court to issue warrants authorizing CSIS to undertake certain intrusive activities outside of Canada.

It is imperative that we stop this outmoded mindset of underreacting to the terrorist threat.

There are other aspects to the challenge that we face writ large. We all know that a minority of violent extremists from any religious or other group should not cause us to discriminate against the majority.

We need to find ways to work together to prevent radicalization, to nip it in the bud where possible, and to deal with it firmly and swiftly when necessary.

I would point to the Phoenix Multi-Faith Society for Harmony, a non-profit organization founded in Edmonton and dedicated to the promotion of interfaith co-operation.

Its objectives are to create a forum through which dialogue and discussion can take place, with a view to facilitating understanding and respect for all faiths; to seek continued peaceful co-existence and positive relations, through open communication, interfaith dialogue, education, and participation across our communities; and to carry out initiatives to address negative stereotyping, hatred, bias, and prejudice.

The Phoenix Society is an excellent example of a community initiative, but despite its best efforts, it will not stop all radicalization.

I believe that the majority of members of any religious or other group are peaceful and law-abiding. I also believe that unless the majority takes action to control the violent minority within its ranks and actively co-operate with security authorities, then we will continue to face growing threats from within.

There are many historical examples of peaceful majorities being led into extremely violent international actions by obsessed leaders with murderous and illegitimate intent.

Canada has a heart and a soul. The heart of Canada is our freedom and our democracy. That is represented in no better place than this House.

A week and a half or so ago, our heart was attacked and wounded, but it certainly was not killed. In fact, our heart will continue stronger than ever before.

Canada has a soul. That soul is embodied in the kind of people who make the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms, to protect the democracy and freedom we cherish so much. That soul is represented in no better place than the people who wear the uniform and the people who have worn the uniform in the past, as represented by the National War Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

A week and a half ago our soul was wounded, too. Our souls will survive, stronger than ever.

It is in all Canadians' interest to be part of that solution, to keep the heart and soul of Canada alive and well. That is why I ask all hon. members to join me in supporting the protection of Canada from terrorists act as the first step to keeping our land strong, glorious, and free.

Protection of Canada from Terrorists ActGovernment Orders

November 4th, 2014 / 1:30 p.m.
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NDP

Alain Giguère NDP Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, my distinguished colleague is appealing to a sense of solidarity, and of course we will all lend our support to defending Canada in moments of great crisis.

Unfortunately, his colleague from Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette suggested earlier that if we do not quite agree with the Conservatives on the definition and the exclusive interpretation in their bill, we ourselves are terrorists.

Does the member condone statements to the effect that, if we do not agree with him, we must be friends of terrorists? Is that his definition of solidarity and seeking consensus?

Protection of Canada from Terrorists ActGovernment Orders

November 4th, 2014 / 1:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is not what my colleague from Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette said at all. I am sorry, but that was really not a very profound question.

I will go back to something the hon. member mentioned earlier about the definition of a terrorist. Maybe I misinterpreted what he said. He said that someone who is religious could be there, that there is a symbolic element in a terrorist act. There is obviously violence in a terrorist act, but it could not be personal.

I submit that converting to another religion that has some members who preach violence obviously has a religious connection. It does not get any more symbolic than attacking Parliament and the National War Memorial, or the people there. It certainly does not get any more violent. When someone has espoused or incorporated those kinds of beliefs, it becomes personal. To use the member's own definition, but maybe in reverse, that is a terrorist. That is what those people are.

Nobody here is a terrorist. Nobody is saying that. Nobody is saying that anyone here supports terrorism. That is just plain silly.

Protection of Canada from Terrorists ActGovernment Orders

November 4th, 2014 / 1:30 p.m.
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Liberal

Arnold Chan Liberal Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Edmonton Centre for his contribution to his debate. I would also like to thank him for his service to this country. He has served our country with distinction in the past and continues to do so as the member for Edmonton Centre.

My question for him, and he raised this in the debate, relates to the citizenship provisions incorporated in this particular legislation and what was passed in the House earlier this year. I would like my friend's comments with respect to why he believes that our security is strengthened by the removal of citizenship rights from dual nationals. Would it not simply be better to deal with these particular threats by prosecuting these individuals under our laws?

Protection of Canada from Terrorists ActGovernment Orders

November 4th, 2014 / 1:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a good question. We have laws in Canada, obviously. For anyone who is simply Canadian, there is no other way we can deal with them other than through the laws of Canada.

For someone who has chosen dual citizenship, in my view and in the government's view, their loyalties are divided between Canada and wherever. The government thinks that if they want to be divided citizens and want to carry out acts that are a danger to Canadians and Canadian interests, values, and property, then part of their citizenship should no longer apply.

I am not going to pick on any country, but if a person had citizenship in another country, then the other country could deal with that guy.

Protection of Canada from Terrorists ActGovernment Orders

November 4th, 2014 / 1:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, there is always going to be a balance. There is always going to be a pendulum. There are two things at play. There is fear, and there is complacency, among other things.

Fear happened with 9/11. Fear happened a week and a half ago. Between 9/11 and a week and a half ago, I would suggest that the pendulum swung quite a way toward the complacency side, notwithstanding recent events in the Middle East.

It is always a balance between allaying people's fears and giving people confidence that the government and the agencies of the government can protect them and the complacency people naturally feel when nothing has happened for a long time. That dispels the idea that someone is a threat out there.

Someone is always a threat. There is always a healthy concern that we are doing the right thing and protecting Canadians. At the same time, there should always be a healthy concern about keeping our rights and freedoms intact. That balance, we think, is struck in this bill. We intend to pursue it. The NDP is going to help send it to committee, and I applaud it for that.

Protection of Canada from Terrorists ActGovernment Orders

November 4th, 2014 / 1:35 p.m.
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NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Timmins—James Bay.

I am pleased to participate in this debate today on Bill C-44, an act to amend the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act and other acts. I understand that it is a bill the government had on the books and was preparing to introduce, and it is doing so now, following the recent events here in the House and another tragedy in the province of Quebec.

In short, it makes three substantive changes to CSIS. It would clarify the legal authority of CSIS to conduct security intelligence operations abroad in response to threats to the security of Canada. It had run into some difficulties in the courts with respect to this, so it now wants clarification and changes because of that.

It also confirms the jurisdiction of the Federal Court to issue warrants that have effect outside Canada. It provides for the protection of the identify of CSIS human intelligence sources in judicial proceedings. It also amends the timeline for changes to the Citizenship Act with respect to the revocation of dual citizenship for dual citizens who are involved in terrorism or other serious offences. That bill was passed this past June.

I want to state that I join with all my colleagues in this House, and in fact all Canadians, in paying tribute to Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent. We joined many of our colleagues today at the cenotaph in Ottawa to lay wreaths. The veterans minister was there as well. It was a very moving time. I think Remembrance Day, in a few short days, will be a moving time for our country. My dad and my grandfather fought in the First and Second World Wars. I know how emotional, painful, and deep these experiences are for the entire Canadian psyche.

The violence that took place here in Canada a couple of weeks ago was something that certainly touched the hearts of Canadians and was something we need to take very seriously. I believe we will do that.

I have had a tremendous number of constituents contact my office and encourage us as parliamentarians to react in a measured, considered way and to not overreact to the events that took place, which indeed were terrible and terrifying. I am hopeful that as parliamentarians, we will do that, because we believe that defending both public safety and civil liberties is important. This is not a balancing act, where we shave off a little of one to gain some of the other. We believe, on this side of the House, that we can do both. We can move forward and ensure the safety and security of Canadians while guarding our shared values of freedom, tolerance, and an inclusive democracy. That is why we are all here as parliamentarians. It is because we value that democracy.

We must carefully review our laws in light of the tragic circumstances of the last two weeks and ensure that our laws and security measures are adequate and appropriate for the needs of our country while ensuring, at the same time, that our civil liberties are protected. We have to make sure that this work is done responsibly and with careful study based on the evidence we have at hand. Of course, we do not have all the evidence in yet, because investigations are ongoing.

On this particular legislation, details matter a great deal. We will support the bill going to committee, because we would like a thorough, rigorous, detailed study to take place.

I want to spend a bit of time on the notion of improved civilian oversight of CSIS. We are disappointed that the bill does not include that additional civilian oversight.

I had the great privilege of sitting on the finance committee in 2012, when under yet another budget implementation act, there was a debate about CSIS oversight. Members might well ask why the finance committee would be debating CSIS oversight, and that is a very good question. It was a measure included in the budget implementation act, 2012. The measure specifically included the elimination of the inspector general, a position I am sure most Canadians did not know we had, and if they did know, they were not sure what it did.

We had the terrific privilege of having as a witness at committee one of the key people responsible for setting up that position, Mr. Paul Kennedy. Mr. Kennedy has a long history of over 20 years in the public service. He has advised ministers. For a number of years, he was the senior assistant deputy minister of public safety responsible for national security activities. He spent five years as senior chief counsel to CSIS and four years as chair of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP. He was the senior general counsel of justice and coordinated all the legal advice among intelligence agencies. I am sure members would agree that he was an eminently qualified person to speak about CSIS and advise the committee.

I want to tell the House some of the facts he gave us. We had heard from officials that eliminating the position of inspector general would save $1 million of the public purse and that this was good value for money. We heard that SIRC would be able to take up the slack and take on the monitoring responsibilities.

Mr. Kennedy told the committee that we would save $1 million in a $7-billion public safety department budget but that ultimately, it could cost the government, and therefore Canadians, a great deal more when there were problems. He said there would inevitably be problems. For example, he said that the Arar inquiry, about the illegal arrest, imprisonment, and torture of Mr. Arar, was a $30-million inquiry, $10 million of which the government paid in compensation. It was tremendously expensive, and that $30 million did not include all the hours public servants spent on that inquiry.

There was the ongoing investigation of the Robert Dziekanski case at the Vancouver airport. There have been many other inquiries.

Mr. Kennedy pointed out that if we were talking about a consolidation of the responsibilities of this oversight position and SIRC, then we should have a transfer of staff and files and money to make that happen. None of that happened. In spite of many inquiries recommending greater oversight and more resources, that simply has not happened.

This is the direct responsibility of the Minister of Public Safety. The buck stops with the minister. Without the inspector general in place, who can keep an eye on the spies, Canadians have no guarantee that their public interests are protected.

We need that position. We need greater oversight. At committee, parliamentarians should make sure that this happens.

Protection of Canada from Terrorists ActGovernment Orders

November 4th, 2014 / 1:45 p.m.
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NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, my colleague for Parkdale—High Park has shed some important light on this issue. We have to ask some questions about some of the issues she has brought to the House. Essentially, they have to do with the budget cuts that were reviewed in finance committee. The CSIS budget was cut by $15 million in 2012, followed by an additional $24.5 million in 2014-15. CBSA was cut by $143 million, and the RCMP was cut by $195 million.

The member talked about the Conservative government being penny-wise and pound foolish. Have the Conservatives made a terrible mistake? Have they jeopardized the safety of Canadians with these cuts to make themselves look fiscally responsible? Are they trying to make up for that foolishness now?

Protection of Canada from Terrorists ActGovernment Orders

November 4th, 2014 / 1:45 p.m.
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NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I completely agree that this is penny wise, pound foolish, as my granny used to say. It really makes no sense.

In response, I want to quote from Mr. Kennedy's testimony. He said that the inspector general was “the eyes and ears”. He said that “the minister is personally accountable for those intelligence officers”, who have huge powers that Canadians really do not know anything about because it is in secret. He said, "That was the way the model was, because the the public can't be involved in it”, but that the public has to be assured “that we have a responsible minister and he's on the hook for this, and he's informed and can do the job and deliver it for us.”

It was set up that way. This is a covert intelligence agency, and there were vehicles put in place to allow the minister to control it. That was the inspector general. That position has now gone. Nothing has replaced it. Where is the accountability?

Protection of Canada from Terrorists ActGovernment Orders

November 4th, 2014 / 1:45 p.m.
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Liberal

Arnold Chan Liberal Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, I noted in my friend's contribution to the debate her concern about parliamentary oversight with respect to CSIS.

Of course, before this House there are two private members' bills. They are Bill C-551, introduced by the hon. member for Malpeque, and Bill C-622, introduced by the hon. member for Vancouver Quadra.

I would like my friend's thoughts with respect to these two particular private members' bills, and an indication of whether she and her party will be supporting that legislation when it comes before the House.

Protection of Canada from Terrorists ActGovernment Orders

November 4th, 2014 / 1:50 p.m.
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NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for raising those two other bills tangentially, but in my time allotted, I would like to focus on the bill that is before us today.

I would like to say that CSIS, our spy agency, is a body that is very important for the security of Canadians, but it is essential that there be adequate oversight.

Inquiry after inquiry has identified the need for better oversight, but the government, sadly, has moved in the opposite direction. It has taken the eyes and ears away from the minister responsible by cutting the oversight of our spy agency.

That is not the way to provide better safety and security for Canadians. I submit it is a way to keep the minister responsible blind and deaf, and that is not what we need. Canadians need to know that the vast and very important powers of CSIS staff are being monitored so that they are in compliance with the rules that have been set out for them in law.

There is no other body that can fulfill this requirement, and if Canadians truly want to be safe and assured that both their security and their civil liberties are protected, we need effective oversight. It is not happening. The government needs to get that done.

Protection of Canada from Terrorists ActGovernment Orders

November 4th, 2014 / 1:50 p.m.
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NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, as always, it is a great honour to stand in the House representing the people of Timmins—James Bay, who put their trust in me to speak for them.

I am very pleased to rise to speak to Bill C-44. This is the first time I have spoken in the House in debate since the brutal attack at the cenotaph and the attack on Parliament Hill. I would like to begin by reflecting a little of what I experienced on that terrible day.

I certainly experienced a sense of relief when I found that we were safe. I experienced thankfulness for the incredible security people who literally put their lives on the line to make sure that we were safe. I felt an enormous sense of pride—not a bullish beating of the chest pride, but a quiet pride—watching the Canadians around me who went about their day unafraid and helped each other. It reminded me that no matter what our differences in this nation are, there is a sense of community that will not be intimidated.

The last thing I felt that day was a real anger, an anger that the House of the people had been desecrated by violence. I felt it when I went out in the early morning about 5 a.m. and went to the cenotaph and saw a crime scene tape. I was very angry that such a symbol of who we are as a nation could be cut off from us and suddenly become a crime scene of mindless, hateful violence. It made me feel very angry.

When we reflect on how we deal with this kind of violence, it is incumbent upon us to take that sense of anger, that sense of pride, that sense of relief, and step back and ask ourselves what the Canadian people expect from us to ensure that they are safe. We are dealing with some very complex issues that are now being thrust before us.

Bill C-44 is not a response to what happened last week. This is a bill that has been on the order paper for some time, and it is important to look at it in that light. There are certainly specific elements that will need to be examined clearly, which is why we want the bill to go forward to committee.

One aspect is the international role of CSIS in in spying on and maintaining coverage of potential perpetrators who may be overseas. Certainly we see the issue of radicalization of people who have gone overseas, but this is a question that does confront the House, and we need to address it.

We know that CSIS has been found to have breached the courts and the laws of our land on numerous occasions, as reported in the 2007 Hape decision. In 2008, Justice Blanchard found that section 12 of the CSIS act did not contain extraterritorial provisions with respect to covert intelligence. In 2013, Justice Mosley said that the practice of seeking warrants for foreign surveillance was not legal. Therefore, the bill needs to look at how the actions of CSIS will be done within a legal frame.

To put this in context, maintaining legal provisions that will protect the Canadian people has to be seen in terms of the resources that exist or do not exist to follow through on whatever laws we bring forth.

There is also the issue of oversight. The issue of oversight means that when we debate laws in this country to offer police more tools, we make sure that these tools are being applied where they were intended and that they are not opening the door to all manner of warrantless intervention in the lives of ordinary Canadians.

In terms of oversight, the government has a fundamental problem. The government may feel that CSIS needs the tools and that CSIS has to be the front-line fighter in terms of international terrorism, but the oversight mechanisms have been abysmal.

The Prime Minister appointed Arthur Porter, a notorious international criminal who is sitting in a jail in Panama, to sit on the oversight body of CSIS. I would think that Canadians who witnessed the attacks last week would not be comfortable knowing that the man who was supposed to be making sure that our spy agency followed the laws and had the tools necessary was now sitting in a Panamanian jail on all manner of charges and allegations.

The replacement for him was Chuck Strahl, a former minister in the House. We found later that he was acting as a lobbyist for Enbridge at a time when CSIS was apparently spying on anti-Enbridge activists. There is damage to credibility here.

Maher Arar was sent to a foreign jurisdiction, wrongly, and tortured. He was an innocent man. One of the recommendations from the Arar report was to have better oversight of these provisions. This oversight is important in making sure there are no more cases like Maher Arar's, cases of people who are innocent but are in the wrong place at the wrong time and are rendered because the feeling of the day is that we do not need to follow the rule of law. The rule of law is essential. It keeps us separate from the kinds of bandits who want to attack who we are as a nation.

In terms of resources, the government is cutting $687.9 million from its overall security in the coming years, and $180 million is being cut from border security. Telling us it is going to get tougher in terms of protecting us while at the same time limiting the resources being used to protect us certainly raises questions about the government's overall credibility.

There is the recent Privacy Commissioner's ruling on the RCMP and its warrantless access provisions. The RCMP does not even have an ability to track how it is gathering information and under what circumstances it is gathering it.

Do we need to look at rules that may provide better tools to go after potential threats? That is certainly the discussion we should have. However, when every 72 seconds we have a request made to a telecom by a government agency that wants personal information on Canadians, that is certainly not within justification.

The fact is, contrary to what the Prime Minister said, the killers of Warrant Officer Vincent and Corporal Cirillo were not killers who washed up on our shores, as we were told last week. These were home-grown Canadian men. The Prime Minister said that our international allies would be standing with us as we went after the men who brutally killed Corporal Cirillo. Where were our international allies when he was going into a McDonald's with a stick, trying to get himself arrested?

Clearly, the rhetoric does not match the reality here. The reality is that we are not talking about what happens when people fall through the cracks and become increasingly marginalized. We had the snow plough killer and the bus beheader. We have people who, in mental instability, do terrible, brutal crimes. In the case of Zehaf-Bibeau, we were glad that the RCMP was able to seize his passport to prevent him from going anywhere else, but he was not on their terror watch list because he was considered mentally unstable. We need to understand that if we are to respond to the brutal crimes we saw, we must put provisions in place that protect us.

In terms of Bill C-44, the reasonable step here is to move it to committee to see what provisions CSIS needs to deal with international radicalization, especially in the case of someone who is trying to go to a place like Syria or Iraq to engage in the murderous activities there. What provisions would still be within the laws of our country? What oversight will be there to ensure that CSIS does not abuse its function within Canada? What role will we take, as a federal House of Commons, to address the fact that there is clearly a problem when Canadian men, born and bred in our country, can fall so far from the norm that they can pick up any kind of murderous death cult ideology because of all manner of instability, drugs, broken lives, and the fact they were living on the streets?

There are other people out there who may be in that same situation, whether they identify themselves as radical or not. What provisions are we going to put in place to ensure public security?

This is a long, ongoing discussion that we need to have in the House. However, we need to have it within the context of figuring out what works, what resources are in place, and what will maintain the overall standards we have for the rule of law in our country and the fact that we are an open, democratic, and unafraid society.