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An Act to amend the Customs Act


Ralph Goodale  Liberal


Second reading (House), as of June 15, 2016

Subscribe to a feed of speeches and votes in the House related to Bill C-21.


This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Customs Act to authorize the Canada Border Services Agency to collect, from prescribed persons and prescribed sources, personal information on all persons who are leaving or have left Canada. It also amends the Act to authorize an officer, as defined in that Act, to require that goods that are to be exported from Canada are to be reported despite any exemption under that Act. In addition, it amends the Act to provide officers with the power to examine any goods that are to be exported. Finally, it amends the Act to authorize the disclosure of information collected under the Customs Act to an official of the Department of Employment and Social Development for the purposes of administering or enforcing the Old Age Security Act.


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.

February 15th, 2017 / 4:15 p.m.
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Executive Director, National Council of Canadian Muslims

Ihsaan Gardee

Our organization is also looking at it and reviewing Bill C-23 and Bill C-21. We will be putting together submissions on that.

At the same time, we recognize that the U.S. is a sovereign nation that is able to determine who is or is not able to enter its jurisdiction. At the same time, some of the discriminatory and intrusive treatment that has been reported by Canadians is problematic. We're looking, really, for assurances that the government will go to bat for its citizens. We're calling on the public safety minister to reconsider proposed legislation that would grant further powers to American border officials in questioning and detaining Canadian travellers. This kind of pre-clearance law will erode the rights of travellers, including those of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. The agreement, which was negotiated during the previous American administration, takes on a whole new meaning in this new era.

Canadian Muslims in particular are deeply concerned and anxious about travelling to the U.S. This is troubling, as many Canadian residents have family and work commitments there. This climate threatens to unfairly infringe on their freedom of movement.

February 15th, 2017 / 4:15 p.m.
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Executive Member, Immigration Law Section, Canadian Bar Association

Peter Edelmann

The Canadian Bar Association is in the process of studying bills C-21 and C-23. We will have some proposals for you once they have been approved. Currently, they are at the revision stage.

We do indeed have concerns with how the measures proposed in those bills will work, as well as with the integration of the borders. Communicating information, co-operation and oversight of our national security agencies are also questions that I brought up previously.

That is precisely what the Arar Commission focused on. Mr. Arar’s experience was actually the result of a complex co-operation problem, specifically with regard to the information that was communicated.

February 15th, 2017 / 4:15 p.m.
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Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I apologize to the witnesses and my colleagues for my tardiness. I have no one else I can substitute for me here, so that's a reality I have to deal with.

I would like to ask a question about the border; it goes to both the Canadian Bar Association and the National Council of Canadian Muslims.

Obviously, this subject is very much in the news these days. In general, do you have concerns with the expansion of powers at the border or with the border becoming more integrated, as was mentioned this week? How should we proceed in this situation, particularly in terms of bills C-21 and C-23?

February 13th, 2017 / 4:10 p.m.
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Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

To the representatives of ISNA, if I'm not mistaken, not only was Bill C-51 brought up, but also Bill C-21 and Bill C-23.

I'm wondering if you could perhaps expand on that, because we are continuing this push towards a more integrated border with our American neighbours. I'm wondering what concerns you have with those pieces of legislation and with the whole plan in general.

February 8th, 2017 / 3:35 p.m.
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David McGovern Deputy National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, Office of the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, Privy Council Office

Thank you, Madam Chair.

Members of the committee, thank you for inviting me to appear before you today.

My name is David McGovern. I am the deputy national security adviser to the Prime Minister. However, I am here today in my previous role as senior adviser to the Privy Council Office responsible for the border action plan implementation from May 2014 until January 2015, when I was named the deputy national security adviser.

After my appointment, I continued to work on the Beyond the Border initiative while we were transitioning toward the current government.

In the Beyond the Border Action Plan of 2011, over 30 commitments were made to improve security and expedite legitimate movement of people, goods and services across the border.

Canada and the United States have a long-standing history of co-operation along our shared border, recognizing that we are each other's closest ally and most important security and economic partner. Included in this plan were two specific commitments that I wish to draw to your attention to, related to implementation and oversight. Responsibility for ensuring inter-agency coordination rested with the Prime Minister and the President, and their respective officials.

In Canada, this responsibility was led by the special adviser and a specially created small team in the Privy Council Office. This approach was mirrored in the United States, where it was led by a senior official in the National Security Council in the White House. The joint leads established an inter-agency “beyond the border” working group called the executive steering committee, comprising executive heads or associates from relevant departments and agencies that were implicated in the action plan.

The executive steering committee was also tasked with reporting on implementation of the action plan through the publication of an annual joint Canada-U.S. implementation report. Four such joint implementation reports were released. These documents describe progress in meeting the action plan commitments. Like all key beyond the border documents, they are housed on Canadian and U.S. government websites.

The Executive Steering Committee met five times, the last time being in October 2016.

In Canada, the Committee of Deputy Ministers on Borders was established to complement the work of the Executive Steering committee. The committee of deputy ministers was chaired by the special advisor and made up of deputy ministers or associate deputy ministers from Global Affairs Canada, Public Safety Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency, Transport Canada, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Industry Canada, and other departments and agencies as needed.

The committee of deputy ministers was established to discuss implementation issues, report on progress, identify stakeholder concerns, solve problems and, at a later stage, consider issues related to planning for the 2015 transition.

The deputy ministers' borders committee was also supported by a shadow assistant deputy minister steering committee, which was chaired by the border implementation team's assistant secretary. PCO received temporary funding in 2012 through the beyond the border initiative to support a small secretariat. This secretariat has since been wound down throughout 2016.

By the time the election was called in 2015, a large majority of the initiatives had either been completed or were on track. Of the issues that were not yet completed or were experiencing challenges, two were considered key from both a Canadian and a U.S. perspective, namely entry-exit and pre-clearance.

In March 2016, several key deliverables were announced at the Prime Minister Trudeau and President Obama's summit, including co-operation on issues that affect our shared border. The two leaders reinforced their intentions to bring into force the Canada-U.S. agreement on land, rail, marine, and air transport pre-clearance.

Building on more than 60 years of pre-clearance co-operation, the new agreement will further enhance both countries' mutual security and facilitate low-risk cross-border movement in all modes of travel. The two countries also agreed to explore the conditions necessary for cargo pre-clearance and to identify opportunities to pilot this approach. Both countries also committed to fully implement a system to exchange basic biographic entry information at the land border. This builds on the process already in place for third-country nationals, and will allow Canada and the U.S. to enhance border security in an effective and responsible way.

This will be done in a manner that respects our respective constitutional and legal frameworks, and protects our citizens' right to privacy.

The legislative provisions related to entry and exit, in this case Bill C-21, were tabled in the House of Commons on June 15, 2016, and are currently awaiting second reading.

The legislative provisions related to preclearance, in this case Bill C-23, were tabled on June 17, 2016. They are also awaiting second reading. President Obama signed the necessary U.S. legislative provisions for the entry into force of the Pre-clearance Agreement on December 16, 2016.

Canada and the U.S. intend to continue our robust relationship. Prime Minister Trudeau has committed the Canadian government to improving relations with the U.S., and to work to make substantial progress on reducing impediments to trade and commerce between our two countries, including by improving border infrastructure and security, streamlining cargo inspection, and facilitating the movement of people.

Thank you very much. I'd be pleased to answer any questions you may have.

October 6th, 2016 / 4:30 p.m.
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The Chair Liberal Rob Oliphant

Committee, I know you'll be very pleased that we're going to get right to questioning. The opening statement was done by the minister, and we now have witnesses here.

Mr. Brown from the department is still here. He is now joined by Ms. Beauregard.

Monsieur Coulombe, from CSIS, welcome again.

Mr. Paulson, it's nice to see you back.

Thank you for taking the time to join us.

As you know, we are beginning a fairly large study of the national security framework. This is not a legislative study. It is a study by parliamentarians on the whole framework, which we hope will help to advise the minister as he considers both policy and legislative changes in the coming year. That is the nature of our work. We're not dealing with any legislation in particular. We will be dealing with Bill C-22, now that it has been referred to us. If Bill C-21 and Bill C-23 pass in the House, we expect they will also come to us. This is really very much at the theoretical level of what we as parliamentarians need to be advising the minister on, having listened to the agencies and Canadians.

Welcome, Ms. Khalid. We're glad to have you and Ms. Petitpas Taylor as well. Thank you for joining us.

We're going to begin this round of seven-minute questions with Ms. Damoff.

Customs ActRoutine Proceedings

June 15th, 2016 / 3:10 p.m.
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Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan


Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-21, An Act to amend the Customs Act.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)