An Act respecting national security matters

Sponsor

Ralph Goodale  Liberal

Status

Considering amendments (Senate), as of June 12, 2019

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Summary

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

Part 1 enacts the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency Act, which establishes the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency and sets out its composition, mandate and powers. It repeals the provisions of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act establishing the Security Intelligence Review Committee and amends that Act and other Acts in order to transfer certain powers, duties and functions to the new Agency. It also makes related and consequential amendments to other Acts.

Part 1.‍1 enacts the Avoiding Complicity in Mistreatment by Foreign Entities Act to authorize the issuance of directions respecting the disclosure of and request for information that would result in a substantial risk of mistreatment of an individual by a foreign entity and the use of information that is likely to have been obtained as the result of mistreatment of an individual by a foreign entity.

Part 2 enacts the Intelligence Commissioner Act, which provides that the duties and functions of the Intelligence Commissioner are to review the conclusions on the basis of which certain authorizations are issued or amended, and determinations are made, under the Communications Security Establishment Act and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act and to approve those authorizations, amendments and determinations if those conclusions are reasonable. This Part also abolishes the position of the Commissioner of the Communications Security Establishment, provides for that Commissioner to become the Intelligence Commissioner, transfers the employees of the former Commissioner to the office of the new Commissioner and makes related and consequential amendments to other Acts.

Part 3 enacts the Communications Security Establishment Act, which establishes the Communications Security Establishment and, among other things, sets out the Establishment’s mandate as well as the regime for authorizing its activities. It also amends the National Defence Act and makes consequential amendments to other Acts.

Part 4 amends the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act to

(a) add a preamble to that Act and provide a mechanism to enhance the accountability of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service;

(b) add new limits on the exercise of the Service’s power to reduce threats to the security of Canada including, in particular, by setting out a list of measures that may be authorized by the Federal Court;

(c) provide a justification, subject to certain limitations, for the commission of acts or omissions that would otherwise constitute offences;

(d) exempt employees of the Service and persons acting under their direction from liability for offences related to acts committed for the sole purpose of establishing or maintaining a covert identity;

(e) create a regime for the Service to collect, retain, query and exploit datasets in the course of performing its duties and functions;

(f) make amendments to the warrant regime that are related to datasets; and

(g) implement measures for the management of datasets.

Part 5 amends the Security of Canada Information Sharing Act to, among other things,

(a) emphasize that the Act addresses only the disclosure of information and not its collection or use;

(b) clarify the definition of “activity that undermines the security of Canada”;

(c) clarify that advocacy, protest, dissent and artistic expression are not activities that undermine the security of Canada unless they are carried on in conjunction with an activity that undermines the security of Canada;

(d) provide that a disclosure of information is authorized only if the disclosure will contribute to the carrying out by the recipient institution of its national security responsibilities and will not affect any person’s privacy interest more than reasonably necessary;

(e) require that information disclosed be accompanied by information about the accuracy of the disclosed information and the reliability of the manner in which it was obtained; and

(f) require that records be prepared and kept in respect of every disclosure of information and that every year a copy of every record prepared in the preceding year be provided to the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency.

Part 6 amends the Secure Air Travel Act to authorize the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to collect from air carriers and operators of aviation reservation systems, for the purpose of identifying listed persons, information about any individuals who are on board or expected to be on board an aircraft for any flight prescribed by regulation, and to exempt an air carrier from providing that information, or from the application of any provision of the regulations, in certain circumstances. It amends the Act to authorize that Minister to collect personal information from individuals for the purpose of issuing a unique identifier to them to assist with pre-flight verification of their identity. It also reverses the rule in relation to a deemed decision on an application for administrative recourse. Finally, it amends the Act to provide for certain other measures related to the collection, disclosure and destruction of information.

Part 7 amends the Criminal Code to, among other things,

(a) make certain procedural modifications to the terrorist listing regime under section 83.‍05, such as providing for a staggered ministerial review of listed entities and granting the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness the authority to amend the names, including aliases, of listed entities;

(b) change the offence of advocating or promoting terrorism offences in general, in section 83.‍21, to one of counselling the commission of a terrorism offence, and make corresponding changes to the definition of terrorist propaganda;

(c) raise one of the thresholds for imposing a recognizance with conditions under section 83.‍3, and amend when that section is to be reviewed and, unless extended by Parliament, to cease to have effect;

(d) repeal sections 83.‍28 and 83.‍29 relating to an investigative hearing into a terrorism offence and repeal subsections 83.‍31(1) and (1.‍1), which require annual reports on such hearings;

(e) require the Attorney General of Canada to publish a report each year setting out the number of terrorism recognizances entered into under section 810.‍011 in the previous year; and

(f) authorize a court, in proceedings for recognizances under any of sections 83 and 810 to 810.‍2, to make orders for the protection of witnesses.

Part 8 amends the Youth Criminal Justice Act to, among other things, ensure that the protections that are afforded to young persons apply in respect of proceedings in relation to recognizance orders, including those related to terrorism, and give employees of a department or agency of the Government of Canada access to youth records, for the purpose of administering the Canadian Passport Order.

Part 9 requires that a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this enactment take place during the sixth year after section 168 of this enactment comes into force. If that section 168 and section 34 of Bill C-22, introduced in the 1st session of the 42nd Parliament and entitled the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians Act, come into force within one year of each other, the reviews required by those sections are to take place at the same time and are to be undertaken by the same committee or committees.

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

June 11, 2019 Passed Motion respecting Senate amendments to Bill C-59, An Act respecting national security matters
June 11, 2019 Failed Motion respecting Senate amendments to Bill C-59, An Act respecting national security matters (amendment)
June 11, 2019 Passed Motion for closure
June 19, 2018 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-59, An Act respecting national security matters
June 19, 2018 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-59, An Act respecting national security matters
June 19, 2018 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-59, An Act respecting national security matters
June 11, 2018 Passed Concurrence at report stage and second reading of Bill C-59, An Act respecting national security matters
June 11, 2018 Failed Bill C-59, An Act respecting national security matters (report stage amendment)
June 6, 2018 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-59, An Act respecting national security matters
Nov. 27, 2017 Passed Bill C-59, An Act respecting national security matters (referral to a committee before second reading)

National Security Act, 2017Government Orders

June 7th, 2018 / 1:10 p.m.
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NDP

François Choquette NDP Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is a giant step for Canada. Bill C-59 is an omnibus bill. It is 138 pages long. While we were at it, we could have settled the whole issue around the totally unacceptable ministerial directive on torture once and for all.

For some time now, we have been urging the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to repeal and replace the 2010 ministerial directive on torture. We need to make sure that Canada upholds the total ban on torture and, more specifically, does not, under any circumstances, make use of intelligence that foreign countries may have obtained through torture.

Unfortunately, the new directive introduced in 2017 does not ban the RCMP, our spies, or our border agencies from using intelligence that was obtained through torture in other countries.

Why make an omnibus bill, a giant step for Canada, but not ban the use of intelligence obtained through torture?

National Security Act, 2017Government Orders

June 7th, 2018 / 1:15 p.m.
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NDP

François Choquette NDP Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is important to rise to speak to this fundamental bill. As I mentioned earlier, at 138 pages, Bill C-59, an act respecting national security matters, is a real omnibus bill. Unfortunately, there are still problems with this bill. That is why we are going to have to oppose it. It does not meet all our expectations.

We opposed Bill C-51. We were the only ones to support compliance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in order to safeguard Canadians' rights and freedoms in 2015. The Liberals and the Conservatives voted for that bill, which was condemned by all Canadians. That is the reason why the Liberals later stated in their campaign that the bill made no sense and that they would rescind it if they were elected. They have finally woken up three years later. Unfortunately, the bill does not deliver on those promises.

There are elements missing. For example, the Liberals promised to fully repeal Bill C-51, and they are not doing that. Another extremely important thing that I want to spend some time talking about is the fact that they should have replaced the existing ministerial directive on torture in order to ensure that Canada stands for an absolute prohibition on torture. A lawful society, a society that respects the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the UN Charter of Rights, should obviously not allow torture. However, once again, Canada is somewhat indirectly complicit in torture that is happening around the world. We have long been calling on the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to repeal and replace the 2010 directive on torture to ensure that Canada stands for an absolute prohibition on torture. More specifically, we want to ensure that, under no circumstances, will Canada use information from foreign countries that could have been obtained using torture or share information that is likely to result in torture. We have bad memories of the horrors endured by some Canadians such as Maher Arar, Abdullah Almaki, Amhad Abou El Maati, and Muayyed Nureddin. Canadians have suffered torture, so we are in some way complicit. It is very important that we resolve this problem, but unfortunately, the new directive, issued in October 2017, does not forbid the RCMP, CSIS, or the CBSA from using information that may have been obtained through torture in another country.

The new instructions feature not a single semantic change, since they authorize the use of information obtained by torture in certain cases. That is completely unacceptable. Canada should take a leading role in preventing torture and should never agree to use or share information that is likely to result in torture in other countries around the world. We should be a leader on this issue.

There is another extremely important file that I want to talk about that this bill does not address and that is the infamous no-fly list. This list and the unacceptable delays in funding redress mechanisms are regrettable. There is currently no effective redress mechanism to help people who suffer the consequences from being added to this list. Some Canadian families are very concerned. They want to protect their rights because children are at risk of being detained by airport security after mistakenly being added to the list, a list that prevents them from being able to fly.

We are very worried about that. We are working with No Fly List Kids. We hope that the Liberal government will wake up. It should have fixed this situation in this bill, especially considering that this is an omnibus bill.

Speaking of security, I want to mention two security-related events that occurred in Drummond that had a significant impact. The first was on May 29 and was reported by journalist Ghyslain Bergeron, who is very well known in Drummondville. A dozen or so firefighters from Saint-Félix-de-Kingsey were called to rescue a couple stranded on the Saint-François river. Led by the town's fire chief, Pierre Blanchette, they headed to the area and courageously rescued the couple. It is extremely important to acknowledge acts of bravery when we talk about the safety our our constituents.

I also want to talk about Rosalie Sauvageau, a 19-year-old woman who received a certificate of honour from the City of Drummondville after an unfortunate event at a party in Saint-Thérèse park. A bouncy castle was blown away by the wind, and she immediately rushed the children out of the bouncy castle, bringing them to safety. Not long after, a gust of wind blew one of the bouncy castles into Rivière Saint-François. Fortunately, Rosalie Sauvageau had the presence of mind, the quickness, and the courage to keep these children safe. I mentioned these events because the safety and bravery of our fellow citizens is important.

To come back to the bill, I must admit that there are some good things in it, but there are also some parts that worry us, in particular the new definition of an activity that undermines the security of Canada. This definition was amended to include any activity that threatens the lives or the security of individuals, or an individual who has a connection to Canada and who is outside Canada. This definition is pernicious and dangerous, because it will now include activities that involve significant or widespread interference with critical infrastructure.

The Liberal government just recently purchased the Kinder Morgan pipeline, a 65-year-old pipeline that the company originally bought for $500,000. The government bought it for the staggering price of $4.5 billion, with money from the taxes paid by Canadians and the people of greater Drummond, and claimed that it was essential to Canada.

Does that mean that the Liberal government could tell the thousands of people protesting against this pipeline that they are substantially obstructing essential infrastructure?

We are rather concerned about that. This clause of the bill creates potential problems for people who peacefully protest projects such as the Kinder Morgan pipeline. That is why we are voting against this bill. The Liberals have to go back to the drawing board. We must improve this bill and ensure that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is upheld.

National Security Act, 2017Government Orders

June 7th, 2018 / 1:30 p.m.
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Labrador Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Yvonne Jones LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak today to the bill. Bill C-59 is legislation that our government committed to prior to the last election. It came from a very disconcerting perspective that Canadians had with regard the legislation passed by the former government, Bill C-51.

Bill C-59 would enhance Canada's national security, while safeguarding the values, rights and freedoms of Canadians. That is very important. The bill before the House today would uphold our commitment to fix the problematic elements of the former Bill C-51, notably by tightening the definition of “terrorist propaganda”; protecting the right to advocate and protest; upgrading the no-fly list procedures; and ensuring the paramountcy of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It would also strengthen our accountability and transparency by creating the national security and intelligence review agency and a position of intelligence commissioner. These would complement the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians, which was created by Bill C-22.

In addition, Bill C-59 would also bring our security and intelligence legislation into the 21st century. Much of that legislation was written in the 1980s, before the revolution of information technology, which has transformed the national security and the intelligence landscape. Bill C-59 would ensure that our agencies could keep pace with evolving threats and to keep us safe, and that our laws would also keep pace in order to protect Canadians' rights and freedoms in the digital world.

Canadians had asked for the bill. It is what Canadians wanted. It is the result of being able to modernize our national security system in the country, doing so with the input of Canadians and many experts from across the country.

Today, I am pleased to speak about the proposed amendments in the bill to the Youth Criminal Justice Act, which is included in part 8 of the National Security Act of 2017. Through this set of amendments, our government is taking action to ensure that all youth, who are involved in the criminal justice system, are afforded the enhanced procedural and other protections provided by Canada's Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Before addressing the substance of the proposed amendments, I would like to provide a bit of background about the Youth Criminal Justice Act so people understand this federal law. We call it the YCJA, and it is the law that governs Canada's justice system for youth. It applies to young people between the ages of 12 to 17 who commit criminal offences, including terrorism offences. They are dealt with under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

The act recognizes that the youth justice system must be separate from the adult system and it must be based on the principle of diminished moral blameworthiness of youth. It emphasizes rehabilitation and reintegration, just and proportionate responses to offending, and enhanced procedural protections for youth. The act also recognizes the importance of involving families, victims, and communities in the youth criminal justice system.

The YCJA contains a number of significant legal safeguards to ensure that young people are treated fairly and that their rights are fully protected. For example, as a general rule, the privacy of youth who are dealt with under the YCJA is protected through publication bans on their identity and significant restrictions to access to youth records. Young people also have enhanced rights to counsel, including state-provided counsel, and the right to have parents or other guardians present throughout key stages of the investigative and judicial processes.

While many aspects of the criminal procedure are similar in the youth and adult criminal justice system, the YCJA establishes distinct legal principles, projections, and options for dealing with youth who are alleged to have committed a criminal offence.

If a young person is charged, all proceedings take place in youth court. As I previously noted, while youth court proceedings are open to the public, the YCJA imposes restrictions on the publication of a youth's identity.

In addition, the YCJA establishes clear restrictions on access to youth records, setting out who may access the records, the purpose for which youth records may be used, and the time periods during which access to the records is even permitted.

Generally speaking, the penalties that are set out in the Criminal Code do not apply to youth. Instead the Youth Criminal Justice Act sets out the specific youth sentencing principles, their options, and their durations. There are a broad range of community-based youth sentencing options and clear restrictions on the use of custodial sentences.

As we turn to Bill C-59, it is important to recognize that there have been very few cases in Canada in which a young person has become involved in the youth criminal justice system due to terrorism-related offences. Nonetheless, it is important to ensure that when this does occur, the young person is afforded all of the enhanced procedural and other protections under the Youth Criminal Justice Act as other youth criminals are afforded.

Part 8 of Bill C-59 would amend certain provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act to ensure that youth protections would apply in relation to anti-terrorism and other recognizance orders. It would also provide for access to youth records for the purposes of administering the Canadian passport order, which I will explain a bit further in a few moments, and would be subject to the special privacy protections set out in the act. This would eliminate any uncertainty about the applicability of certain provisions to a youth for whom a recognizance order is being sought, including provisions relating to a youth's right to counsel and to detention of the youth.

In addition, there is currently no access period identified for records relating to recognizance orders, so the YCJA would be amended to provide that the access period for these records would be six months after the order expires.

In addition, Part 8 of Bill C-59 would amend the act to specifically permit access to youth records for the purpose of administering Canada's passport program. The Canadian passport order contemplates that passports can be denied or revoked in certain instances of criminality or in relation to national security concerns.

For example, section 10.1 of the Canadian passport order stipulates that the Minister of Public Safety may decide to deny or revoke a passport if there are reasonable grounds, including that revocation is necessary to prevent the commission of a terrorism offence, or for the national security of Canada or a foreign country or state. Basically, the amendment would allow the Canadian passport office to access this information. Of course it would still fall within the privacy regulations of the country, but it would allow the office to assess an application and to determine if a youth would still be a security threat to Canada.

Canadians can be assured that our government is addressing national security threats, while continuing to protect the democratic values, rights, and freedoms of Canadians. We feel that along with other elements of the national security reform package that has been put forward by our government, these laws reform measures and demonstrate a commitment to ensuring that our laws are fair, that they are effective, and that they respect the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

As my colleagues look through Bill C-59, they will note that tremendous effort has been made on behalf of the minister and many in Parliament to ensure that the legislation responds to the safety and security needs of Canadians in a democratic way, in the way that Canadians have asked.

The bill has been through many hours of consultation. It has been through many hours of debate both in committee and the House of Commons. People from each end of the country have had an opportunity to provide feedback into the reforms of Bill C-51, which is now compiled as Bill C-59.

The Canadian Security and Intelligence Service Act ensures there is accountability of Canadian security and intelligence services for all Canadians. This legislation responds to what Canadians have asked for and it is supported by experts who study this field within Canada.

National Security Act, 2017Government Orders

June 7th, 2018 / 1:45 p.m.
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Liberal

Yvonne Jones Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, what I said was that much of the legislation we were dealing with was written in the 1980s. If we go back through the previous legislation, members will see that many of those things were on the books as they related to national security and intelligence in the landscape of Canada. What this bill is doing is bringing us into a different era.

It will ensure that our agencies can keep pace with evolving threats to keep us safe and that our laws would also keep pace to protect Canadians' rights and freedoms in a digital world. Bill C-59 speaks to those intricate pieces.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

June 7th, 2018 / 3:10 p.m.
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Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon, we will continue with the report stage debate on Bill C-69, the environmental assessment act.

Following this, we will turn to Bill C-75, the justice modernization act, and Bill C-59, the national security act.

If time permits, we shall start debate at report stage of Bill C-68, the fisheries act, and Bill C-64 on derelict vessels.

Tomorrow morning, we will begin third reading of Bill C-47 on the Arms Trade Treaty. Next Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday are allotted days. Also, pursuant to the Standing Orders, we will be voting on the main estimates Thursday evening.

Next week, priority will be given to the following bills: Bill C-21, an act to amend the Customs Act; Bill C-59, an act respecting national security matters; Bill C-64, the wrecked, abandoned or hazardous vessels act; Bill C-68 on fisheries; and Bill C-69 on environmental assessments.

We also know, however, that the other place should soon be voting on Bill C-45, the cannabis act. If a message is received notifying us of amendments, that will be given priority.

Impact Assessment ActGovernment Orders

June 7th, 2018 / 5:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to rise in response to Bill C-69, the government's environmental and regulatory bill, one that is supposed to be revolutionary. This just brings us to another long list of broken promises that the Prime Minister made when he campaigned in 2015 as the member for Papineau at the time. He made some great promises to Canadians.

We heard a lot about sowing the seeds of fear, that Canadians had lost confidence in some things like our environmental assessment plan. The groups that were promoting that had a sole purpose. There was a lot of talk about foreign-funded groups and how they had influenced elections, both on this side of the border as well as the other side of the border recently.

We know very well that during the 2015 election, and I know because I was one of the candidates who was targeted, groups were targeting Conservative members of Parliament. They were talking about how damaging Mr. Harper was to our environment. We heard people say how we were fearmongering with respect to Bill C-59. If we looked at it and followed where the dollar started, these groups started in other jurisdictions, and perhaps not in Canada.

What would be the sole purpose for those groups to sow the seed of fear or perhaps put doubt in the minds of Canadians in the industry or in the government of the day. It would be to really shake up the economy. Why would they do that? Probably because the money they get comes from big oil or big energy groups in the U.S. This is the fact. We know this. To some extent, the Prime Minister, the Liberals, and perhaps the NDP have bought into those groups. I know about the NDP candidate who I ran against in my region, the one who had probably the best photography team I have ever seen. Again, my riding was one of those targeted because ridings they thought they would win, but I proved them wrong.

Let us talk about the growing list of broken promises, and this is so relevant to Bill C-69.

The Prime Minister talked about a small deficit of $10 billion at that time, and the budget would be balanced. There is a record and a history with this. He also said that under his government, the Liberals would be the most open and transparent government in Canadian history. There is a smattering of applause on the other side, but we know it is not true. When he created the mandate letters, he said that the ministers would be more accountable and more open to Canadians. He also said that he would let the debate reign, yet today we are in the 41st closure of debate.

During the campaign, the member for Papineau said that under his government the Harper government's way of doing omnibus bills would be in the past, that it would never happen again. Today, we are speaking to a 400-page bill.

We know the Prime Minister is not really very happy. He is not a very strong champion of our energy sector. We know this from one of his very first speeches to the world, when he said that under his government Canada would be known more for our resourcefulness rather than our resources. We know he has gotten himself into a little trouble for some of the comments he made on the world stage, when he said that he wished the energy sector could be phased out a little faster. We also know he got himself into trouble when he went into Alberta, during a time when we were facing some terrible issues, to speak to the out-of-work oil workers. There is that famous clip where a gentleman asked “What am I going to do? I'm out of work. I don't know whether I'm going to have a home. I don't know how I'm going to feed my children”. What was his comment? “Hang in there”.

The Liberals hated our Navigable Protection Act. The reason I bring this up is because the fisheries, oceans and Canadian Coast Guard committee, FOPO, studies some of the changes to legislation brought forward by government. The Liberals said that Prime Minister Harper had a war on the environment, and the changes he made to the Navigable Waters Protection Act were because the Conservatives did not care.

The Liberals like to bring in academics, NGOs, and environmental groups. Witness after witness, when asked to provide proof if any of the changes from 2012 to the Fisheries Act and Navigable Waters Protection Act would cause any harmful death or damage to our waterway, not one witness could provide proof. In fact, one of our hon. colleagues was part of the group that wrote the changes to the legislation. He talked about why some of these navigable waterway regulations were changed. He said that it was because of our farmers. If farmers had a drainage ditch that had been washout and repairs had to be made, whether to accommodate their livestock or their crops, it took a lot of time, waiting to get that done. Also, if a municipality was isolated because a road had been washed out, there were a lot of challenges in getting the repairs done.

I could go on and on.

The Prime Minister and all of his ministers like to stand and with their hands on their hearts, they pledge they will consult with Canadians from coast to coast to coast. They tell us that every Canadian will have a say. We know the consultations are not true. In fact, they are shutting down debate.

As I like to do every chance I get, I want to remind folks on the other side, and all Canadians, that the House is theirs. Shutting down debate means the 338 members of Parliament who were elected to be the voices of all Canadians do not have their say. They are not able to bring their constituents' voices to Ottawa. The Prime Minister, his cabinet, the other Liberals want to bring the voice of Ottawa to those communities. We know that the only voice that seems to matter is the Prime Minister's voice.

Impact Assessment ActGovernment Orders

June 7th, 2018 / 5:55 p.m.
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Liberal

Nick Whalen Liberal St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to rise in the House today to speak in support of Bill C-59, the government's proposed legislation to update and modernize the country's national security framework.

This landmark bill covers a number of measures that were informed by the views and opinions of a broad range of Canadians during public consultations in 2016. It was in that same spirit of openness, engagement, and transparency that Bill C-59 was referred to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security before second reading.

The committee recently finished its study of the bill. I want to thank the committee for its diligent and thorough examination of this comprehensive legislation. An even stronger bill, with over 40 adopted amendments, is now back in the House. The measures it contains would do two things at once: strengthen Canada's ability to effectively address and counter 21st-century threats, while safeguarding the rights and freedoms we cherish as Canadians—

Impact Assessment ActGovernment Orders

June 7th, 2018 / 6 p.m.
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Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have just very clearly seen that members on this side of the House want to talk about bills. We want to talk about Bill C-59. We want to talk about Bill C-69. All the parliamentarians on this side of the House want to express their views. Unfortunately, the Liberals have cut parliamentarians' speaking time so much that some members have to talk about two bills at once.

I would like my colleague who spoke about both Bill C-59 and Bill C-69 in the same speech to tell me whether he sometimes feels forgotten by the government because he sits on this side of the House. The Conservatives, the NDP, the Bloc Québécois, and the Green Party all represent our constituents here in the House, and they want to hear us speak about all of these bills.

I commend my colleague over here for wanting to speak about two bills, because he knows that we will not have time to talk about all of these things and that the members on the other side of the House often prevent us from speaking. I would like to hear what my colleague has to say about that.

Impact Assessment ActGovernment Orders

June 7th, 2018 / 6 p.m.
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Liberal

Nick Whalen Liberal St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his comments. I was in the middle of preparing my remarks on Bill C-59 and I am planning on speaking to Bill C-69 next week. I will have a chance to talk about it at third reading. I may have lost it, I am not sure. I have already said half of what I intended to say on the matter.

At the same time, I know that our sitting hours have been extended because we cannot fit all the members who want to speak into the limited time that the House has to implement all of our legislation and amendments. It is a shame we do not have thousands of hours to speak in the House. These are the hours we have, and we have only four years to fulfill all our election promises.

Now, we are working on fulfilling our promises, and I think I will get a chance to speak on Bill C-69 next week and Bill C-59 a few minutes from now.

National Security Act, 2017Government Orders

June 7th, 2018 / 6:05 p.m.
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Liberal

Nick Whalen Liberal St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, perhaps I misheard and referred to Bill C-69 and not Bill C-59 when I rose to speak earlier.

I am pleased to rise again to support Bill C-59, the government's proposed legislation to update and modernize the country's national security framework. This landmark bill covers a number of measures that were informed by the views and opinions of a broad range of Canadians during public consultations in 2016.

It was in that same spirit of openness, engagement, and transparency that Bill C-59 was referred to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security before second reading, and the committee recently finished its study of this bill. I want to thank the committee members for their diligent and thorough examination of the legislation. An even stronger bill, with over 40 adopted amendments, is now before the House, thanks to their great work.

The measures would do two things at once. They would strengthen Canada's ability to effectively address and counter 21st-century threats while safeguarding the rights and freedoms we cherish as Canadians.

This is where I get into some new material. Rather than elaborate on any specific proposed measure, I will focus my remarks today on the high level of engagement, consultation, and analysis that contributed to the legislation we find before us today.

Bill C-59 is a result of the most comprehensive review of Canada's national security framework since the passing of the CSIS Act more than 30 years ago. That public review included unprecedented open and transparent public consultations on national security undertaken by Public Safety Canada and the Department of Justice. Canadians were consulted on key elements of Canada's national security laws and policies to ensure that they reflected the rights, values, and freedoms of Canadians. Several issues were covered, including countering radicalization to violence, oversight and accountability, threat reduction, and the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015, which is the former Bill C-51.

All Canadians were invited and encouraged to take part in the consultations, which were held between September and December 2016. The response was tremendous. Thousands of people weighed in through a variety of avenues, both in person and online. Citizens, community leaders, experts and academics, non-governmental organizations, and parliamentarians alike made their views and ideas known over the course of the consultation period. In the end, tens of thousands of views were received, all of which were valuable in shaping the scope and content of Bill C-59.

With almost 59,000 responses received, the online consultation is what generated by far the largest volume of input, using a questionnaire consisting of more than 60 questions organized into 10 themes.

Nearly 18,000 submissions were also received by email. These consisted mainly of letters and other pieces of communication submitted by individuals. In addition, public town halls were held in five Canadian cities: Halifax, Markham, Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Yellowknife. This gave citizens across the country a chance to share their thoughts and opinions in person.

The Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security also held numerous meetings and consultations. It even travelled across the country to hear testimony not only from expert witnesses but also from members of the Canadian public, who were invited to express their views.

A digital town hall and two Twitter chats were also organized. Members of the public also had the opportunity to make their voices heard at 17 engagement events led by members of Parliament at the constituency level. In addition, 14 in-person sessions were held with academics and experts across the country, as well as one round table of civil society experts.

A total of 79 submissions were received from stakeholders, experts, and academics. The Canadian Bar Association, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Information Technology Association of Canada are just a few of the organizations that participated in the consultations.

A great deal of time, effort, and expertise was spent not only to ensure that engaged citizens and interested parties were heard, but also to painstakingly collect and consider all input received from the public. All data collected during the consultation process was reviewed and prepared for analysis. The next step was to carefully analyze every comment, submission, letter, and other forms of input.

These views have been published on the Government of Canada's open data portal, so anyone interested in learning more about what was said can see what was said.

In addition, an independently prepared report provides an overview of what was heard during the consultation. The results are summarized in 10 sections, one for each of the themes explored in both “Our Security, Our Rights: National Security Green Paper, 2016” and the online questionnaire.

While it would be difficult to summarize everything we have heard from Canadians, I can speak to a few key themes that emerged. First of all, I can attest that in any large volume of input, there will be widely different opinions. That was certainly the case in the public consultation on national security. However, the results made one thing perfectly clear. Canadians want accountability, transparency, and effectiveness from their security and intelligence agencies. They also expect their rights, freedoms, and privacy to be protected at the same time as their security.

Consistent with what was heard, Bill C-59 would modernize and enhance Canada's security and intelligence laws to ensure that our agencies have the tools they need to protect us. It would do so with a legal and constitutional framework that complies with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Taken together, the proposed measures in Bill C-59represent extensive improvements to Canada's national security framework. They also reflect thousands upon thousands of opinions expressed by this country's national security community, Parliamentarians across party lines, and the Canadian public writ large.

I firmly believe that it is important for all Canadians to be informed and engaged on Canada's national security framework. I am proud to stand behind a government that shares that belief.

The input received during the public consultation process in the pre-study period at committee was both considerable and instrumental in the development of Bill C-59 itself. There is no doubt in my mind that the legislation before this House today has been strengthened and improved as a result of the committee's close scrutiny and clause-by-clause consideration of the bill. To highlight just one example, the bill would now include provisions enacting the avoiding complicity in mistreatment by foreign entities act. This act would have to do with the ministerial directions issued last fall to Canada's national security and intelligence agencies. To ensure transparency and accountability, those directions would be made public under an amended Bill C-59. They would also be reported on annually to the public, to review bodies, and to the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians.

I encourage all members of this House to vote in favour of Bill C-59. Should Bill C-59pass, this important piece of legislation would enhance Canada's national security, keep its citizens safe, and safeguard Canadians' constitutionally protected rights and freedoms. For all these reasons, I urge my honourable colleagues to join me in supporting Bill C-59.

With the bit of extra time that remains to me after my prepared remarks, I would just like to talk a little bit about my experience at the door during the election in 2015.

In the early part of June and July, many Canadians were concerned about Bill C-51. It was a hot topic of conversation. What the former Liberal third party opposition had attempted to do at committee in the previous session of Parliament was at least get some amendments into Bill C-51 to encourage and strengthen oversight and make sure that the bill not only protected security but made sure that Canadians' privacy and freedoms were being respected.

That led to a lot of difficult conversations, because during the campaign, the three parties were really divided on this particular issue. The Conservatives were adamant that they had struck the right balance. The New Democratic Party wanted to repeal it entirely. The Liberal Party stuck to its guns and said that it was a difficult conversation to have with people, but the legislation was needed. They said we needed this legislation but we needed to fix it, we needed to do it right, and we needed to make sure that it had the safeguards we promised and attempted to achieve at the amendment stage for Bill C-51 in the last Parliament.

That is what we have done. However, we have done even more than that. We have gone back to the drawing board and have let many different groups participate to make sure that we got it right.

I just want to provide one little quote, from national security experts Craig Forcese and Kent Roach, who have said that this legislation is “the real deal: the biggest reform in this area since 1984” and that it comes “at no credible cost to security.”

I believe that through all the consultations, the drafting of the bill by the minister and his staff, the review of the bill at committee, and the help of all members of the House, we now have a piece of legislation that strikes the right balance that will make Canadians safer and will also protect their rights and freedoms, which is what we promised in the 41st Parliament we would do if elected, and we are doing it now.

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June 7th, 2018 / 6:15 p.m.
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Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Mr. Speaker, I want to applaud the member for the quick recovery when we returned to Bill C-59.

I also want to mention that it is interesting that he talked about how members on the committee were able to work together to report this bill back to us, but he must know that all 29 amendments suggested by the Conservatives on that committee were rejected. I am concerned that perhaps his interpretation of the congenial interaction among members at the committee equalled actually hearing and listening to and accepting a point of view on the Conservative side that certain provisions should not be amended or should be amended in a certain way to assure ourselves that our security agencies can continue to do their work.

I want to focus on a specific definition in the act. The previous definition of “terrorist propaganda” included the words “advocates or promotes”. The new definition of terrorist propaganda replaces those words with the word “counselling”. I am concerned that this definitional change would have a big impact on the type of propaganda that can be produced by terrorist cells and movements that promote and also entice lone-wolf attacks, some of the most difficult types of cases to stop.

I would like to hear from the member why this change was made and how this change would help the government stop terrorist propaganda from being propagated across social media channels like YouTube.

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June 7th, 2018 / 6:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join the debate on Bill C-59 now that the government has forced the final hours of debate and shut down the ability of members of Parliament to contribute to it.

The committee report on this legislation only came out on May 3, and we had one day of debate on May 28. It is interesting to note that the government now wants to rush this legislation as quickly as possible through Parliament now that this session is coming to a close.

I want to take the debate to a higher level and talk about the threat of terrorism, because it is one of the greatest threats of our time. I want to talk a bit about Canada's experience with terrorist cells and terrorist activity and then perhaps finish with a bit on committee procedure, committee deliberations, and the issue of free speech, since I asked the member for St. John's East for the definition of “terrorist propaganda”.

The definition I would like to use comes from one of the NATO handbooks, the AAP-06 glossary of terms and definitions, the 2014 edition. It says that terrorist propaganda is “The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence against individuals or property in an attempt to coerce or intimidate governments or societies to achieve political, religious or ideological objectives.” Those last three criteria or considerations I have often seen defined in different ways. Each American agency defines them in a slightly different way, and our agencies do the same.

Basically, it is about non-state actors, non-states using violence for an ideological, religious, or political goal. These are always their objectives, which is why it was so easy to label al Qaeda a terrorist organization. Many governments around the world were also able to do so quite simply. Al Qaeda is not religiously inspired, but it used religion as an excuse for its political goal, which was the removal of American forces in Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East.

There are many other terrorist groups. In the past 150 years or so, non-state actors have played a role in terrorist activity. Oftentimes we say that terrorism is new, that this has never happened before. I want to dispel that idea.

Piracy on the high seas, piracy within territorial waters, can and has been compared a lot of times to a form of terrorism. They are not typically privateers. They do not exist nowadays. It is a form of political violence. It is sometimes motivated by economic factors and sometimes by political factors.

The Baader-Meinhof gang in Germany of the 1960s and 1970s was basically the Red Army Faction. It was a Marxist or communist-inspired terrorist cell that robbed banks and shot government officials in Germany. It was well recognized for using terrorist tactics and strategies to achieve its political aims.

In 1919-1920 the anarchist bombings in the United States took place. Too often we are quick to say that terrorism is a new thing, but at the turn of the 19th century and the beginning of the 1900s, anarchist cells and anarchist movements were a very popular source of political agitation, as well as violent agitation.

In these particular cases, cells were responsible for the postmaster general attacks on members of the U.S. cabinet. They were responsible for attacks on governors and state legislatures. There is actually quite a long list of attacks that were carried out by them.

In the 1920s, we had a bombing and arson campaign here in Canada by the Freedomites, also called the Svobodniki, which were Russian-inspired terrorist cells. It was a terrorist network that undertook violence on a large scale for political goals. It was put down at the time by the state security apparatus that we had back then.

Closer to today, the Palestine Liberation Organization, or the PLO, participated in airline hijackings. That was an issue in the sixties and seventies. Airline hijackings were taking place all over the world. They became a major issue. That was far before my time, but we can read about them in textbooks. Many documentaries have been written about them. It was a plague all across the European continent and in the Middle East. Stopping hijackers was always a concern of security agencies. They did not know how to tell a hijacker apart from a tourist, or someone on a business trip, or someone travelling for personal reasons, or any reason really. That was a great difficulty at the time.

We have always had to struggle between charter rights and civil liberties and the security needs of our citizens.

In the regard, I often hear Liberals say they are the party of the charter and that they are striking the right balance. In this country, we have a longer inheritance of natural rights that were formalized in the Magna Carta in 1215. Later, they were annulled by Pope Innocent III and brought back one more time. They stayed with us as rights given to us just because of who we are. Our inherent humanity gives us those rights.

I want to caution members on the other side when referencing the charter. Our rich tradition of liberty goes far beyond the last 30 or 40 years. Our rights are not given to us by the charter. They are guaranteed to us by our innate humanity. In this country, thanks to our British common law, they are guaranteed by the Magna Carta. We have to strike the right balance in Bill C-59, and I just do not see our having achieved that in the effort to assure ourselves of our own security.

The great leaps in technology allow our citizens to travel quite easily. They can be in another country within one day, even in Europe, and that ease of travel, ease of communication, and ease of financing and transferring funds has also made it possible for those who would do us great harm to take advantage of it in ways that can harm our fellow citizens, and harm the state property that we pay for and that exists for the public good, and damage our airports and malls. A very popular form of terrorism in eastern Africa is attacking shopping malls. Shoppers are the targets of terrorist cells, such as al Shabaab.

I have deep concerns that Bill C-59 would not achieve that goal. As I asked in a previous question about the specific definition of “terrorist propaganda”, I am concerned about protecting free speech. It is deeply important, but I feel it is very hypocritical of the government, on one side, to say it is going to protect free speech and modify the definition of “terrorist propaganda”, and, on the other side, with the Canada summer jobs program, say that if Canadians wish to apply for it but have a spiritual, intellectual, or ethical disagreement with the government, they will be denied funding from the beginning. That is hypocrisy, and it has to be called out.

In consideration of this bill at committee, there were 29 amendments moved by Conservative members. Every single one of those was voted down. In 2015, when Bill C-51 was being considered, the member for Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, the member for Beauce, and two former members, Denis Lebel and Christian Paradis, all received threats at their offices. It speaks to how intense this issue was back in 2015 when this legislation was initially introduced as Bill C-51. I am glad that a great deal of it was kept by the Liberal government. Indeed, the Liberals voted for it at the time, although they sometimes seem to imply that they reject its content but accept mere modifications to it.

I am hoping, though, that the government will see the light and change its mind about trying to ram this through in the late hours of this spring session when there are only a mere few days to allow other members of Parliament to speak on behalf of their constituents. Public consultation is one thing, but it cannot replace the work we do here on behalf of our constituents.

I would be remiss if I did not end with this: When God wants people to suffer, he sends them too much understanding. It is a Yiddish proverb, and quite an old one. It says that the more knowledge we gain, the more problems we typically have, and the more suffering comes upon us, because when we know more, it is incumbent upon us to do better and take actions based on information that we have received. I do not believe the government is striking the right balance.

As I said, the new definition of “terrorist propaganda” that only mentions counselling a person to do so does not achieve the aim of getting social media companies to remove propaganda promoting terrorist ideologies that result in lone-wolf attacks. I am not as concerned about organized crime or organized terrorist cells as I am about lone-wolf attacks, the people inspired to act on behalf of an organization overseas that is not directly counselling them to do so, but promoting and advocating a system of beliefs of political violence for an ideological, religious, or political aims.

I will be voting against this bill because it has too many defects, whereas Bill C-51 has far fewer.

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June 7th, 2018 / 6:30 p.m.
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Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague from Calgary Shepard, whom I like a great deal, was not here in the 41st Parliament. Therefore, he does not recognize the fragility of the glass house in which he now stands when claiming that this bill has been forced through.

I remember Bill C-51. I remember when it was tabled at first reading on January 30, 2015, a Friday morning. I took it home on the weekend. I came back here on February 2 knowing that I had never seen anything quite as draconian introduced in the Canadian Parliament. We opposed it. We worked hard on it. At least I was the first member of Parliament to declare it to be a threat not just to our liberties, but also that made us less safe because it entrenched the worst effects of the separation of law, spy agencies, and law enforcement.

Bill C-51 is a dangerous piece of legislation that was forced through. There was no public consultation. It was introduced at first reading on January 30, it was through this place by May 6, and through the Senate by June 9. This piece of legislation has been before us a full year. Therefore, I am afraid that my hon. colleague is shooting at the wrong target when he thinks this bill has been forced through.

It is not as good as I would like it to be. The member is right that it does not do away with all of the things that were problematic in Bill C-51. However, I will be voting for Bill C-59, because it does a lot to redress the threat to our security from Bill C-51, which ignored all the recommendations of the Air India inquiry and the Maher Arar inquiry, and represented the worst entrenchment of the kinds of siloed agency thinking that, in the words of former Justice John Major, who chaired the Air India inquiry, make us less safe.

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June 7th, 2018 / 6:35 p.m.
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Brampton West Ontario

Liberal

Kamal Khera LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, as members know, Bill C-59 is an act to enhance Canada's national security while safeguarding the rights and freedoms of Canadians. It is a bill that is extremely important to constituents in my riding of Brampton West, who were really concerned about the problematic elements of the Harper Conservatives' Bill C-51.

I held many consultations and town halls in my riding of Brampton West and heard the concerns of my constituents. This bill strikes the right balance between protecting the safety of Canadians and enhancing and protecting their rights and freedoms.

Does the hon. member or his constituents agree with at least some elements of this bill?

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June 7th, 2018 / 6:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Mr. Speaker, regarding the contents of this particular bill, my constituents have mixed feelings. It is a complex piece of legislation, and they are not all experts. Some of them have contacted me and pointed out specific sections of Bill C-59 that they have deep concerns about, both on the civil liberties side, as some have said, and on the security side, in terms of agencies being able to share certain information between them. There are mixed feelings.

After much thought about the contents of the bill, I simply do not believe it achieves the right balance between information sharing and our civil liberties, and assuring ourselves that our security agencies can do the job we are asking them to do.