Thank you very much, Mr. Chair, and thank you to the minister for coming back. I welcome him back. I trust we won't be seeing him every week, due to his schedule, but he has been very kind to us with his time in the last two weeks.
As the official opposition, I think you'll see us welcoming the strategy as a concept and the principles on which it is based. We may have some differences about how the strategy is articulated and carried out, but we do think it's a good idea to turn our attention to a comprehensive strategy like this. We would also argue that it's important to have a strategy that is both effective and adequately funded, and we may have some questions about that as we go along today.
I was glad to hear you call for partnerships and for reaching out to communities. I do think there's one thing that is missing from the strategy, and that's the importance of maintaining public confidence in the activities of the government in this area. I'm going to ask a little bit about that in just a second.
I can't resist saying one thing, and that is that this strategy contrasts with a lot of the other strategies put forward in the justice area by focusing on prevention and prosecution. In that respect, it seems a lot closer to what we on the opposition side have been arguing for in some of the other areas of justice, instead of focusing on heavy penalties at the other end. I couldn't resist saying that this looks more like a strategy with emphasis that we might have given it.
So I want to start with principles, and one in particular. Your strategy says principles matter, and notes the following: They affirm Canada’s democratic values. They provide a clear articulation of how Canada conducts its work. They explain to others around the world what Canada stands for....
The strategy then goes on to list the six fundamental principles, and the third of those is adherence to rule of law. So today I want to ask the minister about his directive from last December to CSIS, allowing the use of information derived from torture. In the report of the UN Committee on Torture released on June 1, the respected international experts from that committee expressed what they called serious concern about this directive violating article 15 of the convention against torture, to which Canada is a signatory.
So I would ask the minister how he squares his directive on torture with the third principle of his anti-terrorism strategy, which is adherence to rule of law.