Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you both for being here today.
I noted in your testimony, Ms. Des Rosiers, that you said terrorism is a serious threat. I thank you for using the present tense when you said that. I think the earlier witnesses we heard today would certainly agree with you that this is a threat that is continuing and present and something we need to be vigilant about.
In your testimony, Ms. Cheung, I found you made a lot of very general references, so to be honest, I found it much less helpful. Your bringing in a world view in your comments doesn't necessarily help us with this specific legislation, including talking about this legislation eroding democracy and the ideals we all seek to protect.
For me, that highlights the fact that just today we've seen the results of a 2012 annual survey of some 97 countries by the World Justice Project. In the results of that project, Canada once again scored extremely well above average and one of the top in the world when it comes to the rule of law.
I think our systems here are not at all eroded by legislation like this, and we continue to be seen on the world stage as in fact a leader. A group of international experts released their report a couple of months ago saying that Canada was the best country in the world for women to live in, in part because of our legislative and judicial branches and the protections they afford to women and minorities in this country.
With respect to your testimony, Ms. Des Rosiers, you also talked about the reference case, which was in June 2004 and related to the Air India prosecution. Under section 83.28 of the Criminal Code, in the 2004 case, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the constitutionality of investigative hearings.
You made mention that if one testifies before those investigative hearings, that testimony is protected, against use against them, in further criminal proceedings but not in other ways. It's my understanding, from a reading of that Supreme Court of Canada case, that in fact that protection is afforded with testimony being used against the individual in both administrative and extradition hearings.
As well, in the Vancouver Sun reference of the same year, the Supreme Court of Canada held that there is a presumption that those investigative hearings would be held in open court. It is true that a judge under these provisions could say that it could be held in private, and that would normally, I would think, under judicial discretion, be because of, say, the safety of the person involved. But that's certainly there and present from that decision.