Thank you, Chair.
I do appreciate what you're saying, and I don't intend to get into arguments about the merits of the bill per se.
The point is that this matter I'm raising shows why this committee has to do an extremely thorough job in making sure that the public in Canada, and that members of Parliament, who ultimately will have to vote on this, actually understand what's going on. If we rely solely on what's been in the media, even what ministers are saying, what public opinion polls say, if that's part of a rush to judgment here, then we won't be doing our jobs.
I say this while sitting in a room where on one side we have a picture of the Fathers of Confederation, the founders of our democracy, and on the other side there is a picture of the Vimy memorial, another symbol of our nationhood. Our role as members of Parliament is to guarantee that democracy continues, and continues with the kind of liberties that are part of our Canadian values.
I will make a point, though, Mr. Chairman, if I have your indulgence for a moment, because clause 42 of the act puts in an amendment which allows CSIS to take measures within or outside of Canada to reduce the threat, and that's what the disruption is. It states:
If there are reasonable grounds to believe that a particular activity constitutes a threat to the security of Canada, the Service may take measures...to reduce the threat.
Now, that is the power that CSIS has: no warrant, no judge, nothing. But now there's an exception. Where it says “Warrant”, it states:
The Service shall not take measures to reduce a threat to the security of Canada if those measures will contravene a right or freedom guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms—