Evidence of meeting #99 for Public Safety and National Security in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was rcmp.

A video is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Commissioner Daniel Dubeau  Acting Commissioner, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
John Ossowski  President, Canada Border Services Agency
Malcolm Brown  Deputy Minister, Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Dennis Watters  Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Jacques Cloutier  Vice-President, Operations Branch, Canada Border Services Agency
Anne Kelly  Interim Commissioner, Correctional Service of Canada
Charles Lowson  Assistant Director, Collection, Canadian Security Intelligence Service

11 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

I'll call the meeting to order, if the witnesses would take their seats. This is the 99th meeting of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. It's a famous number in Canadian hockey, famous for Mr. Gretzky's saying, “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.” I'm sure Mr. Goodale is going to tell us where the puck is going to be on supplementary estimates (C).

“Number 99” of the Canadian government, Mr. Goodale, I'm sure you'll introduce your team.

11 a.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Obviously, I'm pleased to have this opportunity once again to speak to this committee today, in particular about my portfolio's supplementary estimates (C) for 2017-18, as well as our interim estimates for 2018-19. I would be remiss if I didn't also include a few brief remarks about some significant new investments that were announced this week in budget 2018.

The team, Mr. Chair, includes deputy minister Malcolm Brown, whom the committee is very familiar with; the president of CBSA, John Ossowski, who is with us once again; and Dan Dubeau, the acting commissioner of the RCMP. Dan has appeared before this committee in a number of capacities over a great many years, but I would note that today may or may not be one of his final appearances. He has been serving as the acting commissioner since last summer—about an eight-month period, I believe—a tremendously important, difficult challenge, which he has discharged with great skill and ability.

Dan, thank you very much for your service over many years in the RCMP.

11 a.m.

Deputy Commissioner Daniel Dubeau Acting Commissioner, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Thank you.

March 1st, 2018 / 11 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Karen Robertson is here, deputy directory of administration and the chief financial officer of CSIS.

Anne Kelly is with us once again, representing the Correctional Service of Canada, previously as assistant commissioner, now as newly installed acting commissioner. She is replacing Don Head who retired a few weeks ago. Anne is assuming the top responsibilities in the CSC while the search process goes forward for the new commissioner.

Finally, we have Jennifer Oades, who has just been appointed as the new chairperson of the the Parole Board of Canada, replacing Harvey Cenaiko.

You have a team who has partly been here before and partly brand new. We're glad to have the opportunity to present today.

As usual, our priority is keeping Canadians safe while simultaneously safeguarding rights and freedoms. That's why I was pleased with a number of elements in the budget last Tuesday, because it includes significant investments that will advance both of these objectives.

Some of those initiatives over the next five years include $507 million for Canada's first comprehensive cybersecurity plan; over $50 million in research and treatment for post-traumatic stress injuries among public safety officers; $33 million to help border officers stem the flow of opioids into Canada; $14.5 million to set up a hotline for victims of human trafficking to access the help that they need; $20.4 million in mental health supports for women in correctional facilities, over one third of whom are indigenous; $173 million to ensure we can continue to securely and effectively process asylum seekers in accordance with Canadian law and all of our international obligations; and $4.3 million to reopen penitentiary farms at Joyceville and Collins Bay correctional institutions. This was a valuable program that was unfortunately shut down between 2009 and 2011. There has been very substantial community support for reinstating the farms near Kingston, and I look forward to showing what they can achieve for rehabilitation of offenders and therefore better public safety.

I look forward to returning to this committee in the future with funding details related to to all of these issues. For now, let me turn to the estimates before us and use the remaining time to discuss some of the highlights.

To start with, we are upholding our commitment from last year's budget to establish a grant program, beginning in 2018-19, to support the families of first responders who fall in the line of duty. The memorial grant program for first responders will provide a lump sum, tax-free, direct payment of up to $300,000 to the families of police officers, firefighters, and paramedics who die as a result of their duties. The effective date for that program is April 1. That includes volunteers, auxiliary members, and reservists. In the coming year, we'll be seeking $21.9 million for this important new grant program. Supporting the families of public safety officers is the least that we can do when their loved ones lose their lives protecting all of the rest of us.

We also have to ensure that the brave women and men who keep our communities safe have the resources they need to do their tough jobs. To that end, we are seeking $70 million through the supplementary estimates (C) in program integrity funding for the RCMP. I would note that this week's budget includes an additional $80 million for the RCMP in the coming year. We are providing this funding as we undertake an integrity review of the force to ensure that the RCMP have the resources they need and where Canadians need them.

On a similar note, the CSC, the Correctional Service of Canada, is requesting a funding increase to maintain operations that were affected by budget cuts in 2014. As you may recall, that budget imposed an operating freeze for fiscal years 2014-15 and 2015-16 on all departments. During that period, departments were not funded for increases in salary expenditures resulting from collective agreements and the ongoing impact of those adjustments. Financial implications from the collective agreements process amount to $105.7 million for fiscal year 2017-18. That is what the Correctional Service of Canada is now seeking to cover that shortfall.

Supplementary estimates (C) also include a request for $144 million related to security for Canada's presidency of the G7, including hosting the leaders summit in Charlevoix this spring. Security operations include advance planning and preparations well in advance, including site visits, scenario developments, and risk assessments. I know the RCMP is working with the community to ensure that residents are properly informed and to ensure that the security of participants and the public is properly protected.

Mr. Paul-Hus, I know you have a request outstanding for the appropriate briefing for you with respect to these security arrangements, and we will make sure that information is provided to you.

Also, while it is not technically funded within my portfolio, I want to note that the new multi-party national security and intelligence committee of parliamentarians is now up and running. These estimates include $2 million for the Privy Council Office to support the establishment of the committee's secretariat. I have heard anecdotally from a variety of members on that committee that they are pleased with the way it has started its work, and I certainly look forward to the good work that NSICOP will do.

There is much more that I would like to discuss this morning, but to close my remarks let me just focus in on two particular points with respect to Bill C-59, the national security legislation that is moving closer to clause-by-clause consideration.

One of those points is this. There is, I believe, a drafting error that has come to our attention, and it has to do with CSIS querying the datasets in exigent circumstances when they are properly authorized to do so by the director. The threshold in the legislation as drafted says that such a search could be conducted if it would in fact provide the desired intelligence. Of course you can't know that with 100% certainty in advance, so we would propose a change in the language that would talk about a threshold of likely to produce. That would enable CSIS to perform the queries in exigent circumstances, and of course all of that is scrutinized after the fact by the new National Security and Intelligence Review Agency.

The second matter relates to testimony I read regarding ministerial directives on information sharing. As you know, I released those MDs last fall for the first time. Some of your witnesses expressed an interest in having a legal requirement that the ministerial directives be made public. I think it is an excellent idea, and I would encourage members of the committee to consider making that change in the legislation.

Mr. Chair, my officials and I are proud of the important work that we all—and when I say “all”, I mean to include the vigilant members of this committee—continue to do to ensure the security and safety of Canadians and we're happy to try to address your questions pertaining to the estimates.

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Thank you, Minister Goodale.

Up first, for seven minutes, Ms. Damoff.

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Pam Damoff Liberal Oakville North—Burlington, ON

Thank you very much, Chair.

Minister, thank you for being with us again, and to all of your officials thanks not only for being here, but for the fine work that you do for our country. It's much appreciated.

I'm guessing you probably have some idea about what my question will be, because I usually ask you about this when you come to committee. As you know, our public safety officers risk their mental health when they come to work every day. It's something this committee has been seized with, in terms of our report, which was unanimous, and it's certainly something I've been seized with since I was elected. So I was quite excited, when I read the budget, to see there was $20 million going into funding to support our public safety officers' mental health.

Minister, I first want to thank you, because I know that's something you personally have been working on since you were first appointed. I wonder if you could speak just a little bit about the importance of the work that's going to be done. I realize it's not in the estimates, but it is something that we've talked about a great deal here at committee.

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

It's a very important field of public policy, Ms. Damoff. You point out the very good work that was done by this committee and the report that was drafted, and I know you had a strong hand in doing that.

There have been motions on this topic that have been presented in the House of Commons. I presented one in the opposition four or five years ago. Mr. Doherty from the opposition—and I hope he's recovering well from his illness—has presented one as well.

I think this is an issue that completely transcends any partisan considerations. We all share the earnest desire that our public safety officers who put themselves in harm's way to defend the rest of us.... In the course of what they do they are exposed to some very tough situations and some pretty awful things that they have to see, and it takes a toll. PTSI and other conditions are very likely to result from what they are called upon to do in discharging their official functions. The statistics indicate very clearly what the toll is.

What we have provided in the budget, working with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment—the short hand is CIPSRT—and my department of Public Safety, is to make sure we have the knowledge, intelligence, and research in place to fully understand PTSI among first responders and public safety officers.

We think we know it pretty well among Canadian Forces personnel and veterans, but first responders have pointed out that some of their circumstances are different. It might appear to be the same thing, but it's important to understand the nuances and distinctions when PTSI affects public safety officers. We're putting forward the funding for the research and the analytical work that needs to be done.

In addition to that, there's a further $10 million to go toward the online provision of services. As you know, some of these people are called upon to operate in remote locations. They don't have access to some of the services and facilities that are available in our more urban locations. They need to be able to access the treatment they require in various forms, including online.

The money is there for that purpose, to do the research, collect the data and knowledge, do the analysis, and provide the treatment facilities. It's $30 million in total over a five-year period.

I must say, of all the things that affect my department coming from the budget—and I listed quite a long list at the beginning—this is the one that has prompted the largest response. The no-fly list with respect to children is a very close second. The two of those have prompted a very big reaction. There's obviously a lot of Canadian support for making sure our public safety officers are properly treated from a mental health and mental health care perspective.

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Pam Damoff Liberal Oakville North—Burlington, ON

As you know, Minister, it's often something that's taken for granted in terms of keeping Canadians safe. It's critical. I, too, have heard a number of comments from public safety officers, and they are extremely grateful.

One of the things we heard at the status of women committee was the fact that marginalized women often are hesitant to come to the RCMP or the police, in particular indigenous women and other marginalized groups, because of perceptions that they won't be treated as well as they should be when they come forward. One of the recommendations that we made was for better training for federally regulated law enforcement officers in dealing with people who do come forward respectfully.

You've committed $2.4 million over five years, as well as ongoing funding, to the RCMP for cultural competency training. Again, this is a recommendation that we're seeing in the budget that we're quite pleased about. I'm wondering if you could speak about the importance of that and how it will make a difference for indigenous women, in particular, who are coming forward with complaints.

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

You have less than a minute.

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

On another occasion, I would actually love to give the mike on this one to Acting Commissioner Dubeau. The force has taken this issue very seriously. There are a number of initiatives that they are engaged in now, which you'll see rolling forward in the course of the next number of weeks and months, dealing with the whole issue of reconciliation, better communication, better training, and sensitivity issues. It's an issue the force has as a great priority, in its training and in its operations.

All Canadians need to know, need to believe, and need to be able to believe that when they approach their national police force, they will be treated in an exemplary manner. That is very much the force's ambition.

I would also note and I am happy to answer questions about how they are working on that category of unfounded sexual assault investigations. That's another area where they've really set the pace in terms of how to address that issue.

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Thank you, Ms. Damoff. Thank you, Minister.

Mr. Paul-Hus, seven minutes, please.

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I would like to begin by stating that the Conservative Party, which is the official opposition, recognizes that Canadian security and intelligence services are the best in the world. Ladies and gentlemen, we thank you for your work.

Minister, I have a question for you. Would you agree to allow public servants to come before the committee and explain the vetting procedures for guests at events attended by the Prime Minister?

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Sorry, Mr. Paul-Hus, the sound disappeared on me. If you wouldn't mind, just repeat that to me.

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Minister, I would like to know if you would be open to the idea of having public servants come and testify before the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security on the vetting procedure for guest lists for events attended by the Prime Minister.

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Minister, in supplementary estimates there's a pretty broad opportunity to ask questions if members could, by some means or another, tie them to supplementary estimates. It's a legitimate question, but by some means do supplementary estimates or the main estimates.

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Mr. Chair, as I understand it, the committee is the master of its own procedure, determining what's to be on the agenda and what's not, and what it chooses to pursue and so forth. By my recollection, my officials have been very forthcoming in being available to the committee to respond to whatever the committee sets as its agenda. The committee is the master of its own procedure.

The one caveat that I would apply, Mr. Paul-Hus—and I know that with your distinguished military background, this will be no surprise—is that on the floor of the House of Commons or in a standing committee of the House, representatives of the government cannot discuss classified material. That is not a part of our process. There are procedures by which that material can be reviewed and examined elsewhere, but not in a standing committee.

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Thank you, Minister.

Mr. Chair, I would like to move the following:

That pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the Committee hold a briefing with the Privy Council Office's Director of Security Operations to discuss whether or not the Privy Council Office was afforded the opportunity to properly screen convicted terrorist Jaspal Atwal before being issued an invitation to attend events with the Prime Minister and the cabinet; That the Committee make recommendations and report its findings to the House.

Moreover, I encourage all the members of this committee to vote on the motion. I hope that the Liberals won't suggest that we adjourn the debate. If they do, I will take it as a no.

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

This motion is in order. It is timely. Is it being presented with the second motion as well, so the two motions together?

No? It's just the one motion.

Go ahead, Michel Picard.

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Michel Picard Liberal Montarville, QC

Mr. Chair, I move that the debate be adjourned.

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

I would like a recorded vote, please.

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

All those in favour of the motion?

11:20 a.m.

A voice

No. He just moved to adjourn the debate.

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Michel Picard Liberal Montarville, QC

I just moved to adjourn the debate.

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

It's non-debatable.

(Motion agreed to: yeas 5; nays 4)

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Chair, I would like to propose a second motion.

That pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the Committee hold a briefing with national security advisor Daniel Jean so that he may fully explain how and why journalists were told that convicted terrorist Jaspal Atwal's invitation was facilitated by “elements” within the Indian government; That the Committee make recommendations and report its findings to the House.

Once again, I encourage all committee members to vote on the motion. I hope that the Liberals will not move that we adjourn the debate. If they do, I will take it as a no.

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Again, the motion is in order. It's timely.

Mr. Spengemann.

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Chair, I move that the debate now be adjourned.

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

I'd like a recorded vote, Mr. Chair.

(Motion agreed to: yeas 5; nays 4)

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

You have about two minutes left in your time.

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Didn't you stop the clock when I was reading out my motions?

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

No, I didn't. It's your time.

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

All right.

Minister, did CSIS see the guest list for the function organized by the High Commission of Canada on Thursday, February 22?

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Mr. Paul-Hus, I have no direct knowledge of that matter at the moment. I'll enquire and find out.

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Right.

Mr. Goodale, do these matters fall under your area of responsibility as Minister of Public Safety? Are you usually responsible for such matters?

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

The matters related to VIP security issues are under the purview and authority of the Privy Council Office. That is actually where the questions should be directed, Mr. Paul-Hus. I would, though, add a caveat. As you know from my answers on other issues on other occasions, I don't wade into operational discussions because that is not in the best interest of Canada. I also observe that there is a process by which members of Parliament can pursue these issues, but it's not appropriate in a standing committee.

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Thank you, Mr. Paul-Hus. Unfortunately your time has run out.

Mr. Dubé, you have seven minutes, please.

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Thank you, `Mr. Chair.

Minister, thank you for being here. Although we often have our differences and some robust debate in this setting, I want to thank you for the money that will go towards the redress system after the advocacy of the no-fly list, because that's something very important. We will wait and see, because the devil is in the details, as they say, but at the same time I think we can agree on that. I will share my appreciation for that.

I have a few questions.

You mentioned the G7 Summit. I don't know if you received a letter from my colleague, Karine Trudel, who wrote you in order to find out what support would be given to municipalities in the Saguenay, given that heads of state, such as the American President and the German Chancellor, will be flying into Bagotville. In addition to this, many of the people attending the G7 Summit will have to stay in the Saguenay region during the conferences, given that space is limited in Charlevoix.

Could you explain to me what support municipalities will receive so that they don't find themselves saddled with a huge bill at the end of the summit?

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Mr. Dubé, thank you.

Thanks, first of all, for your comments about the passenger protect program and the changes we're making there.

With respect to Charlevoix, security, and the G7, as you will understand, this is a very complex and detailed operation. I mentioned in my remarks that Monsieur Paul-Hus had asked for a briefing with respect to all of the details, and certainly, that same briefing can be made available to you to ensure that you're properly informed about all of the arrangements that will be put in place.

These events are big, and they have disruptive impacts in the local communities in which they are held. We want to make sure that is properly addressed, and I will make every effort to respond in detail to the letter from Ms. Trudel. I haven't seen it personally yet, but I will be following up.

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Fair enough. Thank you.

I don't want to take away anything from the work that the interim commissioner, Mr. Dubeau, has done, but you will understand that people are wondering where the process is in finding the new permanent commissioner. It has been a fairly long period of time now, and there are a lot of issues on the table that need to be dealt with, in particular some labour issues and issues related to sexual harassment among other things where we're looking to see what kind of direction the new commissioner will put in place.

Is there anything you can tell this committee about where that process is currently?

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

It is very well advanced. The search process involved a professional, independent human resources search firm of very high calibre and then a selection, interview, and analysis process that was conducted over the last several months, led by former New Brunswick Premier Frank McKenna.

The members of his committee, I think, are known to members of this committee, but I would be happy to provide you with a full list of all of those.

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

If I may, is there any kind of timeline you can provide to the committee?

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Very shortly, Mr. Dubé. I think it could be measured in.... Well, very shortly.

11:30 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

We will look forward to that with great interest.

The other timeline I wanted to ask about—and I imagine I will get a similar diplomatic response—is the cybersecurity legislation that's mentioned in Tuesday's budget. What kind of timeline is being envisioned for that, because significant changes are being proposed?

As you know, the committee is currently dealing with a significant piece of legislation.

What kind of timeline is being looked at for the new changes?

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

I would very much like to have that legislation before Parliament this year. Given the parliamentary timetable this spring, I'm not sure we can get it there before the House rises in June, but I would definitely want to see the legislation before the House as quickly as possible.

Understand, there are a number of things that are feeding into this process of a national cybersecurity strategy. Bill C-59 is part of that, as you will have observed, Mr. Dubé. The national defence review has been part of that process. There is a significant contribution to be made by Shared Services Canada. You will note an item in the budget over and above the $507 million that relates to cyber and Shared Services Canada.

There is a contribution also to be made by ISED on the science and innovation side of it.

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

The budget talks about putting everyone under one roof.

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Yes.

11:30 a.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

As part of the discussion around Bill C-59, we had the deputy chief of CSE talking about the sharing of capabilities with the military that's developing their own cyber capabilities and this whole debate around active cyber-operations.

What does it mean to have everyone under the same roof? Does that mean we could have CSE as a civilian organization doing work alongside the armed forces with their capabilities and the sharing that's going on currently? Would that be creating this legal framework where everyone's essentially operating under the same roof, or are you just going to tell me to wait for that legislation?

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

We want to get the efficiencies and the synergies that come from all of the expertise being co-located in a way in which they can mutually reinforce each other. At the same time, we want to make sure that Canadians feel that this centre and the expertise within that centre is accessible to them, hospitable toward them, and of service to them. That is the balance we're trying to achieve, Mr. Dubé, to avoid having four or five different centres of expertise divided up across the government. We want to pull all of that together, and have it accessible to all Canadians, not just the military. That's the balance we want to achieve.

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Thank you.

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Thank you, Mr Dubé.

Mr. Fragiskatos, seven minutes please.

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Peter Fragiskatos Liberal London North Centre, ON

Thank you, Minister, for being here. Thank you to all the officials as well.

Minister, as you know, about a week and a half ago, there was very serious flooding in southwestern Ontario, in the communities of Brantford and Chatham as well. Both declared a state of emergency. I represent part of London, Ontario, in Parliament. Brantford is just down the road, as is Chatham.

I notice in the estimates that there is funding for the Government Operations Centre. When most Canadians hear something like “Government Operations Centre”, I don't know what they think—perhaps bureaucracy. They think of something just out of their reach and perhaps not intelligible.

Can you tell the committee and Canadians in effect how critical the Government Operations Centre is in situations of national emergency? What exactly it does? How it works with the provinces and municipalities that have declared emergency situations?

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

The GOC is a little known agency within the Department of Public Safety, but it's an extremely important one. It's there to provide 24-7, 365 awareness on the part of the Government of Canada of any significant event that may require a response by the Government of Canada.

Its first job is simply to be in touch with everything that is happening across the country and to make sure that, to the maximum extent humanly possible, nothing pops out of the blue as a total surprise, such as “We haven't heard of the flood”. That sort of thing you definitely want to avoid.

The GOC then has the capacity to bring all of the federal family together, every department and agency of the Government of Canada that could be relevant to that situation, and make sure they are ready if they are called upon.

They also have the ability to reach out to provinces, territories, municipalities, the private sector, indigenous organizations, auxiliary groups like the Red Cross, and so forth, so that as a situation develops and perhaps gets more serious, you have all of the relevant players quite literally in the same room.

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Peter Fragiskatos Liberal London North Centre, ON

Therefore, I think it's fair to say that a silo effect is avoided in this situation.

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

That is exactly the objective.

In the case of the floods, the situation in Ontario in the last week or so, the Government Operations Centre was very aware of everything that was happening locally on the ground and was communicating with Ontario officials to say they were in touch if anything was needed. If they had to submit a request for assistance from the Government of Canada, if the local situation surpassed their ability to cope with it, the centre was there and would respond instantly.

That didn't happen in that case. It hasn't happened yet. The flood season is just beginning, but we're on standby.

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Peter Fragiskatos Liberal London North Centre, ON

That was my next question.

I'll move on to asking you about the RCMP. Clearly, the estimates make a number of spending projections. You mentioned this in your opening remarks.

London, Ontario, London North Centre is home to the Ontario headquarters of the RCMP. Can you go into further details about how this money will be used? How it will help the RCMP in the conduct of its operations?

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

The RCMP has faced, over the last number of years, a very significant challenge in that the workload on the force has been constantly increasing, while their resource base has been constantly decreasing. Between 2010 and 2015 something very close to $500 million was withdrawn from the base funding of the RCMP. So when you have the workload going up, the budget allocations going down you put the force in a pretty invidious position.

You may remember when the crisis happened on Parliament Hill in the fall of 2014, Commissioner Paulson at that time had to reassign something like 600 officers in the space of just a couple of days. They were pulled off of organized crime investigations, drug investigations, border issues, and so forth, and they were brought to deal with what was then a very urgent national security crisis.

We can't have the force in the position of constantly robbing Peter to pay Paul.

An analysis has been ongoing for the last number of years, involving Treasury Board and the RCMP and the public safety department and external financial consultants and advisors to assess the resources available to the RCMP compared to what they're being asked to do in their mandate, and trying to bring those two things together. The funding in the estimates is to address the first portion of a solution. As I said, there is another item in the budget that will take another step towards that. What's going on here is a full program integrity assessment to make sure we're providing the RCMP with what they need to do the job that Canadians ask them to do.

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Peter Fragiskatos Liberal London North Centre, ON

Thank you very much.

I'm sensing I have limited time so I will say one quick point, but it's a very important one. Zamir Khan and Heather Harder are Londoners. Their child has been negatively impacted by the no-fly list. I know that they, and many other Canadians, look forward to seeing what will happen with respect to the funding that has been allocated and how it will be used. I am hopeful and I am encouraged. I want to thank you for taking this issue extremely seriously, and to your entire department, because I know it's been top of mind for this family and as I say, for so many others across the country.

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

I think I bumped into them on the Hill on Tuesday—

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Peter Fragiskatos Liberal London North Centre, ON

I'm sure you did.

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Later in the afternoon they seemed to be quite happy. We intend to try to keep it that way.

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Thank you, Mr. Fragiskatos.

Mr. Calkins, five minutes, please.

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

Thank you, Chair.

Thank you, Minister, for being here.

I want to follow up with one question after my colleague just to see if I can get an answer. To your knowledge, Minister, given the fact that you're asking for $17 million in the supplementary estimates for major international events security costs, did the RCMP see the guest list prepared by the Prime Minister's office for the event hosted by the Canadian high commissioner on Thursday, February 22?

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Mr. Calkins, the item with respect to international events pertains to things like the G-7—

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

That's an answer to a question, but it's not answering my question, Mr. Minister.

My question was very specific about events pertaining to February 22.

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Again, I will make some inquiries and determine the answer.

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

Well, I don't know why you can't answer the question here, Minister. You seemed to have an answer in question period for these very basic questions, and it doesn't seem to be satisfactory.

Minister, you're a veteran here at this House, as am I. You're aware that when a minister or the Prime Minister travels to a foreign country, that the global affairs desk in that country would have a guest list for a mission event in which the Prime Minister or a minister would attend. You would be aware of that. Once that list has been compiled by that mission you would know that the vetting process that mission would undertake involves the geographical and security desks involved at Global Affairs Canada, which involves the people from the organizations who are sitting around you at this table.

Do you honestly expect us to believe that the mission staff, in coordination with Global Affairs counterparts, would not have significant information in regard to invited attendees concerning security concerns and matters that might affect the national interests or Canada's reputation globally?

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Mr. Calkins, I appreciate your keen interest in this subject matter, but once again, you're asking us to discuss here operational issues that bear upon national security. There is a place and a forum where that can be examined, but it's not in a standing committee of the House.

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

With all due respect, my job as a parliamentarian is to hold the government to account, and the Prime Minister is asking me to believe a story that the Government of India is responsible for a security breach in an event that actually happened in his presence. So far we have conflicting stories from a Canadian citizen—who was convicted of attempted murder and has been identified as being with a terrorist organization—who was not only at an event with the Prime Minister but is also seen in photographs with the Prime Minister's wife, in a foreign country in which a serious diplomatic incident has been raised. You expect us to believe the Prime Minister's story that he was advised by someone in your department or in your agency or in the Privy Council Office, who would have significant knowledge about this. He is laying the blame at the foot of the Indian government, something the Indian government refutes at every angle.

Mr. Minister, I'm asking you for some clarity on this. Canadians have a right to know. This affects our country's reputation. This affects our image. This affects our trade. Canadians have every right to know. You've told me that I have another forum through which I can find this information, yet you haven't told me what that forum is. Could you please explain it here to this committee? This committee is tasked with the oversight of the money that you're spending through your department on behalf of taxpayers to make sure that incidents like the one we're talking about don't happen.

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

I just want to remind all the members that we are studying the estimates. I appreciate that relevance is a loose concept, but nevertheless if we could tie our questions in some manner to the estimates that would be helpful.

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Mr. Chair, thank you.

Just in the nature of the way Mr. Calkins phrased himself, you can see, Mr. Chair and Mr. Calkins, how quickly your line of questioning gets to classified information. By my oath of office, I am not permitted to deal in public with classified information. That was a problem in the accountability structures of our parliamentary system, but we took steps with the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians to address that issue, to provide a forum within which issues that involve classified information can in fact be dealt with by members of Parliament instead of just by those who are sworn to the Privy Council.

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

Mr. Minister, we haven't asked you to actually divulge classified information. We're simply asking if you were advised? Did the RCMP or did CSIS advise the Prime Minister's office or the Privy Council Office on this matter?

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

That was the phrasing of your opening question, but your second question then got into an analysis of intelligence interpretations of Canada versus another country. That is classified information and there I cannot go in a standing committee.

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

I'm sorry. We're almost out of time. You still have 10 seconds.

Mr. Spengemann.

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

Thank you very much, Minister. It's good to have you back with your team.

First of all I want to echo my colleague, Mr. Fragiskatos, and my colleague from the NDP, Mr. Dubé, and thank you for the appropriation for the creation of the database for the passenger protect program, $81.4 million over five years. I wonder if you could take a moment to explain to the committee and to Canadians the logic of this budgetary item in relation to Bill C-59 and address those who say there should either be no no-fly list or it would be faster if not sufficient to have the airlines deal with it.

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

The fact that the airlines have been dealing with it for the last decade or so is in fact right at the root of the problem. Most no-fly list systems that are set up around the world are stand-alone, government systems in which the government maintains the list, the airlines supply the manifests, and the government checks to see if any of those names send up a red flag on the government list.

They have built right into them an interactive mechanism such that if a red flag comes up once and it's a false positive, then the person who triggered that false positive can be given a clearance number and every time thereafter that they go to get their boarding pass, they enter that clearance number and they're automatically passed through the system. It has to be interactive and totally automated. If the government sets up the system, we can design it that way.

If the airlines are asked to run the system, then you have to kind of piggyback onto their system and tailor the security arrangements to suit the airline manifests. That's backwards. We need to turn it around, and that's what this money will allow us to do.

Three things are required. We need to get the legal authority to deal with this private information. The authority to do that is in Bill C-59. We will need to adopt new regulations, which we will work on as soon as we get the legislation passed. Then we have to build this new computer system from the ground up. That's where the largest bulk of the money will go. The architect of that will be largely CBSA, obviously in conjunction with Transport Canada, because they have a very important role as well.

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

Thanks very much for that. Again, my thanks, and I think I'll be echoed by all those who have constituents who are affected by the current state of the system.

Minister, there's a vote of appropriation of $1 million for an item that we've had a chance to talk about before: it's the security infrastructure program, or SIP. In my hometown of Mississauga we have a fairly active faith leaders' dialogue at the moment, and there's interest in this program. I think there have been applications. I wonder if you could just take a moment to update the committee on how it's evolving and what that $1 million will be spent on.

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

It's evolving very well, but we're oversubscribed. Obviously, when we modified the program a year and a half ago to make the terms of reference more inclusive, and to better publicize the program, and to have two regular periods every year when we can intake applications, all of that has served to identify a significant need in communities that feel vulnerable. The demand has gone up significantly.

We are working very hard to try to respond to all of that, to make sure that we, in every one of the intakes, process as many of the applications as we possibly can, and give local religious organizations and community organizations the kind of reassurance that they need that they will have the physical structures necessary to keep them and their communities safe.

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

Thanks very much. I have less than a minute left.

Closely related in logic to the security infrastructure program, which seeks to protect constituents' communities from violence, is the community resilience fund, which works actively against the phenomenon of violence. I wonder if you could just very briefly comment on the state of affairs with respect to that fund.

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

That is a relatively new fund. It's in the Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence. The whole idea here is to work with community organizations to assist them in developing locally based activities that deter radicalization to violence. We have found that it's not a case of one-size-fits-all across the country. There are a vast array of circumstances that we have to be prepared for.

At the national level we are supporting research, and we're supporting organizations that will work at the local level to reach out to vulnerable communities, and provide them with the tools to identify problems early while they still have an opportunity to head off circumstances before tragedy results.

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

Thank you very much.

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Thank you, Mr. Spengemann. Thank you, Minister.

Mr. Motz, five minutes, please.

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Glen Motz Conservative Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, AB

Thank you, Chair. Thank you, Minister and staff, for being here.

I'm going to ask some questions that I know are not classified information. I'm just curious to know, Mr. Minister, when was the last time that media was given a phone briefing by an unidentified security agent?

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

I am not privy to that information, Mr. Motz. I can try to make some inquiries to find out, but certainly that's not something within my purview or jurisdiction.

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Glen Motz Conservative Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, AB

I can't find, no one I know can find any information of any history, ever, when a security adviser gave briefings to the media over the telephone. What I find and what Canadians find quite unfortunate, actually, is that your government is willing to make high-level security officials available in secretive background briefings with reporters, but you're refusing to make them available to answer questions here to this committee, to parliamentarians. I'm curious to know how that can be.

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Mr. Motz, my issue is one of respecting the confidentiality of classified information, as I am required to by law.

Let me just make this observation. Over the last 40 or 45 years I've had the opportunity to watch and work with a lot of very senior public servants. I've done that both from the opposition side and from the government side. I have found that they work very hard to be impartial, to be non-partisan, to be utterly professional in what they do, and this—

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Glen Motz Conservative Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, AB

Minister, I have limited time. I appreciate this, but I—

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

This point is really important.

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Glen Motz Conservative Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, AB

Yes, I appreciate that, but the issue is not about whether those people—

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

What they're motivated by is defending Canada's national interests.

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Glen Motz Conservative Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, AB

Mr. Minister, those issues are not about whether our public service, those security officials do their jobs and do it well. You will never get an argument on this side of the House about that. That's not the issue.

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Good.

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Glen Motz Conservative Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, AB

The issue is that the media was provided with information that alleged an conspiracy by the Indian government. When we, as parliamentarians, wanted to inquire about that that information was already given to the media. I don't understand why it can't be given to us. That was my question not whether or not these public servants are doing their jobs well. That's what I don't understand. So, obviously, we're not going to get a response to that. I guess in my limited time that I have left....

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

I keep saying to members that there has to be some relevance to the estimates. So, if you could tie it in by some means or another to estimates.

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Glen Motz Conservative Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, AB

I will and thank you, Mr. Chair, for that gentle reminder.

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

[Inaudible].

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Glen Motz Conservative Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, AB

Yes, but not to me. It was my first reminder.

I see in the estimates that a lot of money is spent on working with our foreign partners to identify threats. I'm curious to know, given what has happened with the allegation of a conspiracy theory recently in India, has our relationship with India changed? Given the comments made by officials from our own PM's office that he was set up, is India now considered to be a hostile country? Has their threat level towards Canada now been changed?

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Mr. Motz, I simply look at what's available on the public record with respect to this matter and I see a headline from last Saturday's Times of India that says “Canada's tough stand on terror soothes India.” I see a major anchor on Indian television referring to the same matter with respect to terrorism saying “I think that's a great positive for the Indian side something that they were concerned about and they were able to put forward through this meeting.” I see the Prime Minister of India saying that “talks with Prime Minister Trudeau were fruitful, our discussions focused on...”

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Glen Motz Conservative Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, AB

Mr. Minister, I guess....

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

[Inaudible].

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Glen Motz Conservative Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, AB

[Inaudible].

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

[Inaudible].

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

I'm going to interrupt you both and say that we are at the public safety committee, not the international relations committee.

Mr. Motz, you have about a minute left. Perhaps you could, again, tie your question somehow or other to estimates rather than to what goes on in India.

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

Glen Motz Conservative Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, AB

Well, I mean this is to me all related. The government has given us a budget for 2018 and I think it's open for debate, for conversation about the contents of that budget and public safety and national security is certainly part of that. When a country is accused of doing something that they are denying and we are perpetrating that theory I would think that there could be considerable amount of energy and effort in resources placed on following up on fixing whatever has been already damaged. I'm just kind of curious to know whether the Indian government has reached out to you, to our department, to our government, and to the responsible departments with respect to the Atwal affair.

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Very briefly.

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

The diplomatic, security, and international affairs relationship between Canada and a whole range of other countries, including India, is large, dynamic, and intricate. Communications are going back and forth in a very constructive way all the time. I am unaware of any particular security communication over the course of the last number of days, but Canada has a very strong relationship with allies and partners all over the world and we work very hard to maintain it. When Canadian public servants provide information and advice, they do so with one thing in mind: what is best for the national interests of Canada.

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

The minister's idea of “briefly” and mine seem to be divergent.

Ms. Dabrusin, you have the final five minutes. We started a little late, so we'll finish with you.

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

Wonderful. Thank you.

Minister, I raised this in the House in question period once, and it's an issue that has been very important to many people in my community: the redress system and the passenger protect program. I was hoping perhaps you could help me with what the expected timelines might be for some changes to the passenger protect system.

Noon

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Ms. Dabrusin, it is a complex process, but we're going through it step by step. The legislative changes are before Parliament right now, then come the regulations and then come rebuilding the computer system. Work will start this year, but it will take perhaps three years before it's fully implemented. It's something we want to make steady progress on every month going forward.

Noon

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

Thank you.

You would actually have been asked a question earlier about the RCMP and you started talking about how the RCMP would be dealing with unfounded cases, which is something that's been the subject of quite a bit of scrutiny and I was hoping perhaps you could give us a better sense of what it will be the RCMP is doing. What is the funding in the budget going to do to help address those unfounded cases?

Noon

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

When this issue burst on to the public domain some months ago, I was encouraged by the way a number of police forces responded to say this category of unfounded was too large and we had to get to the bottom of it and find a better way of dealing with this whole issue. Because no one who has been subject to sexual violence should feel in any way inhibited or limited in their ability to come forward, to be respected, to be treated in a serious manner and not just brushed aside.

Various police forces looked at how they were doing things and they looked for international experience to how they might improve their conduct and their procedures and so forth. The RCMP has been particularly proactive and there is additional money now in the budget to assist them in the work of making sure that all of this previous activity is properly analysed and that the right kind of procedures are put in place for the future so that there can be perhaps different kind of reporting protocols, different ways in which the statistics are presented so that no one has the sense or the reality of having been brushed aside.

Because I think this is the last answer and perhaps Dan Dubeau's last opportunity, let me just ask the acting commissioner to make some observations on how the force has responded to this.

Noon

D/Commr Daniel Dubeau

Thank you, Minister.

The force responded as the minister said. At the first instance we pulled in the one-year files. We did a review of all of our files. We had all our divisions actually reach into every one of the files that we had marked as “unfounded” to make sure the investigations were done properly; to make sure that when we did have one of the victims come forward, that we treated them with respect. Based on that, we were able to analyze that some of them were just reported as “unfounded”. But where we thought there were gaps—and this is from Ottawa, too, where we had an overview of this—we actually asked that they be looked at again and reopened. We reached back out to the victim to make sure that we actually had done the full investigation—several of those investigations are still ongoing on those files—to make sure that we did treat the individuals with respect.

We're also incorporating some training around that and how we approach our cases and how we approach our victims so that we can understand that it's a traumatic event for anybody. We approach them with the respect and courtesy that they need as they come forward.

Noon

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

I want to thank you for that because it's a training piece to me on a going-forward basis so that we don't keep perpetuating this problem. It's essential. I'm happy to see that and I would love to hear more as we move along with that project.

Noon

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Some really interesting ideas have been forthcoming from the discussion. For example, are there ways of providing reporting avenues or mechanisms that don't involve a formal police procedure? Is there a way that you can better collect the data by providing alternative methods of reporting. Or in the way you report the data, is it founded or unfounded? Do you need a third category that says “founded, but not yet proven according to evidentiary standards”, and so forth, so that someone just doesn't automatically fall into the unfounded category because you don't have an answer yet?

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Thank you—

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

There are various ways we have to look at this, but I'm pleased with the momentum that has built up across the country.

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Thank you, Ms. Dabrusin.

Thank you, Minister, for your fulsome answers.

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

On a point of order, Mr. Chair.

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

I'm just about to suspend. Do you want to before the suspension?

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Yes.

Mr. Goodale, you have been in politics for a long time and I have tremendous respect for you. I imagine that you are quite embarrassed by the Prime Minister's behaviour this week in the Atwal affair.

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

If that was a point of order, it was to be addressed to me, not to you.

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

I rose on a point of order.

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

I don't see it as a point of order, hence we'll suspend for a couple of minutes to let the minister leave.

Thank you.

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Okay, we're back in session.

I'm going to work on the assumption that Deputy Minister Brown has no opening statement to make, and so we will proceed to questioning.

The first is Monsieur Picard, who's not here.

We will then go to Mr. Spengemann.

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.

Thank you all for remaining with us.

I wanted to begin by circling back to a comment by the minister earlier, in which he wanted to give you, Mr. Dubeau, the opportunity to speak about the cultural competency training, and to elaborate a little bit more on that in the context of reconciliation. I'm wondering if we could start by asking you to do that.

12:10 p.m.

D/Commr Daniel Dubeau

Thank you for the question.

The training itself is really focused, based on our GBA+ analysis, on our ability to approach individuals from any community with the respect that they need. That's really been our focus. As you know, we have a bias-free policing policy on that, and we have tried to reinforce that throughout the organization to ensure that as our members deal with sexual assault or any other type of issue, they are approaching the members of our diverse communities with the respect that they need. Part of that is also ensuring that, as we recruit across the force, we're recruiting more and more diversity into our organization. We are hoping that at a certain point you get a tipping point and you become more diverse as you're more and more exposed to our different communities.

That is really our main focus. The training itself is really focused on our front-line police officers, so when they are approaching any type of situation, they're approaching it in a respectful manner.

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

Can you give us an idea of what that training looks like and how it's actually delivered?

12:10 p.m.

D/Commr Daniel Dubeau

I would have to actually get the details back to you. I'm not the expert in that. I can get the committee the details on the active training that we're developing.

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

Great. Thanks very much.

Mr. Chair, my next question is back to the no-fly list. As you heard earlier, there are a number of us who have had concerns about it and a number of us who are very grateful for the budgetary commitment. Can we ask for a bit more detail on what has to happen next? The minister mentioned regulations and he mentioned a computer system and, of course, of Bill C-59, which is in the pipeline.

What exactly would the regulations look at and what would be the key components of that computer system, including its intersection, presumably, with other databases? What are the concerns about privacy, and specifically concerns about protecting young Canadians who are, in large part, as we heard, from the testimony of the #NoFlyListKids advocacy group, caught by this system?

12:10 p.m.

John Ossowski President, Canada Border Services Agency

Thank you. Maybe I'll start off. As the minister mentioned, I am responsible for the IT infrastructure. I currently have what's called the interactive advance passenger information system that connects with airlines on the international travel side.

This is about expanding that pipeline, if you will, because now we're also going to be connecting with domestic air carriers.

We're the IT solution, and we'll be responsible for the conveyance of the information from the list back to airlines in terms of a board or no-board decision.

12:10 p.m.

Malcolm Brown Deputy Minister, Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

In terms of the regulatory process, there's a standard....Legislation drafts the broad framework and then the regulatory components lay out the specific requirements, etc. They will be...in point of fact, work has already begun on those. We're not waiting for the legislative process to be completed, in part because this is a priority for the government. It will set out—but there will be a consultation process as there always is in the regulatory process— expectations in terms of the behaviour of airlines, the information and how we expect them to interact with CBSA and Transport Canada.

As I say, it'll be a transparent process. There will be consultations and an opportunity for the public and stakeholders, including airlines and others, to comment and respond.

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

With respect to the software development, is there an existing system that's already within either government or the private sector that could be appropriated or remodelled for use as the passenger protection system, or is it something that has to be built from scratch, and if the latter, is it going to be open to the procurement process, or is that not yet determined?

12:15 p.m.

President, Canada Border Services Agency

John Ossowski

That has not yet been determined, although I would say that we do have this infrastructure already in place, so it's about fitting it into all the domestic carriers and, as well, the other side of it in terms of the SATA list, the secure air travel list, and making sure the connectivity is there with everybody.

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

Thanks very much for that.

There is a budgetary appropriation in the estimates for $1.7 million and change for first nations community policing services. I'm wondering if you could let the committee know what those funds will be used for.

12:15 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Malcolm Brown

In general, this is a transfer to the RCMP, so I can let Dan get into the specifics, but you'll be aware that there was a significant investment by the government in terms of funding for the first nations policing program, and we'll be spending and working now in terms of renegotiating agreements with agreement holders, provinces, and first nations communities. We're well on the way to implementing the relevant agreements, so that the additional funding for the significant reinvestment will get to communities as quickly as possible and we'll see better-paid and more officers on the ground.

Dan, do you want to speak about the $1.7 million?

12:15 p.m.

D/Commr Daniel Dubeau

The $1.7 million really is to pay for the cost of policing in the communities, whether it be a tripartite agreement or not. It's actually for front-line members on the road who were delivering that service. That funding was not there in the past. It is to pay for that. In some areas where it's grown, to pay for the extra officers who are on the ground, so it's actually the front-line service delivery piece who were performing that.

If you want real specifics, I'd have to look to my colleague, Dennis Watters, who's joined us, who is our financial officer, to break down specifics.

12:15 p.m.

Dennis Watters Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Thank you.

Really, of the $1.8 million, there's about half a million dollars, $500,000, which is relating to the market adjustment for the pay for the members, and there's another about $800,000 that's for the economic increase for pay to the members, so about 75% of that relates to the pay increases. Those pay increases and economic increases drove up the cost of policing, so about 75% is for that.

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

I've got very limited time, and it's not a fair question given the time constraint, but can you give us a very quick appreciation how much of an issue substance abuse and addiction are in the context of first nations policing programs?

12:15 p.m.

D/Commr Daniel Dubeau

No—you're right—that's a broader discussion, and we are more than open to coming back to the committee with some experts on that and have a discussion about that.

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

It's definitely a factor.

12:15 p.m.

D/Commr Daniel Dubeau

It's a factor, I think, throughout all of society. It's not just in first nations communities. It's a factor for all society that we should be concerned about.

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Sven Spengemann Liberal Mississauga—Lakeshore, ON

Thanks very much.

I think that's my time, Mr. Chair.

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Thank you, Mr. Spengemann.

Go ahead, Mr. Paul-Hus.

You have seven minutes.

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I have a question for the RCMP and CSIS representatives.

On page 240 of the English version, $17 million has been earmarked for major international event security costs. Is vetting the guest lists for international events part of your mandate?

12:15 p.m.

D/Commr Daniel Dubeau

The RCMP is responsible for recruitment. I am sorry, I will answer in English.

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Go ahead.

12:15 p.m.

D/Commr Daniel Dubeau

Really, our role is the security of the protectees or the Prime Minister. That is our role and part of that role is that we have a process in place. I can't talk about events specifically and how we do it, but we do have a full process in place to look at where the individual is going, to understand what's happening overseas in that area, and to understand what our posture would look like, including when inappropriate—When lists are shared with us, we would do a vetting of lists and advise accordingly on the issues there, so that we could change our security posture to ensure that our protectees are protected.

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

It's perfectly logical to do so. But once you have finished your inquiries and you've handed over the information to the Privy Council Office, the ball is then in the office's court, is it not?

12:15 p.m.

D/Commr Daniel Dubeau

It always depends on the event and our inquiries, but yes, we inform those who need to know, if necessary.

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Fine.

I now have a question for the witness from CBSA.

In the budget that's just been tabled, RCMP funding for migrant and illegal immigration control at the border has been increased considerably. What is happening in this area? What is your vision for the next 12 months as to border control? Will this money be used to build infrastructure or to pay salaries?

12:20 p.m.

President, Canada Border Services Agency

John Ossowski

Thank you for the question.

Yes, the budget has proposed some additional funding for us to help manage regular migration along with all of the partners to assist with that, so for us it's really about how we apply our resources, particularly at Roxham Road at the Lacolle border crossing to manage that sort of major thoroughfare, if you will.

We are looking forward to having access to those funds to help us continue to manage this.

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Do you have measures in place to control this? Right now, you don't actually have any control over people who decide to come to Canada. Will you establish a permanent port of entry at Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle? A lot of infrastructure has been built. I don't think the intent is to make this a permanent port of entry because of the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement.

What is your take on this? Is there an end in sight? What is your vision?

12:20 p.m.

President, Canada Border Services Agency

John Ossowski

Thank you for the question.

No, there is no intention to turn Lacolle into a permanent port of entry. As you may be aware, the RCMP is responsible for patrolling the border in between ports of entry. We are there, co-located with them, to help manage the influx of asylum seekers. They are then brought to the port at Lacolle for further processing because before anybody is released we go through a full security screening process to make sure there is no risk and determine their admissibility to come to Canada.

Through consistent practice over the last year and beyond, we have a pretty smooth-running machine in terms of managing the volumes right now.

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

We have learned that it usually takes at least eight hours to do a security check on someone who crosses the border. Given the influx of arrivals, as was the case in August and in September of last year, the turnaround time was reduced to a maximum of one or two hours.

Will the funds provided in the supplementary estimates help you improve your security screening capacity and take the time to do things properly?

12:20 p.m.

President, Canada Border Services Agency

John Ossowski

We've constantly refined our processing with partners, including Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada, the RCMP, and others. Perhaps, to give you more detail, I could turn to Jacques Cloutier, who is my vice-president of operations and has been deeply involved in this.

12:20 p.m.

Jacques Cloutier Vice-President, Operations Branch, Canada Border Services Agency

With pleasure.

Thank you for your question. I would just like to say at the outset that we have in no way reduced our security measures.

The time frame that you referred to is for risk and threat assessment, a security process that takes place immediately after the screening done by the RCMP which can also take a few hours, before we effectively take control of the person. What has changed in the process is the second part: evaluating the screening results and eligibility.

That part of the process is suspended, to be finished later outside of Lacolle. It still takes from five to six hours; nothing has changed there. The focus is on the security of Canadians as well as asylum seekers. That said, we have not reduced security controls at all.

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

According to information that I have here, a good percentage of asylum seekers who have been told, after screening, that they are ineligible for asylum and that they will be deported to their country, actually escape and get lost.

Can you tell us the exact percentage of asylum seekers and tell us what measures could be used to avoid this kind of situation?

12:20 p.m.

President, Canada Border Services Agency

John Ossowski

I'm not aware of anybody escaping or getting lost.

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

According to the information that I am referring to, at least 10% of those who came to Canada and who were denied asylum decided to not go to the second interview and just disappeared. You must surely have some information on that.

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

About a half a minute.

12:25 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Perhaps I should ask the witnesses from the RCMP.

12:25 p.m.

Vice-President, Operations Branch, Canada Border Services Agency

Jacques Cloutier

There is a distinction to be made here. You are speaking about people who do not show up for their interview with us, at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, or the Immigration Refugee Board of Canada. These persons have already undergone security screening and are released under certain conditions, one of which is to attend an interview so that the process may continue. Those are people in whom we have a certain degree of confidence as to the risk they present.

After a request has been made, those persons receive a conditional referral which depends on our findings. Their names will be added to a register for follow-up and we do indeed make an effort to find them.

To put things in context, we are not talking about persons that we have determined, after studying their file, to present an immediate risk to Canadians.

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Thank you, Mr. Paul-Hus.

Mr. Dubé, seven minutes, please.

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

For CSC I had a question about the ion scanner issue that has been before this committee. We had Mothers Offering Mutual Support and others testify. There was word of a report that was supposed to come out in January. I don't know if that report exists or it just hasn't been made public yet. I don't know if we can get an update on that.

12:25 p.m.

Anne Kelly Interim Commissioner, Correctional Service of Canada

Yes, actually. There was a review that was conducted to assess the use of ion scanners and their reliability. As part of the review the validity of the tool was confirmed and we identified areas that required enhancements. There was a bulletin that was issued in October of 2017. As you know, the ion scanner is only one piece of information. It's to actually be able to detect trace amounts of drugs. Even if you test positive on the ion scanner then there has to be another assessment.

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

I understand that.

I apologize for interrupting you, but my time is limited. I'm a little confused by that response because the bulletin was in October and you're saying that the review has determined the validity. Is there a report that we can have access to that would demonstrate that? That's what I was referred to by the minister in his response to a petition I tabled in the House.

12:25 p.m.

Interim Commissioner, Correctional Service of Canada

Anne Kelly

What I have is that that was a recommendation that was made by the office of the correctional investigator. A letter has been provided to his office outlining what the results of the review were.

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Can there be an undertaking to provide those results to the committee?

12:25 p.m.

Interim Commissioner, Correctional Service of Canada

Anne Kelly

Absolutely.

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Thank you.

My other question is about solitary confinement and Bill C-56.

The government has decided to appeal the British Columbia court ruling. I know that you can't comment on the case, but is the department thinking about changing its legislative approach? Do you know if there will be a delay before we are able to have a debate on the bill in the House? Perhaps you are not in a position to answer the question.

12:25 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Malcolm Brown

I think in consultation with Correctional Services, the government determined that as a result of essentially two decisions, one in Ontario and one in B.C., there was a requirement to clarify, because in some ways the two court decisions take different positions. That's the basis of the decision to make the appeal.

In terms of further legislative change, I would say that the government continues to assess the situation really carefully and is continually looking at ways to improve the legislative framework around administrative segregation.

I'll let Anne jump in if she wants to add anything.

12:25 p.m.

Interim Commissioner, Correctional Service of Canada

Anne Kelly

Certainly for us at CSC it's something we constantly look at. As you know, a number of measures were put in place. In particular, as the senior deputy commissioner, I chaired the long-term segregation, or “seg”, committee. We reviewed the cases of certain offenders who had spent so many days in seg or who had cumulative placements in seg or a certain number of cumulative days.

Certainly all the regional deputy commissioners or assistant deputy commissioners are involved. We have full discussions on each of the cases to see what alternatives exist to alleviate their seg status.

12:30 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Thank you.

The budget includes funding for pre-clearance lanes at Jean Lesage airport. I am not sure if Mr. Brown or the people from CBSA can answer my question. Will the funds cover the cost of the lanes or will airport authorities be asked to foot part of the bill?

12:30 p.m.

President, Canada Border Services Agency

John Ossowski

The way it's currently structured for pre-clearance is that it's a cost-recover kind of situation. If the airports want to pursue a pre-clearance approach, then they have to pay for those services.

12:30 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

In that case, money appeared in the budget; so what's that money for, then?

12:30 p.m.

President, Canada Border Services Agency

John Ossowski

In terms of us, it's to actually implement the agreement in terms of what we would have to do for all of the training and expansion of pre-clearance into the other modes. Currently, pre-clearance is in air mode, and it has been for over 50 years. This expands it to land, rail, and marine. For us, it's about getting ready for that expansion of how we would pursue pre-clearance opportunities in these other modes.

12:30 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Thank you.

I want to go back to the drafting error that the minister referenced. I didn't get a chance to ask him this question. I'm just wondering if someone is able to explain to me what, legally, the threshold of “likely” would entail and how that's defined, currently, in law.

12:30 p.m.

Charles Lowson Assistant Director, Collection, Canadian Security Intelligence Service

Thank you for your question. I am going to answer in English if you don't mind.

CSIS needs to be equipped to respond to any urgent threat with all of the tools that we have at our disposal. Ensuring that the proposed verify word legislation is responsive to exigent circumstances is paramount.

In the draft bill, exigency is clearly defined to include preserving the life or safety of an individual or to acquire perishable intelligence of significant value.

On the matter of any possible amendments, I would defer to the minister in this committee, this is appropriately a matter for parliament to decide.

12:30 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

I'm just wondering, so, no one can tell me, then, because the minister made those comments about the word “likely.”

12:30 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Malcolm Brown

Let me take a stab at it. It's a little outside the scope of today's conversation, but we'll try and be as constructive and helpful...

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Mr. Dubé is right, the minister brought it in, so...

12:30 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Malcolm Brown

He did raise it. No, no, I'm fully aware.

There are other elements of the CSIS Act that talk about the likely threshold. In the drafting of the provisions around exigent circumstances—I think I'm getting this right—“will” was used in error. It likely is used elsewhere in the CSIS Act, and for similar circumstances.

So I think it's a well-understood threshold. We can provide more information to the committee to explain the difference between the “will” and the “likely” thresholds. The problem is that if it stays at the “will” threshold, it's impossible to use, because “will” requires 100% certainty, as the minister described.

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Thank you, Mr. Dubé.

I think...

12:30 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Malcolm Brown

[inaudible] helpful to provide additional information.

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Yes, I think we do want to go back on that. That is probably far more significant than the member's necessarily appreciate at this time.

With that, I see that Mr. Picard is back. Welcome.

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Michel Picard Liberal Montarville, QC

Thank you.

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

You have seven minutes, please.

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Michel Picard Liberal Montarville, QC

I'm sorry about the delay. I got stuck with a number of Canadians—very interested Canadians with microphones.

12:30 p.m.

Voices

Oh, oh!

12:35 p.m.

Liberal

Michel Picard Liberal Montarville, QC

My first question is for the witnesses from Correctional Service Canada.

I know that the prison farms program was axed a few years ago. Could you briefly explain the reasoning behind that decision?

Could you also tell us about the program's benefits, given that the program is going to be reinstated?

12:35 p.m.

Interim Commissioner, Correctional Service of Canada

Anne Kelly

Thank you for your question.

Over the course of a strategic review that took place several years ago, we looked at our programs and activities. A decision was made at that time to shut down the farms. As the minister has announced, however, those farms will be brought back into operation.

For us, it means we'll be able to keep offenders productively occupied. They are going to learn some of the soft skills, like getting up and having a routine during the day, and it's going to be good for their rehabilitation. Those are transferable skills when they get into the community. There's going to be on-the-job training.

It was just announced in the budget, so CSC has to work with the Department of Finance and Treasury Board to get the details of the funding and the impact on its day-to-day operations.

12:35 p.m.

Liberal

Michel Picard Liberal Montarville, QC

As you mentioned, this project has very positive effects on individual advancement in general. Is the plan to reopen only one project, or is the idea to have that project be the precursor of a series of projects? There has been more than one farm in the past.

12:35 p.m.

Interim Commissioner, Correctional Service of Canada

Anne Kelly

There were farms in three regions, if I remember correctly, but the project will be carried out in Ontario for the time being.

12:35 p.m.

Liberal

Michel Picard Liberal Montarville, QC

In the short or the medium term, the plan is not to use the first Ontario project to launch others. Right now, the focus is on the project in Ontario, right?

12:35 p.m.

Interim Commissioner, Correctional Service of Canada

Anne Kelly

That's right. We are focusing on Ontario for the time being.

12:35 p.m.

Liberal

Michel Picard Liberal Montarville, QC

Thank you.

I have another question, which is for the RCMP representatives and concerns the integrity program.

I will sort of follow up on my colleagues' comments on the recent immigration incident. A lot of resources had to be mobilized, given the change in the level of emergency. Of course, there is a terrorist emergency, although the threat level has not really increased in a number of years. In fact, that level has been at B since 2014, which is average. The fact remains that the incident required a significant mobilization of resources.

What is the main objective of that integrity review? Is it to assess the relevance of programs or, rather, to better define the distribution of our resources?

12:35 p.m.

D/Commr Daniel Dubeau

That's a very good question.

As the minister said, the review covered everything—so programs, staff, and so on. It covered the way the RCMP can play its role of a federal police force.

The full review was on the full scale of all our programs in the organization, the best way of going about it, and even questions about what we should be in, what we should be doing as an organization.

On the federal piece with the integrity money that you see here, that is to allow us to continue doing certain activities while we're developing our full departmental review submission for our minister to take forward in the fall.

What you're seeing in the supplementary estimates (C) are things like this. There's money going towards our recruiting, our force generation. That's so we can hire more police officers to fill some of our vacancies, so we can release our seasoned police officers over to the federal duties where they should be. That's a full review now that's ongoing, with a response to come in the fall to the government.

12:35 p.m.

Liberal

Michel Picard Liberal Montarville, QC

Will there be an impact on the training provided in Regina and on the way officers are trained? The RCMP's reputation is excellent abroad in terms of the quality of training and its officers' flexibility. In fact, that has been its best quality. Since its officers are well-trained and flexible, they move around a lot. So there is a lack of consistency, permanency and experience within a unit.

How are you dealing with that new challenge?

12:40 p.m.

D/Commr Daniel Dubeau

That's a very good question. I think the deputy commissioner, Gilles Michaud, has talked to you.

The RCMP's challenge is to figure out how to perform its role of a federal police force.

When I'm talking about how we're going to do federal policing in the future I'm saying federal policing members in the future may not all be police officers. You're going to see a blend of different civilian employees working with us, and the public servants working with us, because the world has changed so dramatically. You see cybercrime and cyberterrorism, and you see all of that going virtual. We have to have a new force generation model.

That's exactly what we're looking at, at what is the right blend. We have great training at Depot. We have world-class training, I would say. But we may look at training in other places, too, such that you get some of the basics at Depot, but maybe there will be some direct entries, if we're looking for somebody who has a certain skill set, right into our organization. How can we train them up quickly, from a federal perspective, so as to allow them to deploy onto investigations? We're open to everything, and that is something that Gilles Michaud is leading on our behalf. It started under Commissioner Paulson, and right now is the time to really develop that model.

12:40 p.m.

Liberal

Michel Picard Liberal Montarville, QC

Thank you.

12:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Mr. Picard, before I go to Mr. Calkins for five minutes, I just wanted to say to colleagues that my intention is to reserve approximately the final 10 minutes for clause by clause and a vote on the budget. I'm going to have two rounds, starting with Mr. Calkins, and then Ms. Dabrusin after that.

12:40 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

Thank you, Chair.

My first question is for Mr. Dubeau.

Would it be fair to say that every one of our embassies or high commissions around the world would be staffed with an RCMP officer?

12:40 p.m.

D/Commr Daniel Dubeau

No.

12:40 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

Would most of them be staffed with an RCMP officer?

12:40 p.m.

D/Commr Daniel Dubeau

We have liaison officers in many of our areas. I would have to ask the federal police to provide the details of where they are and then we can provide that to committee.

12:40 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

I've travelled a little bit in my role as a parliamentarian, and virtually every embassy or high commission I've been to has an RCMP officer present who is responsible for security of the embassy and so on. That RCMP officer would be involved in the chain of command of the RCMP and not in the chain of command at the high commission or the embassy. Is that correct? However, they would have a working relationship in concert with the staff of Global Affairs. Is that correct? How would official communications happen between the RCMP officer at an embassy or high commission and the staff at Global Affairs? Would that all be well-documented?

12:40 p.m.

D/Commr Daniel Dubeau

My forte is police operations on the federal side. I would have to come back to you on that and actually ask my deputy to provide you with the details.

12:40 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

That's no problem.

Of course when the Prime Minister is not on the Hill or in the parliamentary precinct, the RCMP is responsible for the security and safety of the Prime Minister; is that correct?

12:40 p.m.

D/Commr Daniel Dubeau

Yes, that's correct.

12:40 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

Of course those RCMP would also fall within the command and control structure of the entire RCMP organization.

Could you expand to this committee what the nature of the relationship would be between the RCMP officers that may be posted at an embassy or a high commission and the RCMP officers who are assigned to the safety and security of the Prime Minister when the Prime Minister is travelling abroad?

12:40 p.m.

D/Commr Daniel Dubeau

That's where you get the integrated approach, where one of our liaison officers would be part of our chain of command. When we know our Prime Minister will be going to a certain area, that is one of the points of contact that we have. That individual not only works with the embassy and Global Affairs, but also with the local authorities to understand what's happening on the ground. That information would be fed back to our national headquarters to assist with our planning process. It would be fed back to our policing operations and our protective detail to ensure that we have the right posture on the ground.

12:40 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

If anything were found or flagged by Global Affairs, CSIS, or whatever the case may be, what would be the criteria by which something would be sent to the national security adviser?

12:40 p.m.

D/Commr Daniel Dubeau

At this point you're asking me to go into [Inaudible-Editor]. I can't be specific.

12:40 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

I understand.

12:40 p.m.

D/Commr Daniel Dubeau

As soon as we'd notice any type of issue, we would then brief up accordingly. We would brief up accordingly as soon as.... [Inaudible] point, as soon as we'd find that there's an issue there, we would brief up.

12:40 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

Is there any scenario in which briefing up would stop within the confines of the RCMP and not get to the national security adviser?

12:40 p.m.

D/Commr Daniel Dubeau

From my best recollection of my briefings, we would brief up when appropriate.

12:40 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

Ms. Robertson, as an agency, CSIS is confined to doing its operations within Canada, of course, and sharing intelligence with our allies around the world. Without giving away any secrets, would it be fair to say that from time to time CSIS agents do travel to our high commissioners or embassies around the world? If you can't answer the question, I'm fine with that.

12:40 p.m.

Assistant Director, Collection, Canadian Security Intelligence Service

Charles Lowson

For operational reasons, I would prefer not to.

12:40 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

That's fine. I don't want to put anybody at any risk, and I certainly don't want to do anything to jeopardize the national security of our country.

Could you expand to me, then, at what point a relationship with the RCMP in the sharing of information—without sharing the information...how that would work if an RCMP officer, for example, at a high commission or embassy would receive information from CSIS and vice versa if something were to be flagged? How would that happen?

12:45 p.m.

Assistant Director, Collection, Canadian Security Intelligence Service

Charles Lowson

As part of its mandate, CSIS provides security-related advice to the Government of Canada, to various departments. That would include the Department of Foreign Affairs or Global Affairs Canada. That process would involve that information being passed on to Global Affairs Canada, and then the contact with their representatives abroad would happen with Global Affairs Canada.

12:45 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

Would it be fair and reasonable to say that the agency, CSIS, would, from time to time, share information with Global Affairs Canada that they wouldn't share with the RCMP?

12:45 p.m.

Assistant Director, Collection, Canadian Security Intelligence Service

Charles Lowson

It would depend on the nature of the information.

12:45 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

So it's situational.

12:45 p.m.

Assistant Director, Collection, Canadian Security Intelligence Service

Charles Lowson

It's case by case, yes.

12:45 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

Can you describe to me the nature of the relationship, or sharing of the information, or what thresholds by which information would be shared between CSIS and the national security advisor?

12:45 p.m.

Assistant Director, Collection, Canadian Security Intelligence Service

Charles Lowson

Again, it depends on the nature of the information. Not everything is briefed up, obviously. It's at the discretion of our director, generally, as to what gets briefed up.

12:45 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

I would also like to ask you a question about how information is shared with the Prime Minister's Office. Is any information shared directly between the Prime Minister's Office and CSIS or the RCMP?

12:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

That will have to be the final question.

12:45 p.m.

D/Commr Daniel Dubeau

From the RCMP's perspective, we would brief up to the national security advisor.

12:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Thank you, Mr. Calkins.

Ms. Dabrusin.

12:45 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

Thank you.

We talked briefly before about first nations policing. I was really interested in what's in the supplementary estimates to improve indigenous services and services to our indigenous population.

I'll start with Corrections Canada. Is there anything in here—I was just going through your sheet here—that would deal with the allocation of funds for initiatives for programming for indigenous people in Corrections at the moment? We have been studying that. Is there anything that deals with tailoring programs to indigenous offenders?

12:45 p.m.

Interim Commissioner, Correctional Service of Canada

Anne Kelly

I'd have to get the details of that.

12:45 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

Maybe I'll work it down the line. The RCMP spoke about first nations policing. Is there anything else in the supplementary estimates that deals with improving services for indigenous people and making them have more confidence in the services that you provide?

12:45 p.m.

D/Commr Daniel Dubeau

That's line by line, so I will turn it over to my chief financial officer.

12:45 p.m.

Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Dennis Watters

What I see is $1.8 million in the supplementary (C)s that are added upon, but as I was saying to the gentleman earlier, most of it is to the account for the market adjustment, an economic increase due to the pay raise to the members.

12:45 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

Why don't I try a slightly different tack? Maybe I'll go back to that in a second.

For the department, I saw that there is funding for the gender-based violence strategy. Can you tell me where that is at? What are the programs, and what's being developed under that line?

12:45 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Malcolm Brown

The strategy is more broadly a horizontal initiative led by Status of Women Canada. If you want the full scope of the strategy, I encourage you to invite our colleague Gina Wilson to come and give you a full briefing.

In terms of the elements for public safety, there's $6 million over 5 years and $1.3 million per year. It's going to be used primarily to fund supports to address child sexual exploitation by increasing the capacity of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection to help them manage reports of online child sexual exploitation that they receive. As well, this centre runs a well-known online crawler, Arachnid, I think it's called. This is a really important initiative that sort of scans the Internet and then informs service providers that they have illegal content. The service providers almost invariably take it down. It's a very cost-effective investment in beginning to tackle this issue.

12:45 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

How would we be able to get more information about Arachnid?

12:45 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Malcolm Brown

I would be happy, through the Chair, to share more background with the committee.

12:50 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

That might be helpful for us to have a better sense.

I saw that in the budget there has also been money set aside for a hotline in respect of human trafficking. Would that be a next step on this gender-based violence strategy?

12:50 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Malcolm Brown

As I say, the whole question around gender-based violence is part of a horizontal initiative.

12:50 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

Yes.

12:50 p.m.

Deputy Minister, Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Malcolm Brown

Human trafficking affects men, women, and children, so there is a gender lens to it. I think our data shows that there is no question that it affects more women than men, and in some ways differently. The nature of the trafficking is different, depending on gender. This is, again, a relatively small targeted investment to support the tip line so that people can identify where people are at risk, and then stakeholders can take steps to provide support.

12:50 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

Thank you.

12:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Thank you, Ms. Dabrusin.

That concludes our questioning of the witnesses.

I want to thank each and every one of you for your contribution.

I want to go to the votes.

Do I have unanimous consent to vote on all items at once?

12:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

12:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Shall the votes on supplementary estimates (C) pass?

CANADA BORDER SERVICES AGENCY

Vote 1c—Operating expenditures..........$3,267,327

Vote 5c—Capital expenditures..........$18,042,576

(Votes 1c and 5c agreed to on division)

CORRECTIONAL SERVICE OF CANADA

Vote 1c—Operating expenditures, grants and contributions..........$105,897,636

(Vote 1c agreed to on division)

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

Vote 1c—Operating expenditures..........$2,649,033

Vote 5c—Grants and contributions..........$18,859,241

(Votes 1c and 5c agreed to on division)

ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE

Vote 1c—Operating expenditures..........$224,519,870

Vote 5c—Capital expenditures..........$22,715,260

Vote 10c—Grants and contributions..........$4,500,000

(Votes 1c, 5c, and 10c agreed to on division)

SECRETARIAT OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE OF PARLIAMENTARIANS

Vote 3c—Program expenditures..........$1

(Vote 3c agreed to on division)

The second vote is on interim estimates. Again, do I have unanimous consent to vote all at once?

12:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

12:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

We will vote on the interim estimates.

CANADA BORDER SERVICES AGENCY

Vote 1—Operating expenditures..........$360,510,970

Vote 5—Capital expenditures..........$49,482,619

(Votes 1 and 5 agreed to on division)

CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE

Vote 1—Program expenditures..........$130,362,948

(Vote 1 agreed to on division)

CIVILIAN REVIEW AND COMPLAINTS COMMISSION FOR THE ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE

Vote 1—Program expenditures..........$2,416,995

(Vote 1 agreed to on division)

CORRECTIONAL SERVICE OF CANADA

Vote 1—Operating expenditures..........$506,656,428

Vote 5—Capital expenditures..........$47,285,431

(Votes 1 and 5 agreed to on division)

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

Vote 1—Operating expenditures..........$34,577,874

Vote 5—The grants listed in any of the Estimates for the fiscal year..........$251,966,227

(Votes 1 and 5 agreed to on division)

OFFICE OF THE CORRECTIONAL INVESTIGATOR OF CANADA

Vote 1—Program expenditures..........$1,032,456

(Vote 1 agreed to on division)

PAROLE BOARD OF CANADA

Vote 1—Program expenditures..........$10,614,402

(Vote 1 agreed to on division)

ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE

Vote 1—Operating expenditures..........$843,868,844

Vote 5—Capital expenditures..........$72,383,989

Vote 10—The grants listed in any of the Estimates for the fiscal year..........$63,418,371

(Votes 1, 5, and 10 agreed to on division)

ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE EXTERNAL REVIEW COMMITTEE

Vote 1—Program expenditures..........$1,436,174

(Vote 1 agreed to on division)

SECRETARIAT OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE OF PARLIAMENTARIANS

Vote 1—Program expenditures..........$823,687

(Vote 1 agreed to on division)

SECURITY INTELLIGENCE REVIEW COMMITTEE

Vote 1—Program expenditures..........$1,151,874

(Vote 1 agreed to on division)

We would normally go in camera for the third item, but I don't really see the point, unless people really are keen on this. It is the request for the travel budget in order to be able to go on our study of indigenous people in the correctional system. This would be visits to Donnacona, Saskatoon, and Medicine Hat. You have it in front of you. It should be with your package of stuff.

Is there any debate?

I just want to make sure that everybody has seen it.

12:50 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Red Deer—Lacombe, AB

Thank you, Chair.

12:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

I just want to make sure it's on the table.

Is there debate?

12:50 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

I have just a quick question. The dates still haven't been determined. Are we still looking at spring 2018?

12:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

That's right.

12:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

12:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal John McKay

Thank you.

Now the subcommittee is going to meet, but apparently we're not meeting in this room.

With that, we're adjourned.