Mr. Speaker, I would like to make one simple point with my two minutes.
I would like to draw attention to the witness testimony from Professor Craig Forcese of the University of Ottawa. He said:
I think in the final analysis a warrant will be required whenever foreign surveillance involves covert interception of telecommunications. I also believe the amendments [to the law] may be interpreted as requiring a warrant any time an operation may violate international or foreign law. These would be sensible standards, but because the bill is not emphatic, establishing these standards may require another round of litigation. Therefore I strongly urge the committee to pre-empt the necessity of another half-decade of uncertainty by adding clear language on the trigger for seeking a foreign surveillance warrant.
In committee, we tried just that. We wanted to introduce an amendment, but in the end it was not needed, because another member of the opposition tried something similar. However, it started with the words “for greater certainty” and then said that a warrant would be needed where investigative activities conducted outside of Canada would normally require a warrant if conducted inside of Canada—by reason of the charter—or if the activity may be inconsistent with international law or the law of the foreign state.
Therefore, in tandem with what Professor Forcese said, the official opposition is firmly of the view that this is already implicit in the law, even though the government has chosen not to clarify what standard is needed for a warrant to be requested on a mandatory basis. It is very clear, at a minimum, that the standard I just read out, and which was offered up by Professor Forcese, is what clearly the courts will read into the law. This is the official opposition's understanding of the very minimum requirements for a warrant.