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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was chair.

Last in Parliament October 2015, as Conservative MP for Prince Edward—Hastings (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2015, with 42% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act January 28th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, we are taking a critical step in this government toward ensuring that CSIS is well positioned to confront the terrorist threat as it exists in 2015.

I think it is useful to provide a bit of context about CSIS's work and the associated sections of the CSIS Act that govern that work. Section 12 of the CSIS Act mandates CSIS to collect and analyze intelligence on threats to the security of Canada, and in relation to those threats, to report to and advise the Government of Canada. These threats are specifically defined in the CSIS Act as espionage or sabotage, foreign-influenced activities that are detrimental to the interests of Canada, activities directed toward the threat or use of acts of serious violence, and activities directed toward undermining the system of government in Canada.

Section 16 of the CSIS Act authorizes CSIS to collect within Canada foreign intelligence related to the capabilities, intentions, or activities of any foreign state or group of foreign states. This is subject to the restriction that its activities cannot be directed at Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or corporations.

Sections 13, 14, and 15 authorize CSIS to provide security assessments to the Government of Canada, provincial governments, and other Canadian and foreign institutions, to provide advice to ministers of the crown on matters related to the Citizenship Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and to conduct investigations required to perform all these functions.

Clearly, all of these are very challenging mandates. Fulfilling these mandates means that CSIS has to use a suite of investigative techniques that can include, for instance, open-source research, physical surveillance, interviews, and analyzing intelligence from a wide variety of sources, among others. What is particularly important to note here is the importance that human resources play in allowing CSIS to fulfill its mandate to investigate and to advise on threats to Canada's security.

Other techniques used by CSIS are more intrusive in nature. These techniques may include, among others, searches of a target's place of residence and analysis of financial records or telecommunications intercepts.

CSIS is required to obtain warrants under the CSIS Act to pursue intrusive investigative techniques. In order to obtain a warrant, CSIS must satisfy a designated Federal Court judge that there are reasonable grounds to believe that a warrant is required to enable CSIS to investigate a threat to the security of Canada or to perform its duties and functions under section 16 of the CSIS Act. The CSIS Act also requires the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to approve warrant applications before they are submitted to the Federal Court, which is a very sold failsafe method. In addition, co-operation with domestic agencies is also critical.

Section 17 of the CSIS Act authorizes CSIS, with the approval of the minister, to co-operate with any department of the Government of Canada or the government of a province or any police force in a province. Therefore, CSIS works closely with the RCMP, the Canada Border Services Agency, other government departments, and police forces across Canada.

When it comes to investigating threat-related activities occurring outside of Canada, CSIS's relationship with the Communications Security Establishment Canada, or CSE, is particularly important. CSIS relies heavily on the capabilities and the expertise of CSE to conduct telecommunications intercepts outside of Canada. CSE's legal authority to provide assistance to CSIS stems from subsection 273.64(1)(c) of the National Defence Act.

The CSIS Act authorizes CSIS to enter into an arrangement or to otherwise co-operate with the government of a foreign state, or an institution of that state, with the approval of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness after consulting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Co-operation with foreign entities is critical to CSIS's ability to fulfill its mandate. Individuals being investigated often leave Canada to engage in a range of threat-related activities, and no country can assess the full range of threats on its own. CSIS must be able to work with foreign partners, subject to oversight by the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and review by the Security Intelligence Review Committee.

Now that I have outlined some of the important work that CSIS does and how the CSIS act allows for it, I will speak to how this bill would allow CSIS to more effectively operate in the evolving threat environment.

Specifically, this bill would confirm CSIS' authority to conduct investigations outside of Canada related to threats to the security of Canada and security assessments. It would also confirm that the Federal Court can issue warrants for CSIS to investigate, within or outside Canada, threats to the security of Canada. It would also give the Federal Court the authority to consider only relevant Canadian law when issuing warrants to authorize CSIS to undertake certain intrusive activities outside of Canada. It would protect the identity of CSIS human resources from disclosure, and it would protect the identity of CSIS employees who are likely to become involved in covert activities in the future.

These are all measured changes that would amend the legislation governing CSIS' activities so that it has the clear ability and authority to investigate threats to the security of Canada wherever and whenever they may occur.

It is clear that our Conservative government does take the protection of Canadians most seriously. Unfortunately, it seems that some of the other parties do not share our view that these are most serious issues in need of most serious solutions.

The leader of the NDP has determined that our government is playing politics with the issue of terrorism, and he is not convinced that Canada was the victim of two terrorist threats in late October. It is incredible. These views, offensive as they may be—and I do find them offensive personally—are certainly predictable. Remember, this is the same NDP leader who said he did not believe that the U.S. military had really killed Osama bin Laden.

Where can we start with the Liberal Party? It was the Liberal Party leader who recently said we should not fight to destroy and degrade ISIL because he does not believe that we can win against a barbaric group of deranged jihadists.

Despite all of this, I believe that we, as a government and as parties respectively, can come together. I urge all members to support this legislation to allow us to move to the earlier implementation of certain changes to Canadian citizenship laws and to allow CSIS to carry out its vital work in the threat environment of the present day.

Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act January 28th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, I am not only pleased but proud and privileged to be with a government that has an unwavering commitment to protecting Canadians from radical jihadi terrorists. I am proud of our government's decision to stand with our allies in an international mission to combat the threat ISIL poses to the Middle East, and by extension, to the world. I am proud that when our government says it is committed to giving our security agencies the tools they need to keep Canadians safe, we follow through with decisive action.

In that spirit, I am pleased to rise today in support of the protection of Canada from terrorists bill. As all hon. members know, this bill contains two main measures.

First of all, it will make technical amendments to Canada's Citizenship Act to allow revocation of citizenship provisions to come into force earlier than anticipated. These provisions, which are part of an act that has already received royal assent, include expanded grounds for revocation. This includes authorizing the revocation of the citizenship of individuals engaged in armed conflict with Canada as well as those who have been convicted of terrorism, high treason, or spying.

The bill also provides for a streamlined decision-making process. It will authorize the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration or the Federal Court to make decisions on revoking citizenship from traitors or terrorists.

The second part of this legislation, and what I will focus my remarks on today, are the changes being proposed to strengthen the CSIS Act.

For the last 30 years, CSIS has played a vital, and I would say, valuable role in ensuring a safe and secure Canada. The threats we face as a country today have changed significantly since then. I think all we have to do is look at world events to realize that we do not live in the world of yesterday.

The CSIS Act and the legislation that governs CSIS activities has not changed. With the bill before us, we are taking a critical step toward ensuring that CSIS is well positioned.

Justice January 27th, 2015

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to keeping the worst of the worst behind bars right where they belong. That is why we are committed to bringing forward legislation that means life sentences for dangerous individuals and predators will be just that, a life sentence. Never again will they be free to terrorize law-abiding citizens.

Sadly, today, I was disturbed to learn that the NDP and the Liberal Party will oppose this legislation, legislation they have not even yet read. This is clearly an example that the Liberal leader is not up to the serious job and, I might even say, the critical responsibility of protecting Canadian families.

Committees of the House December 2nd, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour today to present, in both official languages, the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security in relation to Bill C-44, an act to amend the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act and other acts.

The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House without amendment.

Public Safety November 24th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, Canadians were shocked with the horrific terrorist attacks of late October. As a result of extreme actions by ISIL, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo lost their lives.

Often in the past we have had a tendency to under-react to these very real threats against us. My constituents want to see this Conservative government take strong action to protect them from violent terrorists.

Could the Minister of Public Safety please update the House on what the government is doing in this regard?

Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act November 18th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I certainly welcome the interjection of my hon. colleague. Though we may occasionally have a philosophical difference, I do respect the time he has spent in the House and as attorney general. He certainly has experience in this field.

As such, I think he made a very clear point. To obtain a warrant and/or have a course of action, we must have sufficient evidence to access those instruments. One of the challenges we have is that without the proper legislation, without the proper oversight, without the capacity and ability to ask for functions, we have instruments in place right now that we cannot fully utilize.

Give us the opportunity to offer more scrutiny so that when we approach the judiciary, the departmental level, or the senior bureaucrats within the department, they will know that they will then operate within the expanded capacity of investigative techniques that are sufficient to allow them to act with the warrant. Without that, there are so many times we sit with our hands tied and are not able to properly defend the interests of Canada.

Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act November 18th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have two points.

First, regretfully, I heard one of the members of the official opposition state that balance was not necessary, that balance between civil liberties and public safety was not necessary. That is absolutely shocking.

However, when it comes to reductions, the fact remains that over the past number of years, we have added, by one third, the amount of expenditures for our surveillance services.

There has been a reduction as of late. However, we met with CSIS Director Michel Coulombe, Commissioner Paulson from the RCMP, the minister, and senior departmental people. We asked them if the reduction has had any influence on their ability to do the job for Canadians. They assured us that it did not. They knew darn well that the small reductions were made at the administrative level, at the front office level, and have had absolutely not been enacted on those in the field of operations.

Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act November 18th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to Bill C-44, the protection of Canada from terrorists act. This legislation would make important changes to modernize the CSIS Act as well as bring into force provisions related to revoking the citizenship of terrorists and those who take up arms against the Canadian Armed Forces.

Our government has a strong record of action in protecting Canada's national security. We have given law enforcement new tools by making it a crime to go overseas to engage in terrorist activity. We have given authorities tools to strip Canadian citizenship from those engaged in terrorist activities. We have increased the funding for our national security agencies, such as the RCMP and CSIS, by one-third. We have introduced new measures to allow our national security agencies to better track threats to Canada. However, it is clear that there is still much more work to be done.

This past Sunday, we all saw a video released of more than a dozen men being beheaded by ISIL terrorists, including the American aid worker Peter Kassig. His parents said that they were heartbroken to learn that their son had lost his life as a result of his love for the Syrian people and his desire to ease their suffering. As Canadians, we all, in this House and across this country, condemn these barbaric actions in the strongest possible terms.

In addition to the horrific reports from Iraq and Syria, recent horrific terrorist attacks right here at home, as we all know, have been and are a stark reminder that ISIL is a threat to Canadians. That is why we are taking part in the coalition that is currently conducting air strikes against ISIL and are supporting the security forces in Iraq in their fight against this terrorist scourge. That is also the reason we are working very determinedly to strengthen the tools available to the police and the intelligence community. The protection of Canada from terrorists acts is just the first step in our efforts to do that.

As chair of the public safety committee, I am certainly pleased to discuss in a bit more detail some of the key measures that would appear before the committee for evaluation. This bill has several key measures that I would like to discuss, then, in more detail.

First is the authority to investigate threats, collect foreign intelligence within Canada, and provide security assessments. Section 12 of the CSIS Act mandates CSIS to collect and analyze intelligence on threats to the security of Canada, and in relation to those threats, to report to and advise the Government of Canada. These threats are defined in the CSIS Act as espionage or sabotage, foreign-influenced activities that are detrimental to the interests of Canada, activities directed toward the threat or use of acts of serious violence, and activities directed toward undermining the system of government in Canada.

Section 16 of the CSIS Act authorizes CSIS to collect within Canada foreign intelligence relating to the capabilities, intentions, or activities of any foreign state or group of foreign states, subject to the restriction that its activities cannot be directed at Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or corporations.

Sections 13, 14, and 15 authorize CSIS to provide security assessments to the Government of Canada, provincial governments, and other Canadian and foreign institutions; to provide advice to ministers of the crown on matters related to the Citizenship Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; and to conduct such investigations as may be required to perform these functions.

I would like to discuss investigative techniques in more detail. Fulfilling these mandates requires that CSIS use a suite of investigative techniques. These techniques can include, among others, open-source research, physical surveillance, interviews, and analyzing intelligence from a variety of sources. Human sources, however, are at the core of CSIS's ability to fulfill its mandate to investigate and advise on threats to the security of Canada. Techniques used by CSIS may include, among others, searches of a target's place of residence, analysis of financial records, or telecommunication intercepts.

Section 21 of the CSIS Act authorizes CSIS to apply for a warrant to conduct activities where there are reasonable grounds to believe that a warrant is required to enable CSIS to investigate a threat to the security of Canada or to perform its duties and functions pursuant to Section 16 of the CSIS Act. The CSIS Act requires that the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness approve warrant applications before they are submitted to the Federal Court. Co-operation with other domestic agencies is also critical.

Section 17 of the CSIS Act authorizes CSIS to co-operate with any department of the Government of Canada or the government of a province or any police force in a province. CSIS, as such, works closely with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada Border Services Agency, other government departments, and police forces across Canada. CSIS's co-operation with these entities must be approved by the Minister of Public Safety.

In investigating threat-related activities occurring outside of Canada, CSIS's relationship with Communications Security Establishment Canada is particularly important. CSIS relies heavily on the capabilities and expertise of CSE to conduct telecommunications intercepts outside of Canada.

CSE's legal authority to provide assistance to CSIS stems from paragraph 273.64(1)(c) of the National Defence Act. CSIS must obtain a warrant from the Federal Court of Canada to seek assistance from CSE to intercept the telecommunications of a Canadian outside of Canada.

As well, we cannot forget the importance of co-operation with foreign intelligence agencies. Fulfilling CSIS's mandate also requires that CSIS undertake investigative activities outside of Canada and co-operate and share intelligence with foreign entities. Targets of CSIS's investigations often depart Canada to engage in a range of threat-related activities. At the same time, in some cases, threats to the security of Canada develop entirely outside of Canada.

CSIS cannot limit itself to undertaking investigative activities only within Canada. Pursuant to section 17 of the CSIS Act, CSIS may, with the approval of the Minister of Public Safety, after consulting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, enter into an arrangement or otherwise co-operate with the government of a foreign state or an institution thereof.

Unfortunately, in the past, the opposition has been less than supportive of measures to keep Canadians safe from terrorists. The NDP voted against making it a criminal offence to travel abroad to engage in terrorism. The Liberal leader has said that it was an affront to Canadian values to strip passports from those who may engage in terrorist acts.

I am pleased to see that all parties in the House have expressed support for further studying this important bill at committee. I hope that this support continues, and I encourage all members to support these most important measures.

Committees of the House November 18th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour today to present, in both official languages, the sixth report of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security in relation to Bill C-2, an act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House without amendment.

Canadian Heavyweight Boxing Title October 29th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, born in Madoc, my hometown, Dillon Carman participated in high school boxing, where he grew to love the sport.

Today I rise to congratulate Dillon Carman on winning the Canadian heavyweight boxing title. Dillon, who is known as “Big Country”, was crowned on Saturday, October 25, in Toronto, at the Mattamy Athletic Centre, formerly known as Maple Leaf Gardens. Going seven rounds, Dillon ended the proceedings with a wicked left-right combo to rugged Eric Martel Bahoeli.

Dillon's heart is as big as his powerful punch. He is proud to be a Canadian and encourages building the sport of boxing.

Congratulations to Big Country. He is an inspiration to our youth for demonstrating the confidence and determination necessary to achieve one's goals. The next time folks hear, “let's get ready to rumble”, think of Big Country Carman.