March 19, 1984

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT


The House resumed from Friday, March 16, consideration of the motion of Mr. Kaplan that Bill C-9, an Act to establish the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, to enact an Act respecting enforcement in relation to certain security and related offences and to amend certain Acts in consequence thereof or in relation thereto, be read the second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs; and the motion of Mr. Deniger (p. 2178).


PC

Allan Bruce McKinnon

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Allan B. McKinnon (Victoria):

Mr. Speaker, I must say it is with considerable surprise that I find myself speaking again on this Bill, having spoken on it last week; but we were faced with a rather unsettling and unusual procedure on Friday afternoon when the Hon. Member for La Prairie (Mr. Deniger) to everyone's surprise brought in the motion that the question should now be put.

The results of this motion were rather clearly defined by the Hon. Member for Saskatoon West (Mr. Hnatyshyn) when he pointed out that this was simply the most brutal form of closure available to a government to limit debate on second reading of a very controversial Bill. It is rather interesting to make note of what happened shortly thereafter. The House became involved in one of those heated exchanges, where there was a great deal of heat and very little light thrown on the subject.

If we look at page 2184 of Hansard, we find the kinds of things that were being said. Hon. Members were engaged in a free-for-all. I am sure some of them would regret having said the words they said. The Hon. Member for Spadina (Mr. Heap) is shown on that page as referring to this group as the "Canadian 'Gestapo' ". He said:

There will be no independent reporting on the doings of this secret service, this Canadian "Gestapo".

I read Hansard this morning to find out what actually happened, and to my surprise the Solicitor General (Mr. Kaplan) said:

There is a little difference between the RCMP and the Gestapo.

It is not exactly the adjective I would have chosen; "there is a little difference". I would hope that there is an enormous difference between the RCMP and the Gestapo and that it ever remains that way. This is the kind of half-hearted support the RCMP is accustomed to getting from the Solicitor General.

The debate then went on with the President of the Privy Council (Mr. Pinard) explaining the reasons for this motion, which has the effect of closure. It will limit debate quite severely at second reading. If it were not so serious, I would be amused with the Liberal Party. Whatever motion is in front of the House or whatever stage we are at, that is in their minds not a very important stage of the Bill, particularly if they want to impose closure at that time.

One thinks back to 1968 when the Government was defeated on a money Bill. I well recall the Right Hon. Lester Pearson, then Prime Minister, referring to it as a mere defeat on third reading, not of any importance. He very much stressed that it was third reading and did not have the importance of second reading.

A couple of months ago the Government was defeated in committee on a money Bill. Of course, that was of no consequence. That was not important because it was in committee. On Friday the President of the Privy Council said this is not all that important, that after all it is only second reading. He said at page 2917, of Hansard, and I quote:

Therefore if we understand .. . how the Canadian parliamentary system works, there is no reason to get upset when at this stage a Government Member tries to bring this debate to a logical conclusion-

Bringing in closure at this stage is not important. He went

on to say:

-considering the fact that on second reading, only the principle of a Bill is to be examined before referring the Bill to committee-

We find second reading is not important. We now find that report stage is not important, third reading is not important, committee stage is not important and second reading is not important. I wonder when Bills in front of Parliament do become important. I guess they become important when they interfere with the orderly progress the Government imagines it goes through to get legislation through the House before they are called to meet their maker. Is it in June that we will be apprised of the election day, probably an election to be held in August or, failing that, in November?

The Government feels it must get this Bill through before it has to adjourn, prorogue or dissolve. One wonders what is the urgency. As I said last week, I am concerned about the appointments that will be made if this Bill becomes law. There

March 19, 1984

Security Intelligence Service

will be people put into such positions as Inspector General; there will be a review committee and a Director. All of these people will be appointed if this Government has its way with this Bill, and it will be for lengthy periods of time. You can bet your bottom dollar that they will be Liberals. They will be in these positions with a certain amount of tenure. The Director will be able to appoint the top 40 men and women in this organization. If they follow the precedent that has been clearly established by this Government, every last one will be a Liberal with some connection, either financial or by service.

Even on the review committee there are to be Privy Councillors. Have you ever thought, Mr. Speaker, what kind of Privy Councillors we have around? For those who are watching, a Privy Councillor is a person who has been a Cabinet Minister. It is supposed to be one who is not in Parliament or in the Senate. They are looking for five. Think of some of the people they might get.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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PC

Benno Friesen (Progressive Conservative Party Caucus Chair)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Friesen:

Gillespie.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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PC

Allan Bruce McKinnon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McKinnon:

Gillespie, yes, indeed. This same Party may well be looking for a sure Liberal seat on June 16 for a very deserving fellow from Bay Street who may want to have a seat, if he has the nerve to face the House and assume the responsibilities of Prime Minister. Among the Members who might be willing to give up their seats is the Privy Councillor, the Hon. Member for Notre-Dame-de-Grace-Lachine East (Mr. Allmand), a former Solicitor General. We all remember his term as Solicitor General. The country will never forget it. Perhaps he would like to do it all over again.

M5)

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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PC

Benno Friesen (Progressive Conservative Party Caucus Chair)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Friesen:

Goyer.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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PC

Allan Bruce McKinnon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McKinnon:

Yes, there is also Jean-Pierre Goyer. 1 think that Canadair is about ready to get rid of him, or at least I certainly hope so. I do not know how we can afford to have him run Canadair.

Perhaps the Hon. Member for York-Scarborough (Mr. Cosgrove) is willing to give up his seat and retire to a more dignified life as a member of the review committee. The Hon. Member for Sarnia-Lambton (Mr. Cullen) has been gracing the front benches though not in a role which he relishes, I feel. Perhaps the Hon. Member for York West (Mr. Fleming) would like to give up his seat. As well, so help us, the Hon. Member for Lincoln (Mr. Mackasey) might wish to do so. We must think about him because he has not had a plum for quite some time.

There is as well the Hon. Member for Burin-St. George's (Mr. Simmons). Believe it or not, he is a Privy Councillor.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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PC

A. Daniel McKenzie

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McKenzie:

He would have all the qualifications.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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PC

Allan Bruce McKinnon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McKinnon:

He has every imaginable qualification required for him to leave his seat. In fact, he almost has a duty to leave his seat and create a vacancy. There has never actually been a Prime Minister from Burin-St. George's.

What about the Senate? I mean no disrespect by using his British Columbia nickname, but "Senator Foghorn", the Hon. Ray Perrault, might feel that he would be suitable for a review committee seeing that he has recently been relieved of responsibilities which he held up until then.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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PC

Benno Friesen (Progressive Conservative Party Caucus Chair)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Friesen:

Iona.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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PC

Allan Bruce McKinnon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McKinnon:

Iona is not yet a senator but that should not take long to happen. As a matter of fact, she is a Privy Councillor having once been the Minister responsible for amateur sport. She was the one who made the Loto Canada arrangements and provided so much hilarity in the House.

Another thing we have heard from the President of the Privy Council is that the McDonald Commission recommendations have been incorporated in this Bill. This of course is not so. The Senate made several recommendations which the President of the Privy Council would like us to believe have been incorporated in the Bill. The important recommendations of the Senate committee have not been incorporated in this Bill so we are frankly very much in the position of not trusting the Government to be objective or impartial when it appoints the people who will run Canada's security and intelligence agency.

For that reason, as I said the other day, I believe this Bill should be delayed. We should wait for an election when a new government with a new mandate will decide whether this is really the kind of organization Canadians want to have looking after security and intelligence. In closing, Mr. Speaker, I would like to make the point that there is still no sign that anyone on the government side has any idea of the personnel difficulties involved which will affect many employees of the current security and intelligence organization.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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NDP

William Alexander (Bill) Blaikie (N.D.P. Caucus Chair)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg-Birds Hill):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pick up where I left off the last time I was involved in this debate and had the opportunity to make a comment after the Hon. Member for Saskatoon East (Mr. Ogle) had spoken. At that time I wanted Members of the House to reflect upon the historical and philosophical context in which we ought to be considering such matters as dissent and subversion. This is especially important now that the Government is committed to imposing upon the Canadian people through the parliamentary procedures it has now invoked a security service that in our view is so very unaccountable and which gives so much power to the state without any parliamentary accountability.

At that time, Mr. Speaker, I began by calling to the attention of Hon. Members the fact that our very civilization, to the extent that it is called the Judeo-Christian civilization, began on the cross with an event which was very much involved with the question of subversion and dissent. It began with Jesus Christ being crucified by the Romans. Crucifixion was something that the Romans used for the punishment of people seen to be enemies of the state. Right at the beginning of our tradition we have that central question being asked about whether the state was right in that circumstance. Of

March 19, 1984

course, our whole civilization is based on the premise that the state was wrong in that instance.

If we look at another stream in our civilization, the Greek civilization, we soon come to the figure of Socrates, who was also executed by the state for subversion. He was charged with corrupting the youth of the time, but Socrates had more respect for the Greek polity than his accusers, refusing to go for the escape plan that some of his friends had set up for him. He said that because he had respect for the laws of Athens he would rather drink the hemlock than bring dishonour on his society.

There in the two mainstreams of western civilization, Mr. Speaker, we find two central events in both of which, I think Hon. Members would agree, the state was wrong. The Romans were wrong in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the Greek authorities were wrong in the execution of Socrates.

Let me cite a few more examples, Mr. Speaker. During the time of the American revolution, many revolutionaries were charged with sedition and subversion for their attempt to resist the unjust imposition of taxes by the British Government on the 13 colonies. Americans would say now-although perhaps in Canada this is not a safe thing to say given the United Empire Loyalist tradition-that the British Government was wrong in the things it did to people who dared to express the opinion that there ought to be independence for the 13 colonies or perhaps only that the tax laws of the time were unjust.

Another example in our political life and in the tradition of the New Democratic Party in particular is the Winnipeg general strike of 1919. J. S. Woodsworth, someone I think it is fair to say who all now regard as a leading figure in the political history of Canada and who is generally revered not just by members of the political tradition to which he belonged but by many others, was charged with sedition in 1919. The charge was not based on violence or calling into question the state but because he quoted Isaiah. That is why he was charged with sedition. People at the time did not like that. I guess they would not have liked Isaiah either because he expressed strong and harsh criticism of people in authority, of people with power and what they did to others who did not have power.

That is why we are concerned about the power given to the state through this Bill-power given to it anew because the state has always had that power. What we lament is that we had an opportunity, when reforming our security system, to make that power more accountable, to learn from the mistakes of long past and we have not done so.

I am not just talking of Canada's past and Canada's political life, events like the charging of J. S. Woodsworth with sedition; I am referring right back to Christ and to Socrates. When are we ever going to learn from history, Mr. Speaker, that the state ought to be more accountable than what the present Solicitor General (Mr. Kaplan) now proposes in this

Security Intelligence Service

Bill? When are we going to learn to have some self-criticism built into agencies like security services? Are we never going to learn that the world view of any particular state at any particular time is, in view of everything we have ever learned from history, a limited and self-righteous view of itself which has to have built into it elements of accountability? 1 fault the Solicitor General for having passed up this opportunity to make Canada an example to all other nations in this regard. There could have been this opportunity if the Minister had been willing to follow some of the recommendations of the McDonald Commission, particularly with respect to parliamentary accountability.

We in the New Democratic Party perhaps know better than others, by virtue of the fact that we come out of a tradition which has been more critical of the prevailing views of society, what the power of suspicion is all about and what the power of the state can be vis-a-vis those it regards as potential subversives. We know only too well that over the years legitimate political dissent and ideas-many of which have now become part and parcel of the fabric of Canadian life-when initially advocated were suspected of being the latest advance of Bolshevism into Canadian society. When medicare and pension plans were originally advocated it was thought they were being transplanted into Canadian society by the Bolsheviks.

I listened with interest to the Hon. Member for Victoria (Mr. McKinnon) when he said recently that we did not have a monopoly on our concern in this area, and we do not. There are many people in other policital parties who have a genuine concern about these issues. We want to hear from them and work together with them to change this Bill. However, it remains a fact that it has been a political policy or strategy on the part of the right in this country to question the loyalty of the people on the left, in the sense of their loyalty to their country, implying that their ideas might be subversive. This has been done decade after decade. I say, therefore, to the Hon. Member for Victoria that although he himself may say that although he might not agree with what I would say, he would defend to the death my right to say it, there are others in his political tradition who have not been so eager to defend the rights of people to say what they feel. That is something we ought to be conscious of when we are debating this particular kind of Bill.

We are living in the kind of situation today, Mr. Speaker, with respect to peace groups, where many people are not only loyal to Canada but they observe a higher loyalty to the future of the planet earth and to the future of human life on this planet. They ought not to be considered by this Government, as I know they are, and will continue to be if this particular Bill goes through, as somehow subversive because they question the shortsighted, limited, and as it will be looked back on 100 years from now, insane policies of this Government.

We failed, Mr. Speaker, and the Minister has failed, by imposing this regime on Parliament and on the country. He has missed a great opportunity finally to have done something good in this area.

March 19, 1984

Security Intelligence Service

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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PC

Benno Friesen (Progressive Conservative Party Caucus Chair)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Benno Friesen (Surrey-White Rock-North Delta):

Mr. Speaker, I listened with care to the speech of the Hon. Member for Winnipeg-Birds Hill (Mr. Blaikie) and I have to admit that I agreed with much of what he had to say. It is in the nature of government to be authoritarian.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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LIB

Robert Phillip Kaplan (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Kaplan:

He did not say anything about the Bill.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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PC

Benno Friesen (Progressive Conservative Party Caucus Chair)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Friesen:

That may be. I still can agree with what he had to say even though he was not talking about the Bill.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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NDP

William Alexander (Bill) Blaikie (N.D.P. Caucus Chair)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Blaikie:

I was talking about the Bill.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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PC

Benno Friesen (Progressive Conservative Party Caucus Chair)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Friesen:

Nevertheless, there are a couple of things I would like to point out to the Hon. Member. Toward the end he mentioned the fact that members of the left have historically been subject to intimidation of sorts by members of the right. 1 think he will understand when I say that I abhor any kind of oppression, whether it be of the right or the left. I think it is wrong. Freedom is the name of the game in our land. We appreciate and thrive on freedom of expression. But he should understand that the right does not have the monopoly on that kind of intimidation.

An example of that is the left-wing of Vancouver City Council. The Council entertained a motion regarding the visit of Mr. Kissinger to Vancouver to the effect that if he were to come to Vancouver, he should not be allowed to speak unless the opposing point of view was presented. Now, that is wrong. It does not matter whether it is the right or the left.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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NDP

William Alexander (Bill) Blaikie (N.D.P. Caucus Chair)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Blaikie:

I agree.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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PC

Benno Friesen (Progressive Conservative Party Caucus Chair)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Friesen:

Certainly the right does not enjoy a monopoly on that because I have seen enough left-wing fora where the same kind of oppression, intimidation and shouting down takes place as the Hon. Member ascribes to the right.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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March 19, 1984