June 20, 1984

NDP

Ian Deans (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Deans:

-and that could mean many things. I just want to sum up.

By virtue of being appointed to the Cabinet, that does not give an individual elected Member of Parliament any more corner on truth or trustworthiness. It does not give that

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individual any more sense of appropriateness in dealing with matters such as this, not any more. I ask as best I can for reconsideration. This is an important amendment. The rest of the Bill is not supportable, but at least make it somewhat more palatable by accepting that we in Parliament could exercise that responsibility with a degree of commitment to this country, equally as well as people appointed by the Government.

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

Dave Nickerson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Dave Nickerson (Western Arctic):

Mr. Speaker, I know you have been listening attentively and carefully to every word in this quite lengthy debate. You will have perceived without a doubt that there is a difference in approach by the two Opposition parties. On the one hand, we have seen from the New Democratic Party that mindless opposition which they display so often in this House. It would appear that the NDP want no security service of any kind in Canada. To that end, they have filibustered, they have moved motions which would delete every single clause in the Bill we have before us. The action of the NDP has put in jeopardy or denied proper consideration of the reasonable and sensible motions put forward by Members of the Conservative Party.

Our approach to this Bill has been characterized by this sense of reason, by this sensibility. We have argued at considerable length that the security service should be maintained under the auspices of the RCMP. That is not the item of debate now, so I will not reiterate those valid arguments in favour of that point of view. We have also tried to improve this Bill.

Many flaws in the Bill have been pointed out, and we have tried in our presentations to get a better system of accountability, a better system of control, and a better handle on the security service. We know that in this imperfect world there has to be a security service. It would be nice if we did not need one. But if we are faced with the necessity of a security service, then it is our belief that that service should be accountable to the people of Canada through their Parliament.

With that aim in mind, the Hon. Member for Vancouver South (Mr. Fraser) proposed what in all probability is the most important motion introduced to date at report stage. Were this motion to be carried, the administration, provisions and operation of this Act would be reviewed on a permanent basis by a committee of the House of Commons or by a joint committee of the House of Commons and the Senate. What could be more sensible or more logical than that? This proposal goes to the heart of accountability and the heart of proper parliamentary scrutiny over the affairs of the security service.

The Government in its wisdom-and I use that word rather loosely-seems to think that it is okay for Parliament and parliamentary committees to look after the little things. It can set up a task force to look into a problem of the bean-growers of Ontario, with no offence to those great Canadians engaged in the production of beans. However, when it comes to a matter of fundamental public importance like the operation of a security service, then Parliament is not to be trusted and

should have nothing to do with that type of affair. It is okay on the little things, but the big important things have to come under the direct jurisdiction of the Government.

The people of Canada take the opposite point of view. They have some trust in parliamentarians, if for no other reason than they can get rid of us fairly easily once every four years or so if we do not take our responsibilities seriously. However, when accountability is given to some functionaries within the government service, then this is not the case. I am sure the public of Canada would rather put its trust in the people it has elected to serve it in the House of Commons than in a government hiding behind a wall of secrecy.

I would rather suspect that the committee of Privy Councillors envisaged under the Bill as it now stands would not do the same job as a committee of serving parliamentarians. I can foresee an occasion arising when the committee of Privy Councillors appointed by the government of the day, not entirely free from political and partisan considerations, sees some form of injustice being done. What would be its reaction? I suspect on many occasions its reaction on seeing an injustice would be to let it slide, not bring it forward or press for any corrective action. Some think that in the interests of the government of the day it is best slid under the carpet.

What would be the reaction of a committee comprised of parliamentarians, Members of Parliament and Members of the Senate who could join it, if it were the wish of Parliament? On seeing something of this nature, on seeing some injustice done by the security service, it would be much more likely to bring it forward, to insist that corrective action be taken and, if need be, to bring it to public attention so that pressure could be brought to bear upon the Government to correct the wrongdoing.

The system of elected representatives of the public being charged with scrutiny of security affairs works quite well in the United States. We have heard evidence to that effect tonight. I suggest that we should adopt the motion of the Hon. Member for Vancouver South and make Parliament work.

The Government gives various forms of lip service to parliamentary reform and to putting parliamentarians in important positions such as that envisaged by the motion, but whenever an opportunity arises, as it has tonight, it puts it aside and nothing happens. It is my submission that the Government, despite the oaths we have given, does not trust parliamentarians. In return, why should we and Canadians across the country trust the Government?

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

Blaine Allen Thacker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Blaine A. Thacker (Lethbridge-Foothills):

Mr. Speaker, I rise as perhaps the second or third last speaker in this second last phase of government closure on Bill C-9. As other Hon. Members have said, this Bill is equally as important as the Constitution Act in its effect on the future of the country. Our children and our children's children will be affected by this Bill. I feel in my bones that they will be affected adversely.

I say this because I have travelled around my riding in which there are many new Canadians from eastern Europe.

Some still have tattoos on their arms. Their civil rights were lost and essentially they became slaves. They can talk with real meaning about what it means to lose freedom. They can talk about the sense of intimidation by the simple presence of a secret service agency which has the power to intercept telephone calls, to open mail and to seize legal and medical documents. This is exactly what the Government is appropriating to itself.

After Hon. Members of this Party examined the Bill, we had approximately five or six major goals which we put to the Government. Indeed, had it accepted five of the six, we probably could be supporting part of the Bill. However, it rejected every one of them. With great respect, members of the Cabinet made a decision some years ago that they had to take power into their own hands and concentrate it. They made a decision that they had to knock down the provincial premiers and Parliament because we were standing up and speaking out. A whole series of actions over many years has resulted in the situation where we do not have as much freedom in the country as we once had.

The reason our forefathers came here has been lost. Why did they come? I know that my grandfather at 24 years of age crawled out of a coal mine and came to Canada because he had no chance in a country with an economic, social and political system that was holding him back. Having already spent 10 years in a coal mine he came to Canada. He braved the broad ocean and all the language problems, then found himself standing out on the high plains of western Canada, on 160 acres which were his for ten bucks. If he remained on it for three years and built a home, he could get the pre-emptive quarter. He and his wife, my grandmother, put their hands to the plough, broke that quarter section and turned it into fertile land. They died and they rest there. The next generation stayed on the land and worked hard. My father went into the ground at 35 years of age so that we could have freedom. I have a sense that we are letting those people down. I will vote against this Bill, and I hope other Hon. Members will do likewise.

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

Gordon Edward Taylor

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Gordon Taylor (Bow River):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to make a few comments on Bill C-9. While we are discussing the Bill, the RCMP is quietly, effectively and efficiently carrying on the intelligence work of Canada. They are still doing the work even though they feel hurt because the Government is not recognizing the splendid work they are doing. The Solicitor General (Mr. Kaplan) says they are doing fine work, but he wants to kick them out and put in a civilian body. He does not want that civilian body to have any checks, he wants it to do what it likes. He does not want Members of Parliament to check what they are doing to see whether they are doing it effectively or otherwise.

Just a few moments ago the government Members turned down a motion in which the Hon. Member for Vancouver South (Mr. Fraser) was asking that we have the civilian group work effectively, getting full value for the money and within the behaviour laws of the country. The Liberals turned it down.

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When the first act of the new Leader of the Liberal Party is to bring in closure and pass a Bill without any of the amendments suggested by the Opposition or the common citizens of this country, it is getting pretty bad. The new Leader expects to become Prime Minister for a short term, and hopes to make it a long term through an election. If he is going to do that type of thing, Heaven help Canada. The people of Canada will not fall for that phoney stuff which some Liberals fell for the other night in the arena. He talked about western Canada. I hope he will help western Canada.

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

Douglas Glenn Fisher

Liberal

Mr. Fisher:

Wait until we get your seat.

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

Gordon Edward Taylor

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Taylor:

Stand up and talk. You only talk from your seat. I guess the only thing good about you is your seat. That is the way they are. They cannot accept criticism. The Hon. Member was clapping his hands the other night when his Leader said: "We are going to win the West." He forgets that he has already doubled freight rates to the farmers. He is already robbing the farmers of their living. They did not kill the Crow. They moved it right into the offices of the CPR. That is what they have done. He is working with the CPR while he is Leader of the Liberal Party. That is the kind of Leader they have. That is the kind of Party it is. No wonder they do not want a review committee made up of Members. They want to hide it.

That is exactly what some of the great dictators of the world did. They got their country to the point where it could do nothing. Their secret service was able to do almost anything; there were no controls. Parliament was lost. Look at the history of the Nazi movement. I am not saying that this group are Nazis, but I ask you to look at the history of the Nazi movement where Hitler gradually got control of a great people. They were not even safe in their homes. The secret service would arrive in the middle of the night, take them away and they were not heard from again. That is banana republic stuff as well. That is what happened in Venezuela. We do not want that to happen in Canada. We do not want to see the beginnings, from where it might happen. We want this nipped in the bud. This is the place to do it.

This Bill gives too much power to a civilian organization which is not responsible to Parliament. The Government says it is responsible and then puts in a number of items that make it irresponsible, permitting it to do almost anything it wants. It can open my mail and yours, check into your bank account, check your income tax or check your medical records. What is it they cannot do? What kind of a country are we getting anyway?

I stood beside the graves of some of my friends who were killed in war. I wept because they thought they were fighting for a country where we would never see this type of thing happen. Now they are lying in graveyards in England and in France. It makes your blood boil when you think of the sacrifice of some of the finest young men in our country. They gave their lives so that we could have freedom. Then we have this kind of law brought into the Parliament of Canada. The

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Government should be ashamed. The Bill sould be withdrawn and the Government should start over.

We have an intelligence service which is operating well. Even the Solicitor General says that. It is morally strong. It does not have the powers being given to this civilian body. It is doing a good job. Most people in Canada want it to continue.

This Government will not reflect the thinking of the people. It wants to tell them what is good for them. Some of them have a closure idea. Maybe it was their Leader. I do not know. They are not following democratic principles. They should reflect the thinking of the people of Canada. The fact that 71 per cent of Canadians do not want this civilian intelligence service is reason enough to throw it out.

I wonder about the wives of some of the soldiers who gave their lives to make this a free country where Parliament could reflect the thinking of the people. That is why they died. I wonder what their mothers are thinking tonight. They let their sons go to war to keep this country free. What will they think when they see this legislation which words can hardly describe?

We have an RCMP force which is doing the job quietly and effectively. It is trying to do away with this type of thing. We do not need this kind of a new body. If we are going to have it, let us have enough control so that it will not become another Gestapo, another KGB. If the powers are left as they are proposed, there is a good risk of that occurring. This is a good country. Our people are too fine to have this type of thing forced upon them. This Government should realize, new Leader or old Leader-it is the same old gang-that it had better change its ways because Canadians are fed up to the teeth with this type of legislation.

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:

Mr. Speaker-

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

Svend Johannes Robinson

New Democratic Party

Mr. Robinson (Burnaby):

Mr. Speaker, 1 rise on a point of order. The Solicitor General (Mr. Kaplan) has already spoken on this motion.

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

Harold Thomas Herbert (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Herbert):

Is the Solicitor General rising on a point of order?

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:

To close the debate, Mr. Speaker.

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

Harold Thomas Herbert (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Herbert):

The Solicitor General does not have the right to speak again, I am afraid. Is the House ready for the question?

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

Some Hon. Members:

Question.

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

Harold Thomas Herbert (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Herbert):

The question is on Motion No. 116 standing in the name of the Hon. Member for Burnaby (Mr. Robinson). Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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

Some Hon. Members:

Agreed.

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

Some Hon. Members:

No.

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

Harold Thomas Herbert (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Herbert):

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

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

Some Hon. Members:

Yea.

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

Harold Thomas Herbert (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Herbert):

All those opposed will please say nay.

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

Some Hon. Members:

Nay.

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

Harold Thomas Herbert (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Herbert):

In my opinion the nays have it.

And more than five Members having risen:

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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June 20, 1984