June 21, 1984

PC

John Allen Fraser

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fraser:

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments of my friend, the Hon. Solicitor General (Mr. Kaplan), and I appreciate his indication that, whatever the rule may be, there would be no objection to my continuing. I do want to assure the Hon. Solicitor General that I will not be overly long, but I do have more things to say.

We were discussing the question of the removal of the security service from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. In addition to the remarks made by the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association to which I just referred, in which it is clearly stated that in terms of public trust it would be preferable if the security service remained under the aegis of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, others who are knowledgeable had much to say as well. The Attorney General of British Columbia submitted a brief to the Justice Committee, and, among other things, he had this to say:

It seems to me to make a lot more sense to build on the institutional credibility that is already established, to use the umbrella of confidence that there is there, and to direct it and make it an effective security agency and make it an accountable one. I believe the Royal Canadian Mounted Police can be made an effective security police force.

The Attorney General of Ontario on February 7, 1984 had this to say:

But I find extremely unattractive and fundamentally unsustainable the assertion in this legislation that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police would exceed a statutory defined mandate, evade the formal external review mechanisms, thwart Ministerial accountability and abuse its defined statutory powers. The history and tradition of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police suggests very clearly to me that once there is an end to the absence of governmental direction and responsibility, which gave rise to the RCMP wrongdoing, the force will respond willingly and effectively to the wishes of the Canadian people as reflected in the new legislation.

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The Attorney General of Saskatchewan had this to say:

There is no indication, however, that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as it is presently being managed by its senior officers, is not being responsive to the needs identified by Mackenzie and McDonald for flexibility and change.

During the consideration of this Bill, we have argued strenuously that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is getting a bum rap. A lot of people across this country have fallen too easily into the error of forgetting where the responsibility for the abuses of yesteryear really lies. The amazing thing about those who have said that the security service should be removed from the RCMP is that it has never occurred to them that for many years now, as the Solicitor General has admitted, the security service has been operating competently, effectively and properly under the Commissioner of the RCMP. The Solicitor General admitted that only a few weeks ago. Since the abuses of the early seventies and late sixties, it has never occurred to those individuals that things have been running very well and very efficiently. The training has been upgraded. The internal organization has been made more sophisticated. There have been administrative guidelines set down on the security service to ensure that what happened then would not happen now.

Some people have the strange view that unless this legislation is passed today, the security service could again do terrible things. That shows an incomprehensible lack of understanding of what happened in 1977, after revelations were made in the House. At that time everything was tightened up. Senior officials in the security service over the last number of years have ensured that nothing similar to the abuses which happened before could happen again, that view is extraordinary. To suggest that until this legislation is passed there will be continuing abuse does not do justice to the senior personnel who have been in the security service over the past number of years.

That is only one part of this Bill, it is not the main part. The main part of this bill establishes a set of rules within which a security service will operate. At second reading, the Government indicated that when the Bill reached committee, and when Members from all Parties considered the Bill and looked at the individual clauses, then there would be an opportunity to call in concerned citizens of Canada and listen to their suggestions. Then if the Bill appeared to be flawed, if errors were apparent, if it appeared to be inadequate, and if a persuasive case could be made by the citizens who came before the Members of Parliament, of course, that would be the time to put amendments. In the normal course of things, if one is dealing with a responsible government which is sensitive to the fact that this is a democracy and citizens matter-not just bureaucrats, Cabinet Ministers, and Senators who are unaccountable to anybody or anything-and if the attitude is right, amendments are accepted.

In this case, 25 groups and many individuals appeared before the committee. Over 50 briefs were filed. Evidence was given that the Bill was flawed. I am not referring only to the RCMP aspect. Of course, there was evidence submitted

June 21, 1984

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regarding that to which I have referred. The committee was told that the language in the Bill was too loose and that the definition of "threats to the security of Canada" had not been properly thought through. Because the language was imprecise, it was suggested that it did not establish adequate constraints on the security service. In particular, Hon. Members who have been paying attention to this legislation will know that subparagraphs (a), (b), (c) and (d) of Clause 2 set out what are threats to the security of Canada. That is the clause which triggers what the security service can do in terms of intrusive surveillance of people. That is just another way of saying that wire-taps, illicit but now legal entry into residences and offices, search and mail opening-all of these things-if the threat to the security of Canada is great enough, become justifiable.

I have said before that it is too easy to talk about the illegality of what the intelligence-gathering security force will be required to do. Under certain circumstances this Bill allows conduct to be legal which ordinarily would be illegal, because of the concern for threats to the security of Canada. Witness after witness appeared before the committee and told us that the Bill was flawed and inadequate. They suggested amendments. Suggestions for amendments were made concerning the definition of threats to the security of Canada. Suggestions for amendments were made with respect to the RCMP and the review committee which would be established under the Bill. That committee would be established in order to ensure that someone was watching the security service because of its awesome power. It was suggested that Cabinet documents, which dealt directly with the security service and which could well contain directions to the security service, ought to be seen by the review committee. It was further suggested that there should be a review committee made up of Members of Parliament in order to achieve greater accountability. It was suggested that warrants for wire tapping should be limited to 60 days, as is the case under the Criminal Code, and not for many months as set out in this Bill.

There were many other suggestions. By the time the Bill reached report stage in the House, the Progressive Conservative Party had amendments for Clause 2, which is the definition section; Clause 3, which would have retained the security service within the RCMP; Clause 12, which dealt with better wording and the duties and functions of the security service; Clause 20, which related to more precise language and direction regarding the alleged unlawful conduct and the consequences thereof of employees within the security service; and Clause 21, which related to the method by which warrants would be applied for and the limitations of time for those warrants. I am speaking now of warrants of intrusive surveillance, wire-tap or otherwise.

We proposed amendments to Clause 22, which would have put more constraint on the renewal of warrants. We proposed amendments to Clause 24 which were designed to clarify the position of an innocent third party who found himself acting on orders for someone, by someone, who was acting under a

warrant. We proposed amendments to Clause 31, insisting that the Inspector General, who is set up under this Bill as part of the review process, would at least be able to see the Cabinet documents which are in the control of the service. We proposed amendments to Clause 38, saying that the review committee should see Cabinet documents. We proposed amendments to Clause 56 relating to the establishment of a parliamentary oversight committee. And we proposed amendments to Clause 61 relating to a direction in which the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who are acting as a consequence of work done by the security service at the federal level, should consult with other police forces at the municipal and provincial level. We had other amendments as well.

I believe Hon. Members would agree that those are substantive amendments which go to the very sum and substance of this Bill. I believe Hon. Members who will remember what was said at the second reading debate by the Solicitor General and by Government Members would agree with me that it is that very kind of substantive amendment at committee stage to which the Government ought to pay attention.

We in the Progressive Conservative Party did not dream up those amendments all by ourselves. We framed those amendments as a consequence of testimony brought in front of the committee by a very wide range of people, including the Canadian Bar Association, the Canadian Jewish Congress, the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, other civil liberties associations, the Attorneys General of a number of provinces, police chiefs and others. The suggestions which were brought to this committee were not brought with the design to destroy the security service. They were not brought with the design to prevent a legislative mandate for a security service. They were not brought by destructive design. They were brought to improve the piece of legislation which had been presented.

It should be recorded that there was good reason for these witnesses to come before the committee. Following the McDonald report, the infamous Bill C-157 was drafted by the Liberal Government and instead of presenting that Bill, which was the forerunner of Bill C-9 with which we are dealing now, it was presented to a Senate committee, a committee no doubt of distinguished Canadians who were appointed to the Senate, but they do not have to get elected to be there. That Senate committee took a look at Bill C-157 and said, "Wait a minute; this is not a very good Bill". They were very critical of it and the Government sensibly withdrew the Bill.

I would hate to put out the thought, the suspicion, that someone drafted Bill C-157 in extreme terms with the idea of letting a Senate committee have a whack at it, then coming in with another Bill with some less obvious extreme terms in it. I could never prove that, of course. However, I practised law for many years and I used to teach young lawyers that when they are preparing a lawsuit, they start off knowing a lot of things they cannot prove. I suppose today, standing here in this Chamber with Hon. Members, I am very much like a lawyer who has been through a long lawsuit, and I may not be able to quite prove that last allegation; but it fits the piece.

June 21, 1984

So we got Bill C-9. We went to committee and, as I have recorded, Mr. Speaker, many people came in front of us. A lot of things happened at that committee which I am not going to go into now. There were attempts to close off debate. The Chairman of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, a distinguished Member of this House, was put into an intolerable position by the antics of his own Party and was only just the other day supported by this Party in our nomination that he continue as Chairman of the Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs. So I want it clearly understood we are not being critical of him. He was put in an impossible situation.

Apart from all that, I have said in this House that no substantive amendments were accepted at committee, and I carelessly at one point said "no" amendments were accepted at committee. I was wrong there and I apologized to the Solicitor General yesterday. However, I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, that what was accepted at committee was practically nothing. An amendment of my own on Clause 4 changed the words with respect to the term the Director would serve from "good behaviour" to "during pleasure". I am not saying that is not important, but it is not the substance of the Bill. On Clause 12 the committee accepted another amendment which took out some superfluous words, which was a very sensible thing to do but hardly an amendment of substance. On Clause 2 the committee accepted an amendment of a former Solicitor General, Mr. Allmand, which was the same amendment being proposed by both the New Democratic Party, the Hon. Member for Burnaby (Mr. Robinson), and myself, which more precisely modified the word "violence" in Clause 2 by adding the word "serious". That was not unimportant but it hardly went to the very substance of the Bill.

The Government also accepted another amendment which put some limitation, at least, on warrants aimed at subversion; in other words, aimed at domestic activities of Canadians who had not yet committed any crime. But the most extraordinary amendment which was put before the committee was to Clause 39. It was put by myself, supported not only by the Hon. Member for Burnaby but-by accident-one Hon. Member of the Government side as well. That amendment would have allowed the review committee access to Cabinet documents.

Just so there is no doubt on the record when someone comes back and asks what we did with this Bill and why did we not do something proper, it should be made very clear that that was the limit of amendments made at committee. That last amendment, which was substantive, was met yesterday by a counter-amendment from the Government wiping it out.

My point is this. We have been invited to engage in a phony process and I do not believe the Government was ever serious about accepting any substantive amendments whatsoever in committee. The Solicitor General over and over again said: "Well, what is all the fuss about anyway? This whole issue has been debated for years. First there was the Mackenzie Commission in 1969, then the McDonald Commission after the

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revelations of 1977, then its report in 1981. Then there was Bill C-157 which went to the Senate, and then there was the Senate report. My goodness, what is holding it up? Why do you have to keep talking about it?"

This line of the Minister was echoed by some editorial writers across the country. I can understand why, because they are busy people and they have to write editorials every day. They do not have time to see through the smoke and mirrors every day and they miss the point. The fundamental point is that under our system we, as legislators, have to look at the words of the Act in front of us now, not at something that was in the Mackenzie report in 1969, the McDonald report in 1981, or the Senate report a year ago. We have to look at the Bill in front of us.

It astounded me when Members of Parliament who were putting these amendments got advice from some editorial boards and others to stop talking and get on with it. Pass it, they said, because it has all been discussed over and over again. This despite the fact that we had 50 briefs, 25 groups and witnesses in committee, all saying we can make this Bill a lot better and we ought to do it. They do not have to take my word for it; I can quote some editorial boards to support my position. On April 24 The Globe and Mail wrote a thoughtful editorial about this Bill. It said:

Whatever happens. Bill C-9 should not be passed in its current form. While its flaws are less numerous than those of Bill C-157, its previous incarnation, the bill would still grease the wheels of the domestic intelligence-gathering force at the expense of the rights of the public the Government purports to defend.

Agents would still be empowered, with a judicial warrant, to "demand, seize or detain" first-class mail, examine health records and violate the confidentiality of income tax returns. The agents could, with judicial approval, place wire-taps on telephones for 365 days, rather than the 60 days permitted in criminal investigations.

Their actions would be monitored by a review committee which, Solicitor-General Robert Kaplan says, would be independent of the Solicitor-General and the agency and would "be there to blow the whistle on (the agency)." Yet the committee members, who would take an oath of secrecy, could report nothing to Parliament unless the director of the CSIS first certified that their report complied with that oath.

Dealing with its powers, it goes on:

Bill C-9 is too ambiguous in this area. It defines a security threat as, among other things, activity within Canada in support of the threat or use of violence against persons or property to achieve a political objective within a foreign state. This could, without stretching the point, empower CSIS agents to monitor groups raising money to help rebels in Afghanistan or El Salvador, or even, since the phrase is "within a foreign state," the Governments of Nicaragua and Israel. Mr. Kaplan says this would not happen; but then, we doubt many people in the early seventies expected the RCMP would steal the membership lists of the Party Quebecois.

It ends by saying:

As it stands, however, Bill C-9 is not the remedy Mr. Kaplan believes it to be. In its present form, it would only perpetuate the disease.

A more recent editorial in the Vancouver Sun, my city, of Monday, June 18, shows that they were watching carefully what was happening to us in committee. It says:

The government choked off consideration of the legislation by the Commons justice committee after making only a few cosmetic changes. The bill remains the seriously flawed product of a lame-duck administration and should be either thoroughly rewritten or shelved.

June 21, 1984

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It goes on to say:

But as long as the security Bill makes Canadians insecure, it does not deserve passage into law.

Then I suppose I would be amiss in not quoting Toronto's other voice, as that newspaper advertises itself, the Toronto Sun, a paper which prides itself on taking a pretty hard-nosed view of the world. In an editorial on June 20, 1984, headed "False security", it says:

It's downright criminal that Canada has to meander along another six months or so without a security agency.

But we've done just that for the last eight years or so. We can manage another six months to avoid dangerous legislation-and the bitter taste of closure.

Those comments are in marked contrast to one of the other Toronto newspapers, the Sunday Star, dated April 8, 1984. It asks the question at the head of its editorial: "Why delay security Bill?" It then says:

All in all, Kaplan's legislation is an honest effort to strike the "delicate balance" between collective security and civil rights that a special Senate Committee called for last year. Unless the Tories and New Democrats have a better idea, they shouldn't delay its passage.

The fact of the matter is, Your Honour, that not only did the Tories and the New Democrats have a better idea, those better ideas were proposed by amendments in committee and at report stage, including amendments from a former Solicitor General on the Government side. Those amendments were a direct consequence of listening to some of the most eminent lawyers and civil rights people and others, including the United Church of Canada, who came in front of that committee. But the whole process has been a waste of time. All those people came from across the country at taxpayers' expense, and I see there are taxpayers in the gallery today, and made their suggestions, but none of the substantive ones were acted upon.

The Members of Parliament who made recommendations after listening to the evidence have all been ignored. The process has been cut off with closure. That was the first act this Government took after the election of its new so-called reform leader, Mr. Turner. Why should we be surprised? Mr. Turner was the Minister of Justice when the War Measures Act was brought in, a move which almost every observer today says has never been justified and that whatever had to be done could have been done under the criminal law.

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

Jean-Jacques Blais (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Blais:

Hindsight.

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

John Allen Fraser

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fraser:

It was not hindsight. The Minister of National Defence (Mr. Blais) sits in his seat and says that what I am saying about the War Measures Act is hindsight. Let me say this to my good friend. I was practising law in the courts when the War Measures Act was brought in. If the Minister thinks there were not common law courtroom lawyers at the time who said it was wrong, that the Government had not justified it and it ought never to have been allowed, the reason must be because the Minister was too young then to know what was going on.

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

Jean-Jacques Blais (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Blais:

I was practising law like you were.

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

John Allen Fraser

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fraser:

If the Minister was practising law at that time, he was a lousy lawyer. If he had learned anything about the common law he should have known that the War Measures Act did not have justification for its passage. It is clear that no one other than hysterical, ranting people can get up today and try to justify it. It has not been justified anywhere across the country among a critical, intelligent and thoughtful audience. The same man who supposedly reformed the Liberal Party last weekend moved in and closure was imposed on the security Bill.

The Minister wants me to believe that he was a good lawyer in those days. He cannot remember what was wrong with the War Measures Act. I would like to hear the Minister of Defence get up right now and tell us what the reasons were for the War Measures Act. I would like to have him ask his leader to come clean with the Canadian people and tell us what he reasons for the War Measures Act were. He says it is all locked up in the archives and we can look at it after he is dead and gone. That is disgraceful.

Probably to the relief of the Solicitor General, I am coming to the close of my remarks. I want to quote just one more person for the record. Many Canadians know Alan Borovoy. He is the General Counsel to the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. That is hardly a left-wing coup group. He said that this Bill is "one of the greatest threats to civil liberties Canada has seen in many years".

My point is that the Bill is flawed and could be a lot better. The Bill is flawed and should be better. The Bill, as it presently stands, leaves the door open to abuse. There is no excuse for that because many amendments were introduced and rejected by the Government which, if passed, would have made this a much better Bill. The whole process has been a sham and a fraud, a waste of time and money.

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

Jean-Jacques Blais (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Blais:

That is an incredible statement! That is an "objective and non-partisan analysis".

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

John Allen Fraser

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fraser:

In closing, I will say that we have a security service and in a few more days the men and women in it will come under the mandate in this Bill, imperfect though it may be. On behalf of my Party I think it is important to record that we understand the obligations which they have to our country. We understand the importance of their work. We must wish them well in that work and in the continued responsible action which they have exercised for many years. We deeply regret that we did not manage to give them a better Bill which would have secured the liberty of Canadians and given better guarantees against excess or error for the employees of the security service. We want it clearly recorded that we have confidence in them as Canadians. We expect them to do their duty in the very high tradition of that force which helped make this country and which counts for something in terms of duty, loyalty, discipline and patriotism under which the security service has been operating effectively for these number of years. I refer to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

We wish that we could have delivered a better Bill to the security service. For the sake of the future, we wish that we

June 21, 1984

could have delivered a Bill in which Canadians would have more trust. However, we have done the best we could while dealing with a Government which had no real intention of accepting any suggestions from the very beginning of this process. That is the shame of all this. That shame should be recorded and should be pondered upon.

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

Jean-Jacques Blais (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Blais:

That is completely false.

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

John Allen Fraser

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fraser:

I hope there will never be a day when someone asks what the Government Members were doing with this Bill and why they did not accept some changes. If that time ever arrives, I hope that the Minister of National Defence, my legal friend, will have thought out the answer he is going to give.

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

Svend Johannes Robinson

New Democratic Party

Mr. Svend J. Robinson (Burnaby):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to make a few remarks at this final stage in the legislative process of what is unquestionably one of the most important Bills to come before this Parliament.

Before commencing my remarks I would like to note that as I entered the Chamber today I was informed that the Solicitor General (Mr. Kaplan) had described those of us who have done everything in our power within the rules of this Parliament to oppose this legislation which constitutes such an assault on civil liberties as "parliamentary terrorists". I think it is rather interesting that the Solicitor General would use that description for Members of Parliament who have sought, in good faith, using every vehicle at our disposal, to force the Government to come to its senses and accept changes to a Bill which we view as fatally flawed.

In describing Members of Parliament as terrorists and as having resorted to parliamentary terrorism, the Solicitor General is suggesting that the objectives of the Bill which we are now debating, which the Solicitor General has suggested would include combating terrorism, in his words, may be turned against Members of this House who choose to exercise their democratic right to dissent. By describing opponents of this Bill as terrorists, the Solicitor General in suggesting that one of the primary reasons why we in this Party and Canadians in general are so concerned that if this Bill becomes law, Canadians who have broken no law whatsoever but who engage in dissent or opposition to the government of the day may be targeted by the new security service.

I do not doubt that the Solicitor General genuinely believes that this Bill is a step forward. He believes that the safeguards contained in the Bill are adequate. The reality is that the Government is placing in the hands of the present and future Cabinets, of whatever political stripe, a very dangerous instrument. This Bill could easily be placed in the hands of a totalitarian Government, a repressive military dictatorship. Of course they would not need very many more powers than those the Solicitor General is seeking. He asks us to trust them and says that they will not abuse their powers. But he is asking for a blank check. Given the record of the Government, it is certainly not one that we are prepared to give.

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Hon. Members will be all too familiar with the history of what it was that led to the appointment of the McDonald Commission in 1977. There were revelations of a series of what were not just isolated incidents of breaches of the law but of what amounted to a system of institutionalized disrespect for the law, as clearly documented by the McDonald Commission. Despite the clear and overwhelming evidence of breaches of federal statutes, including the Criminal Code and provincial statutes, there has not been, outside the Province of Quebec, any respect whatsoever for the rule of law in this country.

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

John Allen Fraser

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fraser:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I wonder if my friend from Burnaby (Mr. Robinson) would excuse a brief intervention. I realize that no one likes to be interrupted when making a point and the Hon. Member's point is very important. However, I was interrupted during my speech a couple of times. I thought that courtesy demanded that I rise at this time.

When I was speaking a few moments ago, I got into somewhat of a shouting match with the Hon. Minister of National Defence. It occurred to me after I had left the Chamber that I had referred to him as a lousy lawyer under certain circumstances. I would ask that that be corrected to read "less thoughtful than he ought to have been under the circumstances". I do not want to leave the impression that on a general basis we cast slights of that sort. I would like that on the record.

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

Svend Johannes Robinson

New Democratic Party

Mr. Robinson (Burnaby):

Mr. Speaker, I was indicating before I was interrupted that I believe that the rule of law in this country, which is supposed to be the foundation of our system of law and indeed is referred to as one of the guiding principles of this country in the Charter of Rights, has been undermined by the failure of the federal and provincial governments to ensure that this same law also applies to those who are entrusted with its enforcement.

I do not believe that the political masters of the RCMP security service should escape that judgment because we are well aware of the willful blindness of those political masters. For example, in 1970 the Cabinet Committee on Security and Intelligence was informed by the Director of the security service that they had been breaking the law for 20 years. The Minister of Justice at the time, Mr. John Turner, has no recollection of that.

Immediately after the tabling of the McDonald Commission report, the Solicitor General moved to undermine the essential recommendations of that report with respect to the question of the rule of law and the question of powers which might be accorded to a new agency in a democratic society. Last summer he brought forward Bill C-157 which succeeded in uniting perhaps the most diverse coalition in opposition to any Bill in the history of Canada. The Bill was denounced across the country by provincial Attorneys General, civil libertarians, academics, church leaders and indeed a broad cross-section of Canadian society.

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I regret to say that the one group that unfortunately remained silent about that piece of legislation was the Official Opposition. Let me also note that had they been a little stronger in their opposition to the Bill which is now before the House both in committee and in the House, perhaps it might not see the light of day.

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. Thacker:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The record should show that the Hon. Member for Burnaby (Mr. Robinson) is daft.

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

Jacques Guilbault (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Guilbault):

The Chair wishes to say that this is not a point of order and it is an unpleasant practice to interrupt another Hon. Member who has the floor.

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. Thacker:

Mr. Speaker, any false pretence should always be brought to the attention of the highest court of the land.

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

Jacques Guilbault (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Guilbault):

Order, please. It is not useful at all to anyone in the House that someone be interrupted. The Hon. Member for Lethbridge-Foothills may not appreciate or like what the hon. gentleman is saying, but it is a matter for debate.

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Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
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NDP

Svend Johannes Robinson

New Democratic Party

Mr. Robinson (Burnaby):

Mr. Speaker, I can appreciate the sensitivity of the Conservative Member, given the failure of his Party to speak out at all on Bill C-157, given their complicity with the Government in the passage of this Bill and given the fact that, even though that Party will have an opportunity to block this Bill in the Senate, I predict the Conservative Party will stand idly by in the Senate and permit its passage there as well. Therefore I am not surprised that spokespeople for the Conservative Party are sensitive when it is suggested that they are co-operating, at least implicitly, with the Government in the passage of this reprehensible legislation.

This is a fundamentally flawed Bill in a number of major respects. The Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs heard many witnesses who represented a broad crosssection of the country. I have a couple of telegrams from church groups that I do not believe can be accused at all of extremism but who have deep concerns about the legislation before us. The first telegram is from the Reverend Dr. Clarke MacDonald, Moderator of the United Church of Canada.

Bill C-9 an Act to establish the Canadian Security Intelligence Service in its present form should not be passed by the 32nd Parliament. Its definitions are too vague and broad. It expands powers of a secretive agency to supervise and interfere with the freedoms of Canadians. It provides inadequate democratic control over the new agency. It opens the way to collaboration with security services of states which are dictatorial or practice gross and systematic violations of human rights. Church and community representatives have detailed the flaws and suggested alternative ways of serving the legitimate security needs of Canadian citizens. We urge you to withdraw the Bill in its present form.

I have another telegram which was sent by the Reverend Dr. Donald W. Anderson on behalf of the Canadian Council of Churches. It states:

Bill C-9 an Act to establish the Canadian Security Intelligence Service should not be pressed by the present Parliament until: A, It makes clear and rigorous provision for the accountability of the service; B, Defines national security and describes more precisely those activities which are illegal under the Act; C,

Provides for the continuation of a free and vigorous participatory society in which work for justice on behalf of the poor, the marginalized and refugees may be carried on without fear of surveillance and prosecution.

Those are genuine concerns that are deeply felt by members of the church community and I suggest they are the concerns of literally thousands of Canadians across this land.

I have indicated that of course the status quo is not satisfactory. Operating under the sweeping 1975 Cabinet mandate is not satisfactory. We have seen the abuses. I will not go through the litany of abuses once again but I would note, for example, that in pursuit of their mandate they opened some

800,000 files on Canadians.

The wording in the clauses that define threats to security is now so elastic that it covers the list enumerated by the McDonald Commission in connection with the opening of files on millions of Canadians, including union leaders, Communists, friends of Communists, parents of Communists, separatists, native leaders, student leaders, the New Democratic Party, the Cabinet of the Province of Quebec, homosexuals, immigrants and refugees, extra-parliamentary opposition and now, Mr. Speaker, we can add pacifists.

We do not have to remind Canadians of the abuses which have taken place historically. But the question which we must address is whether this Bill is an appropriate and a sensitive response to those abuses. It is our view that the Bill, far from being an improvement on the status quo, represents a very profound threat to civil liberties and should be rejected in its present form.

The mandate of the proposed security service is far too broad. I would note under the definitions which have been proposed by the Minister, which define the scope of the potential targets of this new service, that hundreds of thousands of Canadians who have broken no law whatsoever, but who fall within this sweeping and vague mandate, could be subject to all of the most intrusive techniques of the service.

Under the terms of this Bill, a church group, Mr. Speaker, which chooses to send money to the African National Congress to support its liberation movement against a system of institutionalized violence in South Africa, a labour union which wants to support a Central American labour movement struggling against a military dictatorship, could indeed be targeted by this new service. Under the terms of the Bill, those Canadians who wish to protest the testing of the Cruise missile or who wish to protest against the insanity of the nuclear arms race could be targeted if some future government believed they were foreign-influenced. We do not have to look very far south of our border to hear that kind of rhetoric and that kind of suggestion with respect to peace movements in the United States.

Not only are the potential targets for this agency far too broad, but the powers which are proposed are sweeping, indeed

June 21, 1984

are unprecedented in any western industrialized society. No democracy anywhere in the world is prepared to accept the kind of powers the Minister is suggesting this Parliament should accept.

Under the provisions of this Bill the proposed security service would be able, following a traditional warrant in some cases but not in others-and that warrant process we have seen at work in the case of applications for telephone wire taps and we know what a rubber-stamp process that is-to tap the telephones of Canadians, to break into anyone's home, to steal liberally anything from that home and not return it, to look at confidential medical records, confidential psychiatric records, and to have access to journalists' files, to any government record, including income tax records. In short, Mr. Speaker, the service would have access to every nook and cranny of Canadians homes. What a massive invasion of privacy! What a rather ironic fact that these kinds of Orwellian, big brother powers are being proposed to this Parliament and being accepted by Liberal Members of Parliament in 1984!

As well, the placement of informers is countenanced in this Bill without even the minimum safeguard of a warrant or a requirement for ministerial approval.

There is no statutory bar on disruptive or countering techniques despite the fact that Members of this House, the members of the Justice Committee, proposed a motion in terms similar to those contained in other legislation in Australia and New Zealand that would prevent the kind of disruptive techniqus, Operation Tentpeg, Oddball and Checkmate, operations which did so much to bring into disrepute the operations of the security service. This Bill, which is supposed to be providing for safeguards, in many instances is simply making legal what was identified as illegal in the context of the McDonald Commission report.

There is no provision whatsoever for effective parliamentary oversight. There is a watchdog committee that has been gutted of any power whatsoever. It has no access to Cabinet documents in the possession of the security service, no right whatsoever to ensure that all of those players within the intelligence community come under their umbrella so that the Government cannot escape scrutiny by simply shifting responsibility to another agency in the intelligence community.

This Government is not prepared to trust elected representatives of the people of this country with oversight of the operations of the service, despite the fact that the oversight process is functioning effectively in the United States in terms of congressional oversight.

The service would have the power to open first-class mail. The service would have a new and unprecedented power to target any foreigner in this country, even if he or she posed no threats to the security of the country, if it is felt that that person might hurt Canada in the conduct of its international affairs or national defence. Nowhere, Mr. Speaker, is such a power afforded in another country except in the kind of brutal, totalitarian dictatorships which we are supposed to be fighting with this legislation. Indeed, we have received representations from a number of distinguished academics, including the

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Canadian Association of University Teachers and various member groups, pleading with us not to impose this kind of restraint on Canadians and on foreign visitors.

Michael Mandel, Professor of Law at York University, following the tabling of the McDonald Commission report said:

If there is one lesson to be learnt from the RCMP scandal, it is that the Canadian sense of democracy is not adequately developed to resist these kinds of moves. And if they are successful, we may never have the breathing space within which to develop our sense of democracy any further.

Members of this House, Mr. Speaker, look back, as Canadians look back, at some of the blots on our history. We look back to October 16, 1970, the day the War Measures Act was proclaimed. That was a sorry day in the history of this country. The War Measures Act was approved overwhelmingly by Liberal Members and Conservative Members of Parliament. Only the NDP Members stood and said no.

We look back and recall with shame the actions of this Government, of Liberal Governments, in interning Canadians of Japanese origin, confiscating their property and putting them in concentration camps. Historically we look back and say that was wrong. I suggest that our children will look back on this day and say that indeed, this was a dark day for democracy in this country; a dark day for freedom. They will ask: Where were Liberal Members of Parliament as their fundamental rights and freedoms were being eroded? In the name of protecting our national security, the Government brings forward legislation which could ultimately destroy our fundmental civil liberties and privacy. Bill C-9 is an affront to democracy.

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 at the end of this amazing democratic process through which we have all struggled once again. We are all somewhat short-tempered as we voted from approximately nine o'clock last night until 5.30 this morning. I am sure we would all agree that sometimes the system seems bad and inconvenient to our wonderful staff who serve the House, such as people in the cafeteria who remained up all night, when the Parties have solid differences of opinion. The strength of the system is that we resolve those kinds of disputes here rather than on the streets.

We are only a thin wedge from being like so many other countries in South America or Eastern Europe that do not have forums in which people can clash, fight and yell back and forth in support of heartfelt positions. It is not a simple process, but it is much better than those of other such countries. As Winston Churchill said at one time, democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others.

I know the Solicitor General (Mr. Kaplan) is frustrated with the entire process. He thinks the Opposition is allowed to a much time in which to speak. We lambaste him and sometimes become personal in our remarks against him and his colleagues. By the same token, they call us names which we would not call each other as friends over coffee. However, that

June 21, 1984

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is part of the process because we all speak on behalf of our own heartfelt positions, as we gathered them on our mothers' knees and in the parts of the country from which we come.

I think the Minister was somewhat extreme, if in fact it is true that he called the Opposition "terrorists". I do not feel like a terrorist. I feel that I presented a very legitimate perspective on behalf of the culture and the people I represent. Therefore, I do not apologize for one moment. Equally we have called the Minister some ruthless terms.

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:

I was called a traitor by the NDP.

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. Thacker:

Yes, that was an extreme. We still have this Parliament. If the new security service is as bad as the NDP believes it is, or if it is as bad in some areas as we think it is, then a future government will have to change it, assuming the improprieties are brought out. I am sure a future Parliament will.

We are now into that broad court of public opinion. The Canadian people will have to judge the Government on its activities, our Party on our activities and the NDP on its activities. The Government has to face and accept some legitimate criticisms. It brought forward the original Bill, Bill C-157, which emanated from the Cabinet and the bureaucracy. It was really an extreme document which polarized Canadians. Then the Government came in with Bill C-9 as a result of the Senate process. It incorporated many improvements to Bill C-157; however, many people were still polarized. They were unable to see the strengthening in Bill C-9. There is no doubt that Bill C-9 is much better than Bill C-157. It is regrettable that somehow the process is not adequate to generate a document which is closer to the Canadian consensus on the first drafting.

We in Her Majesty's Official Opposition found ourselves faced with Bill C-9. At the start, many members of our caucus appreciated the arguments in favour of the civilianization of the security service in comparison with leaving it with the RCMP. Then the witnesses began to appear and those of us who sat on the committee heard their evidence. We could genuinely see that there were still some defects in Bill C-9. Therefore, as a Party we decided that our strategy would be to try to select five or six of the major areas on which we could document the defects with hard evidence. We knew that we could put our arguments and amendments in committee and, if they were not accepted there, that we could appeal to the whole House. We had some success in talking with Government Members privately and at committee stage. I think Canadians will judge our actions in that regard as being fair and reasonable.

I should like to refer to the conduct of members of the NDP. They made a political Party decision which was to be the ultimate in terms of extremism. They decided to fight every clause of the Bill equally. Since the Bill contained almost 100 clauses as well as many subclauses, we were faced in committee with several hundred substantive sections which polarized the situation. I believe Canadians will judge them harshly. There are five or six areas where I am convinced that had it

just been for the Government and the Official Opposition, we could have convinced the Government of the logic of our arguments in favour of these reasonable changes. Perhaps we would have obtained changes to the oversight committee; perhaps we could have juggled around the provision respecting access to Cabinet documents to cover our legitimate concerns as well as those of the Minister, the powers being too wide in subclause 2(d).

Also the Government became polarized when it was faced with the NDP strategy, a publicly acknowledged strategy of fighting every clause equally hard whether or not it was important. Canadians will judge the NDP harshly because it did not protect the interests of western Canada.

I will travel anywhere across the country and debate this matter with any NDP Member of the House, and I am sure I will carry the weight of opinion of western Canadians because they are reasonable people. I think the NDP will come out second best. As so often is the case, members of the New Democratic Party end up hurting the very people they purport to protect. They rise in the House and claim they are protecting and caring for the old people of the country. In 1972, during the minority government with John Turner as Minister of Finance, they started this Government on a process of deficits which has now resulted in inflation.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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June 21, 1984