April 1, 1993

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE

PC

Douglas Grinslade Lewis (Solicitor General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Doug Lewis (Solicitor General of Canada):

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present the public report of the director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. I do not have it to formally table now. It is available and I can provide a copy if the Table does not have it. Both lobbies should have it for distribution to members.

What I had intended to do was to make a statement.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE
Sub-subtopic:   PRESENTATION OF PUBLIC REPORT
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LIB

David Charles Dingwall (Official Opposition House Leader; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Dingwall:

Madam Speaker, I think I understand what the minister is suggesting, that we proceed with statements by ministers and thereafter we would revert to the tabling of documents whereby he could table the report which he refers to. That is my understanding of the minister's request.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE
Sub-subtopic:   PRESENTATION OF PUBLIC REPORT
Permalink

TABLING OF PUBLIC REPORT 1992

PC

Douglas Grinslade Lewis (Solicitor General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Doug Lewis (Solicitor General of Canada):

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to table in both official languages two copies of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service public report 1992.

I want to thank my hon. friend, the Opposition House Leader, for assisting me in that procedure which I seem to have forgotten over the last two years how to do.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   TABLING OF PUBLIC REPORT 1992
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NATIONAL SECURITY SYSTEM

PC

Douglas Grinslade Lewis (Solicitor General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Doug Lewis (Solicitor General of Canada):

Madam Speaker, my statement today marks the second occasion on which I have provided Parliament with an overview of the three main elements of the national security system for which I am responsible.

These elements are security intelligence, security enforcement and protective security. As last year, my remarks will complement the release of a public report by the director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

This statement and the public CSIS report form part of an effort by the government to provide Canadians with information about their national security system and about the threats that it works to counter. Together with the annual reports of the Security Intelligence Review Committee, not only ministers and parliamentarians but all Canadians are afforded a window on security intelligence issues.

Canadians receive daily from many points around the world reports of unrest and upheaval, witnessing a constantly changing geopolitical landscape. They want to know what their government is doing in constantly tracking world events for an evaluation of their possible effects on Canadian interests.

At the same time, they know that the cold war is over and that allies such as the United States with its vast intelligence and defence systems have in consequence begun a re-examination of their priorities.

I am keenly aware that here at home there are expectations for this government to adjust to rapid change and shifting circumstances. Being asked are questions such as: How is the Canadian Security Intelli-

April 1, 1993

Routine Proceedings

gence Service moving to respond to rapidly changing world circumstances and the emergence of new risks?

As I announced last year in this place, I asked the director of CSIS to prepare for me an assessment of how the evolving security environment might affect the service's mandate over time. The director was to consider future security intelligence needs, examine how the service ought to be structured to meet those needs and determine the resource implications of any recommended measures, mindful of the budget realities and the government's commitment to improve the efficiency of organizations.

The Director of CSIS has assigned this job to a working group. I would like to tell you about the findings of this group and the decisions I made accordingly.

The working group has requested the input from 28 departments on the security threats facing Canada in the years ahead.

The group has also called upon the expertise of CSIS by asking its employees for ideas on the best way to carry out the mandate of the organization.

Finally, the working group has conducted an in-depth analysis of resource requirements in the context of the budget realities and the situation of the intelligence community in 1993.

This analysis has confirmed that since the end of the cold war a progressive reduction of resources which are typically allocated to traditional counterintelligence services and operations which are quite labour intensive was warranted.

An analysis of the global security environment has presented the government with the opportunity to now make over-all reductions while ensuring that the security intelligence mandate has met an acceptable level of risk.

Therefore, the government is reducing the number of positions for CSIS from 2,760 to 2,465. That is a reduction of about 11 per cent. These reductions are being achieved primarily through attrition and by tight control of the staffing process.

As many may know, the government expanded the service's personnel complement in response to a very thorough review in 1987 which was carried out by an

independent review team led by Gordon Osbaldeston. This team found that the new service, bearing in mind that CSIS came into existence in 1984-1985, was understaffed and underfunded to meet the changing security intelligence demands of the government. I refer to the CSIS public report for an informative, detailed discussion of resource issues as they have evolved since 1984.

Equally important is that the director's review has identified a range of activities and best management practices that emphasize the importance of intelligence analysis and operational flexibility.

We in this House realize that forecasting is an imprecise art. I want to share the general long-term outlook for those areas of particular concern for national security. I want to make it clear that my number one consideration in directing the service and the RCMP in its national duties is public safety. Canadians expect no less.

CSIS projected five years ahead to identify the kinds of national security risk that we might face. The implications for Canada were examined with reference to the service's responsibilities to investigate threats associated with espionage, foreign influenced activities and politically motivated violence.

First, the nature of espionage will certainly change in years to come. Hostile intelligence services will be paying more attention to economic and technological targets. Although economic espionage is not new and existed regardless of the cold war, some countries will likely increase their efforts to obtain our considerable industrial and technological expertise the fast and cheap way.

I personally intend to do my utmost to ensure that Canada's economy does not suffer because others want to take unfair advantage and gain at our expense. As a result CSIS will continue to ensure the protection of information and assets of national economic significance through assessment of potential threats and warning to government.

In line with this responsibility, I am pleased to advise that the service has established a liaison program with the private sector to enhance understanding and awareness of the vulnerability of information to clandestine acquisition. I will continue to pay close attention to CSIS activities in this area. I wish to emphasize that the service's role in economic security is defensive; that is we play an advisory and precautionary role.

April 1, 1993

Our mandate is to monitor and advise on state sponsored economic espionage. CSIS does not and will not concern itself with private sector industrial espionage. This is strictly the responsibility of the private sector.

In the area of proliferation, this government's commitment to the promotion of international peace and security obliges us to monitor the deadly traffic in weapons and technology of mass destruction, particularly when Canada and Canadians are involved. CSIS will continue to play an appropriate role in that effort.

As we know from recent events, terrorists remain active in many parts of the world, some of them close to home. Canada is used regrettably for fund raising, procurement of weapons, planning and as a safe haven by a number of extremist groups. CSIS has a vital role in monitoring these activities, as does the RCMP in investigating and apprehending those who conspire to commit criminal acts.

Regrettably the continued existence of international state sponsored terrorism is a cause for concern to all states which follow the rule of law. The director's task force found no expectation that international terrorism would diminish. The recent bombing in New York City underlines the vulnerability of free and open democratic societies to terrorism.

Global trends, including growing movements in pursuit of ethnic nationalism in various regions of the world, the growth of religious fundamentalism and increasing ideological extremism among certain right-wing groups, clearly warrant continued vigilance by the service. As the Secretary-General of the United Nations has warned, the new danger that will appear is more state fragmentation. He notes that rather than 100 or even 200 countries in the world we may well see up to 400 countries by the end of the century.

Canadians are largely a nation of immigrants. It is our heritage to give refugees and immigrants the opportunity to build new lives. As Canada becomes home to more refugees and immigrants-almost one million have arrived here since 1987 and one million more by 1997-for-

Routine Proceedings

eign influenced activities and homeland quarrels are likely to be a growing concern.

Emigre populations in Canada may be coerced, manipulated or exploited by homeland based interests. By the same token, insurgent or terrorist groups may try to use Canada and the local expatriate population as a source of aid and comfort.

Nevertheless I have a responsibility to help ensure that old quarrels are not brought to Canada by those few newcomers who cannot leave behind the political violence of their homelands.

I should also note that we have recently amended our immigration legislation to strengthen its control provisions. These provisions will help authorities deal more effectively with potential threats from terrorists and violence-prone individuals seeking admission to Canada.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is an essential element of my national security mandate and it continues to be responsible for the protective security and enforcement of laws relating to security offences. The RCMP plays an extensive role in security enforcement with respect to the Security Offences Act and other laws but also in providing protective security to VIPs, federal properties, airports, embassies and missions.

CSIS works in close co-operation with the RCMP, ensuring the exchange of criminal extremism and terrorism information relevant to law enforcement. As Solicitor General it is my job to emphasize the continued co-operation between the two agencies.

On a personal note I would say that Director Ray Protti and Commissioner Norman Inkster have given me every assistance in my task as Solicitor General for the past two years. There is a good working relationship between the personnel of the two forces and specifically between Mr. Protti and Mr. Inkster. I believe the difficulties of the past are not our concern now.

To conclude, the national security system in Canada has demonstrated its impressive capacity to adjust and change in response to changing circumstances.

I think that the findings of the Director's working group and the ensuing decisions will be indeed the tradition of excellence in dealing with major national security issues.

April 1, 1993

Routine Proceedings

Other democratic nations have noticed how successful we have been and are now asking Canada for advice on balancing individual freedoms and effective national security measures.

In a discussion last year with the British Home Secretary I explained the Canadian experience with a new Security Intelligence Act and the Security Intelligence Review Committee process.

I have encouraged both the RCMP and CSIS to discuss with their eastern European counterparts how police and security agencies function in a democratic society. This is surely a sign of how the times have changed.

At home and abroad change is overtaking and transforming many things we once accepted as fixed and immutable. I want to assure Canadians that we are alert to the potential effects of change, and we are working to ensure the continued safety and security of Canadians through an effective national security system. I am confident that Canadians can continue to enjoy a degree of safety and security that places our nation in the ranks of a fortunate few in the world.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL SECURITY SYSTEM
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT BY MINISTER
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LIB

Derek Vincent Lee

Liberal

Mr. Derek Lee (Scarborough-Rouge River):

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to be able to respond to the Solicitor General's second annual statement based on the public report of CSIS.

The annual statement has evolved out of a process of review of security and intelligence, as the Solicitor General has indicated, that began a number of years ago and which culminated in the five-year review of CSIS by Parliament a couple of years ago. It is hoped that the annual statement and the annual public report of the CSIS director will add to Parliament's understanding of the role of CSIS in national security.

I want to point out, as I did last year and as I think should be pointed out for the next while, that Parliament's five-year review involved 117 recommendations.

I sat on the committee and, while it certainly was not our belief that the government would immediately adopt all 117 recommendations, all of us who participated in the committee were disappointed that at the end of the day

only one or two recommendations were actually formally adopted.

However, the government and CSIS have responded in other ways to those reports, not just the parliamentary report but others, and one of those responses is this annual statement which we all agree is constructive.

For the record I want to point out that the role of monitoring CSIS and other players in the national security field is a job that has been given to the Security Intelligence Review Committee. This is a body appointed by the government which reports to the House of Commons as it sees fit, but at least once per year. The other structure that monitors is the subcommittee of the House of Commons justice committee which monitors SIRC and the other players as best it can. I see the chairman of that committee smiling at me from across the floor today.

In any event, the task of monitoring our national security agency is not one that parliamentary systems have taken to easily. We hope that we have found some of the right tools and are doing the job properly.

I want to make reference to portions of the annual report as discussed by the Solicitor General. From our perspective in Parliament we invest large sums of money in gathering security intelligence from many perspectives, including counterintelligence and counterterrorism. I think all Canadians would agree that the moneys we spend on those functions are actually moneys spent as a kind of insurance policy which permits our country to adapt, respond and prevent certain types of occurrences that would be very negative to our public interest. I think by and large we are getting value for our money but our job in Parliament is to make sure that we get value for money. That is one of the focuses I bring to my remarks now.

One of the newer areas of concern and focus for CSIS and other elements of our national security establishment is economic security, the potential for theft of our economic secrets, our technologies, most of which is in private hands but some of which is in government hands. As the Solicitor General pointed out, the role of CSIS now is only to monitor, do surveillance and protect against economic thefts of the nature that are sponsored by foreign states.

April 1, 1993

Routine Proceedings

There are in existence all around the world many initiatives in the private sector where companies steal from other companies. At this point I do not believe that CSIS is authorized to chase those, but the Solicitor General has pointed out that CSIS is now liaising with elements of the private sector in an effort to make the private sector aware of the context of the risks, of the background of the players and of those against whom the private sector should be protecting itself. That is a useful taxpayer paid function.

However, not just in Canada but in other countries in the west there is now an issue being debated publicly as to how much the taxpayer should invest in protecting private assets and the technology of private companies. That is a legitimate concern. We have not fully debated or answered the question, but it is one that we, CSIS and the Solicitor General, will want to address in the months or years to come.

I want to point out what I believe may be omissions. I realize that the annual statements of the Solicitor General and the public report of CSIS will build year after year. We cannot knock off all issues in one sitting but there is one item of unfinished business that I will only make reference to, which is the Air India investigation that is still outstanding. Many Canadians are very concerned about that. We are awaiting a conclusion of the investigation and a decision by the government as to what will be done with the evidence it has accumulated on that situation.

Another omission to date, one that I hope will be dealt with in the future by the Solicitor General, is the security and intelligence operations and surveillance done by the Communications Security Establishment, known as CSE. That particular agency, while not under the jurisdiction of the Solicitor General, does gather intelligence information, electronic signals intelligence information. That has not as yet come under the proper ambit of this Parliament. We have not yet put in place procedures to monitor as we should.

I note that with the Supreme Court of Canada decision in Duarte and the provisions of Bill C-109 currently before committee and this House there may be occurring an inadvertent circumscription of the activities of CSE. Its electronic monitoring involving electronic signal surveillance, which is now done without warrant, may come under the ambit of Bill C-109. The comments of the Supreme Court of Canada in Duarte signalled that the state may not routinely monitor its citizens and invade their privacy without authorization or warrant. That is a matter that I know will come up in the future as well.

I want to raise another matter that I do not think the Solicitor General made reference to but which I am sure he would if I had placed it before him first, and that is we want to continue to remind CSIS to continue to be sensitive to Canadians bom in other countries who are now full-fledged Canadian citizens, particularly when incidents involving our national security arise. These people have to be treated as Canadians and not be assumed to be risks simply because they were bom in other countries.

There is a grey area here. I know that CSIS is aware of it. We have dealt with it at the national security subcommittee. I hope my remarks will encourage CSIS to be very vigilant and sensitive to the positions of these many Canadians as CSIS does its work attempting to deal with counterintelligence and counterterrorism within the context described by the Solicitor General.

I also want to acknowledge the staff reductions indicated by CSIS in the counterintelligence area. They are probably a function of the reduction in cold war intelligence battles that went on for many years. The need to engage in that whole round of activities with the former Soviet bloc is not as vital as it once was and may continue to diminish.

I hope those staff reductions would allow cost savings to the taxpayer. I am not so sure I saw it in the estimates. The budget appears to have continued on at the same level, notwithstanding the proposal to have staff reductions. It is hoped we can take a closer look at that issue at the subcommittee.

Finally I want to reconfirm for all of us in this House that the structures of the Security Intelligence Review Committee and the national security subcommittee will hopefully continue to do their jobs in monitoring our security and intelligence establishment in this country throughout the denouement of the cold war and this period of an apparent increased threat of terrorism emanating from the various conflicts around the world.

April 1, 1993

Routine Proceedings

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL SECURITY SYSTEM
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT BY MINISTER
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NDP

Derek Nigel Ernest Blackburn

New Democratic Party

Mr. Derek Blackburn (Brant):

Madam Speaker, as a member of the House subcommittee on national security I am pleased to respond to the minister's statement today with respect to his second annual report on the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. I thank him for giving me the information ahead of time. It came to my office late yesterday afternoon.

First I congratulate the minister on making an announcement that calls for a reduction in staff. Many of us on this side of the House over the past few years have been somewhat critical of the increase in the funding to CSIS, when other departments were being cut back at a time of restraint, and the proliferation of staff.

I realize a report was done a number of years ago by Mr. Osbaldeston that called for an increase in staff. We accepted that as having been necessary at that time. It is a good move at this point, now that the cold war has wound down or is winding down, to reallocate resources within the intelligence community and in doing so to find a way of actually reducing staff. I believe this mainly will be done through attrition and fortunately not through lay-offs.

The whole area of economic intelligence, espionage, counterespionage and so on is something, as the previous speaker and the minister have said, that has been with the world for a very long time. If we read about the historical antecedents of the intelligence world we find that it was essentially economic in the first place. As empires developed, governments felt they had to protect their foreign interests. Usually those foreign interests were economic and material. They were not so much political because the old trading companies controlled the monopoly on foreign trade. It was not really a government initiative in those days, although governments did open up avenues of exploitation through political processes and military processes.

The military intelligence and the economic intelligence went hand in hand to develop commercial empires. In effect we are actually returning, in a historical perspective, to some of the origins of the intelligence world.

The difference today is the obvious difference in technology. Quite frankly the minister, or any minister in his position, has a dilemma here.

It is one thing to say that the intelligence community, in this case CSIS, will liaise with the private sector. That is a duty. It has to perform that exercise. However it is much more difficult and confused to say this is where liaising ends and this is where participation begins in the process of protecting economic interests, in this case technology, technology transfer, research and development and so on.

Canada, along with the United States and western Europe, is a country that is on the leading edge in many of these technological fields so obviously we are prime targets.

I do not know how we can solve this problem. We cannot really solve it today or even this year because it is a growing problem. It is going to be an expanding problem. With high technology, computers, and information technology growing at such a rapid rate when government institutions such as CSE and CSIS become involved in finding out how they can protect Canadian economic, industrial and technological interests I am quite certain, just as certain as I am that I am standing here today, that will involve us somewhere down the road with active participation, not just passive.

That is the time that very serious considerations will have to be made and decisions taken. As the previous speaker said it involves taxpayers' money. We are going to have to ask the question: Should government or its agencies which are funded by taxpayers be out there gathering information to protect private sector technological developments, research and development and so on? This is something that cannot be codified today. It cannot be regulated because it is moving so quickly. The whole process is moving quickly.

I call upon the minister and his senior advisers in this area to keep a very close watch on how deeply CSIS, CSE and the RCM Police actually become involved in what I would consider a private sector problem, even though I would argue that the state has not only a right but a duty to protect economic interests in a general way.

Just to repeat myself for a moment, it is a very murky line. It is a very blurred area between liaising on one hand and actually, before we know it, becoming directly involved in the protection of private sector economic and technological secrets and so on.

April 1, 1993

That is an area to which we are going to have to give ongoing consideration. I would hope that the subcommittee of this House on national security and intelligence would have as one of its prime subjects over the next several years working with SIRC, the Security Intelligence Review Committee, and the minister and his staff on an ongoing basis.

The minister also made reference to international terrorism and the fact that Canada is used from time to time for fundraising for these various groups. The IRA is one glaring example, one hideous example, but there are several others.

Canada is also used as a haven, a safe house, for international terrorists. They can come here and sleep it off for a few days, a few weeks or a few months in relative peace and tranquillity. To say this is irritating is to put it mildly.

I recall that a number of years ago previous governments were warned that certain elements were coming in from Asia, that the Asian gangs were arriving in this country. I know it was extremely difficult to try to survey them, to try to investigate and determine who were legitimate refugees and who were gangsters, political thugs and so on.

The boat people are a very good example. Many of these people came in with no identification. There was no way to trace their origins or their country of nationality. Many of them were ethnic Chinese whom the Chinese authorities forced into North Vietnam in the 1960s. Ho Chi Minh did not want them.

When the Vietnamese war was over they flooded south into South Vietnam and joined the legitimate refugees, the boat people. Eventually they ended up here in Canada. A lot of these Asian gangs, Vietnamese, Chinese or from Hong Kong, have been coming into Canada with great regularity. We have not really made the effort we should have made to sort these people out, detain them and hold them until we are perfectly satisfied they are not members of these gangs.

I have made reference to Asian gangs. There are political and criminal undesirables from all over the world coming into our country. I am not saying they are coming into Canada in vast numbers, but we have to

Routine Proceedings

keep up our surveillance. This is where CSIS, along with the immigration department, plays a very important role.

If it takes longer then we should take longer to investigate these would-be refugees, or immigrants for that matter, if there is any doubt as to whether they are related to these gangs, political terrorist groups and criminal organizations. Quite frankly legitimate refugees and immigrants to this country and indigenous Canadians do not want that political and criminal riff-raff from the world coming to poison our society. We have to do everything we can to get a handle on this and to keep these thugs out of Canada.

There was another reference to the foreign nationalist political groups in the country. I realize that the world is in a flux right now. We are speaking of course of countries such as the former state of Yugoslavia, but there are many other examples. On the one hand we want to accept legitimate refugees. We want to give them a safe haven. We want them to come here because we know they will make useful, productive Canadian citizens and will add to the great cultural mosaic of our country. On the other hand, however, we have to be extremely vigilant in making certain that we are not setting up little nationalist political groups transplanted overseas in order to carry on the same nefarious activities they did back home.

The Liberal spokesperson just before me made a passing reference to CSE and Bill C-109. We finished the bill last night without amendment. I was chair of that committee and I will be presenting the report in a few minutes. I just want to say in passing that I sincerely hope that Bill C-109 will relate to the activities of CSE.

I would like to ask the minister, although he cannot respond at this time, if he would consider checking to see how that bill will impact on the Communications Security Establishment. CSE is such a secret organization. It has been extremely active without any parliamentary control, as far as the House of Commons is concerned at least, since its origin.

On the one hand I realize we need surveillance and increased technological surveillance in this highly technological age in which we live, but on the other hand the protection of private citizens' activities must also be considered as well.

April 1, 1993

Routine Proceedings

I am going to close on this last note, which is not in the report for obvious reasons. We appreciate what the minister had to say yesterday with respect to Leslie James Bennett who is now and has been for many years living in Australia. I am not going to go into all the details. The minister said yesterday in the House I believe that the government does not and never has considered Mr. Bennett to be a spy, a mole or disloyal.

I would ask the minister today in the House if he would seriously consider some kind of monetary recompense for Mr. Bennett. Mr. Bennett left this country in disgrace in the eyes of the public. Although he was innocent he lost his career and his family. He went to Australia to try to start a new life. He went, I believe, with a pension of $4,500 in 1972. To the best of my knowledge he has no other source of income or had no other source of private income at that time, and I do not believe he has to date. He sat there and suffered in the Perth area of western Australia all of these years trying to get redress.

The minister went a long way yesterday and I thank him for that. However, I call upon him now to try to come to some kind of monetary solution to assist this man. He is getting on in years and will not be living for that much longer. I believe he has lived in relative poverty all because he was under suspicion in an intelligence community that almost thrives on suspicion at times. I think he was dealt with by the RCMP and his superiors in a very unfair way.

I am happy to have responded to the minister's statement this morning. I look forward to the work of the House committee on national security and intelligence getting deeper into these issues that the minister has raised and that we have raised on this side of the House.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL SECURITY SYSTEM
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT BY MINISTER
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INTERPARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION

PC

Terrence (Terry) Clifford

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Terry Clifford (London-Middlesex):

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report by the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association of a meeting with the Council of Europe

Standing Committee on Agriculture, held in London, Middlesex, March 1 to March 4, 1993.

That meeting came as a direct result of a report given in this House by the association where we found that European parliamentarians in the main were not knowledgeable about Canadian policies and practices in areas such as agriculture, forestry, environment, et cetera, to the detriment of Canada in its world trading possibilities and things such as the GATT. It became apparent that a meeting of this order was necessary and 34 parliamentarians responded. It was a good opportunity.

I thank the government for its involvement. I urge the government and all parliamentarians to keep up the knowledge of Canada and express it around the world.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   INTERPARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION
Sub-subtopic:   REPORT OF CANADA-EUROPE PARLIAMENTARY ASSOCIATION
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HOUSE MANAGEMENT


81ST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE


PC

Charles A. Langlois (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence; Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Charles A. Langlois (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and to Minister of National Defence):

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present the 81st report of the Standing Committee on House Management concerning parliamentary reform. If you will allow me, Madam Speaker, I would like to make a few comments on that report.

The report I am tabling this morning contains about 30 recommendations for parliamentary reform. It is the result of innumerable hours of work, discussions and compromises on the part of all members of the committee; it is also the result of the patience and efforts they have devoted to it over the last 18 months.

I would like to take a few minutes to acknowledge the special contribution of the members of the subcommittee on parliamentary reform who have participated since the beginning of the exercise in the fall of 1991.

I would like to mention the hon. member for Winnipeg Transcona, the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands, and my hon. colleague, the hon. member for Peace River who not only presided over the subcommittee's work but also chaired the committee for 18 months and steered its deliberation on parliamentary reform until the very end.

April 1, 1993

I would like to stress the tact and leadership of the hon. member for Edmonton Southwest who from November 1992 until last week has guided our work and, as committee chairman, skilfully piloted the project to a successful end. As you all know, the hon. member for Edmonton Southwest is Mr. Jim Edwards.

Finally I would like to give special thanks to our staff who worked with us during the whole process, our clerks, and in particular the outstanding support and drafting skill provided by Jamie Robertson, our research officer who rendered our task possible and our work feasible.

I have sat at many meetings and deliberations of the committee on House management on parliamentary reform. I would like to pay special tribute today to my colleague, the member for Peace River. Throughout the deliberations he led our discussions. He has been the lightning rod, if I can use that term, behind the work that has been done.

We are tabling today a report that will help streamline the work of the House of Commons. It will bring in several significant changes to the work of the House of Commons.

Therefore, it is with great pride and with gratitude towards all the members of the committee that I table this major and innovative report which I submit to the House today.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   HOUSE MANAGEMENT
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JUSTICE AND SOLICITOR GENERAL


13TH REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE


PC

Robert Nesbitt Horner

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bob Horner (Mississauga West):

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 13th report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Solicitor General.

Pursuant to the order of reference of Friday, February 12, 1993 your committee has considered the 1993 proposals for a Miscellaneous Statute Law Amendment Act

Routine Proceedings

and your committee has agreed to report it without amendment.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   JUSTICE AND SOLICITOR GENERAL
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BILL C-109 REPORT OF LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE

NDP

Derek Nigel Ernest Blackburn

New Democratic Party

Mr. Derek Blackburn (Brant):

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the report of the legislative committee on Bill C-109, an act to amend the Criminal Code, the Crown Liability and Proceedings Act and the Radiocommunication Act without amendment.

[Editor's Note: See today's Votes and Proceedings.]

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BILL C-109 REPORT OF LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE
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April 1, 1993