February 20, 1984 (32nd Parliament, 2nd Session)


Robert Joseph Ogle

New Democratic Party

Mr. Ogle:

I am happy to speak to Bill C-9 and to address the three basic questions that are in the Bill. First is a proposed mandate to set up a new civilian service in Canada for the purpose of intelligence operations. Second is to look at the powers that it is suggested the service will have. Third is to look at the oversight and accountability mechanisms that would be established in the Bill or that are established there now to see that the Bill functions and that the service is given limits of operation.
I want to address the Bill from a philosophical point of view. I would also like to use some of my experience, having lived in countries where intelligence services had a very high profile. I felt that instead of bringing security to people, it brought great insecurity.
I do believe this Bill and its notion is one that has grave concerns for many Canadians. I have addressed various audiences on the background notion of what is taking place in the Bill being proposed. I think it is important, to begin with, to look at the word "security". I personally believe its English context has changed in the last 15 years. When I was younger, security, I believe, meant a state of well-being that one experienced because of a whole variety of conditions that were present at that time in the person's life. Today security, 1 believe, means a process by which you guard something or set up walls against insecurity.
Let me outline a case in point. This House of Commons until recently did not have a security system. People coming to sit and watch in the galleries did not have to pass a screening to come into the galleries. People now have to go through mechanical surveillance similar to those installed at airports. However, I feel no more secure in this House of Commons from some attack against my person. In fact, I feel less secure than before.
The question has been thrown into the minds of many people, are we secure here? We had an incident a few weeks ago. A person came to the door at the end of the morning session. Our caucus was sitting here. The person tried to get in. The guards, the security people, whoever, took the person away. During Question Period the same afternoon the same person appeared at the door upstairs and had in her hand a bundle which she threw into the centre of the House of Commons. The proceedings carried on. I am sure many people watching television did not know anything had happened. It turned out the bundle was not a dangerous weapon or anything of the sort, but if it had been, that person had actually passed through security and had put us all into great insecurity.
1 have watched this process grow. I have seen how people put a wall around something to make it secure. Then someone Finds a hole in the wall and one then has to erect another wall. A place where this wall building has taken place is the airport
at Tel Aviv, Israel. Wall after wall after wall have been put up to accommodate this word security.
I see it is one o'clock, Mr. Speaker. I will continue to address the philosophical notion behind security after the lunch hour.

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