Monday: MPs Expected To Return To Security Bill

Monday: MPs Expected To Return To Security Bill


UPDATED May 28, 2018 9:40amET

Following question period, Bill C-59 is back on the order paper in the House of Commons for report-stage and second-reading debate.

Normally, debate on a bill would have begun at the “second reading” stage, with committee hearings to follow.

In this case, the government wanted to formally refer Bill C-59 to committee before second reading.

That gave the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security more power to propose more than 50 amendments on the scope of the bill, since the House of Commons has yet to vote on the principles and main object of the legislation.

Read the committee’s list of amendments

Included in C-59:

  • A new watchdog body to oversee all federal intelligence operations – a so-called “super SIRC” to replace the current Security and Intelligence Review Committee, which only monitors CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service)
  • Creation of an “Intelligence Commissioner” to replace the commissioner of the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) and review intelligence-gathering authorizations for both CSIS and CSE
  • A statutory definition of CSE’s mandate
  • More accountability for CSIS, including a limit to operations that violate the law or the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the requirement of a Federal Court warrant for security agencies to pre-emptively disrupt potential terrorist acts.
  • Tightening the definition of propaganda and advocacy of terrorism to counselling another person “to commit” a specific offence
  • Clarifying the definition of “activities that undermines the security of Canada” that can be investigated
  • Adjusting definitions of protest and dissent as they apply to national security investigations
  • A repeal of the investigative hearing process introduced in 2001

The Conservatives have already criticized the government for “watering down” national security law and removing law enforcement tools. The NDP remains concerned with information sharing between agencies and the scope of CSIS power.

The government introduced C-59 last June.


In the House

MPs are also expected to return to the government bill (C-47) that amends federal legislation to allow Canada’s accession to the Arms Trade Treaty.

Bill C-281, which aims to create a “National Local Food Day” on the Friday before Thanksgiving each year, is debated at second reading.


Minister Defends C-76 at Committee

Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould defends the electoral reform bill at the Commons procedure committee. She’s followed this evening by Stéphane Perrault, the acting chief electoral officer. LIVE ONLINE at 3:30pm ET and 6:30pm ET / 12:30pm PT and 3:30pm PT

CPAC In Focus: Government Seeks Changes to Spending, Voting Process

Also on the committee agenda:

  • The Senate social affairs committee hears from parliamentary secretary Bill Blair (justice and health) on Bill C-45. LIVE ONLINE 1pm ET / 10am PT
  • Rear Admiral Jennifer Bennett, head of the military’s Strategic Response Team on Sexual Misconduct, testifies at the Senate defence committee. Also appearing is former Supreme Court justice Marie Deschamps, author of a 2015 report on misconduct and harassment in the Canadian Forces. And, Marie-Claude Gagnon, founder of a support group (It’s Just 700) for survivors of military sexual abuse. LIVE ONLINE 1pm ET / 10am PT
  • Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay discusses his department’s estimates at the Commons agriculture committee. LIVE ONLINE at 3:30pm ET / 12:30pm PT
  • Officials from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada discuss banking oversight at the Commons finance committee. LIVE ONLINE at 3:30pm ET / 12:30pm PT

-Andrew Thomson