Summary of Public Safety Legislation
CURRENT LEGISLATION BEFORE PARLIAMENT
Bill C-3 - An Act to amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act and the Canada Border Services Agency Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
Bill C-3 seeks to:
- amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act to, among other things, rename the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as the Public Complaints and Review Commission
- amend the Canada Border Services Agency Act to, among other things, grant to that Commission powers, duties and functions in relation to the Canada Border Services Agency, including the power to conduct a review of the activities of that Agency and to investigate complaints concerning the conduct of any of that Agency’s officers or employees.
The bill was first introduced in the last parliamentary session, but died on the Order Paper as a result of the 2019 election. It was re-introduced in this parliamentary session on January 27, 2020 and is currently at Second Reading in the House of Commons.
Recent Public Safety Bills that have received royal assent
Bill C-59 – An Act respecting national security matters
Bill C-59 sought to:
- replace the current patchwork system of national security review with a new single comprehensive body – the National Security and Intelligence Review Committee (NSIRA);
- establish an Intelligence Commissioner to approve certain intelligence and cybersecurity activities of Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and Communications Security Establishment (CSE);
- adopt a “National Security Transparency Commitment” consisting of key principles, with implementation to be informed through internal and external consultations;
- repeal the current open-ended threat reduction warrant regime and replace it with a specific list of powers that CSIS could employ under warrant;
- amend the Security of Canada Information Sharing Act by clarifying its scope; improving the disclosure threshold; legislating record-keeping and reporting requirements and changing its name to the Security of Canada Information Disclosure Act;
- amend the Secure Air Travel Act to reduce false positive matches and enhance national security;
- change the definition of terrorist propaganda;
- modernize the CSIS Act by:
- establishing an authorization regime for acts or omissions that would otherwise constitute offences conducted in the course of intelligence collection activities;
- exempting CSIS officers and sources from certain offence provisions that affect covert identity protection; and,
- creating a robust framework in the CSIS Act for collection, retention and use of datasets.
- create a new CSE Act that would, among other things:
- expand the oversight of the CSE ministerial authorization regime to include acquisition of all information with a privacy interest;
- permit more advanced methods and techniques to gather intelligence from foreign targets; and,
- authorize taking action online to defend Canadian networks and proactively stop cyber threats before they reach our systems.
- C-59 would also make other legislative changes such as:
- amend the Criminal Code measures dealing with witness protection;
- amend the Criminal Code terrorist entity listing regime; and
- make changes to the Youth Criminal Justice Act to provide enhanced procedural and other protections to youth who are involved in the criminal justice system due to terrorism-related conduct.
The bill was introduced on June 20, 2017, and received Royal Assent on June 21, 2019.
Bill C-66, An Act to establish a procedure for expunging certain historically unjust convictions and to make related amendments to other Acts (The Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act)
Bill C-66 sought to:
- create a procedure for expunging certain historically unjust convictions and provide for the destruction or removal of the judicial records of those convictions from federal repositories and systems
- give the Parole Board of Canada jurisdiction to order or refuse to order expungement of a conviction
- deem a person who is convicted of an offence for which expungement is ordered never to have been convicted of that offence
- provide that an application for an expungement order may be made in respect of convictions involving consensual sexual activity between same-sex persons related to the offences of gross indecency, buggery and anal intercourse
- provide that the Governor in Council may add certain offences to the schedule and establish criteria that must be satisfied for expungement of a conviction to be ordered.
The bill was introduced on November 28, 2017, and received Royal Assent on June 21, 2018.
Bill C-71 – An Act to amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms
Bill C-71 sought to:
- change firearms licence eligibility so that specific information from a person’s life history is considered, rather than only from the previous five years;
- change licence verification so that the seller or giver of a non-restricted firearm will be required to verify the validity of the recipient’s firearms licence, rather than this being voluntary;
- require businesses to keep records of the sale of all firearms and their purchasers (businesses will keep the records; not the Government);
- change the automatic authorization to transport (ATT) restricted and prohibited firearms so that the only ATT would be to transport to an owner’s home following a purchase and to approved shooting clubs or ranges within the province of residence;
- put the power to classify firearms back into the hands of law enforcement instead of the Governor in Council; and,
- repeal Access to Information Act and Privacy Act changes that were made to the Ending the Long-gun Registry Act (ELRA) by the Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1, Division 18, and to deem them never to have come into force. This legislation replaces Bill C-52, An Act to amend Chapter 6 of the Statutes of Canada, 2012 (Supporting Vested Rights Under Access to Information Act) by incorporating its provisions into new legislation.
The bill was introduced on March 20, 2018, and received Royal Assent on June 6, 2019.
Bill C-83 – An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and another Act
Bill C-83 sought to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and to, among other things:
- eliminate the use of administrative segregation and disciplinary segregation;
- authorize the Commissioner of Correctional Service Canada (CSC) to designate a penitentiary or an area in a penitentiary as a structured intervention unit for the confinement of inmates who cannot be maintained in the mainstream inmate population for security or other reasons;
- provide less invasive alternatives to physical body cavity searches;
- affirm that CSC has the obligation to support the autonomy and clinical independence of registered health care professionals;
- provide that CSC has the obligation to provide inmates with access to patient advocacy services;
- provide that CSC has an obligation to consider systemic and background factors unique to Indigenous offenders in all decision-making; and,
- improve victims’ access to audio recordings of parole hearings.
This enactment also amended the English version of a provision of the Criminal Records Act.
Bill C-83 replaced Bill C-56 – An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and the Abolition of Early Parole Act.
The bill was introduced in the House of Commons on October 16, 2018, and received Royal Assent on June 21, 2019.
Bill C-93 – An Act to provide no-cost, expedited record suspensions for simple possession of cannabis
This enactment sought to allow those convicted of simple, sole possession of cannabis to apply for a record suspension without being subject to the period required by the Criminal Records Act for other offences, nor will they be required to pay the application fee.
The bill was introduced in the House of Commons on March 1, 2019, and received Royal Assent on June 21, 2019.
Bill C-21 - An Act to amend the Customs Act (Entry/Exit)
Bill C-21 sought to:
- amend the Customs Act to authorize the Canada Border Services Agency to collect, from prescribed persons and prescribed sources, personal information on all persons who are leaving or have left Canada
- amend the Act to authorize an officer, as defined in that Act, to require that goods that are to be exported from Canada are to be reported despite any exemption under that Act
- amend the Act to provide officers with the power to examine any goods that are to be exported
- amends the Act to authorize the disclosure of information collected under the Customs Act to an official of the Department of Employment and Social Development for the purposes of administering or enforcing the Old Age Security Act.
The bill was introduced on June 15, 2016. It received Royal Assent on December 13, 2018.
Bill C-23, An Act respecting the preclearance of persons and goods in Canada and the United States (Preclearance Act, 2016)
Bill C-23 sought to implement the Agreement on Land, Rail, Marine, and Air Transport Preclearance between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America, done at Washington on March 16, 2015, to provide for the preclearance in each country of travellers and goods bound for the other country.
The bill was introduced on June 17, 2016, and received Royal Assent on December 12, 2017.
recent legislation not led by PUblic Safety but that has an impact on the portfolio
Bill C-22, An Act to establish the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians and to make consequential amendments to certain Acts.
Bill C-22 established the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians and set out its composition and mandate. In addition, it established the Committee’s Secretariat, the role of which is to assist the Committee in fulfilling its mandate.
The bill was introduced by the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons on June 16, 2016, and received Royal Assent on June 22, 2017.
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