No. GC004/02For release - October 31, 2002
OTTAWA — The Government of Canada today introduced in the House of Commons an improved package of public safety initiatives in support of its Anti-Terrorism Plan.
The proposed Public Safety Act, 2002 contains key provisions that will increase the Government of Canada's capacity to prevent terrorist attacks, protect Canadians, and respond swiftly should a significant threat arise.
The proposed Public Safety Act, 2002 replaces Bill C-55, which was introduced on April 29, 2002, but died on the order paper when Parliament was prorogued in September. The proposed act retains key principles of Bill C-55, and notably would:
enhance the ability of the Government of Canada to provide a secure environment for air travel;
facilitate data sharing between air carriers and federal departments and agencies for the purposes of transportation and national security;
allow for the issuance of interim orders in emergency situations, while ensuring proper controls over government actions;
deter hoaxes that endanger the public or heighten public anxiety;
establish tighter controls over explosives and hazardous substances, activities related to other dangerous substances such as pathogens, and the export and transfer of technology;
help identify and prevent harmful unauthorized use or interference with computer systems operated by counter-terrorism agencies; and
deter the proliferation of biological weapons.
"The Government of Canada takes its safety and security responsibilities very seriously, and continues to take action to protect Canadians from terrorism," said Transport Minister David Collenette, who introduced the bill in the House of Commons today.
"We need this legislation so that law enforcement and national security agencies can improve transportation and national security, and work effectively with our international counterparts. That's what Canadians want. We have taken into account concerns expressed about the proposals we had in Bill C-55 and we believe we have struck the right balance," said Solicitor General Wayne Easter.
As a result, the proposed legislation includes some changes and refinements to Bill C-55. The new bill would:
Remove the controlled access military zone provisions that were included in Bill C-55. The Government concluded that it needed to take a more measured approach and re-engineer these provisions in a way that achieves a better balance between the public interest and the ongoing legitimate security needs of Canadian Forces and visiting forces in Canada. The government recognizes the need to deal with these security concerns as a matter of some urgency. As a result, it has decided to establish, through Order-in-Council, controlled access zones in Halifax, Esquimalt and Nanoose Bay harbours. These controlled access zones will be much narrower in scope than the earlier provisions and will apply only to the three naval ports in question, although other such zones could be considered on a case-by-case basis, should the security situation dictate.
Remove the provision that was in Bill C-55 allowing RCMP designated officers access to passenger information for the primary purpose of identifying individuals with a warrant for their arrest. Designated RCMP officers may now only access passenger information for the purpose of transportation security, and CSIS officers may do so only for the purposes of national and transportation security.
Provide for amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act to support data sharing. These amendments will allow for the Minister to enter into agreements and arrangements for the sharing of information with key partners.
Reduce the period of time during which Ministers must table interim orders before Parliament to within 15 days, notwithstanding whether Parliament is in session. The period during which Ministers must obtain Governor-In-Council approval is reduced to 14 days for all statutes (in Bill C-55, in many cases it was 45 days). This will allow Ministers to act rapidly to address risks in emergency situations, while putting into place proper oversight mechanisms.
Amend the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) to allow the data information systems as originally set out in Bill C-55 to operate.
The proposed Public Safety Act, 2002 is part of the Government of Canada's Anti-Terrorism Plan, which began with the Anti-Terrorism Act (Bill C-36) and was bolstered by a $7.7 billion investment in the December 2001 federal budget. Where the Anti-Terrorism Act focused mainly on the criminal law aspects of combating terrorism, this bill addresses the federal legislative framework for public safety and protection.
For more information, please refer to the attached backgrounders. This information is available online at www.canada.gc.ca.
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Anthony PolciDirector of CommunicationsOffice of the MinisterTransport Canada(613) 991-0700
Media Relations OfficeDepartment of Foreign Affairsand International Trade(613) 995-1874
Dan BrienCommunications AssistantOffice of the MinisterSolicitor General of Canada(613) 991-2874
Farah MohamedOffice of the MinisterHealth Canada(613) 957-1694
Jean-Michel CattaPublic Affairs and Operations DivisionFinance Canada(613) 996-8080
Paige Raymond-KovachPublic Affairs DivisionHealth Canada(613) 957-1803
Kelly MorganDirector of CommunicationsOffice of the Minister of the Environment(819) 997-1441
Jennifer SavoyDirector of CommunicationsOffice of the MinisterFisheries and Oceans Canada(613) 996-0076
Mark DunnDirector of CommunicationsOffice of the MinisterCitizenship and Immigration Canada(613) 954-1064
Randy MylykOffice of the MinisterNational Defence(613) 996-3100
Patrick CharetteSenior Media Relations AdvisorDepartment of Justice(613) 957-4207
Heather BalaDirector of CommunicationsOffice of the MinisterNatural Resources Canada(613) 996-2007
Media Liaison OfficeNational Defence(613) 996-2353
John McCarthyBusiness Leader, Operations,National Energy Board(403) 299-2766
Chris WatsonChief Inspector of Explosives &Director, Explosives Regulatory Division,Minerals and Metals SectorNatural Resources Canada(613) 995-8251
Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news releases and speeches at www.tc.gc.ca/e-news and keep up-to-date on the latest from Transport Canada.
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PUBLIC SAFETY ACT, 2002
As previously set out in Bill C-55, the proposed amendments would give Ministers the authority to issue an interim order if immediate action is required to deal with a serious threat or significant risk - direct or indirect - to health, safety, security, or the environment.
An interim order would cover matters for which regulations would normally be made except that the immediacy of the threat requires an immediate response. Normally subject to regulations made by the Governor-in-Council, the interim order provisions relate to the following acts within the mandate of the Ministers of the Environment, Health, Fisheries and Oceans, and Transport:
Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999;
Department of Health Act;
Food and Drugs Act;
Hazardous Products Act;
Navigable Waters Protection Act;
Pest Control Products Act;
Radiation Emitting Devices Act;
Canada Shipping Act; and
Canada Shipping Act, 2001.
Several provisions in Bill C-55 would have ensured a significant degree of control over the actions of Ministers in an emergency situation and are being retained. Some of these provisions would be further enhanced in the proposed legislation:
the period within which the Minister would be required to obtain approval from the Governor-in-Council would be reduced from 45 to 14 days after the interim order is made; and
a copy of the interim order would be tabled in each house of Parliament within 15 days from the time it is issued, notwithstanding whether Parliament is in session.
The other provisions already found in Bill C-55 being retained include:
the Governor-in-Council approved interim order would be valid only for a period of up to one year;
the interim order would be published in the Canada Gazette within 23 days from the time it is made;
no person would be convicted for contravening the interim order, unless at the time of the contravention the interim order had been published in the Canada Gazette, the person had been notified, or reasonable steps had been taken to inform the person; and
the interim order could be repealed at any time.
Provisions for similar interim orders currently exist in statutes such as the Aeronautics Act and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.
Advanced Passenger Information (API) is basic information for each passenger, such as name, gender, date of birth, citizenship and a travel document number. Passenger Name Record (PNR) is information related to the traveller's reservation, such as flight number and itinerary. As was proposed in Bill C-55, air carriers would be required to provide Transport Canada, as well as RCMP and CSIS designated officers, with this information, upon request, for transportation and national security purposes.
This scheme is designed to increase the government's capacity to prevent terrorist attacks, deliver an effective Air Carrier Protective Program (RCMP officers aboard aircraft for the safety of passengers), and respond swiftly should a significant threat arise.
The destruction, retention, and disclosure provisions, as proposed in Bill C-55, would also remain the same. Transport Canada would have to destroy air passenger information within seven days. The same time frame would apply to RCMP and CSIS designated officers unless they had to retain passenger information for a longer period if reasonably required for the purposes of transportation security or the investigation of threats to the security of Canada.
Passenger information could also be disclosed to a third party for very restricted purposes. These purposes would relate to the mandate of each department or agency. For example, Transport Canada could only disclose information to restricted parties for transportation security purposes, while CSIS and RCMP designated officers could disclose this information to limited parties for specific purposes, including transportation security, imminent public safety threats, outstanding warrants and removal orders, compliance with a subpoena or court order, and counter-terrorism investigations by CSIS.
To better reflect the original policy intent of Bill C-55 - namely, to enhance the Government's capacity to prevent terrorist attacks, protect Canadians and respond swiftly should a significant threat arise - improvements have been carefully considered. The following describes the four proposals in the proposed Public Safety Act, 2002 for amending the data-sharing regime.
Amended Purpose for RCMP Access to Passenger Information
The new Public Safety Act, 2002 proposes that the "identification of persons for whom a warrant has been issued" be removed as a purpose for which the RCMP could obtain air passenger information. With this change, the RCMP could only access passenger information for the purpose of transportation security.
While screening passenger lists for transportation security, if the RCMP incidentally discovered a criminal wanted for a serious crime, the Force would still be able to disclose that information to a peace officer if there was reason to believe it would assist in the execution of a warrant. Retaining this aspect of the scheme is necessary for public safety because the RCMP needs to take appropriate action if it happens to find a passenger wanted for an outstanding warrant for a serious offence such as murder or kidnapping.
With this amendment a much more limited regime would be created for the RCMP which would permit only the incidental use of passenger information for warrant purposes while screening for transportation security risks.
Amendment to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act
The new Public Safety Act, 2002 is also proposing a consequential amendment to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, (PIPEDA), to ensure the effectiveness of the data-sharing regime.
Organizations subject to PIPEDA are already authorized to disclose personal information without the person's consent for reasons of law enforcement, national security, defence of Canada, conduct of international affairs, and where otherwise required by law.
To ensure that airlines and any other organizations subject to PIPEDA can provide the information under this regime, the government needs to clarify the use and collection authorities to mirror the current disclosure authority in PIPEDA.
For example, if CSIS receives intelligence from a foreign agency that a suspected terrorist is expected to arrive on a flight from Europe within the next three weeks, CSIS is authorized to share core biographical information about the terrorist with the airlines, and to request them to notify CSIS the moment the person buys a ticket.
Under PIPEDA, the airlines are currently authorized to disclose personal information without consent in this context.
Given our changed security environment and this new data-sharing regime, we need to clarify that the exemption criteria for disclosure are identical for collection and use for all sectors of activity covered by PIPEDA.
This will ensure consistency with the overall intent of PIPEDA, which was to protect the personal information of Canadians, while allowing law enforcement and national security to continue their investigative and intelligence activities.
Amendment to the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act andImmigration and Refugee Protection Act
Proposed amendments to the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act will clarify Citizenship and Immigration Canada's (CIC) authority to share immigration-related information with certain key partners, particularly in the areas of border security and international cooperation.
CIC is a key partner with our domestic agencies and internationally with the United States and other allies in the fight against terrorism. Under the Smart Border Action Plan, the Government of Canada is committed to sharing information with the US. The ability to share information is critical to sustaining our border initiatives with the US, which in turn, are critical to Canada's economic security.
The proposed regulation-power would not only clarify the government's authority to share information for immigration, national security, national defence and the conduct of international relations, but also allows for the creation of conditions that restrict CIC's capacity to disclose. This is a key element directed at protecting privacy rights while still providing the necessary legal authority.
Amendment to the Aeronautics Act
Another section of the Aeronautics Act is being amended to clarify that air carriers may only provide information to a foreign country on passengers on board an aircraft departing from Canada, or on a Canadian airline's aircraft departing from somewhere else, if that flight is scheduled to land in that country
TRANSPORTATION SAFETY AND SECURITY
The amendments to the Aeronautics Act are designed to clarify and update existing aviation security authorities. The amendments would also strengthen these authorities to maximize the effectiveness of Canada's aviation security system, and enhance the Government of Canada's ability to provide a safe and secure environment for aviation.
Currently, the authority to make regulations is worded in general terms in the Aeronautics Act. The amendments would clarify these existing authorities, and set out specific matters that could be dealt with in regulations, including those concerning security requirements for the design or construction of aircraft, airports and other aviation facilities. An example would be regulations respecting the strengthening of cockpit doors or limiting the proximity of public parking lots to passenger terminals.
The amendments would also update or expand certain authorities to make regulations, including those concerning:
restricted areas; for example, the amendments would allow regulations to establish restricted areas within aircraft and airports, as well as other aviation facilities, such as air traffic control towers located outside restricted areas. Currently, the concept of restricted areas is applied only to areas within airports;
screening of persons entering restricted areas; for example, the amendments would allow regulations permitting or requiring screening of people entering restricted areas, even those people who have security clearances and are already in possession of a restricted area access pass; and
security clearances; for example, the amendments would allow regulations requiring operators of crop duster aircraft to obtain security clearances.
The amendments would discourage unruly passengers (commonly referred to as "air rage") by making it an offence to engage in any behaviour that endangers the safety or security of a flight or persons on board, by interfering with crew members or persons following crew members' instructions.
The amendments incorporate references to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), which was established on April 1, 2002, and is responsible for the provision and funding of several key aviation security services, including screening, in Canada.
Furthermore, a number of amendments are being proposed to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority Act, including provisions that would:
require CATSA to comply with emergency directions as they relate to the delivery of screening services in Canada; and
enable the authority to enter into agreements with an operator of an aerodrome designated by regulations to contribute to the cost of policing at airports.
The Marine Transportation Security Act is being amended to enable the Government of Canada to provide funding to the marine sector, including ports, to strengthen marine security.
The proposed amendments to the Criminal Code terrorist hoax offences are broader in scope. They would no longer be restricted to the parameters of the United Nations International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings. Instead, they would build upon the definition of "terrorist activity" contained in the Anti-Terrorism Act, and would also separately criminalize those who convey false information that is likely to cause a reasonable apprehension that terrorist activity is occurring or will occur; and those who commit acts that are likely to cause a reasonable, but false apprehension that terrorist activity is occurring or will occur. In both cases, there would also be an expanded specific requirement that there be intent to cause fear of death, bodily harm, substantial damage to property, or serious interference with the lawful use or operation of property.
The proposed maximum penalties for these offences would also be amended to provide for increases proportionate to the harm caused. The maximum penalty for the base offence is five years imprisonment. However, if the hoax causes actual bodily harm, the maximum penalty would be increased to 10 years imprisonment, and if the hoax causes death, the maximum penalty would be increased to life imprisonment.
The federal Explosives Act regulates the importation, manufacture, storage and sale of commercial explosives, along with aspects of their transportation. Natural Resources Canada's primary mandate is to ensure the health and safety of workers in the industry and of the general public. Use of explosives is, in general, a provincial responsibility.
The proposed amendments to the Explosives Act are the same as the amendments set out in Bill C-55 and are intended to strengthen the Government of Canada's role in regulating the acquisition and exportation of explosives and their transportation in Canada. They would introduce tougher security measures related to the manufacture, storage and transportation of explosives. The Act would also define "illicit trafficking" so that it captures the type of activity that can enable criminals or terrorists to acquire explosives.
New sections would address security measures, record keeping, and the exchange of information for the purpose of tracing, identifying and preventing the illicit manufacture or illicit trafficking of explosives.
The changes would align Canada's legislation with the Organization of American States' (OAS) 1997 Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials.
EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS
Proposed amendments to the Export and Import Permits Act remain the same as the amendments proposed in Bill C-55. The amendments would provide explicit authority to control the electronic transfer of technology on Canada's Export Control List. These changes would respond to the need for greater controls over the export and electronic transfer of military and strategically sensitive technology. These amendments would also provide the Minister of Foreign Affairs with authority to consider general security concerns when assessing applications for permits to export or transfer goods or technology.
The proposed amendments, unchanged from Bill C-55, would provide authority to the Canadian Forces to protect their computer systems, networks and the information they contain from attack or manipulation. The Canadian Forces' unique role and their ability to operate with their allies require that they have the authority to protect their networks. The amendments clarify that the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces can only intercept communications to prevent harmful unauthorized use of, or interference with, DND/CF computer systems and networks. The bill also clarifies the role of the Commissioner of the Communications Security Establishment in the review of activities carried out under an authorization to protect information technology.
As previously set out in Bill C-55, the legislation will establish a panel of Reserve military judges that can be called upon when sudden changes in operational commitments increase the workload for the Military Justice System. In addition, the legislation includes a provision for job protection measures for Reserve force personnel in the event of a compulsory call out in an emergency such as an armed conflict or war. At the conclusion of a period of compulsory call out, employers would be required to reinstate reservists in equivalent employment. This amendment ensures that Reservists do not have to choose between possibly losing their livelihoods and breaking the law that requires them to serve when called.
The legislation modernizes the procedures that are followed when provincial and territorial governments request military assistance and aligns them with existing mechanisms to rationalize the response of the Canadian Forces in providing assistance to civilian law enforcement, which involve federal government input. Requests for aid of the civil power will continue to be made directly to the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). However, the Minister of National Defence would be able to provide direction to the CDS to ensure that the Government of Canada is able to manage simultaneous or multiple requests for assistance during an emergency.
In addition, the legislation modernizes the definition of "emergency" to reflect the new security environment by including clear reference to circumstances of armed conflict short of formally declared war. A number of important powers under the National Defence Act, such as the authority to generate forces to deal with terrorist threats, are tied to the existence of an emergency.
Finally, the controlled access military zone provisions that were previously included in Bill C-55 have been removed. The government concluded that it needed to take a more measured approach and re-engineer these provisions in a way that achieves a better balance between the public interest and the on-going legitimate security needs of Canadian Forces and visiting forces in Canada. The government recognizes the need to deal with these security concerns as a matter of some urgency. As a result, it has decided to establish, through Order-in-Council, controlled access zones in Halifax, Esquimalt and Nanoose Bay harbours.
These controlled access zones will be much narrower in scope than the earlier provisions and will apply only to the three naval ports in question, though other such zones could be considered on a case-by-case basis, should the security situation dictate.
Safety of interprovincial and international pipelines, and international power lines is a matter of primary public interest and has been included in the National Energy Board's (NEB) mandate since 1959. The board regulates the design, construction, operation, maintenance, and abandonment of a pipeline or power line and ensures the safety of employees, the public, and the environment.
The amendments proposed to the National Energy Board Act are the same as the amendments set out in Bill C-55. They would expand the NEB's mandate to regulate security of installations and provide NEB with a clear statutory mandate to:
order a pipeline company or certificate holder for an international power line to take measures to ensure the security of the pipeline or power line;
make regulations respecting security measures;
keep information (relating to security) confidential in its orders or proceedings;
provide advice to the Minister of Natural Resources on issues related to security of pipelines and international power lines; and
waive the publication requirements for applications to export electricity, or to construct international power lines, if there is a critical shortage of electricity.
COMBATING TERRORIST FINANCING
As previously set out in Bill C-55, the legislation proposes to amend the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) to provide the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) with the ability to share compliance-related information with various agencies that regulate and supervise financial institutions and financial intermediaries, to ensure compliance with the PCMLTFA. Subject to the passage of the legislation, FINTRAC would be able to share information with regulators and supervisors on how the various reporting entities, such as banks and trust companies, are complying with the provisions of the PCMLTFA.
Furthermore, the legislation proposes a complementary amendment to the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Act that would permit the superintendent, who regulates federal financial institutions, to disclose to FINTRAC information related to compliance by a financial institution.
The legislation also proposes to amend the PCMLTFA to clarify that FINTRAC is permitted to collect information from government databases related to national security in much the same way it may collect information from law enforcement databases. The change is consistent with FINTRAC's recently expanded mandate in respect of detecting and deterring terrorist financing.
BIOLOGICAL AND TOXIC WEAPONS
The proposed legislation would enact the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention Implementation Act (BTWCIA), which would prohibit biological weapons and agents that do not have a peaceful purpose, and which would provide a more complete legal basis to regulate dual-use biological agents in Canada. The BTWCIA would help to prevent the development, production, stockpiling, acquisition, transfer or use of biological weapons by states, individuals or other entities. It would supplement and reinforce Canada's existing legislation to prevent the development or transfer of biological weapons. In addition, new amendments would set the terms and conditions of inspectors' activities in Canada, particularly in relation to their search and seizure abilities.
ACTS AMENDED BY THE PUBLIC SAFETY ACT, 2002
Department of Citizenship and Immigration ActImmigration and Refugee Protection Act
Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention Implementation ActExport and Import Permits Act
Navigable Waters Act
National Defence Act
Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999
Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions ActProceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act
Department of Health ActFood and Drugs ActHazardous Products ActPest Control Products ActQuarantine ActRadiation Emitting Devices Act
Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act
Explosives ActNational Energy Board Act
Aeronautics ActCanadian Air Transport Security Authority ActCanada Shipping ActCanada Shipping Act, 2001Marine Transportation Security Act, 1999
Access to Information ActTransportation Appeal Tribunal Act