An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Bill C-55)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, since we have the decision of the Supreme court in R. v. Tse, one would think that we now would be very cautious in this place to ensure that we not do just barely enough to ensure charter compliance but that we take every single step recommended to us by experts to ensure charter compliance.

I ask the parliamentary secretary why we did not take the advice of the Canadian Bar Association, the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association and the Criminal Lawyers’ Association to ensure that we have additional oversight measures, including having lists that show when a wiretap did not lead to arrest and ensuring that the policemen who make these decisions without warrant record their reasons for having reasonable, probable grounds for doing so.

Robert Goguen: Mr. Speaker, we all aspire to ensure that matters of constitutionality are safeguarded. However, in instances when there are emergent needs to protect the safety of the public, it is not always possible to take measures such as making very copious notes or taking steps that may slow down the process that ultimately leads to guarding our safety.

While we respect the member’s amendments in regard to having a full and complete record as to why a wiretap was used versus having obtained judicial authorization, emergent circumstances dictate that it is not possible to always write copious notes as to why such emergency measures were taken.

It is a matter of balancing the security of the public and the charter rights of citizens, and we feel that the bill, as it stands, meets all those requirements.