Bill C-59 does a lot to redress the threat to our security from Bill C-51

Elizabeth May

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague from Calgary Shepard, whom I like a great deal, was not here in the 41st Parliament. Therefore, he does not recognize the fragility of the glass house in which he now stands when claiming that this bill has been forced through.

I remember Bill C-51. I remember when it was tabled at first reading on January 30, 2015, a Friday morning. I took it home on the weekend. I came back here on February 2 knowing that I had never seen anything quite as draconian introduced in the Canadian Parliament. We opposed it. We worked hard on it. At least I was the first member of Parliament to declare it to be a threat not just to our liberties, but also that made us less safe because it entrenched the worst effects of the separation of law, spy agencies, and law enforcement.

Bill C-51 is a dangerous piece of legislation that was forced through. There was no public consultation. It was introduced at first reading on January 30, it was through this place by May 6, and through the Senate by June 9. This piece of legislation has been before us a full year. Therefore, I am afraid that my hon. colleague is shooting at the wrong target when he thinks this bill has been forced through.

It is not as good as I would like it to be. The member is right that it does not do away with all of the things that were problematic in Bill C-51. However, I will be voting for Bill C-59, because it does a lot to redress the threat to our security from Bill C-51, which ignored all the recommendations of the Air India inquiry and the Maher Arar inquiry, and represented the worst entrenchment of the kinds of siloed agency thinking that, in the words of former Justice John Major, who chaired the Air India inquiry, make us less safe.

Tom Kmiec – Member for Calgary Shepard

Mr. Speaker, obviously, I will disagree with the member. I believe this piece of legislation keeps those silos. That is the problem. The former director of CSIS made that point, that this keeps many of those silos, restructures them, and does not achieve those security goals. Therefore, I differ with the member on the context of the bill and the goals it will achieve. That is why I will be voting against the bill: because it will not keep us safe. The previous version of the bill, although not perfect, reached that goal far better than Bill C-59 will.