Liberal MPs recommend additional changes to National Security Framework

MP Damoff speaking to press at the Press Conference in Ottawa.
Liberal MPs recommend additional changes to National Security Framework
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Pam Damoff

Pam Damoff

Pam Damoff, a politician, community activist and business professional with over 25 years’ corporate experience on Bay Street, was elected to represent the riding of Oakville North-Burlington in the House of Commons in the 2015 federal election. Prior to the election, Pam served as an Oakville Town Councillor from 2010-2015.

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Today, as part of the release of their report on Canada’s National Security Framework, Liberal Members of Parliament on the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security presented 41 recommendations in their report, Protecting Canadians and Their Rights: A Roadmap to Canada’s National Security. The report calls on Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Hon. Ralph Goodale, to follow through on the government’s commitment to repeal the problematic elements of the former Bill C-51. In addition, the report recommends further actions stemming from witness testimony and public hearings.

One of the very most important obligations of a government is the responsibility to protect the safety and security of its citizens, both at home and abroad. Equally important, in a country such as Canada, is the obligation to uphold the Constitution and to ensure that all laws respect the rights and freedoms we enjoy as people living in a free and democratic society. I was pleased to work with the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security to study how our government can improve our security while protecting our rights and freedoms.

The report recommends the following:

  1. The need for all warrants for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) must respect the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;
  2. That overly vague definitions in the Criminal Code such as “terrorist propaganda” must be clarified to ensure that Canadians are not limited from lawful protest;
  3. That the government put in place a rapid redress system for “false positives,” on the Secure Air Travel Act, also known as the `no fly list` and report the annual publication of the number of people on the list
  4. That disruption measures that violate Canadian law should be subject in advance to judicial oversight and the authorization of the responsible minister;
  5. That action must be taken, including the empowerment of women and youth through a community based strategy for the prevention of radicalization;
  6. That we clarify definitions in the Security of Canada Information Sharing Act to ensure that Canadians’ privacy is protected;
  7. The creation of an independent, external oversight body for the Canada Border Services Agency; and
  8. The creation of a national security review office for government agencies with national security mandates that currently have no oversight at all.

We need to be able to understand and respond to new and evolving national security threats, and to protect Canadians’ rights and freedoms at the same time. I believe that these recommendations will enhance our security while restoring our commitment to our charter of rights and freedoms. I am looking forward to Minister Goodale`s response.

During its study, which began in September 2016, the Committee received 39 briefs and heard from 138 witnesses. The committee held public consultations in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montréal, and Halifax. The Committee also received more than 1820 emails from citizens participating in a campaign focused on privacy protections. The study was conducted in parallel with Public Safety Canada’s public consultations on national security and the publication of the green paper entitled: Our Security, Our Rights: National Security Green Paper, 2016.

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