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Bill C-352

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2nd Session, 40th Parliament,
57-58 Elizabeth II, 2009
house of commons of canada
BILL C-352
An Act to establish the National Security Committee of Parliamentarians
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
Short title
1. This Act may be cited as the National Security Committee of Parliamentarians Act.
2. The following definitions apply in this Act.
“appropriate minister”
« ministre compétent »
“appropriate minister”, in relation to information, means
(a) the appropriate Minister, within the meaning of the Financial Administration Act, for the department or other institution referred to in paragraph (a), (a.1), (c.1) or (d) of the definition “appropriate Minister” in section 2 of that Act, or
(b) the minister responsible, under any other Act of Parliament, for any other portion of the federal public administration,
in which or for which the information was produced or in which it was first received.
« Comité »
“Committee” means the National Security Committee of Parliamentarians established by section 4.
Power of Governor in Council
3. The Governor in Council may designate a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada to be the Minister for the purposes of this Act.
Committee established
4. (1) The National Security Committee of Parliamentarians is hereby established, to be composed of members of both Houses of Parliament who are not ministers of the Crown or parliamentary secretaries, and of whom not more than three may be senators and not more than six may be members of the House of Commons.
Not a committee of Parliament
(2) The Committee is not a committee of either House of Parliament or of both Houses.
Appointment of members
5. (1) Members of the Committee shall be appointed by the Governor in Council and hold office during pleasure until the dissolution of Parliament following their appointment.
Opposition members
(2) No member of either House belonging to an opposition party recognized in that House may be appointed a member of the Committee except after consultation with the leader of that party.
Ceasing to be member
(3) A member of the Committee ceases to be a member on appointment as a minister of the Crown or parliamentary secretary or on ceasing to be a member of the Senate or the House of Commons.
Appointment of Chair
6. (1) The Chair of the Committee shall be designated by the Governor in Council from among the members of the Committee.
(2) The Chair shall be paid the remuneration fixed by the Governor in Council.
(3) The Chair may designate one of the other members to act as Chair in his or her absence for a period not exceeding 45 days.
(4) The Chair or acting Chair may vote at meetings of the Committee and, in the case of equality of votes, also has a deciding vote.
Service without remuneration
7. (1) Members of the Committee other than the Chair shall not be remunerated for their services in connection with the work of the Committee.
Reimbursement of expenses
(2) Members of the Committee are entitled to be reimbursed, in accordance with directives of the Treasury Board, for expenses incurred by them in connection with the work of the Committee while they are absent
(a) from the National Capital Region, as described in the schedule to the National Capital Act, on days that the Senate or the House of Commons, as the case may be, is sitting; or
(b) from their ordinary place of residence, at any other time.
Eligibility to remain in Commons
8. Notwithstanding section 32 of the Parliament of Canada Act, no member of the Committee is ineligible to be a member of the House of Commons or to sit or vote in that House by reason of the payment of remuneration under subsection 6(2) or the reimbursement of expenses under subsection 7(2).
Oath of office
9. Each member of the Committee shall, before commencing the duties of office, take an oath in the form set out in the schedule, and shall comply with the oath both during and after the member’s term of appointment.
Security of Information Act
10. For purposes of the Security of Information Act, each member of the Committee is a person permanently bound to secrecy.
Parliamentary privilege
11. Notwithstanding any other Act of Parliament, members of the Committee may not claim immunity based on parliamentary privilege for the use or communication of information that comes into their possession or knowledge in their capacity as members of the Committee.
When meetings in camera
12. Meetings of the Committee shall be held in camera whenever the Chair, a majority of members present or the Minister considers it necessary for the Committee to do so.
Review of security matters
13. The mandate of the Committee is to review
(a) the legislative, regulatory, policy and administrative framework for national secu- rity in Canada, and activities of federal departments and agencies in relation to national security; and
(b) any matter relating to national security that the Minister refers to the Committee.
Request by Committee
14. (1) The Committee may request that the appropriate minister provide the Committee with any information required to enable it to fulfil its mandate.
Power of appropriate minister
(2) Notwithstanding any other Act of Parliament except the Privacy Act, the appropriate minister may provide the Committee with all or part of the requested information or a summary of it, with the exception of any information that is a confidence of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada within the meaning of section 39 of the Canada Evidence Act — and may make the provision of the information subject to any conditions that that minister considers appropriate — or may provide none of the information.
Consultation with Chair
(3) If the appropriate minister considers that he or she may not be in a position to provide all the requested information, to provide it within the requested time frame or to provide it without conditions, that minister shall consult the Chair of the Committee and, on request following the consultation, provide the Chair with a written statement of the minister’s position.
Considerations in determining response
(4) In determining the response to a request under subsection (1), the appropriate minister shall take into account the nature of the information requested, including whether the information, in the opinion of that minister,
(a) is subject to solicitor-client privilege;
(b) is about a particular criminal investigation, national security investigation or operation or military operation;
(c) was obtained in confidence from the government of a foreign state or an institution or agency of one, or from an international organization of states or an institution or agency of one; or
(d) could lead to the identification of sources of information or provide details about those sources or about operational methods.
Minister’s decision final
(5) A decision made by the appropriate minister under this section is final and shall not be questioned or reviewed in any court.
15. (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) respecting the manner in which the Committee exercises its mandate;
(b) respecting the protection of information produced, obtained or kept by or on behalf of the Committee; and
(c) generally for carrying out the purposes and provisions of this Act.
Statutory Instruments Act
(2) The Statutory Instruments Act does not apply in respect of regulations made under this section.
Annual reports
16. (1) For each year, the Committee shall submit a report to the Prime Minister on reviews conducted by the Committee during the year under section 13.
Information withheld
(2) The Prime Minister may, after the Chair of the Committee has been consulted, exclude from copies of a report that are to be laid before the Houses of Parliament under subsection (3) any information whose disclosure would, in the Prime Minister’s opinion, be injurious to national security, national defence or international relations.
Tabling in Parliament
(3) The Prime Minister shall cause copies of a report to be laid before each House of Parliament within the first 45 days following its submission on which that House is sitting.
R.S., c. O-5; 2001, c. 41, s. 25
Security of Information Act
17. Section 12 of the Security of Information Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (1):
(1.1) Subject to subsection (2), a certificate purporting to have been issued by or under the authority of the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, stating that a person is a member or former member of the National Security Committee of Parliamentarians — and, as such, is a person permanently bound to secrecy by virtue of section 10 of the National Security Committee of Parliamentarians Act — shall be received and is admissible in evidence in any proceedings for an offence under section 13 or 14, without proof of the signature or authority of the President, and, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, is proof of the fact so stated.