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Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance

Issue 10 - Minutes of Proceedings


OTTAWA, Wednesday, May 16, 2001
(13)

[English]

The Standing Senate Committee on National Finance met at 5:54 p.m., this day, in Room 356-S, Centre Block, the Chair, the Honourable Senator Lowell Murray presiding.

Members of the committee present: The Honourable Senators Banks, Beaudoin, Cools, Ferretti Barth, Finnerty, Kinsella, Mahovlich, Murray, PC., Setlakwe, Tunney (10).

In attendance: Mr. Guy Beaumier, Research Officer, Library of Parliament.

Also in attendance: The official reporters of the Senate.

WITNESSES:

Officials from Canada Customs and Revenue Agency:

Denis Lefebvre, Assistant Commissioner, Customs Branch;

Mary Anne McMahon, Senior Counsel, Legal Services;

Earle Warren, Director General, Major Projects and Development Directorate, Customs Branch;

Stephen Barry, Counsel, Legal Services.

Pursuant to the Order of Reference adopted by the Senate on May 3, 2001, the committee continued its examination of Bill S-23, An Act to amend the Customs Act and to make related amendments to other Acts.

Mr. Lefebvre made a statement and with Ms McMahon, Mr. Warren and Mr. Barry answered questions from members of the committee.

The Chairman read into the record a letter from the Canadian Courier Association addressed to Senator Angus. (Exhibit No. 5900-1.37/N1-S-23-10 "1")

It was moved by the Honourable Senator Cools that the committee move to clause-by-clause study of the bill.

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted on division.

It was agreed to proceed by grouping clauses for which there are no amendments.

It was agreed to stand the title of the bill.

It was agreed that clauses 1 to 10 carry.

It was moved by the Honourable Senator Setlakwe that clause 11 be amended on page 6 by adding after line 32, the following:

"11.2 (1) The Minister may designate an area as a customs controlled area for the purposes of this section and sections 11.3 to 11.5 and 99.2 and 99.3.

(2) The Minister may amend, cancel or reinstate at any time a designation made under this section.

11.3 No owner or operator of a facility where a customs controlled area is located shall grant or allow to be granted access to the customs controlled area to any person unless the person

(a) has been authorized by the Minister in accordance with regulations made under section 11.5; or

(b) is a prescribed person or a member of a prescribed class of persons.

11.4 (1) Subject to subsection (2), every person leaving a customs controlled area, other than for the purpose of boarding a flight with a destination outside Canada, shall

(a) present himself or herself in the prescribed manner to an officer and identify himself or herself;

(b) report in the prescribed manner and make available to the officer any goods that he or she has acquired through any means while in the customs controlled area; and

(c) answer truthfully any questions asked by an officer in the performance of his or her duties under this or any other Act of Parliament.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to

(a) persons who are required to present themselves under section 11 or report goods under section 12; or

(b) prescribed persons or members of prescribed classes of persons in prescribed circumstances.

11.5 The Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) respecting the authorization of persons under paragraph 11.3(a);

(b) prescribing persons or classes of persons who may be granted access under paragraph 11.3(b);

(c) respecting the circumstances in which an authorization under paragraph 11.3(a) may be amended, suspended, renewed, cancelled or reinstated;

(d) respecting the manner in which a person must present himself or herself under paragraph 11.4(1)(a) and report goods under paragraph 11.4(1)(b); and

(e) prescribing for the purposes of paragraph 11.4(2)(b) persons or classes of persons who are exempt from the requirements imposed by subsection 11.4(1) and the circumstances in which they are exempted."

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

It was agreed that clause 11, as amended, carry.

It was agreed that clauses 12 to 16 carry.

It was moved by the Honourable Senator Setlakwe that clause 17 be amended on page 8 in the French version, by replacing line 33 with the following:

"et qui doit faire la"

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

It was agreed that clause 17, as amended, carry.

It was agreed that clauses 18 to 57 carry.

It was moved by the Honourable Senator Setlakwe that clause 58 be amended on page 34, in the French version, by replacing,

a) lines 16 and 17 with the following:

"(13) Les renseignements qui ne peuvent être communiqués en raison du paragraphe (11) ne peuvent, à";

(b) line 24 with the following:

"ve ou réglementaire ou la règle de pratique exigeant la communica-"; and

(c) line 28 with the following:

"à une disposition législative ou réglementaire ou la règle de pratique"

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

It was moved by the Honourable Senator Setlakwe that clause 58 be amended on page 44, in the French version, by replacing line 6 with the following:

"la décision de cette cour ou, en cas de"

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

It was agreed that clause 58, as amended, carry.

It was moved by the Honourable Senator Setlakwe that clause 59 be amended on page 65 by replacing lines 41 and 42 with the following:

"accordance with article RE 601 of the Letter Post Regulations of the Universal Postal."

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

It was agreed that clause 59, as amended, carry.

It was moved by the Honourable Senator Setlakwe that clause 60 be amended on page 66, in the French version, by replacing line 12 with the following:

"(b) examiner les marchandises qu'elle a impor-".

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

It was moved by the Honourable Senator Setlakwe that clause 60 be amended on page 66 by adding after line 16, the following:

"99.2 (1) An officer may search any person leaving a customs controlled area, other than a prescribed person or a member of a prescribed class of persons who may be searched under subsection (2), if the officer suspects on reasonable grounds that the person has secreted on or about their person anything in respect of which this Act or the regulations have been or might be contravened, anything that would afford evidence with respect to a contravention of this Act or the regulations or any goods the importation or exportation of which is prohibited, controlled or regulated under this or any other Act of Parliament.

(2) An officer may, in accordance with the regulations, search any prescribed person or member of a prescribed class of persons leaving a customs controlled area.

(3) An officer who is about to search a person under this section shall, on the request of the person, immediately take that person before the senior officer at the place where the search is to be conducted.

(4) A senior officer before whom a person is taken by an officer shall, if the senior officer agrees with the officer that under subsection (1) or (2), as the case may be, the person may be searched, direct that the person be searched or, if the senior officer does not so agree, discharge the person.

(5) No person may be searched by an officer who is not of the same sex and, if there is no officer of the same sex at the place at which the search is to be conducted, an officer may authorize any suitable person of the same sex to conduct the search.

99.3 (1) An officer may, in accordance with the regulations and without individualized suspicion, conduct a non-intru sive examination of goods in the custody or possession of a person leaving a customs controlled area.

(2) An officer may examine any goods in the custody or possession of a person leaving a customs controlled area and open or cause to be opened any baggage, package or container and take samples of the goods in reasonable amounts, if the officer suspects on reasonable grounds that this Act or any other Act of Parliament administered or enforced by the officer or any regulations made under it have been or might be contravened in respect of the goods.

(3) An officer may, at any time, open or cause to be opened, inspect and detain any baggage, package or container found abandoned in a customs controlled area.

99.4 The Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) prescribing persons or classes of persons who may be searched under subsection 99.2(2);

(b) respecting, for the purposes of subsection 99.2(2), the circumstances and manner in which searches are to be conducted and the types of searches that may be conducted; and

(c) respecting, for the purposes of subsection 99.3(1), the manner in which examinations are to be conducted and the machines, instruments, devices or other apparatuses or classes of machines, instruments, devices or apparatuses that may be used to conduct examinations."

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

It was agreed that clause 60, as amended, carry.

It was moved by the Honourable Senator Setlakwe that clause 61 be amended on page 69, in the English version, by replacing,

(a) lines 5 and 6 with the following:

"investigate an alleged offence under any Act of Parliament or of the legislature of a province subject to";

(b) lines 10 and 11 with the following:

"respect of the alleged offence may be taken, if that official believes on reasonable grounds";

(c) line 13 with the following:

"offence and will be used in the";

(d) line 15 with the following:

"offence, solely for those purposes"; and

(e) lines 30 and 31 with the following:

"(ii) a person whom that official has reasonable grounds to believe may have committed an".

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

It was agreed that clause 61, as amended, carry.

It was agreed that clauses 62 to 67 carry.

It was moved by the Honourable Senator Setlakwe that clause 68 be amended on page 78 by replacing lines 11 to 14 with the following:

"section 110, cancel or reduce a penalty assessed under section 109.3 or an amount demanded under section 124 or refund an amount received under any of sections 117 to 119 within".

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

It was agreed that clause 68, as amended, carry.

It was agreed that clauses 69 to 76 carry.

It was moved by the Honourable Senator Setlakwe that clause 77 be amended on page 85 by replacing lines 40 to 47 and on page 86 by replacing lines 1 to 9 with the following:

"77. Section 141 of the Act is replaced by the following:

141. (1) The Commissioner, on application by a person whose interest in a conveyance detained under subsection 97.25(2) or in goods or a conveyance seized as forfeit under this Act has been determined under section 139 or ordered under section 139.1 or 140 to be unaffected by the seizure or detention, shall direct that

(a) in the case of goods or a conveyance the forfeiture of which has become final, the goods or conveyance, as the case may be, be given to the applicant; and

(b) in the case of a conveyance detained under subsection 97.25(2), the conveyance be given to the applicant.

(1.1) If goods or a conveyance that is to be given to the applicant has been sold or disposed of, an amount calculated on the basis of the interest of the applicant in the goods or conveyance at the time of the contravention or use, as determined under section 139 or ordered under section 139.1 or 140, shall be paid to the applicant.

(2) The total amount paid under subsection (1.1) in respect of goods or a conveyance shall, if the goods or conveyance was sold or otherwise disposed of under this Act, not exceed the proceeds of the sale or disposition, if any, less any costs incurred by Her Majesty in respect of the goods or conveyance, and, if there are no proceeds of disposition, no payment shall be made pursuant to subsection (1.1)."

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

It was agreed that clause 77, as amended, carry.

It was agreed that clauses 78 to 87 carry.

It was moved by the Honourable Senator Setlakwe that clause 88 be amended on page 90 by replacing line 34 with the following:

"taux déterminé, calculés sur les"

The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.

It was agreed that clause 88, as amended, carry.

It was agreed that clauses 89 to 112 carry.

It was agreed that the title carry.

It was agreed that the Bill, as amended, be adopted.

It was agreed that the Chairman report the bill, as amended, at the next sitting of the Senate.

It was agreed that that the following documents form part of the record of the committee:

- the letter of April 24, 2001 respecting the opening and inspection of mail from the Privacy Commissioner of Canada to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration;

- the letter of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration addressed to the Privacy Commissioner. (Exhibit No. 5900-1.37/N1-S-23-10 "2"); and

- the letter from the Canadian Courier Association addressed to Senator Angus. (Exhibit No. 5900-1.37 /N1-S-23-10 "1").

The Chairman informed members that Bill C-18, Am Act to amend the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act would likely be referred to the committee and that the provinces and territories should be invited to make representations to the committee.

At 8:04 p.m. the committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.

ATTEST:

Tõnu Onu

Clerk of the Committee