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THE  SPECIAL SENATE COMMITTEE on the Anti-terrorism Act

EVIDENCE


OTTAWA, Monday, April 11, 2005

The Special Senate Committee on the Anti-terrorism Act met this day at 10:30 a.m. to undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operations of the Anti-terrorism Act, (S.C.2001, c.41).

Senator Joyce Fairbairn (Chairman) in the chair.

[English]

The Chairman: This is fourteenth meeting with witnesses of the Special Senate Committee on the Anti-terrorism Act.

In October 2001, as a direct response to the terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania, and at the request of the United Nations, the Canadian government introduced Bill C-36, the Anti-terrorism Act.

Given the urgency of the situation then, Parliament was asked to expedite our study of the legislation, and we agreed. The deadline for the passage of that bill was mid-December of 2001.

However, concerns were expressed that it was difficult to thoroughly assess the potential impact of this legislation in such a short period of time. For that reason, it was agreed that three years later Parliament would be asked to examine the provisions of the act and its impact on Canadians with the benefit of hindsight and a less emotionally charged public situation. The work of this special committee represents the Senate's efforts to fulfill that obligation.

When we have completed this study, we will make a report to the Senate outlining any issue that we think should be addressed and provide the results of our work to the Government of Canada and the Canadian public.

The House of Commons is undergoing a similar process at this time.

The committee has so far met with government ministers and officials; the Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, CSIS; international and domestic experts on the threat environment and individual legal experts.

Today we will hear from those exercising the powers of the act on the front lines. This morning we are pleased to have with us Mr. Giuliano Zaccardelli, Commissioner of the RCMP; Ms. Gwen Boniface, Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police; and Mr. Vince Bevan, Chief of the Ottawa Police Service.

We thank you all for taking the time to be here today.

Colleagues, this is obviously a heavy-duty panel. Our time is limited and I would ask you to be concise in your questions and answers so that we can accomplish as much as possible this morning.

This is Commissioner Zaccardelli’s initial visit and he will return on another occasion with colleagues from the RCMP.

Please proceed.

Mr. Giuliano Zaccardelli, Commissioner, Royal Canadian Mounted Police: Thank you very much, Madam Chair and senators for the opportunity to be here today to discuss Canada's Anti-terrorism Act. My remarks this morning will describe the philosophy of integrated policing in action in this country in the service of all Canadians.

I would like to share with you this morning my thoughts in three important areas. The first is that law enforcement's integrated and measured response to terrorism is consistent with the Anti-terrorism Act that respects the rule of law. Second, law enforcement fully respects the rights and freedoms of individuals while pursuing the goal of ensuring safe homes and safe communities. Third, law enforcement in this country views the Anti-terrorism Act as a made-in-Canada solution to a global problem that aims to prevent, deter and disrupt terrorist acts from happening, and provides consequences for those who commit these criminal acts.

[Translation]

The police community’s main objective has been, and will continue to be, ensuring public safety. For the police community, the Anti-terrorism Act focuses on terrorists, their criminal action and support networks. The Anti-terrorism Act did not put the RCMP back into national security. The RCMP has always been involved in the investigation of criminal offenses related to terrorism. That authority was never taken away from the RCMP and it was reinforced in 1984 when the Security Offences Act was enacted.

The Air India investigation is just one example of the RCMP’s investigative efforts that predate the Anti-terrorism Act. Although the RCMP is the national law enforcement agency with the primary responsibility for investigating crimes that threaten Canada’s national security, we do not have exclusive jurisdiction. The RCMP must work with its federal, provincial and municipal partners in an integrated fashion which supports our national security mandate and makes the most effective use of our combined strengths.

[English]

The mandate of the RCMP is in relation to criminal intelligence, criminal investigations and prevention, while the mandate of CSIS is to advise the Government of Canada on matters related to security intelligence. In other words, the mandates of CSIS and law enforcement are complementary. Some have suggested that, because some measures of the Anti-terrorism Act have not been used, they are unnecessary. This notion does not reflect our experience. The Anti-terrorism Act now guides all law-enforcement, terrorism-related criminal investigations and, therefore, provides an important framework for investigators. These investigations are often complex and may take many years to develop. The rights of individuals require us to gain sufficient evidence before undertaking certain investigative steps that the Anti-terrorism Act allows.

It is true that some provisions have been used more often than others. From our experience, this is normal just three years after the legislation came into force. It is also true that we in law enforcement have attempted to be balanced in our use of the provisions of the act.

With respect to the so-called preventive arrest provision, some of you may recall that when I addressed the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights on October 23, 2001, I provided certain assurances that this legislation would be used rarely. I indicated that this legislation would be applied in very rare circumstances by highly skilled officers in full consultation not only with their senior officers but with members of the legal system.

Three years later, I hope that you will recognize that we have delivered on that assurance. We have been restrained in the use of these powers and will continue to be so in the future.

Nevertheless, we already have had important successes. Although there is a court-order publication ban that prevents me from discussing the details in the Khawaja case, it is important to understand that cases such as this are illustrations of the usefulness of the act and should not be overlooked. The bottom line is that we are using the Anti-terrorism Act to investigate, prosecute and prevent terrorist activity, including terrorist financing and facilitation.

Let me turn to our respect for the rights and freedoms of Canadians. Law enforcement's great strength in this country has been its commitment to building relationships with the people and communities that we serve. We recognize in law enforcement that the diversity of Canada's population is evolving, and in an effort to keep pace, our community policing approach is also evolving.

[Translation]

The RCMP remains committed to serving our diverse communities domestically and to sharing our expertise with the global community through peace-building and peace support operations around the world. Our role in international policing represents an ongoing commitment to help maintain the principles of human rights worldwide. Here at home, this commitment is equally true. We contribute to the safety and security of our neighbourhoods by building better relationships with the people we serve through consultation and cooperation. Every outreach activity must be specific to the community affected, whether it is the outreach activities undertaken with the South Asian community following Air India, or with the Muslim-Canadian and Arab-Canadian communities following September 11.

[English]

In law enforcement, we have taken steps to better understand the needs of the diverse communities we serve through our hiring practices, our training and our community outreach activities, and we will continue to work with all Canadians.

Importantly, the provisions under the Anti-terrorism Act were accompanied by a significant number of safeguards and other measures to ensure democratic accountability, including the need for Attorney General approval before investigative steps are taken followed by judicial authorization. No other police powers have such safeguards.

This three-year review and annual reporting of investigative hearings and preventive arrests ensure accountability to Parliament and the people of Canada.

I would also like to emphasize that, as policing organizations, all our investigations are subject to the laws of Canada, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

A little more than three years ago, governments around the world and the United Nations made it clear that new legislative action was needed to fight terrorism. Canada worked with the international community and developed a made-in-Canada piece of legislation that I believe enables us to better protect the safety and security of Canadians and allows us to assist our international partners to ensure the safety and security of their citizens.

One example of this made-in-Canada solution is why we are here today. The Government of Canada wanted to ensure an opportunity for all of us to review the legislation and determine its effectiveness. I truly welcome this opportunity to review and discuss this important legislation.

[Translation]

Since this legislation was passed just over three years ago, much has happened. Events in other parts of the world as well as events here in Canada have given us plenty to consider with respect to Canada’s Anti-terrorism Act. The safety and security of all Canadians is paramount, but so too are the victims of past attacks. Canada and Canadians are not immune from terrorist activity. Twenty-four Canadians died in the September 11 attacks, two Canadians were victims of the Bali bombings and most of the 329 victims of the Air India bombing were Canadians.

[English]

You may recall that I said three years ago that I wish I could say in three years we will not have an issue here. Everything tells us this will be a long, protracted issue that democracies will face. Now, it is three years later. Unfortunately, we have seen that those challenges still face us. The threat of terrorism is more complex, extreme, sophisticated and transnational than ever before. Globally, there is clearly an ongoing willingness on the part of groups, individuals and even states to use violence in support of political, ideological and religious agendas. Cooperation on the domestic and international level is crucial to combat the threat effectively.

The pervasive nature of terrorist activities in the world today means we will continue to need the provisions of this act for some time to come.

I want to make sure that we as a country and as police organizations have the legislative tools to protect the safety and security of all Canadians, to prevent and deter terrorist activity in Canada and to assist our international partners to do the same in their countries.

[Translation]

Thank you for your kind attention and I welcome the opportunity to further discuss this legislation with you today.

[English]

I and my colleagues anxiously await discussion that will ensue the rest of the time we have before us.

The Chairman: Thank you very much, Commissioner. I understand that Mr. Bevan and Ms. Boniface do not have statements of their own.

Mr. Zaccardelli: No, we thought we would give the committee more time to ask questions.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: You will understand why my first question has a personal aspect to it. I live in the Eastern townships, about five miles from the Vermont border in a straight line. I was not the only one surprised to read that the RCMP was going to close a number of detachments in that area, and I was wondering if you could reassure me that closing those detachments will not affect the problem of border crossings and the general security of the area when it comes to the application of federal legislation.

Mr. Zaccardelli: I can assure you, first of all, that there are no resources being taken out of Quebec. The whole objective behind the restructuring has been to improve the safety and security of Quebecers and the rest of Canada. This was to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the use of those resources. There are three things that are sure in life — death, taxes and shortage of resources. My job is to make the most effective use of those resources by deploying them in the most strategic way possible. The challenge we face changes on a daily basis, therefore I must be able to adapt the use of those resources to those new challenges. My colleagues and I believe the restructuring taking place in Quebec has made it more safe and secure along with the rest of Canada. I cannot guarantee that security and safety, but I am convinced as a commissioner that we are more able to be effective with the use of our resources now than before those changes.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: How can you reassure me and others living in that area that by closing nearby detachments the security of that area, particularly the need for increased protection of our border, has been increased or remains the same?

Mr. Zaccardelli: We believe in two fundamental things in policing at the beginning of the 21st century. The first principle is in being intelligence-led. The second principle, because of the shortage of resources, is being totally integrated as much as possible to leverage our collective resources.

We have an 8,000-kilometre border with the Americans. There are insufficient resources in Canada and the United States to guarantee that no one will cross the border unchecked by a police officer or a customs officer. Our principle is to use our best intelligence to strategically locate our resources in order to respond in the most effective and efficient manner based on that intelligence. The vast majority of people crossing our borders are law-abiding citizens, and I am not interested in checking every law-abiding person. Rather, I am interested in obtaining the best resources and that is why we created integrated border enforcement teams. We have integrated our resources on the Canadian side in collaboration with our American partners. We have a seamless operation along the border. In Canada and in the United States we have strategically located integrated enforcement teams along the border to respond to any issue. Those teams require certain critical mass, which is the fundamental point. It would be nice to have two Mounties in every small town and community in this country because they look good and communities like them. However, I do not have that luxury, and Ms. Boniface and Mr. Bevan also do not have that luxury. Two or three members cannot tackle many of the issues that we face so we are regrouping the resources to create a critical mass that will respond to the threats. The existing small units are incapable of responding to the threats that you and others have legitimately raised in our communities. By regrouping the resources, we are in a better position to attack the serious problems that Canadians face, which is the whole objective behind this reorganization.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: I will be more precise. According to a newspaper article by Mr. James Gordon in The Gazette in Montreal today, a document states that the Canada Border Services Agency has compiled a list of 116 ports of entry and their distances to the nearest law enforcement detachments. Nearly one half of them are located at least 25 kilometres away and most rural ports are located 50 kilometres or more from the nearest police station. After reading that, how can I be reassured that Canada's border is protected better than before September 11, 2001?

Mr. Zaccardelli: Senator, you raise a good point but keep in mind that I have limited resources.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: Why do you not ask for more resources? I believe that you received about $500 million more in this budget than in the previous year's budget. Is that not enough money?

Mr. Zaccardelli: Every day I ask for more resources and some people kick me out of their offices for that. I know that you understand what I am saying.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: Yes, but I do not know why you dismiss what I say. I understand that you have created this critical mass and that you are as secure as you were before. I believe that the physical presence of police officers, even two per small village, is more important than regrouping those officers further away, where, perhaps, they might be more adept at obtaining information.

Mr. Zaccardelli: I did not dismiss what you said. The reorganization is meant to help you and the concerns that you have raised. In Quebec, the RCMP is a federal agency, where there are also a provincial police force and municipal police forces. Integration is about everyone collaborating and fulfilling their respective mandates. I do not have the resources to police locally in Quebec and I do not have the authority, the mandate or the resources to do that in Ontario. My job and my mandate are to ensure that those federal resources work according to their mandates, and to leverage them in collaboration with my provincial and municipal counterparts. I have made Quebec more secure and safer, but I do not have the resources to place a Mountie in every town. I am certain, if you were to ask Commissioner Boniface, she would tell you that she cannot place a provincial police officer in every town in Ontario. Given the limitations of our resources, it is a matter of how to best utilize those resources. We have always faced a challenge in respect of Canada's borders — that is not new. Not only are we working with our policing partners but also we are working with customs agents and immigration agents in collaboration with our American counterparts.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: The article I referred to says that one guard at a Saskatchewan crossing explained that if an emergency situation were to arise at night and the RCMP were asked to respond, the closest on-call officer would have to get out of bed and drive 40 kilometres to attend. Another staffer working at a remote Manitoba post recalled an incident last summer in which a Canadian was flagged by the database as dangerous and was refused entry to the U.S. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers escorted the subject back to the border while the Canadian staffer called in the Mounties. Two hours later an RCMP officer showed up. U.S. border patrol officers were kind enough to stand by while the staffer dealt with this dangerous individual on the Canadian side and waited for the RCMP.

Why is such a thing allowed to happen? I do not understand why any government can refuse resources when such an incident can happen. One of these days an incident might involve more than someone carrying a bit of marijuana or some illegal cigarettes; it might be someone bringing in something lethal.

Mr. Zaccardelli: I appreciate your support but the reality in Canada, especially in rural areas, as Ms. Boniface can speak to, is such that I have one police officer who covers 1,000 square miles.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: I have one last question on this issue. Mr. Zaccardelli, do you see any value in having armed customs officers and immigration officers?

Mr. Zaccardelli: No, I do not see any value in that.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: Why is that?

Mr. Zaccardelli: The nature of the work does not require those officers to be armed. As well, they have new powers in that they have the authority to arrest people in certain situations. I think it would be dangerous for us to arm these officers under the assumption that we would be safer because a customs officer has a gun on his hip. I am saddened by what is taking place in British Columbia where the B.C. Transit Commission and the provincial authority allow the transit police officers to be armed. That is a dangerous escalation in Canada and is unnecessary because we can deal with these issues in other ways. Parks Canada wants its staff to be armed. I asked a Parks Canada officer why he wants to be armed. His answer was that in Banff, Jasper or other provincial or national parks on a weekend, it becomes quite rowdy with people getting drunk and causing disturbances. I replied that I understood the problem but that having a gun might not solve it. Rather, it would be best to de-escalate such a situation and not cause more problems. I am strongly against arming people simply to create the notion that we might feel more secure. We want to be very careful before we go down that road. I am aware that working at the border can be risky and that there are certain dangers. However, a customs officer shooting at someone who runs through the border is not the answer, and so we need to look at other options. Arming people is not the optimum answer to many of our problems.

Senator Lynch-Staunton: We will agree to disagree.

Senator Day: Welcome, Mr. Zaccardelli, Ms. Boniface and Mr. Bevan. My question flows from the discussion Mr. Zaccardelli had with respect to community outreach. Recognizing the diversity of Canada now and in the future, what hiring practices exist to ensure that the RCMP represents that diversity?

Mr. Zaccardelli: I will comment and then ask that Ms. Boniface and Mr. Bevan comment as well. One of our priorities in the RCMP is the recruitment of visible minorities, and we have met with some great successes. The matter arose during the Air India investigation 20 years ago when we did not have any Sikhs on staff with the RCMP. Now, there are a number of Sikhs on staff with the RCMP, and we changed the uniform to allow the wearing of the turban. This is a priority action for the RCMP. In Richmond, British Columbia, more than 50 per cent of the population that we police are Chinese.

Currently, 25 per cent of our officers at the detachment today are Chinese, so we have a very specific recruiting target. This is difficult to do. In certain communities, there is a reluctance to become a police officer, often because of experiences that the families or the communities had in the past. We are working very actively on that.

I was glad to hear a comment made to me a little while ago by someone who visited our training academy. The comment was, "The academy is starting to look like the United Nations." I took that as a bit of a compliment. I hoped the person meant it in the right way, and he did. We are actively working on this. The outreach is taking place in every community in every province of this country. I think Ms. Boniface —

Senator Day: Maybe your two colleagues might comment on this. Do you see anything wrong with a proactive hiring policy that ensures that you have certain seats available and certain positions available for racial minorities?

Ms. Gwen Boniface, Commissioner, Ontario Provincial Police: We have been working very hard in the OPP to reach into communities and work with community leadership. We have run three programs, a third of which are about to take place. One such program is OPP Bound, which is looking for candidates for recruits. In the first initiative, our target was to increase the representation of women. The second initiative, which we did last summer, was for Aboriginal peoples. The third initiative that will take place is OPP Asia Experience. We are trying to reach into communities where we have less representation and create an interest, both in terms of community involvement and also to create candidates.

There has been tremendous curiosity and interest, and I think we have been successful in piquing that interest in a number of communities. Let me give you an example. When we took the initiative forward for women, we had 100 seats to run a program called, "The One-Week Introduction to Policing." We had over 2,500 applicants for those 100 seats. That told us there is an interest. We are finding the same sort of pattern. The numbers are slightly less, but there are still three or four people applying for each seat. That exposes them to policing, and the communities have been extremely supportive of that.

What I think is necessary in our efforts as we move forward, particularly with the diverse community in our province, is to create the candidate pool coming forward so that the interest is piqued in policing. It allows us to have a broad range, both in language capabilities to work in the communities and to have that contact within the communities, as well as from a community advisory perspective. I work with two community advisory committees that have been instrumental in helping advise on those sorts of initiatives.

Mr. Vince Bevan, Chief, Ottawa Police Service: Certainly within the Ottawa Police Service, we have a very close connection to our community, and we have recognized for some time that we need to do better in this particular area. Currently, 21 per cent of the people who live in Ottawa were born in another country. More than 18 per cent of our residents here in Ottawa identify themselves as visible minorities.

Approximately two years ago, we began a study with the School of Business at Carleton University to develop a business plan. Last year, we translated that business plan into an action plan. We have adopted an outreach recruitment program in collaboration with community partners. We use key community leaders in diverse communities as champions to help identify appropriate candidates within their communities so that we can work with them to ensure that they are qualified for a career in policing.

Last fall I met with our executive command, with all our senior officers, and with our middle managers, particularly at the sergeant and staff sargeant level, to talk about the business case, to talk about why we need to become a more diverse organization. It is not simply because we want to reflect the community we serve. We have operational reasons. If we do not speak the languages our communities speak and cannot communicate with them, it will encourage misunderstanding and mistrust between the police and the communities. If we are unable to understand cultural reasons behind certain activities taking place, we are disadvantaged.

Organized crime can come in many forms. If we do not understand what is happening because we do not understand the culture and the language, then we will not be able to deal effectively with those organized crime issues. That pays a disservice to the entire community.

We have worked very hard. We want to make sure that we are a welcoming organization. Once we recruit people into our organization, we are taking steps over the past nine months, and currently, to make sure we are a welcoming organization inside so that when we do recruit the right people, they feel welcome. They feel valued within the organization, they will stay, and they will say good things about the Ottawa Police to encourage others to come.

This week I will swear in another recruit class, and that recruit class is more than 50 per cent diverse. I can certainly provide you, senator, with an article that we have written for a policing journal and a human resources publication in Canada.

[Translation]

Unfortunately, it is available only in English.

[English]

I am sure this panel would have the capacity to have it translated. I can certainly provide that to you.

Senator Day: Chief Bevan, we could arrange for translation if you could provide that to the clerk.

As part of the requirements under the act, in order to prove a terrorist offence, it is necessary to show a motivation that is religious, ideological, or political. I am wondering if you have done any thinking about that requirement. Is it necessary and desirable, and does that not lead your police officers to automatically be led into a racial profiling role?

Mr. Zaccardelli: Senator Day, that is a good point. When you look at the legislation, one of the things that comes up is the definition, because it is not as clear maybe as it can be. From the perspective of law enforcement, we are interested in gathering information and intelligence that is only criminal in nature. Our only interest is to investigate and to prosecute offences that are contrary to the Criminal Code.

In this area, as you are very much aware, our powers are very strictly controlled by having to get the approval of the Attorney General. Then, it must come before a judge, so there is a very good balance there. We are very much aware of the fact that we do not concentrate on the person's religious background or whatever political views they may have. It is the act that we are concerned about. If the act is one that is contrary to the Criminal Code, if the person is interested in committing an act, that is what we investigate. We investigate the crime.

Senator Day: In charging or conferring a charge in relation to a terrorist act, your policing officers do not test motivation?

Mr. Zaccardelli: The motive is an issue. We do discuss the issue of motive. However, do not forget, especially in this particular case, before any act is taken, any charge, it must come to the most senior levels in the police organization, and then it must go to the Crown for that review. There are checks and balances in there to make sure that the investigation is not simply one where we are concerned with the person's political or religious beliefs, but it is what they are doing relative to possibly committing a criminal offence.

Senator Day: Do you need that particular portion of the charging section where motivation is required to be proved? Do you find that a help or a hindrance in providing your policing activities?

Mr. Zaccardelli: At the end of the day, we apply the law as it is legislated.

Senator Day: I understand, and we are reviewing the law to determine whether it should stand as is or be amended. I am asking you about that particular test to look at motivation, which is not a common type of test being provided in the normal criminal investigation. You know that there are many complaints by minority communities with respect to racial profiling. You say you do not do racial profiling. I say maybe you are not doing it intentionally, but maybe the law is leading your personnel to apply a type of racial profiling through this requirement for looking at motivation.

Mr. Zaccardelli: I would ask my colleagues to comment. However, I would support, in general, any clarity that can be brought to any law. In my view, this legislation does not lead our investigators in any way down the possible path of racial profiling, which is totally prohibited. One of the reasons I say that with absolute certainty is because every investigation that starts in this field must be approved by the most senior officers in the organization, and there is very close scrutiny. Nothing takes place without it coming back for supervision and review by the most senior people involved in our organization. That happens in no other area of law enforcement.

Senator Day: Is it only the most senior people who have the training to avoid racial profiling or do you give training across the board, and what type of training is involved?

Mr. Zaccardelli: It is given right across the board. It starts right from the very first day at our academy. I can say with absolute certainty that all police academies in this country have a very extensive training program as part of recruit training. Then there is ongoing training throughout our members' careers — sensitivity training and a whole series. Remember, we are talking about a very small number of police officers that actually work in this field. For example, in the RCMP, out of more than 23,000 employees, less than 300 work in this field.

Senator Day: Do you train them all on that issue?

Mr. Zaccardelli: Yes, because racial profiling goes well beyond this area. Sensitivity training goes beyond this area. For example, we do Aboriginal sensitivity training, which is sculpted to meet the needs of our Aboriginal communities, and to be sensitive to their cultural needs.

This type of training goes on right across the board, but in this particular area, there is extra training. Very senior investigators have very specific courses given to them as part of their training before they go to work in these areas. I would ask Commissioner Boniface to elaborate further on that.

Ms. Boniface: If I could just go back to your question around the section itself, it is my understanding of the history of the legislation that it was put in place to limit, particularly around the protest side. In agreeing with Commissioner Zaccardelli, if there is further clarity that somehow can be brought to it, it is really a question of what the philosophical approach is. The question would be easier to answer if we knew what the alternative might be. However, if there is some clarity you can bring to a section, or some comfort level from that perspective, I do not think we would disagree with that.

Mr. Bevan: As well, I would like to add my support to what Commissioner Zaccardelli has said, and speak to the issue of training. We recognized early on, immediately after September 11, that there would be concerns in the Muslim and Arab community about possible reaction by Canadians, and even government, in relation to their being resident in our community. It was on September 14, 2001 — in part because we have such a close relationship with our diverse communities — that we invited Muslim and Arab community leaders to come in with all religious leaders. We had a meeting at the City of Ottawa so that we could confirm for them in particular that an attack on any one of our groups in our community is an attack on all of us.

Out of that developed a good deal of extra work that we have undertaken in the police service, and jointly with the RCMP, to train our members. We have put more energy in training our members on this issue than we have in training them on the Anti-terrorism Act.

We work with the Council on American-Islamic Relations Canada, CAIR-CAN, and we have had regular contacts with them. In February 2002, we invited them into our organization to provide training for our members. We invited our partners at the RCMP, and we have maintained that training of our front-line members ever since.

Each year they come in to do sessions with our patrol officers, and twice a year they come in to do sessions about cultural issues with our investigators who are engaged in working in this area with the RCMP. As a matter of fact I can report to you, senator, that already CAIR-CAN has provided training to our specialty units twice in 2005. We are working very closely with that community to educate our members, the community that feels, or in some quarters would feel, that they are being targeted.

Senator Day: My time has run out, but let me congratulate you on the training that you are doing with respect to sensitivity and racial profiling. Let me also encourage you to hire in the areas of visible and ethnic minoritie, as you have indicated you have been doing.

The Chairman: Colleagues, we have had a very good and interesting beginning with our first two questioners. We have six others on the list, and we have about 60 minutes left for the hearing, so I would ask you to be as crisp as possible.

Senator Kinsella: Thank you, chair. Given the structure of the panel, I am somewhat confused as to which direction to go in. I will take the lead from Commissioner Zaccardelli. He drew to our attention the importance of policing agencies in Canada acting in concert. Had a representative of the Sûreté du Quebec been here, I would have said that is what we will concentrate on.

Just for clarity, commissioner, the RCMP has the primary responsibility for criminal intent vis-à-vis attacks on our national security; therefore, the RCMP is the lead police force in Canada. Am I correct?

Mr. Zaccardelli: That is correct, Senator Kinsella.

Senator Kinsella: The Auditor General last week issued a report dealing with issues of emergencies. If I have understood what the Auditor General, in part, told us in that report, she raises concerns about the command and control structure. Have you looked at her report on that particular issue?

Mr. Zaccardelli: I have not read her report. I have some people who are looking at it. I thought the report was a little complimentary toward us, so I felt good; but I have not read the full report.

Senator Kinsella: My understanding is that she does have concern with the command and control structure across the Government of Canada. My question is about technical issues. While the RCMP was not criticized, she seemed to raise a concern with the integration of these many other agencies into the total picture, and which minister will be ultimately the minister that we in Parliament can hold accountable. Will it be the Minister of Immigration and Citizenship, the Minister of Justice, or the minister to whom you and other agencies report, the Minister of Security?

To complete other elements of the question I am trying to knit together, in the Province of Quebec, the Sûreté du Québec play a major role in the enforcement of criminal activities under the Criminal Code vis-à-vis security. They, in that jurisdiction, would play a major role, if not lead agency. How is that integrated domestically?

Mr. Zaccardelli: Senator Kinsella, you have raised maybe the most important issue that came out of the post-9/11 period. The reality is that we view safety and security as a continuum. When we say we view it as a continuum, we mean that all of us regardless of what level — federal, provincial or municipal — have a role to play. The challenge has been to try and make sure that the different agencies, the different organizations, and the different levels of government carry out their mandates in an integrated and seamless fashion so that you maximize the security of the country and minimize the threats to it.

We believe very strongly that if you practice the philosophy of intelligence-led and integrated-policing philosophy, the whole can be much greater than the sum of its parts. That is what we have been pushing every time we get the chance.

The reality is that we do have divisions of power in this country. The RCMP, under a federal act, is given primary responsibility to investigate the criminal aspects related to national security, but by no means does that give me exclusive authority as the commissioner. As a matter of fact, whether it is a municipal or a provincial commissioner or director of the Sûreté du Québec, they have every right to investigate anything that might happen in that area that is related in any way to the criminal aspect of national security.

Through the philosophy of integration we work in a collaborative way for the greater good of the country. We have these integrated teams in Quebec, Ontario, and throughout the country, where the agencies and different levels of governments or whatever, come together and we look at the problem as one; everyone contributes.

From the practical perspective, from the law enforcement perspective, that is not an issue. The question of who coordinates this is also an issue that is discussed. I believe, since 9/11, we have had huge success in modeling to the world how good we are in Canada for coming together, whether you are at the federal, provincial or municipal level.

Minister McLellan, in her new ministry, has been given the primary responsibility at the federal level, but for her to be effective — and I say this with the greatest respect — she needs the collaboration of her provincial counterparts, which happens and is going on right now. There are meetings and discussions, and we have brought that together.

That is happening in this country, not because we passed a law that says we must be integrated. It is happening because we actually believe it is in the greater good of Canada, the provinces, and the municipalities for us to leverage our collective resources.

Senator Kinsella: In the use of some of the powers that the Anti-terrorism Act makes available to peace officers, within the various agencies is there coordination as to the use of preventive arrest or these other powers? Would you know if the Sûreté du Québec were going to use that power? Is there coordination on the use of these extraordinary powers which Parliament has made available?

Mr. Zaccardelli: The short answer is, absolutely yes, Senator. Again, through the creation of the integrated teams, we know exactly what is taking place in every part of the country where there is an investigation in this area. First, in terms of starting an investigation from a law enforcement perspective, everyone is aware of it and the team agrees this is what we will do. Then, if any further steps have to be taken, whether it is to charge someone or to have an investigative hearing, the team is aware, all the agencies are aware, and the governments are aware of what is going on. Then, in this particular case, we must obtain the approval of the Attorney General and a judge. The facts are presented to a judge. It is not the police who make these decisions. It is very important that we understand that. The judge determines whether or not a hearing will take place, whether conditions will be attached to someone's movements and so on; it is not the police. That is a unique situation given the powers that are given to the police, but they are counterbalanced by the fact that the police cannot act in terms of — I cannot compel someone to appear for an investigative hearing. It is only the judge that can order that. I cannot do that so the balancing act takes place that way.

Senator Kinsella: Commissioner, some would say that in the United States there is a public perception that in Canada we are not doing a very good job in counteracting terrorism. Some in the United States have a perception that we are somehow a sieve. The new Ambassador to the United States counteracted this with a letter to The New York Times that was published last week. That is a public perception that exists. At the Canada-United States policing relationship level, what is the perception that is shared by your American interlocutors, whether it be the FBI or the CIA, vis-à-vis the work that you and your domestic colleagues are doing combating terrorism, using sometimes the power that is contained in the Anti-terrorism Act, and your American counterparts, the FBI, the CIA and others using the powers contained in their Patriot Act? What is their perception as to what we are doing in Canada?

Mr. Zaccardelli: I would like to make two points about that, senator. First of all, everything that I hear and I am told in my interactions with my American counterparts is they are truly thankful for the work that we have done for them, given what they went through in 9/11. They have the highest regard for law enforcement in this country. As a matter of fact, a number of the initiatives that have taken place in the United States relative to law enforcement were actually initiatives that we discussed with them and we suggested that they do and they bought into that. At the operational level, there is nothing but the greatest respect and harmonization of our work. I can assure you that for Canadians and American people on the ground, it is one seamless, effective machine that is working there.

I accept that there is this perception in Canada. I agree with you that we have that. Let me give you one example. Two weeks ago, I hosted the Secretary-General of Interpol in Canada. He came here to visit Canada. Interpol is the largest organization outside of the UN, 182 countries. At a news conference, a reporter asked him if it was true that Canada is a superhighway for terrorists to get into the United States. I will paraphrase his answer, but I think I am close. He said, I am an American citizen and I have to tell you my country got that statement half wrong when Americans say that Canada is a superhighway for terrorists into the United States. The only half that is right about that statement is that Canada is a super country. He said Canada is a leader in terms of its policing methods and what it does to help other countries around the world, and he is very proud of what Canada has done, and for doing its share. There is no sieve; there is no superhighway that this country has to worry about.

We have challenges here, just like everyone else. That is why we believe we should stop talking about who is better and worse. Let us start talking about how we can collectively bring our resources together so we can make that pie greater than the sum of its parts. We have nothing to be ashamed of in this country. We are doing a lot of things to protect, not just Canadians, but Americans and other countries around the world.

Finally, our friends in the United States are doing what we are doing here in Parliament. They are reviewing the Patriot Act, as we are reviewing the Anti-terrorism Act. One of our American colleagues in the United States Senate, Senator Larry Craig, has proposed some amendments to the Patriot Act, mainly dealing with extra safeguards from a civil liberties point of view. He is receiving a fair amount of support for them.

It is important for members of this committee to not only understand the rhetoric that is associated with our own national sovereignty, and we will decide things our way in Canada, but we would be naive if we did not keep our eyes on the ball of what is happening around us.

Many American senators, including Senator Craig, have recognized that the Patriot Act has extraordinary powers, and want to make amendments to it.

If this committee was to recommend some modifications to the Anti-terrorism Act, would you be comfortable with that? We have not used the preventative detention power and we may not have used some other powers.

Mr. Zaccardelli: I would ask comments from my colleague. I know it is tempting to say we have not used certain provisions, therefore, why do we need them? I would be very cautious there. We have not charged anybody with hijacking lately in this country, but there is a hijacking section in the Criminal Code. We have not charged anybody with treason, but there are certain sections relating to that. The key is in an area such as this, where there are indications of threats or potential threats, we need to have the tools, if and when they are required, immediately. I would be very cautious about any recommendation in that area.

I would welcome comments from Mr. Bevan and Ms. Boniface on that.

Mr. Bevan: Senator, I would certainly support Commissioner Zaccardelli on that. It is well-designed legislation. It is uniquely Canadian in comparison to some of the other acts, particularly the Patriot Act implemented in the United States.

I would equate it to an insurance policy. You would not cancel your insurance policy because you have not had any problems in your neighbourhood. Some day someone may unfortunately break into your house and commit some matter of mischief there. You would like to have that insurance policy in place at the time.

This is very much a preventative act that is provided to law enforcement in this country to try to deal with issues that may arise from time to time. Because it has not been implemented or certain provisions have not been used ought not to be read as an indicator that we do not need to have these kinds of powers to deal with issues that may come up in the future.

Ms. Boniface: It is important for Canada to be a global player, and legislation that is put in place is part of the world response to terrorism. From what we have seen around the world since 9/11, it is apparent that we need legislation such as this on the books.

Senator Joyal: Mr. Zaccardelli, I would like to come back to the issue of border security. This is a key issue, of course, between the two neighbouring countries of Canada and the United States.

Recently, I was watching CBC and it was reported that last year the number of cars that did not stop at the border was in the vicinity of 1,600, whereas in past years it was 700 or 800. I do not recall the figures exactly. Is this a trend? How do we explain that suddenly there are a greater number of people trying to enter Canada without stopping at the border?

Mr. Zaccardelli: Senator, I do not have the specific numbers in terms of the increases or decreases compared to other years, but I do acknowledge that running the border is not something new. It is something that has happened for many years.

Senator Joyal: Could you provide us with some statistics because this is an important issue we will want to revisit.

I was crossing the border yesterday, and I had those figures in mind. The only thing that was stopping cars from taking another line than the waiting line was a small plastic orange post about 24 inches high. Any car with a good bumper could have gone through that. Would it not be better to have a gate when the posts are not used? At least they would be blocked. We do not need a royal commission investigation on security to come to that conclusion and it would not cost billions of dollars either. You would close the gates and not use those orange posts that anybody can run over. Who is responsible for that?

Mr. Zaccardelli: I agree that there are many practical things that can be done. Those things are in fact being done. Since 9/11, the 30-point plan between Canada and the United States has been discussed at the ministerial level in terms of improving the flow of commerce and making sure that we can interdict on a risk-assessment basis those that should not be crossing. This is actively being pursued. Roads are being built and more security systems are being put into place.

As police forces, we are consulted on what we think should happen there but we are not the lead on that. It is at the ministerial level. At the border, the customs department is responsible for that.

More importantly — and this was raised in the first question by the senator — there are many unguarded border crossings, which are issues for us. We have 8,000 kilometres. How do you manage this issue of a huge border? Often I hear the question, why do we not fix the border in Quebec? What about the other provinces? It is not about filling just one or two gaps. This is an 8,000-kilometre challenge. We do not believe it is possible to have sufficient resources for police officers or customs officers to hold hands at the border. Therefore, we believe in strategically locating critical mass teams that can respond when we have good information or good evidence of activity that we do not want to take place. This has been our strategic response to this challenge in collaboration with our American friends.

The Americans have a border patrol, but they will admit they cannot control the whole border either. Look at the southern border, for example.

Senator Joyal: I am talking about Canada right now. The Mexican border is another issue. We will probably have an opportunity to raise it at some point.

What happens when a vehicle crosses the border without stopping? Is it reported to the closest RCMP detachment? What kind of investigation do you start?

Mr. Zaccardelli: The policy is that the customs officer has to make a decision whether or not to report it to the police force of the closest jurisdiction. That police force then has to determine whether they have the resources or the capacity to respond. That is how it happens. It might be an RCMP detachment, but it might be an OPP office or an office of the Sureté du Quebec in certain parts of Quebec. That is the way they are dealt with.

Senator Joyal: Is there not an automatic report about such a vehicle if they were able to catch the number of the plate, a description of the vehicle or whatever details could be provided to police forces to open an investigation?

Mr. Zaccardelli: No, there is not. They do not have police officers waiting in a car to respond to a possible running of the border. That is a question of resources.

Senator Joyal: It is essentially a question of resources. If somebody crosses the border without stopping, there is a chance, and I do not want to measure up the chance in terms of proportion, but there is a chance that the person goes away without being bothered later on.

Mr. Zaccardelli: That does happen, yes.

Senator Joyal: How do you explain the fact that the number of people who do not stop seems to be increasing? Does it bring us to the conclusion that there is something wrong in the system, and that people see a loophole and just go through without stopping?

Mr. Zaccardelli: You are right, senator. There could be many reasons. If the Americans make a minor amendment to their immigration policy, or the perception is that they will be getting tougher, that could have an impact in terms of the movements of people. There are all kinds of reasons for that happening. It happens. I concede that it happens.

My job, and the jobs of my colleagues at the provincial, federal and municipal level, is to try again to look at our collective resources and manage them and use them in the most effective and efficient way. That is what we try to do, and that is what we are doing.

Senator Joyal: I do not want to create a worst case scenario, but in other words, a terrorist can cross the border with explosives or dangerous materials and just make sure the vehicle is sufficiently strong to go through it. The chance that he or she goes through without being bothered is real.

Mr. Zaccardelli: Certain things are possible. The Ahmed Rassam case is a good example.

Senator Joyal: I was not going to quote it.

Mr. Zaccardelli: We all know. It is very public. Mr. Rassam was stopped by an agent at the border, so the system worked. Again, senator, we have to deal with 8,000 kilometres, and I believe we are dealing with it very effectively in collaboration with our colleagues on our side of the border and with our American friends on the other side of the border. We have integrated our radio systems. We are using the same policies now. We are working on each other's teams, all to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of our presence on both sides of the border. I am proud of what we have done since September 11, 2001 to enhance that.

Can I say that every person and every car will be stopped? I cannot give you that guarantee, but I know how much we have improved our effectiveness on our border.

Senator Joyal: Do you have any statistics of what happens in the other direction? How many people coming from Canada are forcing their way across the border on the U.S. side, how many are arrested, and what kind of reaction do they have in terms of capacity to stop that?

Mr. Zaccardelli: I do not have that, but I can ask our friends in the Department of Homeland Security if they can provide information that we could share with the committee, senator.

The Chairman: Thank you very much. I would remind committee members that we will be hearing again from Senator — I keep trying to bring you into the group, commissioner — Commissioner Zaccardelli.

Mr. Zaccardelli: I have enough of a challenge just being commissioner.

The Chairman: The commissioner and some of his folks will be back on another occasion, and we will have a second shot at that.

Senator Fraser: Racial profiling, as you know, has been an abiding concern of a number of people. You have said firmly, Mr. Zaccardelli, that the RCMP does not do racial profiling. I may be wrong on this, but certainly I have the impression that some forms of profiling are useful tools in criminal investigations. How do you define the difference? What is it that you are saying RCMP does not do when you say it does not do racial profiling?

Mr. Zaccardelli: When I say we do not do racial profiling, I mean we do not say we will target somebody because of their skin colour, religion or certain beliefs. That is the basis of profiling. For example, we do not profile people who have a certain colour of skin.

When we talk about profiling, we talk about criminal profiling. We profile people involved in certain criminal activity or who have the potential to be involved in certain criminal activity. Whether they happen to be black, white or yellow does not matter to us. That is the difference. It is based on solid information or intelligence that leads us to believe these people are involved in a criminal activity.

This is a major issue for us, and it is important that you get a broad perspective. Much of this started in Ontario, so my two colleagues can speak clearly on this.

Ms. Boniface: First, I agree, and second, a great deal of effort has been made to ensure it is clear to front-line officers. In the OPP, the education goes all the way down the line. Senior managers can articulate their way through this issue when they are answering questions and have an exchange. They understand the depth of the issue, reinforcing it in specialized units, in front-line officers. Certainly in the U.S., this became a significant issue in traffic stops. We have responded with policies within my organization that speak to professional traffic stops. You can specifically walk officers through, both in training and in policy, the thought process they should go through as they make decisions on whether to stop or not stop. You can do the same thing with specialized units in terms of the types of work that Commissioner Zaccardelli referred to.

Mr. Bevan: Our police service has been on the record officially through what we have said about racial profiling, but more importantly by what we have done with regards to racial profiling. I will not repeat what my colleagues have said, but we recognize internally that we are a business that employs people, and sometimes people have differing views. We set into place clear guidelines and standards, and we enforce those guidelines and standards. It is an offence under the code of conduct, and anyone who practiced racial profiling would be held accountable. We do the education and the training. We work with our community. We also have those standards to hold people accountable.

Senator Fraser: Has anyone in any of your forces been disciplined in the past three years for engaging in racial profiling?

Mr. Bevan: Not within my organization, no.

Mr. Zaccardelli: I have no specific cases. I can tell you we have had a number of cases where the allegation has been made. They have gone to the public complaints commission that looks after complaints by the public, but I do not have specific figures on that. I dealt with a very controversial one recently where that was one of the allegations. The person was found in contravention of our code of conduct, although the court found that there was no evidence of racial profiling. I was very concerned that it was part of the member's action. The courts found him to have assaulted the person, but they did not go so far as to say that the assault was part of the racial profiling.

Ms. Boniface: I have no specific recollection, other than conduct issues generally. There is nothing I can think of specifically, but I would be happy to get back to you.

Senator Fraser: I would be grateful if you would both do that.

The second area I want to ask about has to do with the Commission of Public Complaints Against the RCMP. That is a complaint-based body; it cannot act unless it receives a complaint. However, in the new world we are living in you may not know why you suddenly cannot get a job or your neighbours are no longer talking to you. It could be because the police have been making inquiries and leaving suggestions in people's minds.

Would it not be more desirable for the public complaints commission to have a greater degree of autonomy so that it could initiate reviews on its own without waiting for complaints?

Mr. Zaccardelli: Thank you for raising that point. I have to correct what you have said. The chair of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP has the right and authority to initiate an inquiry or public hearing on her own, and this has happened in a number of cases.

For example, there have been a few high-speed chases in British Columbia —

Senator Fraser: I am sorry to interrupt you, but due to time constraints I would like to say that it is my understanding that the chairman can initiate a complaint on her own, but it must be a specific complaint related to a specific case rather than a review of procedures in general. Am I wrong about that?

Mr. Zaccardelli: Yes, you are wrong about that. High-speed chases are a perfect example. There was no complaint, but the chairman took it upon herself to hold an inquiry and do a review. We worked with her and, as a result, we changed a number of our policies.

The act clearly allows the chairman to initiate a review of anything related to the RCMP. Most of the issues that the commission reviews do come from public complaints about interaction with the RCMP. The chairman has quite often used the power to initiate reviews, especially in high-profile issues. She can hold a private or a public hearing.

Senator Andreychuk: All the witnesses before us today have indicated that our act is well designed and uniquely Canadian. Can you tell us why it is uniquely Canadian and necessary, in your opinion as law enforcement officers, that we put into the act the definition of terrorist activity as politically, ideologically or religiously motivated? What is it in Canada that makes you believe that we need those components in our act whereas most other jurisdictions do not have them? I understand that Britain has that definition and I understand why it is uniquely British, but I do not understand why it is necessary to have that in the Canadian legislation.

Mr. Zaccardelli: With regard to the religious and/or political issue, I must say that I am not a lawyer, but the act made it clear that we cannot investigate based on political or religious beliefs. It is meant to curtail law enforcement's ability to initiate. That is a safeguard in the act, and I think it is a very good thing. It makes it very clear that we cannot do it.

Senator Andreychuk: I understand the safeguard. It was put in by parliamentarians because they were worried about the consequences.

Why do you continue to maintain a definition of terrorist activity that would include identifying political, ideological or religious motivation rather than simply talk about activity of a terrorist nature? Why do you maintain that we still need those three elements when UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has put forward a working definition at the United Nations that does not include those factors? The Patriot Act also does not include those factors. They do not feel constrained in how they work to protect citizens around the world. Why do we need to send those signals that cause so much stress to certain groups in our society? Why do you still defend it?

Mr. Zaccardelli: I am not defending it, and I do not think we defend any act. At the end of the day, we enforce the act. We give input, and then legislation is passed or not by elected officials. We carry out the law and work with it in the best way we can.

As I said before, we welcome this review. We believe it is good to bring different perspectives to this. Hearing what law enforcement agencies have done and are trying to do may enable you to have a better understanding. We welcome the review and any input you can give us to better understand this.

We will live with whatever happens at the end of the day. We will do our duty, carry out our mandate and investigate serious matters. If there is any threat or possibility of criminal offence, we will investigate.

We strongly believe that various sections of the act are helpful, be it to prevent terrorist organizations from using charities to raise money or the provisions that help us to better identify organizations that may use money laundering to facilitate terrorist activity. Those are all good things. We also believe that there must be checks and balances against those, which I think the act provides, especially the two more well-known sections dealing with investigative provisions and so on.

Those are useful for us. If they were not in the act, we would still do our job but, considering the potential threat, it is important for us to be proactive in this area. In law enforcement, we always have to react to offences. The danger is that the threat may be so serious that to simply react to it will not be of much solace.

This act gives us the ability to be more preventive in our work, and that is where we think we have hit the right balance, but the balance is always moving. If there is an opportunity to improve it, we welcome that.

Senator Andreychuk: We passed this act rather quickly after 9/11. We were hopeful that we struck the right balance between prevention and rights. We are now studying whether that is the case. You say that you need the preventive tools in the act, regardless of whether you have used them.

My concern is that some of those tools are pretty invasive for those individuals who are targeted, and we can only hope that the right people are targeted, and not innocent people.

We have had this legislation for more than three years. Are there no other tools that we need? You are defending the act, saying that it includes preventive tools. I am not sure that those are the right preventive tools. In three years, have you not determined what might be more helpful to you than what is in the act? What can we do to protect Canadians that we did not think of right after September 11, 2001?

Mr. Zaccardelli: One area we could improve upon is related to notification. As you know, we can defer notification of wiretaps for three years, but there are other means by which we gain access to certain information, and deferral of notification with regard to those means is for shorter periods. Those periods should be harmonized. With the approval of the courts we should be able to delay notification for three years in the use of search warrants and other technical searches.

While we need not notify of information obtained via wiretap for three years, if we must reveal that we have obtained information through other means, that blows our case.

Harmonization on this issue would be helpful.

Ms. Boniface:As we work interprovincially, within the provincial borders, and I will use Sûreté du Québec as my example, we do not have the ability to work across that border seamlessly with our counterparts. There is not an easy mechanism to do that legislatively. When we spoke to this issue sometime back, it was one of the points we brought forward as being important. For instance, for me in Ontario, I have a very close working relationship with the Sûreté du Québec because I border it, and some of my detachments are within arm's reach of a Sûreté du Québec detachment. As we try to integrate our efforts more effectively, because of constitutional and provincial differences, it is not as easy as it should be for the purpose of true integration.

Mr. Bevan: Could we use other powers? Absolutely. I know there is other legislation before government directed at lawful access. We need to update the ability to intercept, to get current with technology, and I realize there is other legislation. That is just one kind of additional power, based on our experience to date, and certainly with matters that are before the court, that really have underscored the need for changes in the ability of police to lawfully intercept communication.

Going back to your original question, in my view, the definition of terrorism is critical in that piece of legislation because we need to differentiate between other types of criminal conduct, and criminal conduct that is motivated by terrorist purposes. We need that definition in order to pass the threshold and invoke the provisions of the legislation that are available to law enforcement to help us do our job and to prevent criminal acts.

I just wanted to make that comment.

Senator Andreychuk: I am now a little confused. Are you saying that you need a specific definition of terrorism, or do you need the particular one that identifies political, ideological and religious motivation? The point I was making is the United Nations does not need to put in political, ideological or religious motivation. Are you saying you have to? Do you need a specific definition that is workable?

Mr. Bevan: We need a definition that is workable.

Senator Stratton: Before I return to Senator Lynch-Staunton's question with respect to the borders, I would like you to think about what the greatest threat is to Canada regarding terrorism.

The shortage of resources, in effect, that Senator Lynch-Staunton had spoken about in Quebec, bothers me. Then there was reference in the newspaper article that he went through about Manitoba and Saskatchewan, in particular, with regard to resources.

When you said that there is a shortage of resources, the sense I got from your response was the shortage of resources was primarily monetary, that you could not get or obtain more personnel.

My sense is you have a shortage of personnel now. Is that true Commissioner Zaccardelli?

Mr. Zaccardelli: The fact is, we are given certain resources, and my job is to deploy them as best I can. The resources I have do not enable me to do all the things I would like to do, or what a lot of the folks in our country would like me to do.

I must distinguish here. In Quebec, as in Ontario, there are clear mandates that we each have. I do not have the mandate in Ontario or in Quebec to be a uniform presence, to provide a police service to the local communities. I do not have that. I have a very specific mandate.

Senator Stratton: You do in Manitoba, and as I understand it, Saskatchewan. You are telling me that in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, if you have an ordinary complement of officers in those two provinces, you are not short of officers in those provinces?

Mr. Zaccardelli: We are short.

Senator Stratton: That is what I was expecting you to say. Can you explain why? It is not something particularly secretive. It is well known that you are short of officers, in my province in particular. Is there a reason? Is there an explanation, and are you making moves to fulfil that complement of officers, because the concern again is security. You are responsible in Manitoba for that, and would you tell us what steps you are taking to fulfil that complement?

Mr. Zaccardelli: I want to put things in perspective, senator. It took the RCMP 126 years to go from zero to a $2 billion budget. In the last six years, we went from $2 billion to $3 billion. We have been treated fairly kindly by the government.

As I said, we still have a shortage of resources. In Manitoba we are the police force of jurisdiction provincially. The uniform presence that we have in Manitoba is not determined by me or by the federal government. That is determined by the province, by contract. It is whatever the province decides they wish to spend on policing. That determines how many bodies I can have in uniform. That is complemented, as you know, by a federal presence. Those federal resources provide a certain type of specialized policing: federal policing, organized crime and drug sections. They work in a complementary way with the uniform people, and they are also integrated with Winnipeg and Brandon. At the end of the day, the bulk of our presence in Manitoba is determined by the elected officials in Manitoba, in terms of how much they want to spend on policing in Manitoba.

In both cases, I have argued strongly for the federal government to increase its presence, and I have also argued with Premier Gary Doer to increase the complement. This year he has increased it. He has given us 28 more positions in Manitoba. We are actively negotiating with the Province of Alberta, for example. We are looking at over 300 positions in Alberta. They have no deficit in Alberta, senator. They can afford more. Every province is different. Every province and territory has to be negotiated between Minister Anne McLellan's office and the provinces, so their ability to pay or how much they want to allocate determines how many people I can put on the ground.

Senator Stratton: In my view, at least from what I have heard, you are still short of men and women under the existing budgets, are you not?

Mr. Zaccardelli: No.

Senator Stratton: Are you short individuals, personnel, on the ground in Manitoba? Within the existing budgets, are you still short of personnel?

Mr. Zaccardelli: No, we are not. We are spending right up to the cap.

Senator Stratton: This may be a soft topic, but I would like to ask you about security on the Hill. The United States Congress and Westminster each appear to have one unified force within their facility, whereas we have two. The House of Commons and the Senate each have their own security force.

Do you believe there should be one unified security force on the Hill, or can we manage with two?

Mr. Zaccardelli: It will get me into trouble senator, but my view is you have to unify that.

The Chairman: Thank you very much, Senator Stratton. That was a very good, snappy answer there, commissioner.

Senator Smith: Commissioner Zaccardelli, in your submission you referred to striking the right balance between security and human rights, and I think we all want to do that. Whether that balance is perfect, it may be, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder. On balance, you seem to be comfortable, but in terms of whether there were areas that could be improved, you referred to this wiretap situation, where you can have that notice postponed for three years but not in the case of a search warrant. That is fairly clear.

Commissioner Boniface, you referred to no easy mechanism to work across provincial borders. I am not sure exactly what there might be that would be within federal jurisdiction to resolve that, but we would want to hear about it if there was. Mr. Bevan, you referred to matters before the court.

On these specific things, if you want to clarify these little fine tunings that might address these areas of concern, I think it would be helpful. I would invite to you write us a letter and spell it out, and you can give some thought to it and get whatever legal counsel is appropriate, so we have it as precisely as possible. I do not need to ask a question because they are all nodding that they will do that. I am being concise and succinct.

The Chairman: An admiral example, Senator Smith.

Colleagues, that will bring this session today to an end. I want to thank our panel. Clearly, the committee takes your presence and your importance within the larger issue very seriously, and I am sure, if given a long leash, we could go on for the entire day.

This has been a valuable morning. I thank you all.

The committee adjourned.