Last Month our government introduced Bill C-30, legislation to protect children from Internet predators. Through Bill C-30 we seek to update Canada’s laws as they do not adequately protect Canadians from online exploitation. We want to update our laws while striking the right balance between combating crime and protecting privacy. Our Conservative government strongly believes in the principles of due process, respect for privacy and the presumption of innocence. Bill C-30 adheres to those principles
I am therefore very pleased to have this chance to speak to the real facts about Bill C-30 and to set the record straight on a number of fronts. Canadians deserve to hear a reasonable dialogue on issues which affect their lives and ensure their overall safety, a dialogue based on reason rather than hysteria, facts rather than outlandish conspiracy theories.
Canadians have asked police to do a very difficult job, especially in tracking and trying to combat child pornography, for example. They need the tools from us to do their jobs.
Each day these officers are confronted by the bleak reality that thousands of children are sexually abused in graphic, unimaginable ways. The reality is that police simply do not have the tools to effectively fight these crimes. This is true not only in cases related to child pornography but also identity theft, online organized crime, and many Internet scams and frauds. More than a decade ago, police spoke up and told the government of the day that they lacked the tools to keep up with changing technology.
That is why, on February 14, our government reintroduced legislation that closely resembles the efforts of the previous Liberal government, but with important improvements which better protect the privacy of Canadians. We have improved on previous versions of this legislation by reducing the number of basic subscriber information points that police could request of service providers, from 11 in the old Liberal legislation down to 6. This information is clearly stated: name, address, phone number, email address, Internet protocol address, local service provider identifier and nothing more. This is the modern day equivalent of a phone book and phone book information. Bill C-30 allows police to request six kinds of basic subscriber information to assist with investigations. However, just as critically, it makes police 100% accountable through audits and obligations to report to federal and provincial privacy commissioners.
Basic subscriber information does not include information pertaining to the websites a person has visited, or the content of emails or phone calls either made or received. Police will continue to obtain judicial authorization, or a warrant, before requesting this type of information from service providers, as they do today. There is no change to the law in this regard. Bill C-30 would create no new powers to access the content of emails, web browsing history or phone calls beyond the powers that already exist in Canadian law today.
Law enforcement and national security officials will continue to rely on lawful authority before they are allowed to intercept communications. This has been the case for the last 40 years and will continue to be the case under Bill C-30.
I emphasize this point because so far there has been a great deal of misinformation spread about this component of the legislation.
Bill C-30 does nothing to expand the powers of police to obtain personal information without warrant. The proposed law simply recognizes the differences in technology and therefore attempts to update the law in terms of ensuring that technology is captured by the legislation.
In respect to personal privacy of individuals, for example the content of emails, the web browsing history, the content of telephone calls, that remains off limits in the same way it does today without this law.
Court authorizations will continue to be obtained for interception as they are today. This legislation will not change this requirement in any way.
This legislation has the support of all provincial and territorial attorneys general and public safety ministers. The Liberal flip-flop on this piece of legislation is simply unbelievable. That party is the last one that should lecture Parliament on how to better protect Canadians. This is the same gang that enacted Bill C-68, a bill that criminalized law-abiding farmers and duck hunters and violated our constitutional rights no less than 11 times. This is another clear example of the fact that the Liberals are completely void of values, principles and ideas. They simply adopt whichever position they think is popular on the issue of the day. This is not what Parliament is elected to do.
As your Federal Member of Parliament, I am pleased to represent you on a variety of issues. Whether that issue is eliminating the long gun registry, promoting agriculture, international trade, AECL, the military or jobs in the working forest, I am here to serve you!
As always, if you have any concerns of a federal nature, or just want to share your views with me, please do not hesitate to contact my office.