National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians Act (S.C. 2017, c. 15)

Act current to 2018-11-20 and last amended on 2017-10-06. Previous Versions

National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians Act

S.C. 2017, c. 15

Assented to 2017-06-22

An Act to establish the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians and to make consequential amendments to certain Acts

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians Act.

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

 The following definitions apply in this Act.

appropriate Minister

appropriate Minister means

  • (a) with respect to a department named in Schedule I to the Financial Administration Act, the Minister presiding over the department;

  • (b) with respect to a division or branch of the federal public administration set out in column I of Schedule I.1 to the Financial Administration Act, the Minister set out in column II of that Schedule;

  • (c) with respect to a corporation named in Schedule II to the Financial Administration Act, the Minister designated as the appropriate Minister by order of the Governor in Council made under that Act;

  • (c.1) with respect to a parent Crown corporation as defined in subsection 83(1) of the Financial Administration Act, the appropriate Minister as defined in that subsection; or

  • (d) with respect to the Canadian Forces, the Minister of National Defence. (ministre compétent)

Committee

Committee means the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians established by section 4. (Comité)

department

department means, except in subsection 25(2), a department named in Schedule I to the Financial Administration Act, a division or branch of the federal public administration — other than a review body — set out in column I of Schedule I.1 to that Act, a corporation named in Schedule II to that Act, a parent Crown corporation as defined in subsection 83(1) of that Act or the Canadian Forces. (ministère)

review body

review body means

Secretariat

Secretariat means the Secretariat of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians established by subsection 24(1). (Secrétariat)

Designation of Minister

Marginal note:Power of Governor in Council

 The Governor in Council may designate a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada to be the Minister for the purposes of this Act.

Committee and Members

Marginal note:Committee established

  •  (1) The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians is established, consisting of a Chair and up to 10 other members, each of whom must be a member of either House of Parliament other than a minister of the Crown, a minister of state or a parliamentary secretary.

  • Marginal note:Members

    (2) The Committee is to consist of not more than three members who are members of the Senate and not more than eight members who are members of the House of Commons. Not more than five Committee members who are members of the House of Commons may be members of the government party.

  • Marginal note:Not a committee of Parliament

    (3) The Committee is not a committee of either House of Parliament or of both Houses.

Marginal note:Appointment of members

  •  (1) The members of the Committee are to be appointed by the Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, to hold office during pleasure until the dissolution of Parliament following their appointment.

  • Marginal note:Nomination deadline

    (1.1) After a general election, the members of the Committee are to be appointed within 60 days after the day on which Parliament is summoned to sit.

  • Marginal note:Consultation

    (2) A member of the Senate may be appointed to the Committee only after the Prime Minister has consulted with the persons referred to in paragraphs 62(a) and (b) of the Parliament of Canada Act and the leader of every caucus and of every recognized group in the Senate.

  • Marginal note:Members of other parties

    (3) A member of the House of Commons who belongs to a party that is not the government party and that has a recognized membership of 12 or more persons in that House may be appointed to the Committee only after the Prime Minister has consulted with the leader of that party.

  • Marginal note:Ceasing to be member

    (4) A member of the Committee ceases to be a member on being appointed a minister of the Crown, a minister of state or a parliamentary secretary or on ceasing to be a member of the Senate or the House of Commons.

  • Marginal note:Resignation

    (5) A member may resign by notifying the Prime Minister in writing of their intention to resign and the member ceases to be a member on the day on which the Prime Minister receives the notification or on the date specified in the notification, whichever is later.

Marginal note:Designation of Chair

  •  (1) The Governor in Council is to designate the Chair of the Committee from among the members of the Committee, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.

  • Marginal note:Absence or incapacity

    (2) If the Chair is absent or incapacitated or the office of Chair is vacant, the Committee may designate one of its other members to act as Chair, but the member must not be so designated for more than 90 days without the Governor in Council’s approval.

Marginal note:Expenses

 Each member of the Committee is entitled to be paid, in accordance with Treasury Board directives, reasonable travel and living expenses incurred by the member in the exercise of their powers or the performance of their duties or functions.

Mandate of Committee

Marginal note:Review of national security matters

  •  (1) The mandate of the Committee is to review

    • (a) the legislative, regulatory, policy, administrative and financial framework for national security and intelligence;

    • (b) any activity carried out by a department that relates to national security or intelligence, unless the activity is an ongoing operation and the appropriate Minister determines that the review would be injurious to national security; and

    • (c) any matter relating to national security or intelligence that a minister of the Crown refers to the Committee.

  • Marginal note:Review injurious to national security

    (2) If the appropriate Minister determines that a review would be injurious to national security, he or she must inform the Committee of his or her determination and the reasons for it.

  • Marginal note:Review no longer injurious

    (3) If the appropriate Minister determines that the review would no longer be injurious to national security or if the appropriate Minister is informed that the activity is no longer ongoing, he or she must inform the Committee that the review may be conducted.

Marginal note:Cooperation

 The Committee and each review body are to take all reasonable steps to cooperate with each other to avoid any unnecessary duplication of work by the Committee and that review body in relation to the fulfilment of their respective mandates.

Security and Confidentiality

Marginal note:Compliance with security requirements

 Each member of the Committee must

  • (a) obtain and maintain the necessary security clearance from the Government of Canada;

  • (b) take the oath or solemn affirmation set out in the schedule; and

  • (c) comply with the procedures and practices set out in the regulations.

Marginal note:Disclosure prohibited

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), a member or former member of the Committee, the executive director or a former executive director of the Secretariat or a person who is or was engaged by the Secretariat must not knowingly disclose any information that they obtained, or to which they had access, in the course of exercising their powers or performing their duties or functions under this Act and that a department is taking measures to protect.

  • Marginal note:Exceptions

    (2) A person referred to in subsection (1) may disclose information referred to in that subsection for the purpose of exercising their powers or performing their duties or functions under this Act or as required by any other law.

Marginal note:Parliamentary privilege

  •  (1) Despite any other law, no member or former member of the Committee may claim immunity based on parliamentary privilege in a proceeding against them in relation to a contravention of subsection 11(1) or of a provision of the Security of Information Act or in relation to any other proceeding arising from any disclosure of information that is prohibited under that subsection.

  • Marginal note:Evidence

    (2) A statement made by a member or former member of the Committee before either House of Parliament or a committee of the Senate, of the House of Commons or of both Houses of Parliament is admissible in evidence against them in a proceeding referred to in subsection (1).

Access to Information

Marginal note:Right of access

  •  (1) Despite any other Act of Parliament but subject to sections 14 and 16, the Committee is entitled to have access to any information that is under the control of a department and that is related to the fulfilment of the Committee’s mandate.

  • Marginal note:Protected information

    (2) The information includes information that is protected by litigation privilege or by solicitor-client privilege or the professional secrecy of advocates and notaries.

  • Marginal note:Inconsistency or conflict

    (3) In the event of any inconsistency or conflict between subsection (1) and any provision of an Act of Parliament other than this Act, subsection (1) prevails to the extent of the inconsistency or conflict.

Marginal note:Exceptions

 The Committee is not entitled to have access to any of the following information:

  • (a) a confidence of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, as defined in subsection 39(2) of the Canada Evidence Act;

  • (b) information the disclosure of which is described in subsection 11(1) of the Witness Protection Program Act;

  • (c) the identity of a person who was, is or is intended to be, has been approached to be, or has offered or agreed to be, a confidential source of information, intelligence or assistance to the Government of Canada, or the government of a province or of any state allied with Canada, or information from which the person’s identity could be inferred;

  • (d) information relating directly to an ongoing investigation carried out by a law enforcement agency that may lead to a prosecution.

Marginal note:Request for information

  •  (1) If the Committee is entitled to have access to information that is under the control of a department, the Committee may make a request to the appropriate Minister for that department that the information be provided to the Committee.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (2) If the Committee requests information that is in respect of an identifiable person or entity, that has been received or collected by the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act and that has been disclosed to a department under subsection 55(3), 55.1(1), 65(1), 65.01(1) or 65.02(1) of that Act, the Committee may make the request only to the appropriate Minister for that department.

  • Marginal note:Department — parent Crown corporation

    (2.1) If the requested information is under the control of a department that is a parent Crown corporation, the department must, at the request of the appropriate Minister, provide the information to that Minister.

  • Marginal note:Compliance

    (2.2) Compliance by a department with subsection (2.1) is deemed to be in the best interests of the department.

  • Marginal note:Provision of information

    (3) After the appropriate Minister receives the request, he or she must provide or cause to be provided to the Committee, in a timely manner, the requested information to which it is entitled to have access.

  • Marginal note:Information provided orally

    (4) The appropriate Minister or officials of the department may appear before the Committee to provide the information orally.

Marginal note:Refusal of information

  •  (1) The appropriate Minister for a department may refuse to provide information to which the Committee would, but for this section, otherwise be entitled to have access and that is under the control of that department, but only if he or she is of the opinion that

    • (a) the information constitutes special operational information, as defined in subsection 8(1) of the Security of Information Act; and

    • (b) provision of the information would be injurious to national security.

  • Marginal note:Reasons

    (2) If the appropriate Minister refuses to provide information under subsection (1), he or she must inform the Committee of his or her decision and the reasons for the decision.

  • Marginal note:Review bodies informed of decision

    (3) If the appropriate Minister makes the decision in respect of any of the following information, he or she must provide the decision and reasons to,

    • (a) in the case of information under the control of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police;

    • (b) in the case of information under the control of the Communications Security Establishment, the Commissioner of the Communications Security Establishment; and

    • (c) in the case of information under the control of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Security Intelligence Review Committee.

Procedure

Marginal note:Meetings — all of Chair

 The Committee is to meet at the call of the Chair.

Marginal note:Meetings held in private

 Meetings of the Committee are to be held in private if any information that a department is taking measures to protect is likely to be disclosed during the course of the meeting or if the Chair considers it to be otherwise necessary.

Marginal note:Voting

 The Chair may vote at meetings of the Committee only in the case of a tie.

Marginal note:Procedure

 Subject to the provisions of this Act and the regulations, the Committee may determine the procedure to be followed in the exercise of any of its powers or the performance of any of its duties or functions, including in respect of the appearance of persons before the Committee.

Reports

Marginal note:Annual report

  •  (1) Each year the Committee must submit to the Prime Minister a report of the reviews it conducted during the preceding year. The report must contain

    • (a) the Committee’s findings;

    • (b) its recommendations, if any;

    • (c) any summary referred to in subsection (3); and

    • (d) the number of times in the preceding year that an appropriate Minister

      • (i) determined that a review referred to in paragraph 8(1)(b) would be injurious to national security, and

      • (ii) decided to refuse to provide information under subsection 16(1).

  • Marginal note:Special report

    (2) If, in the Committee’s opinion, a special report on any matter related to its mandate is necessary, it may, at any time, submit such a report to the Prime Minister and the minister concerned.

  • Marginal note:Summary of special report

    (3) The Committee may prepare a summary of a special report and, on submitting the report, must notify the Prime Minister of its intention to do so.

  • Marginal note:Special report not to be tabled

    (4) Subsection (5) does not apply to a special report that is the subject of a notification under subsection (3) and that report is not to be laid before either House of Parliament.

  • Marginal note:Direction to submit revised report

    (5) If, after consulting the Chair of the Committee, the Prime Minister is of the opinion that information in an annual or special report is information the disclosure of which would be injurious to national security, national defence or international relations or is information that is protected by litigation privilege or by solicitor-client privilege or the professional secrecy of advocates and notaries, the Prime Minister may direct the Committee to submit to the Prime Minister a revised version of the annual or special report that does not contain that information.

  • Marginal note:Revised version of report

    (5.1) If the Committee is directed by the Prime Minister to submit a revised version, the revised version must be clearly identified as a revised version and must indicate the extent of, and the reasons for, the revisions.

  • Marginal note:Tabling

    (6) Subject to subsection (4), the Prime Minister must cause to be laid before each House of Parliament, on any of the first 30 days on which that House is sitting after a report is submitted under subsection (1) or (2), a copy of the report or, if the Committee was directed to submit a revised version, a copy of the revised version.

  • Marginal note:Referral

    (7) After it is tabled, the annual or special report stands referred to

    • (a) the Standing Committee on National Security and Defence of the Senate or, if there is not a Standing Committee on National Security and Defence, the appropriate committee of the Senate, as determined by its rules; and

    • (b) the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security of the House of Commons or, if there is not a Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, the appropriate committee of the House of Commons, as determined by its rules.

Review Bodies

Marginal note:Provision of information to Committee

  •  (1) Despite any provision of any other Act of Parliament — including section 45.47 of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act — but subject to subsection (2), a review body may provide to the Committee information that is under its control and that is related to the fulfilment of the Committee’s mandate.

  • Marginal note:Exceptions

    (2) The review body must not provide to the Committee

    • (a) information that is referred to in section 14; or

    • (b) information that is the subject of a decision that has been provided to the review body under subsection 16(3).

Marginal note:Provision of information to review bodies

 The Committee may provide,

  • (a) to the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, information that is obtained from — or that is created by the Committee from information obtained from — the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and that is related to the fulfilment of that review body’s mandate;

  • (b) to the Commissioner of the Communications Security Establishment, information that is obtained from — or that is created by the Committee from information obtained from — the Communications Security Establishment and that is related to the fulfilment of that review body’s mandate; or

  • (c) to the Security Intelligence Review Committee, information that is obtained from — or that is created by the Committee from information obtained from — the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and that is related to the fulfilment of that review body’s mandate.

Secretariat

Marginal note:Secretariat established

  •  (1) The Secretariat of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians is established.

  • Marginal note:Role

    (2) The Secretariat is to assist the Committee in fulfilling its mandate.

  • Marginal note:Office

    (3) The head office of the Secretariat is to be in the National Capital Region as described in the schedule to the National Capital Act.

Marginal note:Executive director

  •  (1) There is to be an executive director of the Secretariat, who is to be appointed by the Governor in Council to hold office during pleasure for a term of up to five years. The executive director is eligible to be reappointed on the expiry of a first or subsequent term of office.

  • Marginal note:Deputy head

    (2) The executive director has the rank and all the powers of a deputy head of a department.

Marginal note:Absence or incapacity

 If the executive director is absent or incapacitated or the office of executive director is vacant, the Minister designated under section 3 may designate another person to act as executive director, but a person must not be so designated for more than 90 days without the Governor in Council’s approval.

Marginal note:Remuneration and expenses

  •  (1) The executive director is to be paid the remuneration that is fixed by the Governor in Council and is entitled to be paid reasonable travel and living expenses incurred in the exercise of their powers or the performance of their duties or functions while absent from their ordinary place of work.

  • Marginal note:Compensation

    (2) The executive director is deemed to be a person employed in the public service for the purposes of the Public Service Superannuation Act and to be employed in the federal public administration for the purposes of the Government Employees Compensation Act and any regulations made under section 9 of the Aeronautics Act.

Marginal note:Chief executive officer

 The executive director is the chief executive officer of the Secretariat and has the control and management of the Secretariat and all matters connected with it.

Marginal note:Contracts, etc.

 The executive director may enter into contracts, memoranda of understanding or other arrangements, including contracts to engage the services of legal counsel or other persons having professional, technical or specialized knowledge to advise or assist the Committee or any of its members.

Marginal note:Employees

 The employees of the Secretariat are to be appointed in accordance with the Public Service Employment Act.

General Provisions

Marginal note:Final decision

  •  (1) The appropriate Minister’s determination that a review referred to in paragraph 8(1)(b) would be injurious to national security or the appropriate Minister’s decision to refuse to provide information under subsection 16(1) is final.

  • Marginal note:Committee’s response

    (2) If the Committee is dissatisfied with the determination or the decision, the Committee is not to bring the matter before the courts, but it may note its dissatisfaction in a report referred to in section 21.

Marginal note:Compliance of activity

 The Committee must inform the appropriate Minister and the Attorney General of Canada of any activity that is carried out by a department and is related to national security or intelligence and that, in the Committee’s opinion, may not be in compliance with the law.

Marginal note:Expenses — appearance before Committee

 Subject to the regulations, a person is entitled to be paid reasonable travel and living expenses incurred as a result of their appearance before the Committee.

Marginal note:Regulations

 The Governor in Council may make regulations

  • (a) respecting the procedures and practices for the secure handling, storage, transportation, transmission and destruction of information or documents provided to or created by the Committee;

  • (b) respecting the procedure to be followed by the Committee in the exercise of any of its powers or the performance of any of its duties or functions;

  • (c) respecting the expenses referred to in section 32; and

  • (d) generally for carrying out the purposes and provisions of this Act.

Marginal note:Review of Act after five years

 Five years after the day on which this Act comes into force, a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of the Act is to be undertaken by the committee of the Senate, of the House of Commons or of both Houses of Parliament that is designated or established by the Senate or the House of Commons, or by both Houses of Parliament, as the case may be, for that purpose.

Consequential Amendments

Access to Information Act

 [Amendment]

 [Amendment]

Financial Administration Act

 [Amendment]

 [Amendment]

 [Amendment]

Security of Information Act

 [Amendments]

 [Amendment]

Parliament of Canada Act

 [Amendment]

 [Amendment]

 [Amendment]

Privacy Act

 [Amendment]

 [Amendment]

Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act

 [Amendment]

Conflict of Interest Act

 [Amendment]

Coming into Force

Marginal note:Order in council

Footnote * This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council.

SCHEDULE(Paragraph 10(b))Oath or Solemn Affirmation

I, blank line, swear (solemnly affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true loyalty to Canada and to its people, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and freedoms I respect and whose laws I will uphold and obey. I further swear (solemnly affirm) that I will, to the best of my ability, discharge my responsibilities as a member of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians and will not communicate or use without due authority any information obtained in confidence by me in that capacity.

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