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:
Marginal note:Short title
1 This Act may be cited as the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians Act.
2 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 means the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians established by section 4. (Comité)
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 or the office of the Intelligence Commissioner — 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
(a) the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police established by subsection 45.29(1) of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act; or
(b) the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency. (organisme de surveillance)
(c) [Repealed, 2019, c. 13, s. 49]
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
3 The Governor in Council may designate a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada to be the Minister for the purposes of this Act.
Committee and Members
Marginal note:Committee established
4 (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.
(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
5 (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.
(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.
(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
6 (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.
7 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
8 (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.
9 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
10 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
11 (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.
(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
12 (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.
(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
13 (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:For greater certainty
(2.1) For greater certainty, the disclosure to the Committee under this section of any information that is subject to solicitor-client privilege or the professional secrecy of advocates and notaries or to litigation privilege does not constitute a waiver of those privileges or that secrecy.
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.
- 2017, c. 15, s. 13
- 2019, c. 13, s. 49
14 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
15 (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.
(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.
(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
16 (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.
(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) The appropriate Minister must provide the decision and reasons to the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency and, 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.
- 2017, c. 15, s. 16
- 2019, c. 13, s. 49
Marginal note:Meetings — all of Chair
17 The Committee is to meet at the call of the Chair.
- Date modified: