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Implications of the Public Safety Act, 2002 for Drug Offences

prepared by Eugene Oscapella, Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy, May 2, 2002

This analysis is based on the text of the Bill as of April 29, 2002.

Canada’s proposed terrorist legislation, Bill C-55, appears to expand police powers in relation to drug offences that in most cases have nothing to do with terrorism.

The Bill was introduced in the House of Commons on April 29, 2002.  Bill C-55 is entitled An Act to Amend Certain Acts of Canada, and to Enact Measures for Implementing the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, in Order to Enhance Public Safety (its short title is the Public Safety Act, 2002).

It gives the Commissioner of the RCMP the authority to require any air carrier or operator of an aviation system to provide information about certain persons about whom warrants have been issued.  Among such persons are those with an arrest warrant outstanding relating to any offence that could result in more than five years imprisonment under federal law.

This means that persons who have an arrest warrant outstanding against them for certain drug offences could be subject to this provision.  Among the offences under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to which this new police power would apply are:

The Bill gives the Commissioner the power to require the production of an extensive list of information about the person.  The list of information that the Commissioner can order is set out in the Schedule to the Bill.

What this power in relation to drug offences has to do in most cases with catching terrorists is a mystery.



 

Text of the Bill

The relevant clauses of the Bill are set out here (the full text of the Bill as it read when introduced in the House of Commons and as it progresses through amendments can be found here).  Remember that the text of the Bill may change as it goes through the legislative process.  The following is the text of the Bill as it was introduced :
 

4.82 (1) The following definitions apply in this section.

 Commissioner « commissaire »
                                  ``Commissioner'' means the Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted
                                  Police.

 Director « directeur »
                                  ``Director'' means the Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

 ``transportatio n security''
 « sûreté des transports »
                                  ``transportation security'' means the protection of any means of transportation or
                                  of any transportation infrastructure, including related equipment, from any actual
                                  or attempted action that could cause, or result in,
                                            (a) loss of life or personal injury;
                                            (b) substantial damage to or destruction of a means of
                                            transportation or any transportation infrastructure; or
                                            (c) interference with any means of transportation or with any
                                            transportation infrastructure that is likely to result in loss of life or
                                            personal injury, or substantial damage to or destruction of any
                                            means of transportation or any transportation infrastructure.

 ``warrant''
 « mandat »
                                  ``warrant'' means
                                            (a) a warrant issued in Canada in respect of the arrest of a person
                                            for the commission of an offence that may be punishable under any
                                            Act of Parliament by imprisonment for a term of five years or
                                            more;
                                            (b) a warrant issued under subsection 103(1) of the Immigration
                                            Act; or
                                            (c) a warrant or other document issued outside Canada relating to
                                            the arrest of a person who can be extradited from Canada under
                                            subsection 3(1) of the Extradition Act.

 Designation of persons
                                  (2) The Commissioner may designate persons for the purposes of subsection
                                  (4). Those persons may receive and analyze information provided under that
                                  subsection and match it with any other information in the control of the Royal
                                  Canadian Mounted Police.

 Designation of persons
                                  (3) The Director may designate persons for the purposes of subsection (5).
                                  Those persons may receive and analyze information provided under that
                                  subsection and match it with any other information in the control of the Canadian
                                  Security Intelligence Service. The Director may also designate one or more of
                                  those persons as senior designated persons for the purposes of this section.

 Requirement to provide information
                                  (4) The Commissioner, or a person designated under subsection (2), may, for
                                  the purposes of transportation security or the identification of persons for whom
                                  a warrant has been issued, require any air carrier or operator of an aviation
                                  reservation system to provide a person designated under subsection (2), within
                                  the time and in the manner specified by the person imposing the requirement,
                                  with the information set out in the schedule
                                       (a) that is in the air carrier's or operator's control concerning the persons
                                       on board or expected to be on board an aircraft for any flight specified by
                                       the person imposing the requirement; or
                                       (b) that is in the air carrier's or operator's control, or that comes into their
                                       control within 30 days after the requirement is imposed on them,
                                       concerning any particular person specified by the person imposing the
                                       requirement.

 Requirement to provide information
                                  (5) The Director, or a person designated under subsection (3), may, for the
                                  purposes of transportation security or the investigation of ``threats to the security
                                  of Canada'' referred to in paragraph (c) of the definition of that expression in
                                  section 2 of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act, require any air
                                  carrier or operator of an aviation reservation system to provide a person
                                  designated under subsection (3), within the time and in the manner specified by
                                  the person imposing the requirement, with the information set out in the schedule
                                       (a) that is in the air carrier's or operator's control concerning the persons
                                       on board or expected to be on board an aircraft for any flight specified by
                                       the person imposing the requirement; or
                                       (b) that is in the air carrier's or operator's control, or that comes into their
                                       control within 30 days after the requirement is imposed on them,
                                       concerning any particular person specified by the person imposing the
                                       requirement.

 Disclosure to other designated persons
                                  (6) Despite subsection (7), a person designated under subsection (2) or (3) may
                                  disclose any information provided under subsection (4) or (5), and any
                                  information obtained as a result of matching the information with other
                                  information, to any other person designated under subsection (2) or (3).

 Restriction on disclosure of information to
 other persons
                                  (7) A person designated under subsection (2) or (3) may disclose any
                                  information provided under subsection (4) or (5), any information obtained as a
                                  result of matching the information with other information and any information
                                  obtained as a result of a disclosure under subsection (6), only in accordance
                                  with subsections (8) to (12), or for the purpose of complying with a subpoena or
                                  document issued or order made by a court, person or body with jurisdiction to
                                  compel the production of information, or for the purpose of complying with rules
                                  of court relating to the production of information.

 Disclosure to Minister and air carriers, etc.
                                  (8) A person designated under subsection (2) or (3) may disclose information
                                  referred to in subsection (7) to the Minister, the Canadian Air Transport
                                  Security Authority, any peace officer, any employee of the Canadian Security
                                  Intelligence Service, any air carrier or operator of an aerodrome or other
                                  aviation facility if the designated person has reason to believe that the information
                                  is relevant to transportation security. Any information disclosed to the Canadian
                                  Air Transport Security Authority or to an air carrier or operator of an
                                  aerodrome or other aviation facility under this subsection must also be disclosed
                                  to the Minister.

 Disclosure to Aircraft Protective Officer
                                  (9) A person designated under subsection (2) or (3) may disclose information
                                  referred to in subsection (7) to an Aircraft Protective Officer if the designated
                                  person has reason to believe that the information may assist the Aircraft
                                  Protective Officer to perform duties relating to transportation security.

 Urgent disclosure to any person
                                  (10) A person designated under subsection (2) or (3) may disclose information
                                  referred to in subsection (7) to any person if the designated person has reason to
                                  believe that there is an immediate threat to transportation security or the life,
                                  health or safety of a person.

 Disclosure to peace officer
                                  (11) A person designated under subsection (2) may disclose information
                                  referred to in subsection (7) to any peace officer if the designated person has
                                  reason to believe that the information would assist in the execution of a warrant.

 Disclosure to employee of the Canadian
 Security Intelligence Service
                                  (12) A person designated under subsection (3) may, if authorized by a senior
                                  designated person designated under that subsection, disclose information
                                  referred to in subsection (7) to an employee of the Canadian Security
                                  Intelligence Service for the purposes of an investigation with respect to a ``threat
                                  to the security of Canada'' referred to in paragraph (c) of the definition of that
                                  expression in section 2 of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act.

 Recording of reasons
                                  (13) A person who discloses information under any of subsections (8) to (12)
                                  must, as soon as practicable, prepare and keep a record setting out a summary
                                  of the information disclosed, the elements of information set out in the schedule
                                  in respect of which there was disclosure, the reasons why the information was
                                  disclosed and the name of the person or body to whom the information was
                                  disclosed.

 Destruction of information
                                  (14) Information provided under subsection (4) or (5), and any such information
                                  obtained under subsection (6), must be destroyed within seven days after it is
                                  provided or obtained, unless it is reasonably required for the purposes of
                                  transportation security or the investigation of ``threats to the security of Canada''
                                  referred to in paragraph (c) of the definition of that expression in section 2 of the
                                  Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act, in which case a record must be
                                  prepared and kept setting out the reasons why the information is being retained.

 Review of information
                                  (15) At least once a year, the Commissioner and the Director must cause a
                                  review to be undertaken of all information retained under subsection (14) by
                                  persons designated by them, and the Commissioner, or the Director, as the case
                                  may be, must order the information to be destroyed if he or she is of the opinion
                                  that its continued retention is not justified. The Commissioner and the Director
                                  must each keep a record of their review.

 Exception
                                  (16) Subsections (14) and (15) do not apply in respect of records prepared
                                  under subsection (13).

 Application
                                  (17) Subsections (14) and (15) apply despite any other Act of Parliament.

 Right to provide information preserved
                                  (18) Nothing in this section precludes air carriers and operators of aviation
                                  reservation systems from providing any information if the provision of the
                                  information is otherwise lawful.

 Right to collect information under other
 Acts preserved
                                  (19) Nothing in this section prohibits the collection of any information if the
                                  collection is otherwise lawful.
 Regulations
                                  (20) The Governor in Council may make regulations generally for carrying out
                                  the purposes and provisions of this section.
 

. . .


                                          SCHEDULE
                      (Subsections 4.81(1) and (5) and 4.82(4), (5) and (13))

  1. The person's surname, first name and initial or initials
  2. The person's date of birth
  3. The person's citizenship or nationality or, if not known, the country that issued the travel documents for the person's flight
  4. The person's gender
  5. The number of the person's passport and, if applicable, the number of the person's visa or residency document
  6. The date on which the person's passenger name record was created
  7. If applicable, a notation that the person arrived at the departure gate with a ticket but without a reservation for the flight
  8. If applicable, the names of the travel agency and travel agent that made the person's travel arrangements
  9. The date on which the ticket for the person's flight was issued
  10. If applicable, a notation that the person exchanged their ticket for the flight
  11. The date, if any, by which the person's ticket for the flight had to be paid for to avoid cancellation of the reservation or
  the date, if any, on which the request for a reservation was activated by the air carrier or person who operates the aviation
  reservation system
  12. The number assigned to the person's ticket for the flight
  13. If applicable, a notation that the person's ticket for the flight is a one-way ticket
  14. If applicable, a notation that the person's ticket for the flight is valid for one year and is issued for travel between
  specified points with no dates or flight numbers assigned
  15. The city or country in which the travel included in the person's passenger name record begins
  16. The itinerary cities, being all points where the person will embark or disembark
  17. The name of the operator of the aircraft on which the person is on board or expected to be on board
  18. The names of the operators of aircraft over whose air routes all other segments of air travel included in the person's
  passenger name record are undertaken, including, for each segment, the name of any operator of aircraft other than the
  operator that issued the ticket
  19. The code of the operator of the aircraft and the identification number for the person's flight
  20. The person's destination
  21. The travel date for the person's flight
  22. Any seat assignment on the person's flight that was selected for the person before departure
  23. The number of pieces of baggage checked by the person to be carried in the aircraft's cargo compartment on the flight
  24. The tag numbers for the person's baggage
  25. The class of service in respect of the person's flight
  26. Any stated seat request in respect of the person's flight
  27. The person's passenger name record number
  28. The phone numbers of the person and, if applicable, the phone number of the travel agency that made the person's
  travel arrangements
  29. The person's address and, if applicable, the address of the travel agency that made the travel arrangements
  30. The manner in which the person's ticket was paid for
  31. If applicable, a notation that the person's ticket was paid for by another person
  32. If applicable, a notation that there are gaps in the itinerary included in the person's passenger name record that
  necessitate travel by an undetermined method
  33. Routing information in respect of the travel included in the person's passenger name record, being the departure and
  arrival points, codes of the operators of the aircraft, stops and surface segments
  34. If applicable, a notation that the person's ticket is in electronic form and stored electronically in an aviation reservation
  system


Updated:2 May 2002| Accessed:30804times