Tuesday, June 19, 2012
The Special Senate Committee on Anti-Terrorism has the honour to present its
Your committee, to which was referred Bill S-9, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, has, in obedience to the order of reference of Thursday, May 17, 2012, examined the said Bill and now reports the same with the following amendment:
Clause 5, page 4:
(a) Replace line 7 with the following:
"damage to property or the environment, makes a device or pos-'';
(b) Replace line 10 with the following:
"al or a device or commits an act against a''; and
(c) Replace line 19 with the following:
"device or commits an act against a nuclear''.
Your committee has also made certain observations, which are appended to this report.
to the Third Report of the
Special Senate Committee on Anti-Terrorism (Bill S-9)
As was stated by world leaders who attended the 26-27 March 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, Korea:
Nuclear terrorism continues to be one of the most challenging threats to international security. Defeating this threat requires strong national measures and international cooperation given its potential global political, economic, social, and psychological consequences.1
The committee concurs with this statement. A nuclear terrorist attack would almost certainly have devastating consequences were one to occur anywhere in the world, and even a small possibility of such an attack is enough to create impetus for urgent action. The committee accordingly supports the swift enactment of Bill S-9, which prohibits certain acts in relation to nuclear or radioactive materials or devices and nuclear facilities, classifies the commission of such offences as terrorist activity; and empowers Canadian courts to try those who commit such offences outside of Canada, when certain conditions are met. The amendments to the Criminal Code (the Code) this bill proposes reflect obligations imposed on States Parties to the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (ICSANT),2 and the Amendment to the Convention for the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM Amendment).3 Once Bill S-9 is enacted, Canada will be in a position to ratify both conventions, something Canada, as well as other countries, committed to work toward at both the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington, D.C.,4 and the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul.5
Having said this, the committee also recognizes that the enactment of domestic legislation to implement Canada's treaty obligations, while significant, will only be effective in reducing the threat of nuclear terrorism, if such legislation operates in the context of a wider policy framework, designed and resourced to support it.
The Nuclear Security Summits in 2010 and 2012 have provided new, high-level political momentum to global efforts to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism worldwide. As noted by witnesses during the course of our study, Canada, along with the United States, has been a leader in the effort to secure nuclear materials worldwide and to prevent nuclear terrorism. The Government of Canada's recent commitment to contribute $367 million over the next five years to the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction through our Global Partnership Program, and Canada's participation, as an initial partner nation, in both the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) and the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), are examples of Canadian threat reduction efforts that have already achieved considerable results.
The committee recognizes that Canada operates under a world-class nuclear safety and security regime. Nonetheless, continued vigilance with respect to the physical, personnel and cyber protection of nuclear materials and facilities is urged. In this connection, we note the 18 cases of fissile material theft that have been documented by the International Atomic Energy Agency to date. While none of these cases involved sufficient material to construct a nuclear bomb, they demonstrate that security in this arena can be breached and that the will to do so exists.
As further noted by witnesses, risk of nuclear proliferation is reduced whenever the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) is minimized, and Canada's achievements in this regard, both domestically and internationally, have been considerable. On the domestic front, the committee notes, in particular, the financial support provided by both the Government of Canada and some provincial governments to research and develop new technologies that would allow Canada to produce medical isotopes without a reactor, leaving uranium, whether HEU or low enriched uranium (LEU) eliminated, as well as the Government of Canada's decision to close the Chalk River nuclear facility by 2016. The committee believes the Government of Canada should continue to further reduce proliferation risks by continuing to work towards eliminating Canada's use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) as fuel in its two research reactors and as targets in the production of medical isotopes. To this end, we believe that Canada should carry on its leadership role in the area of nuclear security by committing, as the United States has already done, to eliminating all civil use of HEU as soon as possible.
1 Seoul Communiqué, 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit, 27 March 2012.
2 International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism [ICSANT], UN Doc. A/RES/59/290 (2005).
3 IAEA Board of Governors General Conference, Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material [CPPNM Amendment], GOV/INF/2005/10-GC(49)/ INF/6, 6 September 2005, http://www.iaea.org/About/Policy/GC/GC49/Documents/gc49inf-6. pdf.
4 See Prime Minister of Canada, "Communiqué of the Washington Nuclear Security Summit,'' 13 April 2010.
5 Seoul Communiqué, supra note 1.