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COMBATTING ORGANIZED CRIME

Sub-Committee on Organized Crime
of the Standing Committee on
Justice and Human Rights

Hon. Andy Scott, M.P.

Chair of the Standing Committee

Paul DeVillers, M.P.

Chair of the Sub-Committee

October 2000

TABLE OF CONTENTS


STANDING COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS

SUB-COMMITTEE ON ORGANIZED CRIME

ORDER OF REFERENCE

INTRODUCTION

COMBATTING ORGANIZED CRIME

Background of the Sub-Committee and objective of this Report

Process that led to the preparation of this Interim Report

Recommendations of the Sub-Committee

REQUEST FOR GOVERNMENT RESPONSE

DISSENTING OPINION OF THE BLOC QUÉBÉCOIS


STANDING COMMITTEE ON
JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS

CHAIR

Hon. Andy Scott

VICE-CHAIRS

Chuck Cadman

Ivan Grose

MEMBERS

Michel Bellehumeur

John McKay

Aileen Carroll

Lynn Myers

Irwin Cotler

Judy Sgro

Paul DeVillers

Myron Thompson

Peter MacKay

Pierrette Venne

John Maloney

Randy White

Peter Mancini

ASSOCIATE MEMBERS

Jim Abbott

Jason Kenney

Diane Ablonczy

Allan Kerpan

Rob Anders

Derrek Konrad

Roy Bailey

Eric Lowther

Leon Benoit

Gary Lunn

Bernard Bigras

Preston Manning

Cliff Breitkreuz

Richard Marceau

Garry Breitkreuz

Inky Mark

Rick Casson

Keith Martin

David Chatters

Philip Mayfield

John Cummins

Grant McNally

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral

Réal Ménard

Stockwell Day

Val Meredith

Pierre de Savoye

Bob Mills

John Duncan

Lee Morrison

Reed Elley

Mark Muise

Ken Epp

Deepak Obhrai

Paul Forseth

Jim Pankiw

Bill Gilmour

Charlie Penson

Peter Goldring

John Reynolds

Jim Gouk

Gerry Ritz

Gurmant Grewal

Svend Robinson

Deborah Grey

Werner Schmidt

Dennis Gruending

Mike Scott

Michel Guimond

Monte Solberg

Art Hanger

Caroline St-Hilaire

Louise Hardy

Chuck Strahl

Richard Harris

Suzanne Tremblay

Grant Hill

Daniel Turp

Jay Hill

Maurice Vellacott

Howard Hilstrom

Tom Wappel

Rahim Jaffer

Ted White

Dale Johnston

John Williams

Jim Jones

 

CLERK OF THE COMMITTEE

Roger Préfontaine

RESEARCH STAFF OF THE COMMITTEE

Philip Rosen
Senior Analyst


SUB-COMMITTEE ON ORGANIZED CRIME

CHAIR

Paul DeVillers

MEMBERS

Michel Bellehumeur

Peter Mancini

Gurmant Grewal

John McKay

Peter MacKay

Lynn Myers

John Maloney

Hon. Andy Scott

OTHER MEMBERS WHO PARTICIPATED

Réal Ménard

Pierrette Venne

 

CLERK OF THE SUB-COMMITTEE

Roger Préfontaine

RESEARCH STAFF OF THE SUB-COMMITTEE

Philip Rosen
Senior Analyst

Lyne Casavant
Research Officer


House of Commons

committees and legislative services directorate

2nd Session / 36th Parliament

ORDER OF REFERENCE

Extract from the Journals of the House of Commons of
Tuesday, November 30, 1999

The Order was read for the consideration of the Business of Supply.

Mr. Bellehumeur (Berthier — Montcalm), seconded by Mr. Turp (Beauharnois —Salaberry), moved, — That this House instruct the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights to conduct a study of organized crime, to analyse the options available to Parliament to combat the activities of criminal groups and to report to the House no later than October 31, 2000.

Debate arose thereon.

Ms. Venne (Saint-Bruno — Saint-Hubert), seconded by Mr. Loubier (Saint-Hyacinthe — Bagot), moved the following amendment, — That the motion be amended by inserting after the word "combat"' the following:

"effectively"'

Debate arose thereon.

The House resumed consideration of the motion of Mr. Bellehumeur (Berthier — Montcalm), seconded by Mr. Turp (Beauharnois — Salaberry), in relation to the Business of Supply;

And of the amendment of Ms. Venne (Saint-Bruno — Saint- Hubert), seconded by Mr. Loubier (Saint-Hyacinthe — Bagot).

The debate continued.

At 5:15 p.m., pursuant to Standing Order 81(16), the Speaker interrupted the proceedings.

The question was put on the amendment and it was agreed to.

The question was put on the main motion, as amended, and it was agreed to on the following division:

YEAS – 254

NAYS – 0

PAIRED – 12

ATTEST

ROBERT MARLEAU

Clerk of the House


THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE
AND HUMAN RIGHTS

has the honour to present its

NINTH REPORT

Pursuant to its Order of Reference dated November 30, 1999, a Sub-Committee of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights was established to conduct a study of organized crime, to analyse the options available to Parliament to combat the activities of criminal groups.

The Sub-Committee agreed to present the following report to the Committee.

Your Committee has adopted this report, which reads as follows:


COMBATTING ORGANIZED CRIME

Background of the Sub-Committee and objective of this Report

On November 30, 1999, a motion was unanimously agreed to by the House of Commons, instructing the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights "to conduct a study of organized crime [and] analyse the options available to Parliament to combat the activities of criminal groups".

On April 4, 2000, pursuant to this instruction, the Committee struck a sub-committee to carry out the study. Under the terms of the motion, the Sub-Committee on Organized Crime had to report to the House no later than October 31, 2000.

This Interim Report complies with that instruction by the House. However, it is not as complete as the Sub-Committee would have liked. The Sub-Committee considers that it did not have enough time to carry out fully the mandate entrusted to it. Nevertheless, given the extreme urgency of taking action on organized crime, the Sub-Committee felt it was essential to share the information it has gathered so far with the decision-makers and the Canadian public. It would like to present this information in the form of recommendations. The following section will set out the considerations that convinced the Sub-Committee to choose this approach.

First, we wish to explain briefly the process that led to the preparation of this Report.

Process that led to the preparation of this Interim Report

Given the complexity of the mandate conferred on the Sub-Committee, it began by holding in camera briefing sessions, to master the key elements of organized crime and discuss the work plan it should adopt to carry out effectively the mandate entrusted to it by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

Having developed a work plan, the Sub-Committee held discussions, in Ottawa and elsewhere, with persons working for law-enforcement agencies, experts and individuals interested in the war on organized crime. The Sub-Committee also visited various sites, in particular airports, ports and border posts, and familiarized itself with the technology and other tools used by agencies fighting this phenomenon.

The sensitive nature of the mandate conferred on the Sub-Committee resulted in the adoption of certain special measures designed to guarantee witnesses that their evidence would be confidential. For example, nothing that the members of the Sub-Committee were to hear during its in camera sittings was to be made public in any way, directly or indirectly. All meetings of the Sub-Committee were to be held in camera.

The desire to guarantee witnesses the confidentiality of their evidence, and thus protect them, has meant that the Sub-Committee’s report must be different from those normally tabled in the House of Commons. In the following section, we present a series of recommendations. This approach has the advantage of making extremely difficult any attempt to identify the witnesses from whom we gathered evidence in the course of our study.

It is in this unique context that the Sub-Committee on Organized Crime offers the following recommendations:

Recommendations of the Sub-Committee

RECOMMENDATION 1

Ensure that the relevant elements of existing legislation, resources, investigative and prosecutorial practices are being deployed to their fullest potential. If this is not so, effective strategies to fill any gaps should be developed.

RECOMMENDATION 2

Amend the Criminal Code so that all its provisions related to organized crime activities are brought together in a specific Part to be entitled Enterprise Crime, Designated Drug Offences, Criminal Organizations, and Money Laundering.

RECOMMENDATION 3

Amend sections 2 and 467.1 of the Criminal Code to reduce the number of participants in a criminal organization from 5 to 3.

RECOMMENDATION 4

Amend sections 2 and 467.1 of the Criminal Code so that the predicate offences (contained in section 467.1(1)(b) as an offence to which an accused is a party) include all indictable offences.

RECOMMENDATION 5

Amend sections 2 and 467.1 of the Criminal Code to remove the requirement that some or all of the members of the criminal organization have committed indictable offences within the preceding five years.

RECOMMENDATION 6

Amend the Criminal Code to allow for the designation of criminal organization offenders in a manner similar to that applicable to dangerous offenders and long-term offenders provided for at sections 752 and following of the Criminal Code. This would allow at the sentencing stage, after a conviction has been obtained, for the imposition of imprisonment for an indeterminate period or for long-term supervision in the community after sentence for up to 10 years.

RECOMMENDATION 7

Amend sections 184 and following of the Criminal Code, dealing with judicially authorized audio and video surveillance, to increase in non-criminal organization offences from 60 days to 120 days the periods for which such activities can be authorized and renewed.

RECOMMENDATION 8

Review and amend the provisions of Part VI of the Criminal Code so as to streamline and simplify the requirements and practices involved in the judicial approval and renewal of audio and video surveillance as a law enforcement investigative strategy.

RECOMMENDATION 9

Amend section 743.6(1.1) of the Criminal Code to allow sentencing judges to order that the offender serve the full sentence of incarceration without any form of conditional release in cases where there is evidence the convicted person committed an offence to the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a criminal organization.

RECOMMENDATION 10

Amend the Criminal Code so that there is a reverse onus (dischargeable on a balance of probabilities) placed on a person convicted of an enterprise crime, a designated substance offence, a criminal organization offence, or money-laundering, whose assets have been seized, to prove that these assets have not been acquired or increased in value as the result of criminal activity. If the convicted person is unable to discharge this burden of proof to the satisfaction of the court, these assets would be declared to be forfeited.

RECOMMENDATION 11

Amend section 231 of the Criminal Code to make first degree murder the killing of anyone involved in the criminal justice system during or shortly after investigative or criminal proceedings.

RECOMMENDATION 12

Further measures beyond those now in place should be developed to more fully protect jurors serving in trials related to organized crime.

RECOMMENDATION 13

Amend the Canada Evidence Act to codify and simplify the rules related to disclosure.

RECOMMENDATION 14

Ensure that human resources, expertise and technology levels are sufficient to effectively combat organized crime.

RECOMMENDATION 15

Establish a national tactical coordinating committee to promote the exchange of information and sharing of experiences among field operatives in order to fight organized crime.

RECOMMENDATION 16

Establish special courts to try members of organized crime.

RECOMMENDATION 17

Establish special multidisciplinary teams of investigators and Crown prosecutors to investigate and prosecute organized crime.

RECOMMENDATION 18

Carry out a country-wide campaign to raise public awareness of the extent and impact of organized crime.


REQUEST FOR GOVERNMENT RESPONSE

The Committee requests that the Government provide a comprehensive response to its Report in accordance with Standing Order 109.

A copy of the relevant Minutes of Proceedings of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights (Meeting No. 63 of the Second Session of the Thirty-sixth Parliament) and of the Sub-Committee on Organized Crime (Meeting No. 16 of the Second Session of the Thirty-sixth Parliament) is tabled.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Hon. Andy Scott

Chair


DISSENTING OPINION OF THE BLOC QUÉBÉCOIS

The Bloc Québécois cannot subscribe to the interim report of the Sub-Committee on Organized Crime of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights of the House of Commons.

The Bloc Québécois puts forward the three following proposals, which are in conformity with the positions it has previously taken.

The Bloc Québécois proposes that membership in a criminal organization be made a crime.

The Bloc Québécois advocates making a reference to the Supreme Court of Canada with the view of establishing whether or not the new definition of "gang" is constitutional.

Should the Supreme Court declare the new clause unconstitutional, the Bloc Québécois would still be of the opinion that the section 33 notwithstanding clause of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms should be resorted to.

These three proposals are a minimum since the Bloc Québécois is of the opinion that the issue of organized crime requires a more thorough analysis and wider consultations.

 

ParlVU

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