tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 7, 2015 2:00am-4:01am EDT
scratch that old wound. >> you were the one who announced that condition on separation. my position is the supreme court position is the numbers should be set in the context of the next referendum. you are play -- your play to strike up that separatist vote to announce this is going to be your policy is not worthy of a prime minister. no prime minister should make it easier for quebec to separate. ms. may: isn't it ironic that this is about our democratic institutions. starting with clips about how much heckling is in the house of commons. we can as canadians, disagree without being disagreeable. i would like us to be able to talk about what we do about fixing parliament, that is an urgent crisis. i do not believe we want to get ourselves mired into any thread of separatism. >> the liberal party has a
project of reform. mr. trudeau doesn't want to have a referendum on reform. stephen harper wants in he -- once any change to go through a reform process. mr. harper: we have a westminster system. voters are able to elect governments, not coalitions later. canadians -- this has come up before. it was the subject of a referendum in ontario and prince edward island. i have not found canadians who want to make this change. in fact, when asked, they reject it. let's play under the rules. mr. wells: when he brought in his unfair elections act, he refused to talk to canadians. we stood up strong and opposed it. we shut down travel by parliamentarian committees.
we used every tool to stop him from walking away. he has made it harder for whole classes of canadians to vote. that is not just our opinion. all of the experts who have looked at his unfair elections act has said the same thing -- have said the same thing. mr. harper, if you have become such a keen fan making sure no single party can change the rules, why don't you go ahead and do just that? mr. harper: the principal change it makes is voters have to show id to demonstrate who they are. there are many pieces of id they can show. canadians overwhelmingly support that. 90% of canadians believe you should be able to show who you are before you vote. frankly i think voters should be , worried about parties who would not do that. who cannot identify themselves. mr. trudeau: this is a perfect
example of how mr. harper creates fear of massive voter fraud. his party was not able to prove anything. the fact is the job of elections canada, and what we should look at as a goal as a country is to encourage as many people as possible to vote. changes mr. harper has made to the act get more difficult for students, aboriginal and indigenous communities, to actually vote. the fact is, we need to make sure those voices are being heard because those voices are not just marginalized in voting rights, but so many aspects of society. mr. harper wants to keep it that way. mr. harper: how can we identify fraud if we don't even know who voters are? this is a commonsense reform
, supported by 90%, we have made sure it is id applicable for every canadian. >> one of the things it allowed you to do was extend to 11 weeks. it allowed you to prorate expenses did you have this kind , of long campaign in mind for two years? mr. harper: we agreed to have an election debate months ago. everyone knew an election would be on it is very simple. , if we are going to be an election campaign, we should be under the rules of the election act, not using parliamentary -- resources. mr. wells: we are going to continue this with new questions. the first goes to the prime minister, stephen harper. you used to promise you would
not name senators who had not been elected now you're promising you won't use senators at all. you are blaming courts for blocking reform and have asked provinces to come up with ideas. --ids. the folks in the provinces did not name the senators in trouble, you did. do you owe canadians an apology? mr. harper: the senate has had these kinds of problems for 150 years. for the first time, we have a senate with clear rules and is enforcing them. my role is not to apologize for the bad actions of others. the role of a leader is to take responsibility and hold people accountable, and that is what we are doing. mr. wells: your policy is not to name senators indefinitely. there was a court case before a judge in british columbia on the
assertion that will not work. if you cannot empty out the senate over time, have you sought constitutional advice on whether you can go ahead with your new policy. mr. harper: you cannot empty the senate entirely, but i have left 22 seats vacant. the prime minister has the power to name those or not name those. we have brought the cost of the senate down. it has fallen by $6 million. those will force most provinces, almost all of them who have opposed senate elections and reform, to come clean with that and explain why the senators are not being elected. i gave them a chance, they will not elect them and why the will not abolish. over time, public pressure will force this issue to be resolved. frankly, the longer there are vacancies, it will raise questions about why we continue with the senate we do. mr. wells: you think one idea is to meet to discuss the issue.
mr. harper: no. i have talked to provinces, i know with the positions are. there is nowhere near consensus on either reform or abolition. opening up constitutional discussions is the wrong priority for the country. our priorities are the economy and security, if the provinces really believe the senate should be fixed, tell us how. mr. wells: the first response goes to tom mulcair. mr. mulcair: he has said he would never name and appointed senator. he has broken a record and named 59 and the list continues to grow. i am looking for a mandate on october 19 to put an end to this once and for all. there are things we can do.
the first is to make sure every vote counts. open up parliament, for example. get rid of the secrecy of the internal committee that looks at how taxpayer money is spent. we think taxpayers should have the ability to look at how every single dollar is spent. by the way, we do want to get rid of the senate abolition. mr. trudeau thinks we need better senators. i think we only need former senators. mr. trudeau: his plan is to say, stop me before i appoint again. the fact is he made a solemn promise to never appoint a senator, he broke that promise on his very first day as prime minister by appointing a senator. he broke that promise to the eight more times -- 58 more
times. mr. mulcair wants to open of the constitution. when the next prime minister eventually sits down to talk about things, i can tell you canadians are going to want the prime minister to talk about jobs, climate change, health care, not to talk about how to open up the constitution to try and improve the senate. the fact that the local party took concrete action to remove the senators from our caucus to make sure any future appointments are done in a transparent nonpartisan way. to actually reform the senate. ms. may: whoever gave you the advice needs to go back to law school. what you are doing is unconstitutional. the single the biggest scandal that has yet occurred was not the misspending, it was the
illegitimate notion the prime minister's office has the right to tell conservative senators how to vote. for the first time in history of this country, a bill passed in the house of commons, the democratically elected house past the -- passed the climate accountability act. when it went to the senate, the conservative senators were instructed to kill it at the first opportunity. the first time in the history of this country appointed senators have killed a bill without a single day of study in the senate of canada. mr. wells: did you ask the senators to stop the bill? mr. harper: we always ask senators to support the party position. we cannot force them to do anything. we asked them to support the party position. if you look at the facts of the parliament under this government, this is often not reported. we have backbenchers -- back ventures voting more freely than
in decades. more private members of legislation that have gone through parliament and multiple governments before. that is the reality of the situation. mr. mulcair: i was there. the day the senators had this to block a bill that had been adopted by those people elected by the public that was the first time in 75 years, and on what subject? the most important issue facing future generations. i do not want my grandchildren to bear the burden for wrongheaded choices. mr. harper admitted he asked the senators to vote to kill a bill adopted by the house of commons. what greater proof of a lack of a respect to our fundamental democracy than asking unelected people to defeat a bill voted on and adopted by the elected parliament. mr. harper: we asked them to
stick to principles. the fact is private members legislation has been blocked very frequently by the senate. ms. may: never. mr. harper: the reason i do not have to name senators is because we have a healthy government majority. mr. trudeau: you broke your promise 59 times. mr. harper: for three years we left 20 vacancies in the senate. we invited the providences to elect, finally to get government legislation moving in the senate, 2008 i said i would appoint senators. we have done so. now that we don't need to, we have stopped. mr. trudeau, you just said there are no liberal senators. go to the website, there are 29 liberal senators.
>> your premier has told a magazine that no one would support it, is that not a problem? mr. mulcair: it is in issue i understand. we would take a different approach this issue begins with , a mandate. it is not because it has been there for a long time that we cannot get rid of it. mr. harper has refused to attend a single meeting since coming -- becoming prime minister. i go to two meetings a year. i'm not afraid of sitting down with my provincial colleagues. things like health care, we need a modern accord of course i'm going to sit down with them instead of dictating a big cut like mr. harper did. on senate reform i would ask for a mandate october 19 and start the hard work i have started
, of meeting with the premiers to get rid of this undemocratic undemocratic, unaccountable institution that is a relic from our colonial past. mr. harper: it was your position for your years in quebec. mr. mulcair: is a long-standing position since the unilateral page reaction. -- unilateral constitution. every quebec government has said that. that is why i am not hesitant to sit down and work on this tough issue. i believe sincerely the only way to deal with the senate is to get rid of it. $1 billion has been spent on the senate under his watch. he has done nothing about abolition or reform. can you imagine how many childcare spaces we could have created with $1 billion.
ms. may: the way the greens advocate we change the way we make decisions in canada to create a space where we can work together is to create a council of canadian governments. that would include building on the council federation, federal provincial, territorial. as well as first nations. around the same table we need to , deal with the senate. it is not my top priority because it is hard and will require opening up the constitution. we think we should amend the amending formula so canadians can change the constitution by referendum. that would be instead of the antiquated formula we have today. mr. wells: the pragmatist or -- the prime minister called you out and said there were a lot of liberal senators. mr. trudeau: we have released the senators so they can be independent. some have chosen to continue to call themselves liberals. unlike what mr. harper said which it is he directed though cinders to vote along the party -- those senators to vote along
party lines, i have not done that, and i no longer have the power to do that over senators formerly in the liberal caucus. we feel the decisions made in the upper house should be independent of the political maneuverings mr. harper has. mr. harper: they vote the party line every time. you'd have to think of a changed now that they are senate liberals. here is the reality during the , most recent provincial election in nova scotia, the new premier had all the liberals on stage to thank them for doing his fund-raising. the bagman of the liberal party are still in the senate. ms. may: here's a surprise. larry campbell endorsed me. mr. wells: stay with us for the final round. ♪
>> we have moved our viewing parties west, here is a look at the university of british columbia, packed as people tune into the debate. welcome back. we approach the final leg of this debate. justin, what are you thinking so far on round two? justin: mulcair was quite strong. he had a couple of issues where he could of been stronger, but he eventually got into a groove. he went after the prime minister. the prime and mr. looks -- prime minister looks weak on democratic reform. ms. may brought herself and by knowing her numbers and facts and having a concise message. at least she got into the debate. john: i agree. i thought the prime minister had to be worried going into the section on democracy in the senate. i thought he came out scuffed
up. he wasn't battered and bruised. he held his own. cynthia: what do you think of the comment, it is not his job to apologize for the actions of others. john: that was a tough question. >> harper was good on the question of separation. that was one of his stronger points. cormac: he was on the hot seat again, taking attacks. we have heard, that is not true so many times. trudeau has performed well on the issue of the senate. cynthia: harper taking a lot of heat. canadians are piping about these issues on facebook. roger peterson with how you have been responding. roger: the head of public policy from facebook, have been talking about the polls, to go in favor of that. kevin: a clear preference. 83% saying we should change the
system. roger: not surprising when you think about the government and how important that has been to people. kevin: often times people will say governance doesn't matter. but we see a clear preference, second-highest topic discussed for the election. roger: an important idea discussed to read we will hear more about it over the next few months. we had to gord. -- head to gord. gord: be sure to tune in after the debate as we explore the issues on a number of fronts. how canadians are responding in person and online. we will hear from the moderator about being in the middle of the action. that is where we are going right now the party leaders are here , to take on the final issue.
mr. wells: welcome back once again to the debate the final topic is on foreign policy and security. >> if there ever was a distinction about the choices canada makes abroad, it vanished last october, when voters inspired by international terrorist movements murdered people in ottawa. canadian security is being challenged in iraq and syria. our commitment to our allies is tested in eastern europe. our relations with the u.s. and with the world's rising powers is another area of controversy. in our final segment we will , discuss canada and the world. mr. wells: our first question on this goes to mr. mulcair.
canadians are reluctant to send soldiers into combat, but they are also willing to defend canadian values when necessary. the historic reluctance has never been tested in power. would an ndp government send troops or jet fighters into combat? if so, where? mr. mulcair: we have shown that willingness in the past in the case of the u.n. mandate such as libya. we agree with the first two being part of that, the votes in the house, and then we withdrew that when they changed the nature of the mission they were asking us to support. the prime minister consulted me in sending in the airlift capability in somalia. there will be times when that is appropriate, before i would send in our brave men and women in uniform, and risk their lives, i will think about them and their families and make sure we have a , clearly defined mission and exit strategy. that is why when mr. harper started his most recent
adventure in iraq, we said no, this is not something can do -- something that canada should be involved in area -- in. the question is, when do we put troops in harms way? we thought in that case it was inappropriate. mr. wells: all the traditional allies support the mission was -- against isis in iraq and syria. is that not broad enough? mr. mulcair: multilateralism is a canadian approach. don't forget, you have named if you -- a few nato allies this is an american led mission. not a u.n. mission, unlike that i referred to in libya a couple of years ago. we think we are taking a wrongheaded approach and a lot of the horrors we are seeing are a direct result of this war.
we said we would stay out, and we are seeing the results of that wrongheaded decision right now. mr. wells: the first response goes to elizabeth may. ms. may: that vote when everyone voted for the continued bombardment of libya took place after the mission had changed. the u.n. sanction and approval was the responsibility to protect civilians from qaddafi. at the moment that we as a country said, oh, the rebel forces are the legitimate government of libya we did that , knowing those rebel forces included al qaeda. i was the only member of the parliament who voted against this. it seemed clear, with a piece offer, we should take that cease-fire, and see if it would work. the warehouses all of arms
belonging to qaddafi ended up -- warehouses full of arms belonging to qaddafi ended up being emptied out by hoodlums and terrorists and to stabilizing mali. some of those weapons ended up in the hands of isis. the question is how could we as , a country that has always stood for peacekeeping, why did every member vote to continue bombardment when everything i said was clear? mr. mulcair: we will evaluate it based on whether it is a u.n. mission, and when it becomes clear it has morphed for a regime change. she is opposed to every single use of military. mr. harper is in use of every -- is in favor of every possible use of the military. we are going to take a balanced approach that would take into account canadian values. mr. wells: do you think we need
a u.n. mandate before we send canadian troops abroad? mr. trudeau: it is a clear indicator that we should be involved in some situations, and some we should not. i supported afghanistan and kosovo. the fact is, i am proud to have among us in our great team of candidates the former commander of the army on the ground in afghanistan. the liberal party knows canada has an important role to play around the world promoting peace and security. where i disagree with the prime minister on this current mission is not that canada should not , have a role against isil. i just disagree with the approach he has. unfortunately mr. harper has not seen a war he has not wanted to get involved in. that was clear when he supported george w. bush's war in iraq. in 2003 he said canada should be involved.
canada should have a role to play but it should be the right one that should help the local forces fight and win the war for themselves. that's why i support training missions, not combat missions. mr. wells: your opponents say you have not seen a war you have not liked. mr. harper: we have not gotten involved in many actions but we are involved in the war against isis. it is not true what he said, it is not a few nato allies. all of our nato allies support this. not only nato. virtually all of the countries of the muslim region support this. the reason is this organization has become the global nerve center of a violent jihadist movement that is not only threatening, literally slaughtering hundreds of thousands of people before we intervened but is a threat to the region, and globe. it has singled out canadians by name and demonstrated the ability to carry out attacks in
countries like ours. it would be absolutely foolish for us not to go after this group before they come after us. i am proud of the job the men and women are doing taking this on in concert with our allies and i think it is supported by canadians because they understand. mr. wells: if not iso--- isil then who? we agree in being part of the coalition, we just us agree that bombing is the way to do this. there has to be a clear plan, an expectation of success. there has to be a reasonable justification of the specific action canada is taking. not just, these people are bad therefore we need to do , something. it means we have to be thoughtful. our allies and quite frankly
canadians expect us to be thoughtful about our approach. mr. trudeau: the other thing is if we are going to send his troops overseas, we need to make sure we are taking care of them when they come home. mr. harper has failed our veterans by nickel and dining -- diming them. not giving them the service, the help they need. this is something we should be ashamed of. the government that likes to wrap itself in the flag is not caring for those people who have fought, injured, and died. mr. harper: this government has made record investments in veterans. we spend 35% more than when we came to office. let me go back to the central question, isis, what we are doing is the mission our allies think we should be doing. these are the priorities. hit them in the air. help the trained people, particularly the kurds on the
ground. mr. trudeau has provided no rational reason for why he is against that other than to slug -- slag the military. it is in the vital interests of our country. if you are prime minister you have to be able to make these kinds of decisions as prime minister. ms. may: it is tricky. the question of who is our enemy and friend we are bombing in , syria and we do not have permission from assad. you said we would wait for his permission, strange because he is a chair -- butcher. the civil war has caused loss of life, 4 million refugees. we did not do anything. that was not isis murdering people. that was a civil war where the factions within the muslim world are slaughtering each other. isis is taking advantage of that. are we on the side of assad? are we going to help bomb isis?
some people said they were helpful. mr. wells: isn't it tricky that a lot of crisis areas are intricate parts of the world. ms. may: why does this group of thugs put their horrific acts on youtube? because they want to draw us into the region. they are following an ancientthey are following an ancient text they claim will lead to certain results, but only if infidels are in the right lace and the right time to attack. -- right place and the right time to attack. ukraine eastern europe. nato's article five says if the nato nation's attack, all nato nations must respond to would
your government uphold article five in eastern europe? mr. mulcair: ukraine not being a member of nato, i'm not sure it would pertain. we will of course support nato. we are proud members of nato. that is why made reference to the fact that should be one of our multilateral cornerstones whether it is a nato mission. the mission in iraq is not a neato mission. -- a nato mission. putin is a danger. we stand firmly with ukraine against the aggression. but there are things canada can and should be doing. our allies have a complete list of people being section. -- sanctioned. two key players. mr. harper is sheltering people
not on the list. why are these two individuals being blocked by our allies and you are giving them a free pass? mr. harper: let me be clear about how we have handled sanctions. we have sanctioned not just russian officials but ukrainian officials connected with the previous list. all of the allies have slightly different list. the objective is to damage putin while trying to minimize damage to our own. we follow with those lists and they do the same. mr. mulcair: these are on the lists of all of our closest allies. mr. harper is refusing to put them on the list and now he is refusing to tell canadians why. mr. wells: we are going to wrap up this part on security. heading into one final round of questions. justin trudeau.
you have had to make difficult decisions on wars and security. opposing the international action against isil. and i terrorism -- antiterrorism bills in parliament. mr. trudeau: the government of canada and prime minister is expected to do two things to read the first is to keep us safe and to uphold and freedoms. mr. harper doesn't think we need to do anything more to protect rights and freedoms. mr. mulltair doesn't think we need to do anything more on security. we must do both of them. we supported the legislation because there were specific elements that immediately and concretely protect canadian
security. we are committed to revealing the problematic elements highlighted and bringing in the proper oversight that our allies have. to make sure we are protecting and bringing in sunset and review clause. narrowing and specifying the definitions. we encourage the government to bring insignificant amendments that removed a number of problematic elements. we will continue to be productive and constructive in not pretending there is a political choice to be made. perhaps it was naive. perhaps there was something i put forward and said, we can take a responsible position at a time of politics of attack and division. mr. harper wants everyone to be scared. mr. mouklclcair once us to be
scared for rights and freedoms. any canadian government needs to do them both together and that is what the liberal party has demonstrated and continues to demonstrate in terms of getting the balance right. the to welcome -- mr. wells: what do you make of mr. trudeau's position? mr. harper: our view is very clear, freedom and security go hand in hand. the jihadist moving we face is a serious menace to the planet. what we did developing legislation is looked at what modern powers, police and security agencies have. make sure we are up to those standards. we provided come on trudeau talks about oversight. we have moved it in a different
direction. we haven't done by independent experts, people experts in the field. they are chaired. chaired by prominent former judges. i think that is a robust system. i don't support this kind of oversight. i support parliamentarian oversight on legislation. that is our role, to draft and make laws. when it comes to the operations of government, i don't think those things should be policy sized. -- politicized. ms. may: there is no oversight. if you look at security experts and i urge anyone watching to find evidence, that
act makes us less safe. it is not confronting terrorism. it is likely to make us less likely to disrupt plots well at the same time eroding freedoms. the evidence under oath was this legislation is dangerous. when asked i colleagues in the u.k. if there is anything canada should do, the answer was no, they are seen on a tragedy waiting to happen. mr. mulcair: we all agree we have to protect canadians from terrorism. we strongly believe you have to do that without trampling on the rights of canadians. when a series of former prime minister's, supreme court justices, top legal experts concur that bill c 51 represents a threat to our rights and
freedoms with nothing in return, nothing captured by existing legislation, we have one clear answer. the ndp will repeal bill c 51. mr. wells: should you give any thing to police? mr. mulcair: the left absinthe the question of domestic radicalization. president obama will talk about working with houses of worship. mr. harper points out and singles out mosques. he knows why he is using that language. he is about to sign that person's papers. mr. wells: are you using codewords?
mr. harper: every piece of security legislation, the ndp has opposed. what we have done in the latest legislation are things like of alan security organizations to share information on terrorist threats. preventing the kind of thing that happened in october. i believe it is important we call the international jihadist threat what it is. anybody that thinks that is labeling islam's, muslims are the majority of victims of this movement. muslim minorities are a particular focus of our international efforts to make sure we protect people. not just in this country but around the world. if you are not willing to call the threat by the name it is we are not willing to confront it and we need to confront it.
ms. may: c 51 does not do what the prime minister said. it fails to bring any efforts to confront the risk of radicalization. we can abort terrorist plots without c 51. we got the 18 in toronto arrested young people about to leave montreal. that was before c 51 was passed. 61 creates a secret police. it will create espionage groups, not knowing what the other is doing. the legislation must be repealed . look at the recommendations to anyone here. i hope to play a key role in next parliament. we must look into the recommendations from the air india inquiry. use those recommendations as the basis for drawing up legislation that could work. this is a disaster.
esther wells: are you surprised by the result -- mr. wells: are you surprised at the reaction to liberal members? mr. trudeau: there is a lot of fear and division going on within politics these days. one of the things the liberal party has focused on is taking responsible positions. that means there will be people disagreeing on the left and right. i am confident we have the right position. we need to talk more about addressing radicalization, working with various communities to make sure we are engaging in the kind of counter radicalization that other countries have done. a country like canada, so strong, not in spite of our differences but because of them, we need to reduce the kind of politics of fear and division and work together to make sure
we are keeping canadians safe. mr. harper: the fact the matter is, the reason we have had such success breaking up plots and we know what some of those are, is because law enforcement and security agencies are working more closely with communities will double than anywhere in the world. they get great support. that is because we have strong policies that promote multicultural and cultural integration. that is why we do not have the kind of problems in britain and elsewhere. exactly the kind of policies the government of canada is doing today. mr. mulcair: his approach has left us weaker and less respected. for the first time since the u.n. was created, canada missed
its turn on the security council. we were not thrown out by dictatorships that by longtime allies like to go in germany who did not recognize the kendo you are projecting onto the world stage. we can get act to a canada respected on international aid and development. we will put back the international aid budgets mr. harper has cut. we will promote canadian values on the international stage and respect international obligations. stop working against the world. work for the planet. i would love nothing more than as prime minister december to go to the international conference on climate change in paris and do just that. it us on track to deal with the real issue of climate change. mr. wells: weaker and less respected on the world stage? mr. harper: according to a recently published study canada
is the most admired country in the world. we take strong stands, we do what we believe is right. let's talk about the security council in the u.n. there is a movement to isolate the state of israel. this government has taken a clear position. we will not support that. this is the only country in the world whose existence is under threat. it is a friend and ally, the best we have. we will not go along with that position. mr. mulcair: i will take no lessons defending israel, but we take a balanced approach. we want a safe state for palestinians and israelis. that is a balanced approach. the kind canada has always taken on the world stage. mr. harper: we have the worst relationship with the u.s. and a long time. that is what we need to fix.
mr. wells: we have covered so much ground. it is time to wrap things up with closing remarks paris to each leader will have two minutes. mr. harper: the election is about who has the proven experience to keep canada safe and our economy strong. beyond our shores, the global economy remains in a state of turmoil. we have falling oil prices, turmoil in china. through it all, since the end of the global financial crisis, we have the best economic growth and job creation and growth in middle-class incomes among advanced developed nations. while other countries are descending into spirals of debt and deficit, in this country we have a balanced budget with lower taxes, increased money for the things that matter, health
care, education, infrastructure. benefits for families like yours. the other parties want a different course. they would replace a low tax balanced budget plan. they want to spend tens of billions additional dollars in permanent spending financed by high taxes permanently higher taxes and permanent deficits. they would take away in whole or part universal health care and if it, income spending, and tax-free savings. they would hike taxes on workers. tax increases to employment insurance. a carbon tax. countries that have gone down the road of higher taxes and permanent deficits are failing around the world. you know that today there is no better place and better prospects for your family then
this country, canada. on october 19, i ask for your support so we can continue to build the best country in the world. mr. wells: thank you stephen harper. mr. mulcair: would like to thank maclean's and rogers for the debate. and all of you at home for joining us in the middle of the summer. in this election there is a clear choice. four more years of stephen harper's conservatives or my plan for positive change. under mr. harper's plan, incomes are's degnan -- are stagnant. mr. harper has the worst job record since the second world war. he has run up eight deficits in a row and added $150 billion to canada's debt. these values, mr. harper's plan
is not working. some have incentives to jail. the biggest risk is four more years of mr. harper's government. it is time for change, change built on hard work, accountability. these have guided my 35 years of public service and the values that will continue to guide me. my number one priority is kickstart the economy and get canadians working. we will invest in local infrastructure and help small businesses to create jobs. we understand good jobs and a clean environment go hand-in-hand. i have fought for canada my whole life. i know canada is the greatest country the world. but a lot has been lost under the conservatives. i have the experience to replace
mr. harper any plan to repair the damage he has done. canadians are ready for change. we are ready too. i invite you to join us. thank you. mr. wells: the next round of closing remarks goes to elizabeth may. ms. may: i want to thank the claims and rogers -- maclean's and rogers. maybe we will not get a french language debate. i appreciate the opportunity to speak directly to canadians. it will be a shame if we don't have more. we have not discussed social policy, how we respond to the truth and reconciliation commission. how we must expand our medicaid system. what we do for young people with crushing levels of student debts.
we have a lot of issues to discuss. everyone is talking about the middle class. the 86 wealthiest families have the same wealth as 11.4 million canadians at the bottom, one third. we have to address this. i ask you consider the green party. i ask you to get to know us. we are not what you think. we are not a one issue party and certainly not a one person party. i am pleased to be joined by other candidates from coast to coast. claire in north vancouver. a former environment commissioner for ontario. we are running strong candidates to be strong mps because we want to work for you. we want to work for you in a more collaborative parliament,
one with greater respect. working across party lines to deliver what canadians won. we believe in a canada that works together for all. help us now. this is the election where we will get our country back. mr. wells: justin trudeau, you get the last word. mr. trudeau: mr. harper has spent millions of dollars convincing you i am not ready for this job. silly as they are, they pose an important question. how can you decide whether someone is ready to be your prime minister? here's what i think. in order to know somebody is ready for the job, ask them what they want to do with the job. why they want it in the first place. i'm a 43-year-old father of three kids and i love them
deeply. i want them to grow up in the best country in the world. one weekend all be proud of -- one we can all be proud of. i learned from my father, to lead this country, you have to love this country. more than you crave power. it needs to run through your veins. you need to feel it in your bones. mr. harper and i part ways on many issues, but our differences go deeper than just policy. mr. harper is dead wrong about one thing. he wants you to believe better just isn't possible. i think that is wrong. we are who we are. candidate is what it is -- canada is what it is because we know better is always possible.
an economy that works for the middle-class means a country that works for everyone. a country strong not in spite of our differences but because of them. the world needs more of both of those things. after 10 years of mr. harper, so do we. that is why i am in this and i want to be your prime minister. mr. wells: thank you, mr. trudeau. this concludes the first debate of the campaign. the whole experiment was a bit of a new experience for everyone concerned and i want to thank the leaders for the faith when they agree to participate. good luck on the campaign trail. on behalf of maclean's, i want to thank the viewers for tuning in tonight. be sure to visit the man maclean's website. stay tuned.
before i move into the business at hand, i know the senate floor is closed today. i just want to say how disappointed i was in the president's comments yesterday relative to iran. i know that we have questions about the tip report and trafficking, and i wonder if because we have questions and concerns about trafficking, it throws us into a category of being bad people. i thought the president's comments yesterday relative to iran -- i just want to put things in perspective. before we had a 19-0 committee vote here, the white house had a veto threat against us weighing in on the iran deal.
a threat of until an hour and a half before the vote took place. because they did not want a public debate on iran. obviously the committee chose otherwise. we passed it out on a 19-0 vote, everyone here voted for it. but they did not want the issue debated. what the president did yesterday, by saying that senator cardin, a ranking member who has questions about the iran deal, senator menendez who has questions about the iran deal -- by the way, both of which voted against the iraq war environment if i remember correctly. senator johnson u.s. concerns about the ran deal. we are being compared to the hard-liners in iran because we have concerns. concerns that we are trying to have answered.
just a few months ago, the president publicly was talking about what a thoughtful, principled person i was. i have to get the quote someplace. [laughter] but now because i have concerns and i think everyone has concerns, people are going to have to make a decision. this is going to be one of the toughest decisions. but he is trying to shut down debate by saying those who have questions, legitimate questions, legitimate questions, are somehow unpatriotic. are somehow compared to hardliners. and again, it's to shut down debate. it's to make this about something other than arguing on the merits of the deal. i'm very disappointed. i know senator cardin was meeting with the president last night. i do want to say, senator, i wish you had been here last night to hear the discussion. wendy sherman said yesterday in banking she would come and share
with us how that arrangement was working. i called her early this morning to ask her if she would at least, at a minimum, let us have her notes from when she was briefed by the iaea. and i am beginning to believe that one of the reasons they do not want people to know -- it's not about iran's confidentiality. i don't think it would stand the test of late-night comedy if people understood how things were being done. i just hope that today we thank sarah sewall for being here. the fact that we have concerns about trafficking, again, on a unanimous vote we voted to end modern slavery in this world. that somehow we will not be viewed as people who are unpatriotic.
be viewed as people that somehow are not serious about this issue. today we are going to examine, recently released 2015 state department trafficking in persons report. this year's report has attracted significant interest of the controversy over how tier rankings were made regarding certain countries including india, china, malaysia, cuba saudi arabia and mexico. we thank under secretary of state sarah sewall for testifying today so she can explain these rankings. if it is true that the administration politicized this report, there are questions about why they chose to significantly diminished a tool that has manifested in fighting slavery around the world. we're actually going to end modern slavery -- if we're
we need to take on the hard questions and work harder. how we make the tough calls matters. the integrity of the tip report matters for our country's credibility when we speak up for the powerless and oppressed. the state department and our nation will be judged by how state department leaders make tough calls on the tip report 's tier rankings. the behind doors ranking process only muddies the waters. each year the tip report makes recommendations for progress and turns in a tailored action plan for our embassy. rigorously applied tip action plans should inform the tough calls on tier rankings. in releasing the tip report 2015 secretary kerry said that bottom line, this is no time for complacency. i am not convinced. i hope i won't be criticized for this, or i will be ridiculed for this.
i'm not convinced that this report lives up to that statement. as many as 27 million human beings live in conditions of modern slavery. we need to be serious about this for their sake. with that i agreed to recognize our distinguished ranking member, senator carter, who i respect greatly. and the really appreciate his commitment, his long-term commitment to ensuring that , human rights are honored and that we deal with issues like this in a way that is full of integrity. thank you. senator cardin: thank you for convening this hearing. in regards to your opening comments i want you to know, i think you have always been a thoughtful, principled person. i want you to know that, and i respect greatly your leadership on this committee and the matters of that we have been able to work together on. senator corker hopefully if i : disagree with you once you won't compare me to the
hard-liners in iran. senator cardin: i'm still going through the review process. i have not reached a decision on the vote that will take place when we return in september. i want to underscore a point that senator corker and i, working with our leadership, encouraged our leadership to provide for the debate on the floor of the united states senate that we think is befitting this critical issue. yesterday, without any objection, we moved onto the bill. when we come back on tuesday we are not going to have to go through -- on september, we are not going to have to go through a cloture vote. we are not going to have to go through procedure hurdles. we just go to the bill. at that point i suspect the majority leader will put forward the bill that we will be voting on and we will be right on that debate when we return. and use that week, i hope, to debate this issue. and each member of the united states senate make up their own mind as to what he or she thinks
is in the best interest of this country. i did not interpret from the president's remarks that he is challenging any of our independent judgments on this. you are correct, i voted against the iraq war. i do not see a comparison between this vote. the interesting thing -- just to make a sidebar on this -- i voted against the authorization for use of military force in iraq, and in my district -- my congressional district -- it was overwhelmingly unpopular. overwhelmingly. it was not a close call. it was one of the most consequential votes that i cast in my tenure in the house. and it was interpreted to have an impact on my reelection. this is not the case when it comes to this bill. there are divided views in this country on this issue. this is not a clear-cut
situation where the popular view is to support the president or to oppose the president. there are very strong views on both sides. don't get me wrong. but that was a clear use that we are going to go to perforce, we are not authorizing the use of military force. i disagree with the president's interpretation on that issue. having said that, i don't disagree with the president 's strong statement. he clearly doing what we would expect the president of the united states to do. show strength in his position and make a case to the american people. i don't join my good friend and principled leader in his interpretation of the president's remarks. one of the most important responsibilities of this committee is oversight. we've passed a lot of laws, but are those laws being carried out in the way that it should? today's hearing is an oversight hearing on an extremely important subject. we have a very distinguished
witness today, our administrative spokesperson on this. she has a long, distinguished career in promoting human rights, and dealing with trafficking. i just want you to know that you have come to this committee was great credibility and we thank you for your public service. trafficking is modern-day slavery. we have a moral imperative to speak out against trafficking. it involves labor servitude, it involves sex trafficking, it involves financing criminal activities. the ilo estimates that it brings in about $50 billion a year for illegal activity. it affects children who are victims of trafficking. the number of victims are robbed of their future. the chairman mentioned in the high 20 millions.
we have had estimates anywhere from 20 million victims to 36 million victims of trafficking. and they are victims. we of -- owe an obligation to deal with this. i am proud of the leadership in our country. or a long time working with the u.s. helsinki commission we took the leadership to develop not only loss in america, but to -- laws in america but to show , international leadership in countries we now have special representatives. we have reports every year on trafficking. we share best practices. why? because of u.s. leadership. because of what we have done in this country. quite frankl,y we celebrated this year the 15th anniversary of the trafficking victims protection act. it was an incredible accomplishment by this congress, and the united states, and leadership globally on the issue. as a result we have the trafficking in persons report, which is the gold standard. it is on my desk. i look at it before i meet with
any representative from any country so i can go over there trafficking issue. and can make it clear, that if they want to have the type of relationship with our country they have to make fighting trafficking a high priority in their country. we take great pride in the leadership of our country. the 2015 report causes me concern. it causes me concern. i want to get answers today about the 2015 report. there are upgrades in this report that are hard to understand. i put malaysia number one on the list. malaysia has a very serious problem of trafficking and labor. we know about it. we documented it. in this report, malaysia has
been upgraded from tier 2 to tier 3 watch list. i tier three country -- eight tier three country is a country that does not fully comply with the trafficking victims persons act. and are not making significant efforts to do so. so what has changed between the 2015 report and the 2014 in malaysia? well a couple things have changed. they have enacted amendments through their law but they have not carried them out. the number of prosecutions are ridiculously low on convictions. they have not implemented the new law. just recently, beyond the window for reviewing this report, and mass graves were discovered. there's another thing that is new this year. that is congress passed trade promotion authority. there is a concern whether that have an impact on malaysia's upgrade. i hope it didn't. but i tell you, we talked about it before the report came out. i just hope that we are using
objective standards. there have been reports that have been made that there were high-level discussions that disagreed with the staff level representations. i understand the decision is made at a high level. but how much politics went into this? i hope zero. because the tip report is the gold standard. i could talk about concerns in cuba, uzbekistan, and other countries as well. so mr. chairman, this is a very important hearing. this committees make sure that the work we have done in this country, setting the global example in our commitment against trafficking, remains credible and always improving. mr. chairman, i have been working with my staff. listen to today's hearings. do we need to strengthen the trafficking victims persons act? do we need to do things to have congressional direct oversight
before you take a country office -- off of tier three? cap we reached that point where we have to have a stronger law in this country? that is one of the questions that i hope will be addressed today so that this country can continue to lead in fighting discord of modern-day slavery. -- the scourge of modern-day slavery. >> senator cardin, that is somewhat unusual. i think most people have gone home. we probably are not going to have a very full process here at the committee. i don't know if any other committee members want to make some opening comments. we don't typically do that but i appreciate the opportunity. >> i appreciate the opportunity because of the nature of the issue and interest i have had. i want to start off by thanking you and the ranking member for supporting my call for hearings. all the concerns and
reservations that senator cardin has expressed are mine and beyond. mr. chairman, i would like to consent to enter some background documents on malaysian trafficking into the record. one from the malaysian bar association, one from the international ngo, and one is from the united nations. without objection. >> without objection. >> the trafficking information report is the u.s. government's principal tool to engage foreign governments on principle cap -- on trafficking. we are here today because the integrity of this year's report has been caused into question, and that means our nation's commitment to our most fundamental principles has been called into question. secretary kerry himself in an introduction tells us that justice is not just a matter of having the right laws on the book. we have to back those words with resources, strategies that produce the right result. that is true here. that should be our aspiration
for the countries in the report. sadly, i am convinced that this year we have not met that standard. under your leadership mr. , chairman, human trafficking was one of the very first issues at one of our first hearings. the first comprehensive piece of legislation reported from this committee. it demonstrated that it would be a priority for us. i salute you for that. subsequent hearings in the house kept the issue at the top of our concerns. on the same day, that legislation passed the senate 99-0, the finance committee added my an amendment to prohibit fast-track treatment for the worst human traffickers. the countries ranked tier three. that provision is now law signed , by president obama's part of the trade promotion authority. there could be no doubt that our fight against modern-day slavery is a bipartisan, bicameral commitment.
but several months ago, we began to hear reports both in the press and from sources close to this process, that this year's tip report was under exceptional pressure to shape the rankings to meet with political demands not the facts on the ground. i'm sorry to say that the rankings in this year's report held up against the hard facts about human trafficking, and compared to the conclusions from the most respected and authoritative sources appears in many cases to be the result of external pressure. not be independence and integrity we expected when we created this process. i look forward to the opportunity to ask questions. >> senator johnson, are you good? >> i'm fine. senator corker: our witness is sarah sewall, the undersecretary of state for security, democracy, and human rights, who was sworn in on their very 20th, -- february 20, 2014. she served concurrently as the special coordinator for tibetan
issues. over the previous decade, she taught at harvard's kennedy school of government during the clinton administration she served as deputy minister of defense for peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance. i want to thank you for responding to the invitation today. i think everybody knows we tried to get the regional and, because we felt like much of the pressure came from regionals to carry out a different agenda. we were unable to do that. but we thank you very much for coming in today, and representing the administration's view on this. we thank you for your service to our country, and obviously there is a lot of passion around this issue. we have seen firsthand the effects of trafficking slavery.
we have seen young coeds -- or not coeds, young women who could be coeds here and our university system, we have seen them being sold into slavery and trafficked for sex. we have seen that. we have seen the effects on their families. we know what happens. we know what happens in brick kilns. we know what happens in rug manufacturing. these are human beings just like us. they are being deprived of freedoms. every sensibility that any human being can care about is threatened by this. the fact that this possibly, for
other agenda items -- our concern has been cast aside, obviously concerns us. thank you for being here. you know you are representing the administration and none of this should be something that is directed at you personally, and as you can tell there is a significant concerns. thank you. we look forward to your testimony. undersecretary sewall: thank you. thank you for having me here today, and thank you for your leadership on this issue. i know that trafficking in persons, modern-day slavery, is a significant concern for this committee, and i look forward to working with you closely to tackle this insidious crime in human rights abuse. the release of this year's trafficking in persons report underscores the importance that the administration and secretary kerry placed on combating modern slavery. as noted by senator cardin, this year marks the 15th installment of the report, as the 15th
anniversary of the trafficking victims protection act. the tvpa. the report itself reflects a year of dedicated effort to monitor persons, as well as other bureaus and offices, and our missions around the world. working your route across -- year-round across offices incontinence the department , engages government and civil society. it collects data. it navigates local laws. develops best practices and objectively assesses each government's efforts, including our own, to comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking in persons as established by the tvpa. in this process we assess the adequacy of local laws and we evaluate government actions to prosecute suspects, protect victims, and prevent further trafficking. based on the country assessments, the tip report
ranks countries and territories on different tiers in accordance to their adherents with the minimal standards outlined in the tvpa. these are complex criteria that require complex factual analysis. the tvpa delineates additional criteria for assessing governments. let me walk through the four key elements of the minimum standards. the first three revolve around the adoption of adequate antitrafficking laws. this is seen as a critical hurdle for states because it establishes a comprehensive legal standard to effectively prosecute and penalize perpetrators. the fourth element of the tvpa minimum standards is whether a government has undertaken serious and sustained efforts to eliminate trafficking over the current reporting period. the tvpa provides 12 edition to
build on the nonstandards. the writing process builds on -- ranking process builds on the minimum standards but also entails additional criteria pursuant to the tvpa. one fully complies. a tier two ranking indicates that a country's government does not yet fully comply with minimum standards, but is making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. by contrast, a tier two watch list country indicates that a country is also making significant efforts to comply with the minimal standards, but in addition it meets one of the tvpa's following conditions. one, the number of victims is very significant. two, the government fails to build on efforts from the previous year. or three, the government failed to commit to making significant
antitrafficking efforts over the next year. a tier three ranking applies to a government that does not fully comply and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. the tier ranking process live on further details cut such as the severity of the problem and resources and capacity. in most cases this clearly places government action into one of the tiers. in other cases, further discussion among senior department official is required to clarify information and assess the totality of government efforts pursuant to the tvpa's criteria. this ultimately leads to the secretary of state's designation of tier rankings to each country. it is important to underscore that the rankings do not affect
-- assess the severity of the human trafficking problem in a given country. the rankings assess the government's efforts in addressing human trafficking problems over the current reporting. compared to that governments own efforts in the prior year. and determination about the direction and quality of progress are guided by the complex criteria outlined in the tvpa and described on pages 45-50 of the tip report. the rigorous and comprehensive annual assessment process is what makes the tip report the gold standard in antitrafficking assessment. it is one of the most effective diplomatic tools our government has for encouraging a foreign government to improve its antitrafficking efforts. the 2015 tip report, 18 countries are upgraded in 18 were downgraded. in the past, 15 were upgraded
and 19 were downgraded in the 2014 report. there were encouraging trends this year. portugal and the bahamas were boosted to tier one well others moved from the tier two watch list to tier two. there have been considerable focus on countries that moved to tier three. the democratic republic of condit -- condo, cuba uzbekistan. they moved to the tier two watch list. the department closely evaluated the efforts the government had made during the reporting. as well as the commitments they made for next year. we are already working with host governments to encourage them, four months into this next year's reporting cycle, to implement the recommendations outlined in this your support. the tip office is finalizing assistance program ecstatic --
strategies to help make those of reality. personnel are having dialogue with government officials about how to better prevent crime and protect citizens. just yesterday the secretary discussed the importance of trafficking with the government of malaysia. the challenges are great, even for tier one countries like the united states. when i meet with trafficking survivors whether in uganda, albania, or india, i am reminded how crucial and how effective our work is. by prioritizing this issue the u.s. government has already changed the lives of millions across the globe. congress has played a leading role in this effort. from passing the tvpa to providing yearly resources to support the front lines of this global struggle. though we can be very proud of the u.s. effort and encouraged by the progress to date, we cannot rest until discord of
-- the scourge of modern slavery is ended and all of its victims are free to choose their own destiny. >> thank you very much. i think it would be helpful for all of us -- for you to explain your role, and explain how that differs from the undersecretary of political affairs. i think it would be good to set that context. if you want, maybe elaborate a little bit on the friction that naturally occurs between political affairs component and your role in ensuring the integrity of a program like this. undersecretary sewall: thank you for the question senator. the process that we undergo within the department engages many voices throughout the department. as i noted we work year round to gather and evaluate information that comes in and is processed through the tip office, as well as a variety of other departments through the bureau. the involvement of other officials would -- to the extent that there are different
perspectives that are presented to the secretary for his consideration and final decision making on tier rankings and as with any reporting process and any state department the liberation there are a duplicity of views and the secretary take those into account when making his decision. beyond that the department does not talk about internal deliberation. >> i guess by virtue of what you are saying there are sort of different equities at stake. would that be true? undersecretary sewall: i think i have outlined a very complex process. there are often gray areas and a need for further analysis. as with any human right process, any state department process
there are a multiplicity of perspectives. >> but at the end of the day i guess, further up the food chain, that decision is going to be made. in other words someone above is going to decide which equities to stress more, and ultimately someone at a much higher level will decide whether they believe someone should be ranked upwardly or downwardly. is that correct? undersecretary sewall: the secretary of state is responsible for the tnt report. i think there is no one who would question the secretary's commitment to the antitrafficking cause. it is something that he avenged as a prosecutor. it is something that he carried with him as a senator and chairman of this committee, and it is certainly a strong and passionate commitment as secretary of state. >> i think probably in his view, he probably cares about that.
i think the concern that we have here is that there are other interests that trumped this. let me move into that. i am a strong supporter of tpp. i want to see the final elements. i am a little concerned about this last meeting and some of the things that are happening with intellectual property. but i think that certainly establishing a good agreement, a good tpp agreement, is worthwhile. i think it would go without saying that most of us are concerned that the upper ranking of malaysia had more to do with trying to make sure that tpp was entered into successfully than a care for people being trafficked.
i think that is sort of the central reason we are having this meeting right now, along with cuba and a few other places. the administration's policies towards those countries tromp -- trump any real regard for humans being trafficked. we understand that obviously malaysia is passed along. what about the actual effect on people. i see very minimal -- it's like eyewash -- affect on human beings and malaysia. let's face it. but the outward about this. many of us believe -- to use a rhetorical phrase -- you sort of through the trafficking piece under the bus to ensure that you are successful with tpp. i would like you to do everything you can at this moment.
you have an audience. to allay the concern, and to talk to us about the number of people that were actually positively affected by this new criteria in malaysia. undersecretary sewall: thank you for sharing your views. i think it is important to note that the secretary himself spoke to the concern that you raised yesterday in malaysia. he conveyed th conversation about tpp relative to his decision about the tier ranking process. i hope that that can satisfy >> i'll tell you what about m yncerns. if you could just lay out undersecretary sewall: yeah. >> that comments does nothing to allay my concerns. if you would tangibly explained to us how young women, 16 years
old, trafficked for sex, are positively affected by the government of malaysia's policies this year that cause them to go from tier three to tier two. explain that to me. undersecretary sewall: i'm happy to talk about the process by which we apply the laws -- >> i don't want the process. i want you to explain to me how people, real life people, with parents, and brothers, and sisters, are affected by the government's actual implementation, and therefore cause them to move from tier three to tier two, which conveniently by the way causes the tpp process to work and away that works very well. undersecretary sewall: the tier two watch list criteria, pursuant to the tvpa law, means
that a government does not fully comply within the minimum standards for elimination of trafficking. but that that government is making significant efforts to do so. and while malaysia's tier two watch list ranking reflects the government commitments to amend its anti-trafficking laws, the fact remains that the government has major work to do on its anti-trafficking efforts. we will continue to work with the malaysian government, as the secretary began yesterday in malaysia doing, to urge the government to make continued progress. in terms of the application of the tvpa law itself, a key factor to highlight in malaysia's upgrade, is the malaysian government efforts during the reporting. , as well as its commitment to amend its anti-trafficking law in the year ahead. which was of course the number one recommendation from the 2014 tipp report. during the reporting period the
government addressed malaysia's flawed trafficking regime. the government committed itself to passage of the law. we are encouraged by more recent progress on the amendment that occurred outside of the 2014 reporting period. but that were consistent with the commitments of the government made during the reporting period that have been made in moving the law forward. the parliament have made to the amendments and they will enter into force in the near future. in addition to this progress the malaysia government has increased anti-trafficking effort in each of its key three areas. they increased the number of trafficking investigations by more than 100%, and they increase prosecutions by more
than 67%. on protection they experimented with a modest pilot program, but nonetheless a pilot program, addressing one of our core concerns. which was the ability of trafficking victims to leave government facilities in order to work well prosecuting pending cases. in the area of prevention, malaysian authorities undertook campaigns to raise awareness continued their efforts to publish informational brochures, and trained nearly 700 officials. having said this, these are the reasons that factored into the tvpa criteria pursuant to the
secretary's tier ranking. those concerns are detailed in the report itself. we pulled no punches in terms of clarifying the extent and nature of the problem. we see this as the important work ahead for us, to work with the malaysian government over the course of the next year. i can detail more concerned, but they are fully documented in the report so -- >> i know that you have to be here today representing the department, and i know that you have to read the things that you just read. i would just say i don't think that any person in malaysia that has loved ones who have been sold into sex slavery would be very comforted by what you just said. but i realize you have to do what you have to do. i don't want to make any personal attacks. but if i could, i know you talk about percentages. the government convicted three
traffickers of forced labor. 3. and one for passport retention. a decrease from nine traffickers they convicted in 2013. and you raised them from tier three to tier two based on those outcomes. this is a country that has massive trafficking. massive. i have met young ladies in the philippines that were trafficked to malaysia, sold into sex slavery. i hope they are not watching this. the government convicted three traffickers for forced labor. and one for passport retention.
and our state department, for that record, less than what they did the year before, a country that is one of the worst in the world. and we raised them. i don't see any tangible outcome. i listened to all your criteria, but i'm sorry. it just doesn't hit me in a place that causes me to believe that there was integrity in this upgrade. i would like you to respond and then i will move to the next person. undersecretary sewall: i think whether it is nine convictions or whether it is three convictions, in the case of malaysia, given the scale of the problem it is inadequate. the report makes that very plain. that is the basis on which the secretary would make a sole decision regarding the tier ranking.
i have explained to you many of the elements that fit the criteria that are required for us to consider, under the law, pursuant to both the narrative -- the factual narrative in the book itself -- and pursuant to presenting any information for the secretary's decision. as you well know, the legislation is very complex. it asks us to weigh and balance a huge variety of factors. not all indicators go in the same direction. the comprehensiveness of this report, and the fact that are contained in the narrative, i think are something that we should be very proud of, and something that we can continually use to try to achieve the very kinds of impacts on the grounds that you are talking about. secretary kerry yesterday in malaysia raised this issue of prosecution. offered to have the fbi help
malaysia improve its investigatory capacity, because it is our understanding that that is a significant factor in limiting effective prosecutions. that is an example in the ways in which we use the report. we use the factual analysis to try to make real outcomes for people on the ground. >> i will reserve my questions my additional questions, for later. i would just say that i would think you would raise them up after they took him up on the offer of the fbi helping. and actually began to be serious. i know they began your task with a tough job today, and my heart goes out today. senator cardin? >> the trafficking victims protection act is meant for the ratings to be based solely on the circumstances on the ground. as you pointed out, we evaluate all countries including the united states. it is not meant to have any
considerations of political factors and other bilateral issues between countries. that was the clear intent of congress. i know that secretary kerry has reported that that was true in this case. and the perception here is to the contrary. it may require us to look at changes in the statute, to preserve the integrity of this report. i'm going to ask you to provide to this senator ways that we can strengthen the law to make sure that those who are closest to the ground and understand what is going on, using international standards, have the most to say about how the rankings are done. let me get to malaysia. i could go to other countries.
what concerns me about malaysia and maybe you can give me other examples of where this has happened -- in 2014 we downgraded malaysia's standing from tier two to tier three. we were pretty specific what we wanted them to do. you pointed out that the number one recommendation was to amend the anti-trafficking law. that is what it is. that is the statement in the report. have we ever taken a country off of tier three watchlist because they had pending, but not enacted, the changes we asked for in their law? are there other examples where you can show us that after one year of being on tier three we said that they have made serious and sustained efforts -- significant efforts -- by proposing a law, not enacting it, and not having any
experience as to how well that law in fact has been implemented. this was our number one recommendation. it seems to me taking them off of the tier three takes the pressure off and therefore, what guarantees that they in fact will follow up the law that we intended? let me also mention a couple other factors that were in the 2014 report. we had prosecute trafficking offenses and convict and track punish traffickers. that was inadequate. they went from tier two watch to tier three, because they did not convict. it's called impunity.
you may have laws, you may have prosecution, but if you can't convict people they walk and they know they can commit the crime. that is an example. in our 2014 report unacceptable. 2015, they go from nine to three. where is that serious and sustained, and significant progress? you then list in your report to justify this, that they set up the government adopted a policy to allow unlimited number of victims to work with outside government facilities.
my understand is that the program had four people participating in it. i don't even know why you listed it. it seems like you are trying to justify a result that is not there. where am i wrong? what am i not seeing here? undersecretary sewall: let me answer a couple of responses to that. first of all, as you well know the report itself judges not the situation of trafficking or the severity of a problem per se. the report itself judges the government's efforts. it judges the efforts in a dynamic context. it judges the government's effort this year against the government efforts during the last reporting period. part of the strength of the tvpa, in my opinion, is that it is an annual process. therefore there is a constant reevaluation of all the elements that come into play. evaluating the country's efforts with regards to the minimum standards and the placement of a country on a watchlist. now in the case of malaysia, as i said, i -- the report itself makes the very point that you
made. it talks about the limited number of prosecutions and how that is a weakness. >> so they were on tier three because of that? that's one of the reasons? they then get rewarded from tier three to tier two watch? undersecretary sewall: one of the things that i have learned from working with the trafficking in persons office is how the tvpa specifically requires the administration to look at a huge number of factors. >> you can always justify a decision -- undersecretary sewall: we specifically look at all of these different pieces of information.
they are in turn all specifically reflected in the report. i think you'll see virtually in any country that we evaluate, to include our own country, criticism. shortfalls. the ranking process needs to be understood as one that evaluates the government's actions compared to its actions before and it will be reevaluated in a years time. there are so many different elements that come into play that we include in the report both the criticism of prosecutions. we also include in the report, pursuant to the 3p requirement of the tvpa, where the government has made progress in other aspects.
all of those go into the narrative process. it is that fact-based, narrative process that informs the secretary's decision. >> i just call your attention to your own report, 2014. the recommendation section is not very long. it contains maybe 10 recommendations for change. i don't see progress in any one of the 10 in the 2015 report other than the recommended changes to the law that has not been passed yet. i look at your narrative here, trying to compare where progress has been made. i don't see -- if the reports mean anything, if the recommendations mean anything, but it seems to me they have to upgrade their tier status has to be based on concrete progress made on recommendations of the previous report. undersecretary sewall: let me explain recommendations. the recommendations for a given country do not reflect the steps that need to be taken in order to jump to the next tier. that is not the purpose of the recommendations.
our report aims higher. our recommendations for each country ask them to stretch toward the minimum standard, and asked them to stretch in ways that would take them far beyond the next tier ranking. we ask for more. the recommendations are not linked to the next tier ranking, the recommendations are all of the different changes that we would like to see to be selling -- fulfilling the minimum standards related to the palermo protocol. >> that is what i would expect. but to upgrade a ranking, a tier, you would expect going from three to two, you would have significant efforts. you have to have that. your recommendations for them to meet the minimum standards are spelled out in the 2014 report where they are rated tier three. i am going through those recommendations for action, then looking at your justifications
in the 2015 report, and don't see a linkage between serious and sustained significant progress to reaching the recommendations that we put out here to justify an upgrade. undersecretary sewall: there are very few, relative to the number of countries in the world, that meet the minimum standards. i think that is perhaps part of the confusion. the minimum standards are something that we aspire to see all 188 countries move towards even those countries that meet the minimum standards, the report still requires that we ask countries to do better and that we measure them by their own progress. in the case that you are raising, specifically, of malaysia, i have articulated several of the different elements of change that the government made over the course of the last year, pursuant to the tvpa criteria that have a bearing on tier ranking placement. those include both actions and commitments to address what was a key concern of ours over
recent years pursuant to both of the law and treatment of victims. it also included concrete actions in some areas such as prosecution. there were positive steps in that regard. it is a complex equation with many factors. but i think what is really important is that in all cases we are asking countries to do more. even in cases where countries meet minimum standards. as i have said, those countries currently meeting minimum standards are unfortunately still a minority of the 188 countries and territories we examined. >> i would ask that you give me
an example of a country that was rated as a tier two to country going down to a tier three country in the following year. and then in the following year going from tier three back up to tier two, based on promises, not action. i think that is what you are saying. you're promises, not action. i will just make this last point. and i would appreciate that information. where you have seen that quick turnaround from tier three back to tier two, and i can tell you this. once the spotlight goes down and it does once this report is issued -- they know they have another year. the chances of getting the type of action is just not there anymore. based upon the tip ranking. that is a lot of pressure. believe me. i can't tell you how many representatives of countries come in and complain about the tip report ranking. i say look, it's a report. here's what you can do. these are the minimum standards. we all can do better. the united states can do better. we know that. the purpose is for all of us to do better because we all agree trafficking is horrendous. in this situation when you can get an upgrade on the cheap --
and that's what it looks like -- by making a promise without action, it diminishes the strength we have of this report. if there are other examples please show me. show me where you have gone through such a quick turnaround based upon promises, not action. that appears to be what you have in malaysia today in the way you did this report. >> madam secretary, you were here in february before the committee. at the time, i said to you the trafficking and persons report we all recognize it is a significant tool in our efforts here. the chairman referred to the fact we have no ambassador at large in that role. i assume your answer to him is that you are personally going to
protect the integrity overall. especially in regard to intense political pressure in the building. your answer to me was yes. now, before you answer my questions, i want you to think about the following. before you answer my questions think, if there was an inspector general's investigation or some other investigation, would your answers hold up in e-mails memos, letters, and any and all communications? with that in mind, --
i would urge the committee to seek all of the documentation created in the context of revising this year's report. i am certainly not satisfied. >> i think based on this presentation, if that is not forthcoming immediately, my sense is the committee would take the unusual step of subpoena that information. this possibly is the most heartless, lacking of substance presentation i've ever seen about a serious topic. i do not see how anyone could believe there was integrity in the process. i feel for our witness and i know she has to come up. and do what she does. it may be the worst day she has ever had in her service to have to say the things she is reading to us now, but i would join in with others if that information is not coming, to subpoena that
information. because i think it should be done. whatever you guys wish to do, i would join you. >> at least send a letter immediately, so if they are forthcoming, that is great. if they can be analyzed, -- this is the latest this had been issued, is it not? sarah sewall: there are a number of reasons but they include his travel schedule difficulties to make the time for that to happen. >> let me ask you, what is the start and end dates?
i know you have talked about the complexity of the calibration. let me deal with things that are not so complex. what are the start and end dates of the reporting time covered by the tip report? sarah sewall: it runs through march 31 and it typically covers data from prior years. where we have data. sen. menendez: ok. so, the reality is one of the main justifications for the upgrade of malaysia you have testified to is the government's effort to introduce amendments to strengthen antitrafficking laws and provide additional support for victims. it is my understanding these amendments were not introduced april 3 and these were not
approved by the malaysia parliament until june. is that correct? sarah sewall: that is correct. i would refer you to the center determining tier three companies. one of the factors includes the determination the country is making significant efforts. sen. menendez: offering amendment before they ever are introduced and before they become part of the law, even before implementation to suggest that commitment? sarah sewall: they made progress over the last calendar year. sen. menendez: i've heard that answer before. ann richard reaffirmed the 2015 tip report covers until march 2015, which means malaysia's handling of the refugee crisis will only be reflected in the
2016 report. how is it you reflect things that happened after the report that are positive, but you will not reflect those things that are negative after the reporting time? it seems to me, you cannot have it both ways. sarah sewall: i would be happy to explain it. the law i was referring to specifically states countries making significant efforts to bring themselves in compliance based on commitments over the next year, if in the tier two watch list criteria pursuant to the law. it has us looking at commitment. those are not necessarily the sole reason for a decision related to tier ranking. as i stated in the case of malaysia appeared a number of different elements are in progress to me made. those preparing also in other areas factored into whatever
decision the secretary makes. sen. menendez: the upgrade was partially based on actions not even passed that were outside of the reporting period but you did not take into account the reporting in may, clearly those grades reflected many months of trafficking activity before their discovery. let me ask you this -- sarah sewall: we are very concerned about trafficking. sen. menendez: it is not your concern i more it about. it is your actions are not your concern. when i presided over the hearing as chairman of the committee, i believed you were concerned. now i am concerned about your actions. not yours so much, but since you said to us in february you would be responsible, you know, i have to.
it has been answered here that there were nine convictions for trafficking in 2014. there were three in 2015. that is a two thirds decrease in convictions that malaysia had over the reporting time. the tip report mentions a pilot program that allows victims to work outside of government holding the syllabus. -- facilities. the answer to that is there were four. four people totally who participated. you are telling us the upgrade was based on preliminary action on legal reform that took place after the reporting time on increased investigations that resulted in fewer convictions in a pilot program that granted a total of four.
sarah sewall: the secretary signed off on the tier ranking relative to malaysia, because of his belief malaysia has taken the rights that to change. those include a variety of factors, many of which i have enumerated. other elements are deeply concerning. which i have enumerated. the secretary says the rankings indicate there is still enormous improvement. it is not a golden seal of approval. sen. menendez: i appreciate all of that but malaysia got what they wanted, to tier two, which happens to allow them to continue negotiations and have preferential access into the united states market, assuming they actually conclude successfully being a part of the