OTTAWA – The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and Member of Parliament for Niagara Falls, and Mr. Daniel Petit, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Member of Parliament for Charlesbourg-Haute-Saint-Charles today introduced the Combating Terrorism Act.
“The Combating Terrorism Act will provide more tools for police and prosecutors to prevent and investigate terrorist activities,” said Minister Nicholson. “These provisions are necessary to protect our country from the threat of terrorism.”
The investigative hearing provisions of the Bill would amend the Criminal Code to allow the Courts to compel a witness who may have information regarding a terrorism offence to appear in court and provide information.
The proposed recognizance with conditions provisions would require a person to enter into an agreement before a judge to abide by certain conditions in order to prevent the carrying out of a terrorist activity. It is designed to aid in the disruption of the preparatory phase of terrorist activity.
These provisions were originally created by the Anti-terrorism Act in 2001, and were subject to a 5-year sunset clause. In February 2007, a government resolution to extend the investigative hearing and recognizance with conditions provisions for another three years was voted down in the House of Commons and they expired on March 1, 2007.
The proposed legislation would add safeguards to those already included in the original legislation to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals who may be subject to these provisions.
“The first duty of every government is to protect the safety and security of its citizens, while also ensuring the protection of their fundamental rights,” said Mr. Petit. “We strongly believe that these amendments improve upon the original legislation.”