The federal government has introduced legislation to protect Canadians from the evolving threat of terrorism. The world is a dangerous place, as demonstrated by the October 2014 attacks in Ottawa and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Sadly, Canada is not immune to the threat of terrorism. The proposed legislation Bill C-51 will provide Canadian law enforcement with additional tools and flexibility to keep pace with evolving threats.
In line with measures taken by other countries, the additional action is to ensure that law enforcement and national security agencies can respond to those who advocate terrorism. It is also an attempt to prevent terrorist travel, -stop those who try to use Canada as a recruiting ground, -and disrupt planned attacks within Canada.
The proposed legislation includes balances, to ensure that laws will respect the rights of Canadians. The Bill complements other legislation recently passed, which protects Canadians and secures institutions, such as the “Combating Terrorism Act” and the “Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act”.
The new legislation includes a package of measures that will:
-criminalize the advocacy or promotion of terrorism offenses in general
-counter terrorist recruitment by giving Courts the authority to order the removal of on-line terrorist propaganda
-enhance the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS)’s powers to address threats to security, while ensuring that Courts maintain oversight
-provide law enforcement agencies with enhanced ability to disrupt terrorist activity
-enhance the Passenger Protect Program by further mitigating threats to transportation security and preventing travel by air for the purpose of engaging in terrorism
-make it easier for law enforcement agencies to detain suspected terrorists before they can harm, and strengthen penalties for suspects violating court orders
-enable the effective sharing of relevant national security information across federal departments to better identify threats
Although not part of this proposed legislation, the government is also working with communities to prevent radicalization, and to intervene when individuals show signs of becoming radicalized.
There are programs to provide witnesses and other participants in national security proceedings with additional protection.
* The government is serious about taking action to keep Canadians safe. Recent attacks in Canada, which led to the deaths of Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, as well as attacks in France and Australia, are reminders that the world is a dangerous place and that Canada is not immune to the threats of terrorism. Recent terrorist actions in Canada are not only an attack on our country, but also against our values and our society as a whole.
* The government understands that extreme jihadists have already declared war on Canada, and on all free people. The government must do all it can to protect the rights and safety of Canadians. We should not, prioritize the so-called rights of terrorists who would harm Canadians, over the rights of law-abiding citizens. The proposed legislation should provide the law enforcement agencies with the required tools and flexibility they need to detect and disrupt national security threats before they happen.
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2nd Session, 41st Parliament
HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA
An Act to enact the Security of Canada Information Sharing Act and the Secure Air Travel Act, to amend the Criminal Code, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
This Act may be cited as the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015.
SECURITY OF CANADA INFORMATION SHARING ACT
The Security of Canada Information Sharing Act, whose text is as follows and whose Schedules 1 to 3 are set out in the schedule to this Act, is enacted:
An Act to encourage and facilitate information sharing between Government of Canada institutions in order to protect Canada against activities that undermine the security of Canada
Whereas the people of Canada are entitled to live free from threats to their lives and their security;
Whereas activities that undermine the security of Canada are often carried out in a clandestine, deceptive or hostile manner, are increasingly global, complex and sophisticated, and often emerge and evolve rapidly;
Whereas there is no more fundamental role for a government than protecting its country and its people;
Whereas Canada is not to be used as a conduit for the carrying out of activities that threaten the security of another state;
Whereas protecting Canada and its people against activities that undermine the security of Canada often transcends the mandate and capability of any one Government of Canada institution;
Whereas Parliament recognizes that information needs to be shared — and disparate information needs to be collated — in order to enable the Government to protect Canada and its people against activities that undermine the security of Canada;
Whereas information in respect of activities that undermine the security of Canada is to be shared in a manner that is consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the protection of privacy;
And whereas Government of Canada institutions are accountable for the effective and responsible sharing of information;
Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
(12954 technical legislative words follow)