Public safety om­nibus bill set to ex­pand an­titer­ror pow­ers

Metro Canada (Winnipeg) - - CANADA - TORSTAR NEWS SER­VICE

Prime Min­is­ter Stephen Harper will un­veil Fri­day de­tails of an om­nibus bill that will en­act two new laws, and make amend­ments to the crim­i­nal code, the CSIS Act, the Im­mi­gra­tion and Refugee Pro­tec­tion Act among a host of oth­ers.

It’s not clear whether the Con­ser­va­tives are pre­pared to boost the bud­gets of na­tional se­cu­rity agen­cies, a key fo­cus of Op­po­si­tion crit­i­cism, as it moves to bring in a raft of new anti-ter­ror pow­ers.

The gov­ern­ment put the Com­mons on no­tice that fund­ing will at­tach to the mea­sures, but a se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial said it shouldn’t be in­ter­preted as new fund­ing, rather is in­tended to pro­vide author­ity to spend for a new pur­pose.

How­ever, the Of­fi­cial Op­po­si­tion in­sists the ques­tion of re­sources is the main one, and it is skep­ti­cal of the need for new laws.

Harper has cho­sen the rid­ing of Rich­mond Hill to make the long-awaited an­nounce­ment, flanked by Public Safety Min­is­ter Steven Blaney and Jus­tice Min­is­ter Peter MacKay at the same time the bill it­self is tabled in Par­lia­ment.

Harper will press the need to in­crease in­for­ma­tion­shar­ing among fed­eral de­part­ments and agen­cies, au­tho­rize CSIS to dis­rupt or di­min­ish threats ear­lier in an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, de­ter and or­der the re­moval of on­line con­tent that pro­motes ter­ror­ism, en­hance “no-fly” rules for air­line trav­el­ers deemed a risk, and lower the ev­i­den­tiary thresh­old to is­sue peace bonds — court-or­dered re­stric­tions on a per­son’s lib­erty and com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

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