Public safety omnibus bill set to expand antiterror powers
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.