::


:: PoliticsWatch Archives

> Frontpage
> Recent News
> News Archive
> Recent  Features 
> Features Archive


:: Inside PoliticsWatch

> Contact PoliticsWatch


:: PoliticsWatch News

PM proposes last-minute compromise to save anti-terror measures  

[PoliticsWatch updated 5:25 p.m., February 26, 2007]

OTTAWA  — The Liberals are already rejecting an 11th-hour compromise offer from Prime Minister Stephen Harper to save two provisions in the anti-terror legislation from expiring.  

During question period the prime minister asked Liberal Leader Stephane Dion whether he would agree to accept the two recommendations made last week by a Liberal-dominated Senate committee on investigative hearings and preventative arrests. 

Those two measures are set to expire on March 1. The Liberals say they will join with the other opposition parties in voting against extending them another five years. 

The Senate committee made 40 recommendations, including two on the two measures. They call for extending the measures three years along with an annual recommendation from the attorney general whether continued use of the measures are warranted.

But Dion said in response to Harper's offer that "we cannot extend today and worry about rights tomorrow."

The two provisions have been in place since shortly after 9/11 and have never been used. 

After question period, the prime minister stopped to talk to reporters on his way up the stairs to his Centre Block office to again press Dion to consider his compromise.  

"I think the Senate has proposed a couple of things that are realistic," he said. "We want to see something. So we're open to getting something done here. It's important to have anti-terror provisions that are effective."

The vote on extending the provisions is set for Tuesday evening at 5:30 p.m. and it appears the government will not have enough votes to pass the motion. 

In recent weeks, a number of Liberal MPs were publicly opposing Dion's position not to extend the provisions. 

But last week Dion told his caucus that the decision was final and it would be a whipped vote, meaning MPs must attend the vote and vote with the leader. 

However, most of the dissenting Liberal MPs now seem onside with their leader.  

"I thought the Conservative approach has been to unfairly politicize this whole issue," said former justice minister Irwin Cotler, who had earlier wanted the government to extend the two provisions. "Given the politicization that has taken place I couldn't support the Conservatives on their motion."

Cotler was particularly critical of the Conservatives' allegations that those who vote against extending the measures were "soft on terror."

MPs spent most of Monday in the Commons chamber engaged in a debate on the government's motion which at times got heated. 

Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis said during the debate that the provisions needed to die because "times have changed" since 9/11. 

"Yes, terrorism is there, Osama bin Laden is still alive, however, the need to have investigative tactics and take people's civil liberties away ... is something that I personally never favoured and find it very hard to support."

:  Related Links

> "Extremist elements" in Liberal party making Dion soft on terrorism- PM

© PoliticsWatch® 2007. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PoliticsWatch content, including by framing, copying, linking or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Public Interests Research and Communications Inc. (PIRCINC). PoliticsWatch is registered trademark of PIRCINC.

> More Recent PoliticsWatch News...







:: Got a News Tip?

Call the PoliticsWatch
tip-line at 613.232.0516
or
e-mail

 

PoliticsWatch Home  |  News Services  Voter Resources  |  Research Base

© PoliticsWatch® 2004. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PoliticsWatch content, 
including by framing, copying, linking or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of 
Public Interests Research and Communications Inc. (PIRCINC). PoliticsWatch is registered trademark of PIRCINC.
PoliticsWatch® | Canada's Political Portal™
85 Albert Street, Suite 1502, Ottawa ON K1P 6A4 |  phone: 613.232.0516
news@politicswatch.com  |  Terms of Service, Copyright, Trademarks, and Disclaimers Statement