Canada brings back special
Politics Watch ® News Services
October 23, 2007, updated 5:20 p.m.
|Two special provisions in Canada's
Anti-Terrorism Act are back on the legislative agenda in
OTTAWA (PoliticsWatch.com) —
Canadian Justice Minister Rob Nicholson announced Tuesday the
federal government has introduced legislation to reinstate two
extraordinary investigative powers given to police after 9/11.
Parliament allowed the two special powers, known as
investigative hearings and preventive arrest, to lapse earlier this
"We are committed to giving law enforcement agencies the tools they need to fight terrorism in this
country," Nicholson said in question period.
The government introduced the legislation in the Senate.
In February, the minority Conservative government's motion to renew
the two special provisions for three years was defeated by the three
Nicholson said the two provisions introduced by the federal
government on Tuesday are only slightly different than what
Parliament rejected eight months ago.
"Fundamentally we are reintroducing the two provisions that were
sunsetted," Nicholson told reporters after question
The debate over the two provisions had created a rift with in
the Liberal caucus earlier this year when it came time for the
One of the Liberal MPs, Tom Wappel, voted with the
government, former Liberal justice minister Irwin Cotler
abstained and at least three Liberal MPs who supported the
provisions were absent for the vote.
Liberal leader Stephane Dion reserved judgement Tuesday on
whether his party would support the bill.
"I would just say for today because we just have received that, I didn't have the opportunity to discuss with the
caucus," he told reporters after question period.
NDP Leader Jack Layton said his party would not be supporting
the changes to the Anti-Terrorism Act.
"I think that, the NDP believes that in a number of respects, our government has overstepped the bounds of what's appropriate in terms of ensuring that human rights are protected as we move on this so-called war on
terror," Layton said after question period.
The two controversial provisions were never used in the five years
they were law.
Nicholson stressed Tuesday that police are only supposed to use the
provisions only as a measure of last resort.
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