Peter MacKay suggests anti-terror laws don’t need major overhaul – Politics – CBC News

As the Government continues to consider what further changes, if any, are required to current legislation, some mixed signals:

… former public safety minister Stockwell Day warned hes hearing the government may try to eliminate the requirement that a judge sign off on such orders, giving discretion solely to the minister of public safety.

“One of the provisions Im hearing about, I don’t know if its accurate yet, is there may be a provision for a minister like myself to sign for [preventive] arrest, and not having it countersigned by a judge,” he said in an interview on CBC Radio’s The Current.

“I’ r always appreciated the balance [of both judge and minister signing] for preventive arrest and wiretaps … I would take a close look at that if a judge’s [signature] is no longer required,” Day added.

Without getting into specifics, MacKay seemed to dismiss that idea, “We’re not going to upset that balance that requires police to make that very important evidentiary determination.”

“I always would come down on the side of judicial oversight before you would make any interventions,” MacKay added.

MacKay also said the government is looking for ways to crack down on those who encourage terrorist acts online. “There’s no question that the type of material that is used often to recruit, to incite, and the word I don’t particularly like … but, glorification,” he said, adding he’s looking closely at legislation in the United Kingdom on this topic.

Day believes the legislation will “talk about things like, those who support calls on terrorists to attack Canadians or to kill Canadians, those who support groups who are calling for attacks on Canadians.’”

Peter MacKay suggests anti-terror laws dont need major overhaul – Politics – CBC News.

And the information and privacy czars pick up on the point that any increased powers should be matched by increased review and oversight.

If you step up police powers to fight terrorism, make watchdogs more powerful, privacy czar tells Tories

Similarly, a note of caution not to rush things from former judges, Frank Iacobucci, John Major and Dennis O’Connor:

Panel of judges urges caution in passing new anti-terror laws

Adam Chapnick has a thoughtful piece on the challenge of managing our reactions to terror:

As a professor of defence studies, I know all too well that it’s impossible to stop every ‘lone wolf’ with a gun or a bomb. No measure enacted by any government can guarantee our safety.

It follows that the national conversation led by our parliamentarians over the next few weeks cannot be about terrorism. It must be about managing the terror that Canadians feel.

We need calm reassurance, not more calls to be fearful. We need to see unity of effort and purpose among all of our MPs — not the divisive, fearmongering partisanship to which we have grown far too accustomed.

The debate must last as long as is necessary to enable all interested Canadians — not just supporters of the government — to understand what new measures are being exacted, and why.

It must shape a degree of consensus over the extent to which we are willing to surrender the freedoms we hold so dear in order to feel more comfortable on our streets and in our homes.

Terrorism is a state-level problem — but terror itself is personal. Let us hope that our elected representatives understand the difference as we move forward.

The real problem isn’t terrorism. It’s terror (pay wall)


About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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