New anti-terror legislation drafted in the dark

The federal government will table new anti-terror legislation in the House of Commons on Jan. 30 and it is most likely to pass.

In his press conference on Jan. 26, Stephen Harper said that the bill would “criminalize the promotion of terrorism,” meaning that even condoning terrorist attacks on an internet website may be grounds to arrest and individual.

But that’s about all that is known about the bill, which was drafted in response to what the Harper government called “terrorist” attacks on Parliament Hill and in Quebec last fall.

The full contents of the bill will come to light tomorrow Jan. 30  when it comes into the House of Commons.

With the Liberals showing their support for the new legislation, the bill should become a law without much contention.

The bill is a reaction by the Conservative government to the attacks on two members of the Canadian armed forces in October. Corporal Nathan Carcillo and warrant officer Patrice Vincent were each killed in separate incidents.

Although their killings were in different provinces and committed by two different individuals, both perpetrators claimed they carried out their acts because of Canada’s continued role in combatting Islamic militants in the Middle East.

Shortly after the attacks took place the Conservative government said that it would be introducing ‘strong’ new anti-terror legislation.

Now almost four months later the Conservatives have fulfilled their promise, introducing this new bill while at the same time, revealing very little information about what the legislation actually contains.

The Canadian Civil Liberties association declined to comment on the proposed legislation, reserving their its opinion until after the bill went through the House of commons.

The fact that even the Civil Liberties Association isn’t clear on what the bill contains further illustrates the cover of darkness under which the bill was drafted.

Until the new law is passed Canadians will be protected only by the country’s current anti-terror laws. Below is a list of legal actions that a police force or the federal government can take in the fight against terror.

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