Canadian Government Exploits Boston Bombing to Pass Bill to Limit Civil Liberties

Monday, April 22, 2013
By Paul Martin

Monday, Apr. 22 2013

he Harper government is using the Boston Marathon bombing to expedite the passage of a relatively slow-moving bill that would restrict civil liberties in the name of fighting terrorism.

Some of the measures in S-7, the Combating Terrorism Act, have previously been law but expired because they were so-called sun-set provisions introduced in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

The Conservative have cleared time in their legislative agenda Monday and Tuesday to conduct third-reading debate on S-7, legislation that would authorize police to pre-emptively detain Canadians and hold them for up to three days without charging them.

The bill would also allow authorities to imprison a Canadian for up to 12 months if they refuse to answer questions posed by a judge in what are called investigative hearings.

The Conservatives want to use the debate to highlight their get-tough approach on terrorism.

“The horrific bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon and the terrifying aftermath that crippled the city have again demonstrated what terrorists strives for: the deliberate infliction of death or suffering upon innocents to further some misguided cause,” Candice Bergen, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, said in speaking to the legislation in the Commons.

“I hope, as I am sure all members of this House hope, that Canada will never suffer as Boston has suffered last week. What we can hope, however, is that if Canada does become a target of terrorism, we will act as Bostonians have done and show the world that fear will not define us.”

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