Combating Terrorism Act passes 2nd reading

By Creekside, Sept. 24, 2010

On the same day the nation was preoccupied with the national Con/Lib competition for votes to kill/preserve the long gun registry, the Libs and Cons got together to slip the Combating Terrorism Act through second reading in the House – 220 votes to 84 – in a classic Con/Lib vs NDP/Bloc split. That vote came ten minutes before the long gun vote.

Yup, depending on your pov, it is either useful or an egregious invasion of privacy and civil liberties that Canadians should have to spend a few minutes registering a long gun online, but when it comes to locking Canadians up for 12 months without a warrant or compelling them to appear before a court based on some anonymous tip – they’re apparently just fine with that.

The right to remain silent, the right not to be jailed without charge, the right to know what the charges are against you – pfft!

In reintroducing Bill C-17 for the third time on Monday – to reinstate provisions from the Anti-terrorism Act of 2001 – Justice Minister Rob Nicholson emphasized a fabulous new feature:

“The key here is that the person required to attend an investigative hearing is treated as a witness, not someone who is accused of a crime.”

True, as long as your definition of “witness” includes being arrested if you don’t comply and being detained for 72 hours if you do.

But what if you are also suspected of being likely to commit a terrorist crime some time in the future. Well, then :

“a judge can order the person’s detention for up to 12 months.”

Article continues . . .

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