[eaglewatch] [Fwd: Troubling new anti-terror provisions pass into law]
Again, “the Harper Government” (NOT the Government of Canada) decides that we could all be suspect, BASED ON THE BOSTON BOMBING…. despite evidence coming out that this was a staged event involving US government personnel.
As the National Post’s Matt Gurney points out, it’s difficult to make a connection with the Boston Bombing that indicates ANYTHING AT ALL about the state of Canada’s anti-terror laws!
Now… stay tuned…. especially you Americans…. next email is regarding OBAMA CARE and how the IRS will have special access to ALL YOUR MEDICAL RECORDS…
and heaven help you if they don’t like your face and you happen to have been prescribed antidepressants at some point in your life… they can call you mentally unstable and get away with it…
HOW DO YOU FIGHT THIS IF THEY COME TO YOUR DOOR?
Is anyone paying attention as police statism moves in even further?!?!?
Troubling new anti-terror provisions pass into law
By Matthew Behrens
In what some critics called an opportunistic move, the Harper government swiftly scheduled debate on, and passed, new anti-terrorism provisions
(Bill S-7) in the wake of the Boston marathon bombing and the subsequent Canadian arrests of two men alleged to be involved in a plot against VIA Rail.
The most controversial of the provisions involving preventive
arrests (detention without charge for up to 3 days, followed by release under draconian bail conditions) and secretive investigative hearings,
both part of the original Anti-Terrorism Act in 2001 expired after
five years due to a sunset clause. The federal Liberals, who joined with other opposition parties to reject an attempt to revive the provisions in 2007, voted in favor of S-7 under leader Justin Trudeau.
The Harper government “ whose four previous attempts to
bring back the measures had ended because of prorogation s and
elections claimed the events in Boston proved Canada
needed the new law.
But even the National Posts Matt Gurney
editorialized that its hard to see how the Boston
attacks say anything about the state of Canadas anti-terror
A range of civil rights groups, including the International
Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG) and CAIR-CAN,
declared in a public statement, Individuals subject to
these provisions do not necessarily have to be suspected of
committing any crime.
It is enough that they are alleged to
have information relating to a terrorism offense, or that they
are alleged to be associated with another individual suspected
of committing (or about to commit) a terrorism offense, or
that they are otherwise suspected of potential future
involvement in a terrorism offense.
Under an investigative hearing, they pointed out, the
independence of the judiciary is undermined as it moves from
an adversarial to an inquisitorial model, and the judge
â€œbecomes an actor at the service of police
In addition, continued reliance on foreign
intelligence could continue the use of information gleaned
Ultimately, they fear that individuals will be
forced to testify in court, face detention, or be subject to
draconian bail conditions without charges being laid based on
secret allegations they will have no access to, an eerie
replication of the security certificate process used against
refugees and permanent residents.
While Canada has been rapped on the knuckles by the UN and human rights bodies for its practice of torture by proxy of Canadian citizens sending information to Syrian and Egyptian intelligence with the knowledge that such questioning of Canadians would result in torture, as in the cases of Maher Arar, Ahmad El Maati, Abdullah Almalki, and Muayyed Nureddin the one-year detention clause serves, essentially, as a similar form of judicially sanctioned punishment for failure to answer certain questions.
Although such provisions were not directly used in their first
five years, the threat of their use by Canadian authorities,
as documented in the 2003 ICLMG report In the Shadow of the
Law, proved an effective means of instilling fear and
compliance in targeted communities.
Given the commonplace CSIS
practice in Arabic Muslim communities of pressuring
individuals to act in the uncomfortable role of spies, refusal
to do so could bring about the potential use of an
investigative hearing and a year-long detention.
While the legislation states such individuals have the right to a lawyer, the NDPs Deputy Justice Critic Craig Scott proposed that anybody whos not actually under suspicion and is brought in for an
investigative hearing really should not have to pay for the costs of their legal representation. That safety measure was deemed beyond the scope of the bill.
Also of concern are efforts to further regulate the travel of
community members already subject to restrictive measures such
as the no-fly list. S-7 appears to open the door to an
exit-control system that would monitor the movements of anyone
leaving the country.
It may prove intimidating for travelers
planning to visit family in Lebanon or Pakistan when they
learn that they could be jailed for up to 10 years if the
person leaves or attempts to leave Canada, or goes or
attempts to go on board a conveyance with the intent to leave
Canada, for the purpose of committing an act or omission
outside Canada that would be considered a terrorism
Given the overly-broad manner in which Canadian
agencies cast suspicion based on the mosque at which they
pray, humanitarian organizations to which they have given
charitable donations, or their assumed knowledge of the
alleged activities of a mere acquaintance concerns have
been raised about language that borders on the realm of
thought-crime, allowing the state to determine why one intends
to take a trip or concluding that someone is hiding something
from authorities for nefarious reasons.
(Notably, the Canadian
Border Services Agency is, according to an April, 2013
Canadian Press report, currently looking out for Iranians in
Canada who may hold â€œsinister motives.)
During December, 2012 Parliamentary questioning, the NDPs
Craig Scott listed a litany of problems with the legislation,
including: failure to incorporate comprehensive oversight for
all Canadian agencies involved in national security
activities, a long-ignored recommendation of the Arar Inquiry;
overly broad language with respect to what it means to
â€œharbourâ€ someone alleged to be involved in terrorism; and
rejection of the idea that immunity from criminal prosecution
based on evidence coerced in an investigative hearing should
extend to extradition and deportation hearings.
particularly incensed to discover that someone could be placed
on restrictive bail conditions with respect to terrorist
activity that is not their own terrorist activity. All his
concerns were dismissed as beyond the scope of the bill.
Groups such as CAIR-CAN and ICLMG will continue monitoring the
effects of the new law.
Matthew Behrens is a freelance writer who has worked closely with the targets of Canadian and U.S. â€œnational security profiling.