Canada is set to roll-back some of the police powers the Canadian government and courts granted post 9/11.
The Canadian Liberal party, currently in partnership with the NDP and Conservatives in a minority government, have withdrawn support for the controversial laws set to expire at the end of next week.
The former Liberal majority government, under then prime minister Jean Chretien, rushed the sweeping changes in the stressful weeks following 9/11, arguing law-enforcement needed better tools for dealing with the palpable threat of terror.
In response to concerns the new laws would trample civil liberties, the government of the day placed a sunset clause on the far-reaching legislation. Well, the day is almost upon us.
The current Conservative government (in minority) have tabled a motion to extend the provisions of the law for three years. Lacking Liberal, NDP and Bloc(French) support the bill will die on the vine.
This shift of thinking from the Liberal left has shocked many in the security industry, not surprisngly.
This claw-back of police powers puts Canada on a substantially more moderate track than World security partners, the U.S., Britain and Australia.
Canada’s security laws function thusly: A preventive arrest clause allows police to arrest suspects without warrant and detain them for upwards of 48 hours or more, without charge — if they (the police) suspect that the subjects of interest may do something or are thinking of doing something unlawful.
In the 5 years since the act has come into force, it has never been used. Yes neighbor, we Canadian’s are that law abiding. Although I have to admit, there have been times where I have had unlawful thoughts. You know: Will I pass the car ahead of me over a double-solid line?
Anyway, I think we are on the right track – but I can only speak for Canadians… not meaning to set any examples for anyone else, begging your pardon and all `eh.