Parliamentary review of Canada’s Anti-terrorism Act begins

The Canadian Parliament’s Subcommittee on Public Safety and National Security began a review of Canada’s Anti-terrorism Act on December 16, 2004.

The Subcommittee will be accepting written submissions and holding public hearings during winter and spring 2005, with a view to tabling a report in the House of Commons in autumn of the same year. The Subcommittee is hoping to hear from as many groups as it can during the upcoming hearings.

A special committee of the Senate is also conducting “a comprehensive review of the provisions and operations of the Anti-terrorism Act.”

The Anti-terrorism Act and other legislation passed in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks placed far-reaching powers in the hands of police, security intelligence agencies, customs and immigration officials, and other authorities. These new powers were introduced with little public awareness of their impact on civil liberties, privacy, and access to government information.

The Parliamentary review is vital to an informed public debate and assessment of the legislation and its impacts, which critics say has undermined our democratic traditions but done little to make most Canadians safer.

Those interested in appearing before the Committee are invited to submit their request in writing to the Subcommittee Clerk by February 11, 2005. Written submissions may be submitted to the Clerk no later than February 28, 2005.

Information about procedures for making presentations or submitting papers.
Links of Interest

Remarks of the Minister of Justice to the Special Committee of the Senate on the Anti-terrorism Act, February 21, 2005

CANADA’S ANTI-TERRORISM ACT: AN UNJUSTIFIED LIMITATION OF FREEDOM OF INFORMATION AND PRIVACY RIGHTS – Submission to the House of Commons Subcommittee on Public Safety and National Security– BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, March 2005:

SUBMISSION BY ONTARIO INFORMATION AND PRIVACY COMMISSIONER

WAR ON TERRORISM WATCH
This site, developed and hosted by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), shines a light on the growing list of similar measures governments in Canada, the United States, and Europe have taken in the name of the “war on terrorism.” It aims to encourage informed debate and discussion by providing the latest information and analysis available

PRIVATE NO MORE
Chris Cobb
Ottawa Citizen
December 16, 2004
Terrorism and technology are exacting a high price from Canadians, undermining privacy and eroding civil liberties to a degree that most of us don’t realize. Few Canadians understand the degree to which our most personal information is now readily available to the FBI, CIA and other U.S. authorities – not to mention our own law enforcement equivalents.
Worse, say critics, federal security legislation and cross-border agreements rushed through with little debate or public discussion have undermined our democratic traditions but done little to make most Canadians safer.

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