OTTAWA, March 9, 2015 – The Honourable Steven Blaney, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, issued the following statement after his appearance before the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence this afternoon and in advance of the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security on Tuesday, March 10th.
“Today I was before Committee on the Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act (C-44) to re-affirm how this Bill will ensure CSIS has the tools required to deter threats against our country. This Bill clarifies CSIS’ mandate to undertake investigative activities within Canada or abroad, when, for example, terrorists have threatened Canada and left our country to engage in a range of threat-related activities. That is why we have put forward this legislation that will allow CSIS to fulfill its mandate by investigating threats wherever they arise.
On Tuesday, I will appear before Committee to advance the passage of the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015. I will vigorously make the case for our security and law enforcement agencies to have the tools they need to counter radicalization, prevent recruitment and stop the promotion of terrorism. I will urge Parliamentarians to support the provision that allows security agencies to disrupt terrorist plots. We believe that Canadians want our Government to take the steps necessary to prevent terrorist travel, thwart efforts to use Canada as a recruiting ground, and prevent planned attacks on our soil. The Anti-terrorism Act 2015 will better protect our rights and freedoms. These measures will increase judicial oversight and improve the review mechanisms of our agencies who are responsible for upholding our laws, our Constitution and, protecting the privacy of Canadians.
In line with measures taken by our allies, we believe our legislation mitigates gaps and helps better protect the public from the real threat of terrorism. As the RCMP Commissioner said last week, the nature of this threat continues to evolve and grow, and is apparent both at home and abroad. Abroad, the public and direct threat issued by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) against Canada and the terrorist attacks on our home soil last fall demonstrate that Canada is not immune from terrorism. At committee, I will reiterate that this Government must and will take swift action to deny the international jihadist movement the opportunity to inflict terror on our citizens and interests.
As the Prime Minister has often said, Canada will not stand on the side-lines, we will take action to deny terrorists a safe haven from which they would plot violence against us.”
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