Canadian House of Commons approved Anti-Terror Act, 2015

May 7, 2015 11:11 IST

The Canadian House of Commons on 6 May 2015 approved the Bill C-51, Anti-Terror Act, 2015 that empowers the country’s spy agency. It was adopted in a 183 to 96 vote.

The act would give the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) the ability to operate overseas and make preventative arrests. It also makes it easier for police to arrest and detain individuals without charge.

Now, the bill will be sent to Senate for being approved before becoming a law.

Main Features of the Anti-terror Act
• It allows anyone suspected of being involved in a terror plot to be detained without charge for up to seven days from the present three days.
• It empowers Canadian Security Intelligence Services (CSIS), the spy agency of Canada, to thwart attacks directly in a significant expansion of their powers.
• Further, it allows CSIS to directly approach terror suspects in order to disrupt their plans as against the current practice of only collecting intelligence and passing the information on to police.
• CSIS will also be able to cancel plane or other travel reservations made by Canadians suspected of being involved in terrorism. However, the new activities by CSIS will require approval by a judge.
• It makes it a crime for a person to call for terror attacks on Canada generally or to promote or advocate others to carry out terrorism elsewhere. At present, it is a crime to make a specific threat.
• The penalty for giving public threat will be a maximum of five years in prison.
• Authorities will be able to remove terror-related material from any Canadian website.

The ant-terror bill was announced by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in January 2015 in response to attacks on Canadian territory on 22 October 2014, in which two people were killed.

In the incident, an armed assailant, identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, killed a soldier at the country’s National War Memorial in Ottawa and then stormed the parliament before being shot dead by police.

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