Government House Leader Peter Van Loan defends new powers for CSIS

News Mar 23, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

 By Kevin Werner, News Staff

 A person is transporting a suspicious package into Canada and federal security agencies believe it’s a terrorist plot.

Under enhanced powers contained in Bill C-51, the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service would be able to replace the package carrying whatever dangerous material with something else, says Government House Leader Peter Van Loan. CSIS would then continue its investigation to gather more evidence on the individual for a “successful  prosecution,” said Van Loan.

“This disruption power will give the ability to both protect public safety,” he said. “I don’t think there is any great loss of privacy. I don’t think it’s too great of a concern that the rights of a terrorist to import ricin to have their property taken.”

Van Loan, a former public safety minister, said Bill C-51 was already enshrined as law, the attacks against the soldiers at Saint-sur-Richelieu inQuebecand inOttawa“it might have been useful.”

Opponents of Bill C-51, which is currently at the Parliamentary committee stage after second reading argue CSIS will have its powers dramatically changed to “disrupt” potential terrorist attacks. Critics also content there will be no oversight of CSIS.

Sukanya Pillay, executive director of the Canadian Civilian Liberties Association,  acknowledged that terrorism is real, but “we reject that to fight terrorism we give up our rights. We believe in the principles of a fair trial. We expect certain liberties and freedoms.”

Pillay said during a recent forum at Hamilton City Hall, that CSIS with its new powers will be able to request a warrant from a judge to break Canadian laws.

But Van Loan says that a judge will determine the merits of the request from Canada’s security agencies.

“That’s why a judge would be required to justify to allow CSIS to do that,” said Van Loan. “And I think every single Canadian will say that is a sensible measure.”

Pillay says it’s “astonishing” that the security agencies will be asking judges to break the highest law of the land.

“There really is no protections here,” she said.

Bill C-51, which is supported not only by the Conservatives, but also by the Liberals, also includes provisions to allow information about Canadians to be shared among 17 federal agencies.

Pillay says that is “worrisome” considering there is no “accountability.”

Van Loan, who was in Ancaster and Flamborough March 19 accompanied by Conservative MP David Sweet, dismissed the idea there were no protections for Canadians in the legislation.

Having a judge to oversee the new laws “is as much protection of civil liberties than after the fact review by politicians,” he said.  “I have confidence in the judges.”

Meanwhile, Van Loan said the Conservative government will keep its promise to introduce a balance-budget legislation in this session of Parliament. Although he hedged when the legislation would be introduced, it could come after the Conservatives introduce its budget, no earlier than April, he said.

“It was a platform commitment,” said Van Loan. “We are determined to do that.”

In the federal government’s October 2013 throne speech, the Conservatives promised to balance the budget in 2015 and “enshrine in law its successful and productive approach” with a balanced budget law.

Under a balanced budget law, Van Loan says it would allow for the government to exceed its budget “when you would need stimulus.”

But he said any balanced budget law would have teeth, unlike Ontario’s balanced budget legislation introduced by the Liberals, but then they “simply took it off the books.”

Eight provinces, including Ontario, and the two territories passed balanced-budget legislation during the 1990s. But all but one of the provincial laws were amended, suspended or repealed after the 2008 great recession.

Van Loan promised the federal government’s legislation “will be more enduring.

“I’m quite confident we will achieve a balanced budget (law) this year,” he said.

Government House Leader Peter Van Loan defends new powers for CSIS

News Mar 23, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

 By Kevin Werner, News Staff

 A person is transporting a suspicious package into Canada and federal security agencies believe it’s a terrorist plot.

Under enhanced powers contained in Bill C-51, the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service would be able to replace the package carrying whatever dangerous material with something else, says Government House Leader Peter Van Loan. CSIS would then continue its investigation to gather more evidence on the individual for a “successful  prosecution,” said Van Loan.

“This disruption power will give the ability to both protect public safety,” he said. “I don’t think there is any great loss of privacy. I don’t think it’s too great of a concern that the rights of a terrorist to import ricin to have their property taken.”

Van Loan, a former public safety minister, said Bill C-51 was already enshrined as law, the attacks against the soldiers at Saint-sur-Richelieu inQuebecand inOttawa“it might have been useful.”

Opponents of Bill C-51, which is currently at the Parliamentary committee stage after second reading argue CSIS will have its powers dramatically changed to “disrupt” potential terrorist attacks. Critics also content there will be no oversight of CSIS.

Sukanya Pillay, executive director of the Canadian Civilian Liberties Association,  acknowledged that terrorism is real, but “we reject that to fight terrorism we give up our rights. We believe in the principles of a fair trial. We expect certain liberties and freedoms.”

Pillay said during a recent forum at Hamilton City Hall, that CSIS with its new powers will be able to request a warrant from a judge to break Canadian laws.

But Van Loan says that a judge will determine the merits of the request from Canada’s security agencies.

“That’s why a judge would be required to justify to allow CSIS to do that,” said Van Loan. “And I think every single Canadian will say that is a sensible measure.”

Pillay says it’s “astonishing” that the security agencies will be asking judges to break the highest law of the land.

“There really is no protections here,” she said.

Bill C-51, which is supported not only by the Conservatives, but also by the Liberals, also includes provisions to allow information about Canadians to be shared among 17 federal agencies.

Pillay says that is “worrisome” considering there is no “accountability.”

Van Loan, who was in Ancaster and Flamborough March 19 accompanied by Conservative MP David Sweet, dismissed the idea there were no protections for Canadians in the legislation.

Having a judge to oversee the new laws “is as much protection of civil liberties than after the fact review by politicians,” he said.  “I have confidence in the judges.”

Meanwhile, Van Loan said the Conservative government will keep its promise to introduce a balance-budget legislation in this session of Parliament. Although he hedged when the legislation would be introduced, it could come after the Conservatives introduce its budget, no earlier than April, he said.

“It was a platform commitment,” said Van Loan. “We are determined to do that.”

In the federal government’s October 2013 throne speech, the Conservatives promised to balance the budget in 2015 and “enshrine in law its successful and productive approach” with a balanced budget law.

Under a balanced budget law, Van Loan says it would allow for the government to exceed its budget “when you would need stimulus.”

But he said any balanced budget law would have teeth, unlike Ontario’s balanced budget legislation introduced by the Liberals, but then they “simply took it off the books.”

Eight provinces, including Ontario, and the two territories passed balanced-budget legislation during the 1990s. But all but one of the provincial laws were amended, suspended or repealed after the 2008 great recession.

Van Loan promised the federal government’s legislation “will be more enduring.

“I’m quite confident we will achieve a balanced budget (law) this year,” he said.

Government House Leader Peter Van Loan defends new powers for CSIS

News Mar 23, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

 By Kevin Werner, News Staff

 A person is transporting a suspicious package into Canada and federal security agencies believe it’s a terrorist plot.

Under enhanced powers contained in Bill C-51, the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service would be able to replace the package carrying whatever dangerous material with something else, says Government House Leader Peter Van Loan. CSIS would then continue its investigation to gather more evidence on the individual for a “successful  prosecution,” said Van Loan.

“This disruption power will give the ability to both protect public safety,” he said. “I don’t think there is any great loss of privacy. I don’t think it’s too great of a concern that the rights of a terrorist to import ricin to have their property taken.”

Van Loan, a former public safety minister, said Bill C-51 was already enshrined as law, the attacks against the soldiers at Saint-sur-Richelieu inQuebecand inOttawa“it might have been useful.”

Opponents of Bill C-51, which is currently at the Parliamentary committee stage after second reading argue CSIS will have its powers dramatically changed to “disrupt” potential terrorist attacks. Critics also content there will be no oversight of CSIS.

Sukanya Pillay, executive director of the Canadian Civilian Liberties Association,  acknowledged that terrorism is real, but “we reject that to fight terrorism we give up our rights. We believe in the principles of a fair trial. We expect certain liberties and freedoms.”

Pillay said during a recent forum at Hamilton City Hall, that CSIS with its new powers will be able to request a warrant from a judge to break Canadian laws.

But Van Loan says that a judge will determine the merits of the request from Canada’s security agencies.

“That’s why a judge would be required to justify to allow CSIS to do that,” said Van Loan. “And I think every single Canadian will say that is a sensible measure.”

Pillay says it’s “astonishing” that the security agencies will be asking judges to break the highest law of the land.

“There really is no protections here,” she said.

Bill C-51, which is supported not only by the Conservatives, but also by the Liberals, also includes provisions to allow information about Canadians to be shared among 17 federal agencies.

Pillay says that is “worrisome” considering there is no “accountability.”

Van Loan, who was in Ancaster and Flamborough March 19 accompanied by Conservative MP David Sweet, dismissed the idea there were no protections for Canadians in the legislation.

Having a judge to oversee the new laws “is as much protection of civil liberties than after the fact review by politicians,” he said.  “I have confidence in the judges.”

Meanwhile, Van Loan said the Conservative government will keep its promise to introduce a balance-budget legislation in this session of Parliament. Although he hedged when the legislation would be introduced, it could come after the Conservatives introduce its budget, no earlier than April, he said.

“It was a platform commitment,” said Van Loan. “We are determined to do that.”

In the federal government’s October 2013 throne speech, the Conservatives promised to balance the budget in 2015 and “enshrine in law its successful and productive approach” with a balanced budget law.

Under a balanced budget law, Van Loan says it would allow for the government to exceed its budget “when you would need stimulus.”

But he said any balanced budget law would have teeth, unlike Ontario’s balanced budget legislation introduced by the Liberals, but then they “simply took it off the books.”

Eight provinces, including Ontario, and the two territories passed balanced-budget legislation during the 1990s. But all but one of the provincial laws were amended, suspended or repealed after the 2008 great recession.

Van Loan promised the federal government’s legislation “will be more enduring.

“I’m quite confident we will achieve a balanced budget (law) this year,” he said.