General

Former top spy says anti-terror bill unnecessary

Pre-emptive arrest and forced testimony turn "our judicial system somewhat on its head"

Reid Morden, the former director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, says the Conservative government should re-think its plans to re-introduce controversial anti-terrorism measures initially adopted in the wake of 9/11. Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said Friday that Ottawa was looking at reviving extraordinary powers that would allow police to arrest people as a preventive measure and force suspects to show up at secret hearings to testify about possibly pending criminal acts. “Speaking strictly of those two particular provisions, I confess I never thought that they should have been introduced in the first place and that they slipped in, in the kind of scrambling around that the government did after 9/11,” Morden said. “It seemed to me that it turned our judicial system somewhat on its head.” The initial provisions expired in 2007 and a Conservative move to revive them was defeated by Parliament that same year. Neither power was ever used in its original five-year lifespan.

CBC News

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