As feds plan new anti-terror laws, some ask why current ones not being used

Parliament Hill
Centre Block on Parliament Hill in Ottawa is surrounded by police vehicles on on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014. A gunman opened fire at the National War Memorial, wounding a soldier, then moved to nearby Parliament Hill and wounded a security guard before he was shot, reportedly by Parliament's sergeant-at-arms. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA – The Conservative government plans to give police and spies new tools to fight terrorism as early as next week.

But some point out that anti-terror laws already on the books aren’t being fully used to stem the threat of attacks by homegrown radicals.

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Under existing provisions, police have the power to make a preventive arrest of anyone suspected of planning a terrorist attack.

They can also require people with information relevant to the investigation of a past or future terrorist act to appear before a judge.

The Conservatives, however, are hinting more powers are needed to make pre-emptive arrests following deadly attacks on soldiers in Ottawa and St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.

They have also been planning for weeks to introduce legislation that would give the Canadian Security Intelligence Service more power to track terror suspects abroad and provide blanket identity protection for the agency’s human sources.


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