‘Police need more powers to combat terrorism,’ says Calgary MP
WATCH ABOVE: As Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports, website surveillance is one of the areas that is being looked and MP Jason Kenney is pushing for legal changes that would grant more powers to preventative detention.
CALGARY- Prominent Calgary MP Jason Kenney says there are lessons to be learned from the attack on Parliament Hill.
Kenney said in order to combat terrorism in Canada, police need more powers. So he is pushing for legal changes that would grant more powers to preventative detention.
The Calgary MP pointed to the man who killed Patrice Vincent, who was under RCMP surveillance, but could not be detained.
“We are consulting with police and intelligence agencies to see where there are gaps and we will respond accordingly. The most important responsibility of government is to keep Canadians safe and we know that there are terrorists in our country who are under surveillance and if they need to be detained because they are likely to commit an act of violence, then we need appropriate powers to do so.”
Kenney paid tribute to the two soldiers killed last month on Canadian soil.
At Saturday’s poppy parade at Chinook Centre, veterans, cadets, and reservists marched past stores and shoppers, all reminders of those who defend our country.
But this year, many of those watching the poppy parade are even more thankful of men and women in uniform. Joey Bleviss from Calgary’s Poppy Fund said the citizens of Canada have now come to recognize that it can happen on our own soil.
“That was just devastating. It just doesn’t happen overseas. I think that has brought awareness to the citizens that there is a need for protecting and for valuing our men and women who go to war for us.”
“These men were targeted and killed by a terrorist because they were Canada’s uniform,” Kenney said.
“I think it’s a pointed reminder that every person who serves in Canada’s uniform is putting their lives on the line. To the defense of all of us. It’s also a reminder that there are people around the world who would do us harm and that we can never take our national security for granted,” Kenney said.
Kenney also says that Canada may need to look at getting tougher on websites that are recruiting possible terrorists and that website surveillance is one of the areas that is being looked at.
“There are no legal powers to do so. So we are looking at what powers we may need to prevent online radicalization of individuals,” Kenney said.
Jonathan Denis, Alberta’s justice minister says more police powers are on the table, but he also wants to work with the Muslim community to prevent recruitment.
“I hate to make a knee jerk reaction. I think we need to look at the broader perspective, look at the reports and see what can be done to prevent this in the future,” Denis said.
But civil rights groups caution, the calls for new police powers may be an overreaction.
A joint statement this week from 15 privacy and information commissioners raised concerns that proposed measures could infringe on civil liberties and privacy rights.
On Monday, Canada’s public safety minister tabled a bill that would expand the powers of CSIS to monitor and track suspected terrorists and provide increased protection for confidential sources.
“We are consulting with the appropriate authorities and we will be responding accordingly. We have a bill in Parliament right now to add additional powers for CSIS our intelligence agency, to be able to monitor Canadian terrorists abroad but there are clearly some more things we need to do here domestically learning from the two recent terrorist incidents in Canada.”