TORONTO – The Conservative government is set to introduce new anti-terrorism legislation by the end of next week aimed at giving more powers to police and security agencies, Stephen Harper said Sunday.
Harper, speaking at a campaign-style event in Ottawa, said the new laws will also make it a crime to promote terrorism and further restrict the movement of suspected extremists.
“These measures are designed to help authorities stop planned attacks, get threats off our streets, criminalize the promotion of terrorism, and prevent terrorists from travelling and recruiting others,” Harper told Conservative supporters. “It will contain a range of measures to ensure that our police and security agencies have the tools they need to meet evolving threats, and keep Canadians safe.”
The government wants to change Canada’s no-fly list to make it more difficult for a suspected terrorist to board a plane. Harper said the new legislation would not infringe on civil liberties.
“To be clear, in doing so, we shall be safeguarding our constitutional rights of speech, of association, of religion and all the rest,” he said.
The new legislation comes in the wake of last fall’s deadly attacks on Canadian soldiers in Ottawa and Quebec.
Michael Zehaf Bibeau shot and killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who was standing guard at the National War Memorial, before entering Parliament’s Centre Block on Oct. 22. Zehaf Bibeau was killed in a shootout with security officers outside the Library of Parliament.
The attack in Ottawa came just two days after Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent was killed after being struck by car driven by Martin Couture-Rouleau in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., near Montreal. Couture-Rouleau was shot and killed by police when he advanced on officers with a knife.