WATCH: Criticism over Bill C-51 has put Conservative Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney on the defensive.
OTTAWA – New anti-terrorism measures are needed to protect the public from extremists who hate Canadian values, says Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney.
The international jihadi movement has “declared war on Canada” and other countries around the world, Blaney told MPs Tuesday as they began hearing testimony on the federal legislation.
The House of Commons public safety committee plans to hear from more than 50 witnesses over the next few weeks.
The Conservatives brought in the bill, which would broaden the Canadian Security Intelligence Service’s mandate, following the murders of two Canadian soldiers last October.
The legislation would give CSIS the ability to disrupt terror plots, make it easier for police to limit the movements of a suspect, expand no-fly list powers, crack down on terrorist propaganda, and remove barriers to sharing security-related information.
The new disruptive powers do not apply to “lawful” advocacy, protest and dissent, but some critics say they could be used against activists who protest without an official permit.
Blaney took issue with the idea the bill would allow CSIS to trample civil liberties, telling the committee he wanted to “set the record straight.”