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Charter challenge to be launched against Canada’s anti-terror bill

People rally against Bill C-51, the government's anti-terror legislation, as they pass Parliament Hill during a International Workers' Day protest against austerity measures in Ottawa on Friday, May 1, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

TORONTO – Two groups say they plan to launch a charter challenge today against sections of the controversial Anti-Terrorism Act, also known as Bill C-51.

In a joint statement, both the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression say sections of Bill C-51 violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms “in a manner that is not justified in a free and democratic society.”

Bill C-51 gives the Canadian Security Intelligence Service more power to thwart suspected terrorist plots – not just gather information about them.

It also increases the exchange of federal security information, broadens no-fly list powers and creates a new criminal offence of encouraging someone to carry out a terrorist attack.

The bill also makes it easier for the RCMP to obtain a peace bond to restrict the movements of suspects and extend the amount of time they can be kept in preventative detention.

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The challenge will be filed with the Ontario Superior Court.

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