Nathan raises concerns about draconian ‘anti-terror’ measures

Bill C-17 proposes to reinstitute some of the most severe components of Anti-Terrorism legislation that was introduced in Canada following the attacks of September 11, 2001.  The bill would allow ‘preventative arrest’ without charges and possible imprisonment for up to 12 months of individuals that have not been charged with any crime

Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley) The draconian nature of this is that in Bill C-17 somebody can be held without charge for up to a year, no charges whatsoever. Never does the evidence come before the person who is being held in custody. This should concern all of us. I cast no aspersions on the government, but this law enables this or any future government to simply hold any Canadian for up to a year without presenting a single charge.

These are not light uses in this legislation, but we have never had to use them, even in prosecuting criminal charges of homegrown terrorism. So in the balance that we try to establish here in Parliament as legislators, between the rights of individuals and the protection of society, suspending a person’s ability to testify against themselves, suspending the rights of people who are then held without charge, for a piece of legislation that does not get used even when we prosecute in criminal cases involving terrorism, does it not seem to the hon. member that we should allow the sunset to finally take place on this legislation? It was drawn up in a different context, and it has not been applied. Even in moments when we have needed to apply the force of the law and all our security details to terrorism, we have not used this. Is it worth the continued sacrifice to have, on the books in our Parliament and our land, laws that so override basic fundamental human rights, for a law that we simply have not used?