By Lindsay Kellock, Global Research.ca
Ottawa — Prime Minister Stephen Harper government’s proposal to resurrect two controversional anti-terror measures — preventive arrests and investigative hearings — has again drawn fire from from former CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) director, Reid Morden.
Morden describes the measures as unnecessary, potentially dangerous, crossings the line between state security and individual rights, Canada’s former spy master charged Saturday. “We should think very carefully before we take that step.” (Canada.com)
“The imposition of these two (powers) crosses that line and what’s more, it offends the basic premise of the way we have interpreted the law, which is that you’re innocent until proven guilty.” (Edmonton Journal and Ottawa Citizen)
Police and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service have, “perfectly sufficient powers to do their jobs,” said the former director of CSIS. “If they’re properly resourced … they don’t need more powers.” Canada.com
Federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson announced the proposed legislation, the Combating Terrorism Act, Friday, April 19. Canada.com
On February 27, 2007. a government bid to extend these two controversial measures was defeated 159 to 124 in the House of Commons. Canada.com
The initial anti-terror laws were introduced within three months of the 2001 9/11 attacks by the Liberal government of Jean Chretien. Morden expressed his concerns about the legislation in a September 2007 article, The Right Balance, for Policy Options (Options politiques). See irpp.org/po/archive/sep02/morden.pdf)
In the article, he discussed, among other concerns, preventive arrest (arrest and detention without warrant) and investigative judicial hearings (court hearings before a judge, which may be held in secret).
In The Right Balance, Morden wrote “Much has been made about the provisions (in Bill-36, the initial bill) for preventive arrest and investigative hearings …these two provisions, in an unprecedented way, override fundamental relgious, expressive and associational freedoms that are at the core of the Charter (Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms (http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/charter/).