This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
Several sources are reporting that Canada’s main spy agency, The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), is slated to receive more powers through the government’s upcoming bill to be discussed on Friday. According to the proposed legislation, the CSIS is anticipated to be given powers to act itself to prevent potential attacks rather than only gathering information and handing it over to police for action.
The law to be presented in Parliament will allow CSIS to block financial transactions, stop people from travelling abroad to join extremist groups and intercept material that can be used in an attack. However, prior to any such action, it will still have to obtain a judicial warrant first. Quoting an unnamed source, CBC reported that “the goal is for CSIS to move from an intelligence-gathering service to an agency that will have the power to disrupt or diminish potential terrorist threats under appropriate judicial oversight.”
Having said that, the reports confirm that the agency will still not be allowed to detain or arrest people. In addition to that, the new law will also allow police to detain potential terror suspects for longer periods without charge. The new bill will aims to make it easier for police to track and monitor suspects. In response to several reservations, Prime Minister Stephen Harper have already mentioned this week that the new law will not infringe on constitutionally protected rights to free speech, association and religion.