New Canada Terror Laws Give
Government 'Far Too Much Power'
CBC News
© 2001 CBC All Rights Reserved

OTTAWA - Opposition parties say the new anti-terror legislation goes too far and doesn't respect individual rights.
'The civil servants will have all the power. This is unacceptable.' The Progressive Conservatives and the Bloc Québécois both say the second round of anti-terror measures introduced on Thursday follows a dangerous trend, and does not strike a balance between security and civil rights.
The new Public Safety Act was created to give cabinet ministers the ability to make immediate changes to regulations governing transportation, health, immigration and the environment, without consulting Parliament.
Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe says neither ministers nor their departments should have that much power. "[The minister] has all the power and, in fact, the civil servants, the deputy minister will have all the power. This is unacceptable."
Conservative leader Joe Clark is concerned about the lack of oversight in the new measures.
"We cannot allow the government to gather more and more power over the ordinary lives of ordinary people without any control on the way the government exercises that power," said Clark.
Transport Minister David Collenette defended the new bill and said the changes will promote public safety. "In a situation of urgency and difficulty like September 11, Canadians want to know that their government can act."
He says Canadians should have faith in their government and expect more action to come.
Written by CBC News Online staff


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