by Joe Martino
The House of Commons passed the new anti-terrorism bill on April 24th 2013 and received royal assent on the 25th. The bill revived provisions from the Anti-terrorism Act passed just after the Sept. 11 attacks and adds some new ones that can very easily violate civil rights.
It is no secret that since 9/11 the increase in security and the sheer removal of civil rights and freedoms has been extensive. This of course comes under the guise of protection and safety, but still we fail to see any major terror attacks that have not been either 1. caused by the FBI themselves 2. have had government and other agency groups heavily involved or 3. have had a large number of factors suggesting the event was a staged attack. In fact, it was recently disclosed that of the 22 terror related attacks since 9/11, 14 of them have been created and caused by the FBI themselves. 
Some new provisions such as investigative hearings and preventive detentions have been added to the new act and are creating quite a controversial stir as many begin to question the real intention behind the passing of these bills. These came after an suspected terror plot was foiled where two men were allegedly plotting to derail a train in Toronto. Another shady accusation.
1. Investigative hearings are reinstated
An individual can be forced to appear at a secret hearing without any charges being laid if authorities believe he or she has knowledge of a terrorist activity. The individual must appear and answer questions or risk being jailed for up to 12 months.
2. Preventive detentions are reinstated
An individual can be held for up to three days on suspicion of being involved with terrorism. Upon release, he or she can be ordered to uphold probation-like conditions, such as not contacting certain people, for up to 12 months, without ever being charged with any offence.
3. Both provisions are ‘sunsetted’ again
Both investigative hearings and preventive detention are “sunsetted” to expire in five years, as they were under the original 2001 law, and which is what happened in 2007. Under the new law, the government must explain annually why it’s necessary to extend these measures.
4. New offences target foreign travel
An individual can be charged with leaving or attempting to leave the country with the intent of committing an act of terrorism. This provision could apply if someone travelled from Canada to attend a terrorist training camp overseas.
5. Acts committed outside Canada can be prosecuted
An individual can be prosecuted for hijacking an aircraft or endangering safety on a plane or at an airport in another country if that person is found in Canada.
6. Facilitating terrorism in another country is illegal
For instance, anyone who knowingly facilitates the communication of false information — such as by knowingly lending someone his or her cellphone, outside Canada, to make an emergency call about a false bomb threat against an aircraft — could, if found in Canada, face up to 14 years imprisonment.
7. Wiretapping provisions stay in place
In a terrorism case, authorities do not have to prove that electronic surveillance is a last resort. Wiretaps can stay in place for up to a year. People don’t have to be informed they’ve been wiretapped for up to three years after the surveillance took place.
8. Some penalties are toughened
The penalty for harbouring or concealing a person known to have committed a terrorist act has been extended from a maximum of 10 years to 14 years in prison.
As you can tell, the media and government continues to use fear as a means to remove more and more rights from citizens. We sometimes believe this is for our own safety, but very seldom does any real and legitimate event take place. I think as a people, it’s important to not allow the fear to take over and be such a factor in not being able to properly view the events taking place.
Fear is one very effective way the media has been able to use our emotions to cover up our intuition and logic when it comes to critically thinking about what is taking place. See past the fear, find the calm and neutrality that is within you. This is a great tool in navigating through the interesting times we are in.
Hey, name’s Joe and you are currently engaged in what I’m passionate about, Collective Evolution. I am a creator of CE and have been heavily at it for 4 years. I love inspiring others to make change and am excited to play an active role in making this all happen. Hands down the only other thing I am this passionate about is baseball. Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
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