Essential, but unused

Further to the Prime Minister’s comments about the usefulness of the two anti-terrorism provisions that he hopes to reintroduce, I emailed the offices of the ministers of justice and public safety with the following question.

Were the two anti-terror provisions that the government wishes to reinstate ever used before they expired?

Shortly thereafter a response arrived from the office of Justice Minister Rob Nicholson. It reads, in full, as follows.

Our Government is determined to safeguard national security, while at the same time protecting the rights and freedoms of all Canadians. That is why we supported the Anti-Terrorism Act when it was introduced and continue to support the need for these powers today.

Although these provisions have not been applied to a specific case to date, the provisions remain both constitutionally sound and essential to ensure law enforcement officials have all the necessary tools to protect Canadians from acts of terror.

We will continue to work to ensure we have the best tools in place to keep Canadians safe while respecting their rights under the Charter.