Canada to deliver spy agency bill next week, more to come

Fri Oct 24, 2014 2:56pm EDT
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By Euan Rocha and Randall Palmer

BRAMPTON Ontario/OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada will introduce legislation next week to give more powers to its spy agency, a bill that will be largely unchanged from one drafted before this week's attack in Ottawa, a government source said on Friday.

The government will put forward more measures later, the source said, and they will include wider powers to address security threats in the wake of the killing this week of two soldiers and the assault on Parliament on Wednesday.

"I expect that will be introduced very soon, as in I expect within the week," said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity. "I expect they will be largely what they were intended to be before Wednesday happened, but there will be more coming."

The original bill is meant to enhance the Canadian Security Intelligence Service's (CSIS) ability to track people who are potential terror threats when they travel abroad, and ultimately lead to their prosecution.

It will enable CSIS to rely on help from the other spy agencies in the so-called Five Eyes alliance to monitor individuals. The alliance consists of Canada, the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

Earlier on Friday, Justice Minister Peter MacKay said there is a need for preventive measures to head off threats.

"We want to build on those elements of the Criminal Code that allow for preemptive action, specifically in the area of terrorism, but not to rule out areas in which we think we can prevent crime," he told a news conference.

On Monday, Martin Rouleau killed a soldier and injured another in a hit-and-run attack in Quebec before being shot dead by police. Michael Zehaf-Bibeau shot dead a soldier in Ottawa on Wednesday and then launched a gun attack in the Parliament building before he was killed.   Continued...