Dwight Newman

Dwight Newman teaches at the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. (University of Saskatchewan)

The Ottawa shootings may lead to increased surveillance of public streets, according to a professor with expertise on civil liberties.

"I think most people are realizing that there is a balance to be struck," Dwight Newman, a law professor at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, told CBC News. "In terms of protecting Canadian values and also preserving Canadian values at the same time and not losing them in an attempt to protect them."

Newman said people will likely see preventative arrests taking place by authorities, as a means of preventing individuals suspected of terrorist sympathies from acting. 

He is not opposed to such moves so long as important safeguards are in place.

"So that there is a real way of testing out [arrest] decisions that are being made," Newman said, adding there should be "opportunities to challenge those [arrests] to ensure that, so far as possible, mistakes are not made."

Newman added he wouldn't be surprised to see more cameras installed for increased street surveillance, especially around some government buildings.

He also said he believes most Canadians would not be in favour of arrests based on ethnicity, or ethnic profiling.

"I don't think that is widely accepted in Canada," he said.

Newman also thinks authorities may step up monitoring of individuals, particular people's activities, their social networks, meetings they attend, places they visit and patterns of travel.

Canada's anti-terror law, which was passed in April of 2013, allows law enforcement officials to arrest anyone suspected of terrorist activities. A judge can impose limits on their freedom such as barring them from communicating with particular individuals. Anyone refusing to comply can be jailed for up to a year.


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