The politics and timing behind Bill S-7


Our elected officials are expected to react to the events around us but the Conservatives' timing of the debate to revive a languishing anti-terror bill is creating its very own debate. A decision taken AFTER the Boston bombings and just BEFORE the public announcement of arrests related to terrorism allegations here ... seems suspicious.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Public Safety, Candice Bergen

We started this segment with a clip from lawyer John Norris sounding suspicious about why police chose Monday to arrest his client. Mr. Norris represents Raed Jaser, one of the two men suspected of planning to derail a VIA Rail passenger train, allegedly with the support of al-Qaeda.

The House of Commons is to vote today on Bill S-7, known as the Combating Terrorism Act. A week after the Boston Marathon bombings and just months after discovering Canadians were involved in the deadly attack on an Algerian gas plant in January... the federal Government demands broader anti-terrorism laws.

Bill S-7 would re-instate preventative arrest ... the ability to detain Canadians for three days without charge. As well, suspects could be imprisoned for as long as a year if they refuse to testify in front of a judge at an investigative hearing.

To talk more about the bill, we were joined by Candice Bergen, the Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Public Safety. She was in Ottawa.

Panel: Tasha Kheiriddin / Tim Harper

Our next two guests believe politics played into the decision to reopen the debate on bill S-7. But whether that decision was a good one is where they part company.

Tasha Kheiriddin is a columnist with The National Post and She joined us from Whitby, Ontario.

And Tim Harper is a national affairs columnist with the Toronto Star and he was in Ottawa.

This segment was produced by The Current's Sujata Berry, Shannon Higgins, Catherine Kalbfleisch and Melissa Shaw.

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Other segments from today's show:

Smokers need not apply

The Great Pretenders: Why we fall for cons, schemes and imposters

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