Politics

Budget bill C-59 to enable passport seizures from terrorism suspects

The budget implementation bill introduced Thursday includes passport measures to prevent people they call would-be terrorists and sex offenders from travelling abroad.

Legislation to enact 2015 federal budget also includes national security measures

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney (centre right) and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander (centre left) announced Thursday that C-59, the Harper government's spring budget bill, would also give security officials the power to revoke passports from would-be terrorists or sex offenders. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

Ottawa says it is introducing passport measures to prevent people they call would-be terrorists and sex offenders from travelling abroad.

The changes would allow authorities to cancel, revoke or refuse passports for national security or terrorism purposes.

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney and Citizenship Minister Chris Alexander made the announcement on Thursday at Montreal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.

The measures were included in the Conservatives' budget bill, which was introduced Thursday.

Blaney and Alexander also said people who have their passports revoked or cancelled will have to wait 10 years before applying for another.

The ministers added that the changes would allow Federal Court justices who preside over passport proceedings to protect information from being disclosed but to be able to use that information in reaching their decisions.

Alexander said the government is sending a "very strong message."

"We won't allow the Canadian passport to be used as a tool by terrorists to carry out unspeakable acts of violence, criminal acts, and Canada will not tolerate this type of behaviour," he told a news conference at the airport.

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