The House

Steven Blaney rejects oversight amendments to anti-terror bill

The government has agreed to make a handful of changes to its controversial anti-terrorism, but some of the most criticized aspects of C-51 remain the same. We ask the Minister of Public Safety Steven Blaney whether he's open to more amendments.
Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney answers a question during Question period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Tuesday, March 24, 2015. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Opposition parties suggested more than a hundred changes to the anti-terrorism bill. This week, the government moved on a handful of amendments.

The word "lawful" will be removed from the section related to protests. That was a big concern raised by First Nations and environmentalists because they were worried about being unfairly targeted by authorities.

The government also put forward an amendment to make it clear that CSIS agents will not have the power to arrest people, one that would include limits to information-sharing, and one adjusting a provision that would have given the Public Safety Minister the power to direct air carriers to do "anything" that, in the minister's view, is "reasonably necessary" to prevent a terrorist act.

However, other areas of concern highlighted by experts remain unchanged, including the thorny issue of oversight.

Is Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney open to further amendments? His conversation with The House's Evan Solomon seems to indicate that there won't be more changes.