The House

Paris attacks won't change Liberal plans to undo parts of C-51

Changes to anti-terrorism laws, physician-assisted death, missing and murdered indigenous women, legalizing marijuana, and more. Jody Wilson-Raybould's to-do list as the Justice Minister is long and complex. And she's already warning that some of her party's promises might take a while to come through.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is denying a report that his office pressured former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to intervene in the case against construction giant SNC-Lavalin. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

The new Liberal government remains committed to rolling back some of the anti-terrorism laws brought in by the previous Conservative government, despite the recent attacks in Paris, according to the Justice Minister.

​"We definitely are mindful of what happened in Paris, but certainly this has not moved us away from our commitment to repeal those parts of bill C-51," Jody Wilson-Raybould told Terry Milewski on CBC Radio's The House.

Wilson-Raybould said it's too early to say which changes will come first, or when they'll be brought in, but she provided hints, saying that "oversight and finding the right balance between ensuring security and liberties" will be first in discussion.

Some justice changes will take time

But with a complex portfolio, Wilson-Raybould is already warning that some changes will take time to materialize.

"What's contained in my (mandate) letter is extensive...we have a four-year mandate and certainly there are some issues that are more time sensitive," she said.

One of those time-sensitive issues is that of physician assisted death. The Supreme Court gave the federal government a one-year deadline — up Feb. 6, 2016 — to come up with a legal framework around the issue. 

"Asking for an extension of the deadline is certainly within the realm of possibilities," Wilson-Raybould said. "We'll have more to say on that in the coming weeks."

The long road to legalization

The process to legalize marijuana already promises to be long, although the Justice Minister told The House talks are now under way.

Wilson-Raybould said both her and Health Minister Jane Philpott have opened the dialogue with the provinces.

"She and I have engaged with our provincial counterparts to have discussions about how this can start the process to roll out."

now