Anti-Terrorism and Intelligence Bill Arrives for Debate

Anti-Terrorism and Intelligence Bill Arrives for Debate

UPDATED November 20, 2017 12:49pmET

Five things to know as MPs return to the House of Commons:

1) What’s first on the order paper? It’s the government’s sweeping national security bill (C-59), debated for the first time since being tabled in June.

Included in Bill C-59:

  • A new watchdog body to oversee all federal intelligence operations – a so-called “super SIRC” to replace the current Security and Intelligence Review Committee, which only monitors CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service)
  • Creation of an “Intelligence Commissioner” to replace the commissioner of the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) and review intelligence-gathering authorizations for both CSIS and CSE
  • A statutory definition of CSE’s mandate
  • More accountability for CSIS, including a limit to operations that violate the law or the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the requirement of a Federal Court warrant for security agencies to pre-emptively disrupt potential terrorist acts.
  • Tightening the definition of propaganda and advocacy of terrorism to counselling another person “to commit” a specific offence
  • Clarifying the definition of “activities that undermines the security of Canada” that can be investigated
  • Adjusting definitions of protest and dissent as they apply to national security investigations
  • A repeal of the investigative hearing process introduced in 2001

The Conservatives have already criticized the government for “watering down” national security law and removing law enforcement tools. The NDP remains concerned with information sharing between agencies and the scope of CSIS power.

Read the legislation:

2) NAFTA talks continue in Mexico City. Read and watch more on the negotiations to date.

3) How does Canada screen prospective newcomers for health risks? The Commons immigration committee continues its study with testimony from a number of groups, from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) to the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network. LIVE ONLINE at 6:30pm ET / 3:30pm PT

4) The Senate finance committee begins a week of hearings in the Atlantic provinces on the government’s plan to adjust the tax system for private corporations. The group spent a week earlier this month in Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg. This week, they hear witnesses in St. John’s, Halifax, and Saint John.

5) Bill C-348, designed to help persons with disabilities better access federal programs, is debated at second reading.

-Andrew Thomson

Interested in more Today in Politics? Listen to Mark Sutcliffe’s daily podcast: