New year may bring new legislation to help combat lone wolf, foreign fighter phenomena in Canada

This year saw Canada’s police and intelligence agencies respond to what security experts say is a “new normal” — the dual threat posed by radicalized individuals seeking to do harm at home and those seeking to carry out terrorist activities abroad.

In the face of the so-called “lone wolf” and “foreign fighter” phenomena, the RCMP and CSIS have had to make tough calls: Who poses the biggest threats and should be put under surveillance? Whose passports should be revoked? They are also facing questions over why individuals returning from faraway battlefields haven’t been arrested.

The New Year brings the prospect of new legislation that could enhance surveillance and detention powers, maybe deal with the spread of jihadist propaganda on the Internet, as well as the rollout of a program aimed at stopping people going down the path of radicalization.

“This is the first chapter of what, unfortunately, is going to be a novel,” said Michael Zekulin, a political science instructor at the University of Calgary.