Minister says anti-terrorism bill concerns about liberties are ridiculous

OTTAWA – Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney is trying to assure Canadians that proposed anti-terrorism measures won’t run roughshod over civil liberties.

In his testimony Tuesday at committee hearings examining the federal legislation, Blaney dismissed concerns the new provisions would allow the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to squelch or infiltrate environmental protests that fall outside the letter of the law.

The planned measures are needed to protect the public from extremists who hate Canadian values, Blaney said during a meeting of the House of Commons public safety committee.

The international jihadi movement has “declared war on Canada” and other countries around the world, Blaney told MPs Tuesday as they began hearing testimony on the federal legislation.

The committee plans to hear from more than 50 witnesses over the next few weeks.