Combating Terrorism Act (Bill S-7)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, perhaps I can offer the reasons I am opposed to this legislation, and perhaps they are shared by the official opposition.

The Eminent Jurists Panel on Terrorism, Counter-terrorism and Human Rights made the point that “…human rights are not, and can never be, a luxury to be cast aside at times of difficulty.”

I believe there are adequate mechanisms within the current Criminal Code, and this legislation goes too far. I ask my friend from Lac-Saint-Louis if he would not prefer if the bill had been amended to change the term “likely to carry out a terrorist activity”. Twice in the legislation, people face sanctions of up to 10 years’ imprisonment if they have in any way harboured or assisted someone who is “likely to engage”. How is that defined, and should we not have taken the advice of the Canadian Bar Association and changed that language to “intend to undertake terrorist activity”?

Francis Scarpaleggia: Mr. Speaker, I believe the hon. member is discussing the part of the bill that refers to purpose, for example, in the case where someone would be serving a meal to or harbouring someone who has committed a terrorist act or is likely to commit a terrorist act.

From what I recall in the legislative summary of the bill, it was deemed that the idea of having to discuss “purpose” was not necessary according to other legal experts. I will look into this a bit more, but I do remember it coming up.