The Canadian government has
passed extensive legislation to prevent terrorist attacks and increase
public safety. The Public Safety Act amends 11 separate legislative
provisions across the energy, health care, banking, transportation,
and defence communities.
• Data sharing and aviation security: air carriers must provide
information on passengers to Transport Canada and law enforcement
upon request. Government entities that receive such information
must destroy it within seven days, unless law enforcement "reasonably"
requires it for an extended period of time.
• Terrorist financing: the Canadian government
has delegated additional authority to financial regulators to obtain
and share information on whether financial institutions are complying
with terrorist financing legislation. The Public Safety Act specifically
allows Canada's financial regulators to retrieve information from
government databases related to national security in order to uncover
money-laundering activities. The law also delegates authority to
the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada
(FINTRAC) to negotiate with US financial institution supervisors
and regulators regarding terrorist financing activities.
• Energy infrastructure: the Public Safety
Act grants the National Energy Board, Canada's federal energy regulator,
expanded power to regulate the security of installations. These
include both natural gas and electric power lines. In addition,
the law permits authorities to waive regulatory requirements for
constructing new power facilities where there are critical shortages
due to terrorist activity.
• National security and defence: the
Public Safety Act also modernises procedures for involving military
personnel in emergencies. Specifically, "emergency" is
now defined to include armed conflict short of formally declared
war. A number of powers to use military force in events such as
terrorist attacks are tied to the existence of an emergency.
Source: Zeichner Risk Assessment Newsletter.
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18th May 2004 •Region: N.America •Type:
Article •Topic: Terrorism
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