Vic Toews' Predecessor Opposed Extra Power For Police

Vic Toews Lawful Access

First Posted: 02/22/2012 10:26 am Updated: 02/23/2012 4:27 pm

A former Conservative public safety minister says he was against giving the police more power when he was in charge of the department that's now pushing the government's lawful access legislation.

Stockwell Day, who was public safety minister from 2006 until 2008, says he thought anything police did should be accompanied by a warrant.

The current legislation, also known as online surveillance, would force internet and telecommunications service providers to hand over specific customer information to police upon request and without a warrant. It also removes any legal deterrent to them providing information police ask for, and allows inspectors designated by the minister to see any information held by the ISPs.

"People have been saying, did I say something different than other ministers have said? I did say that I don’t think police should be given any more powers, that anything they do should have to accompany a judicial warrant," Day said, referring to comments he made in 2007.

"I think what we need to do is reserve judgment on [bill C-30] … because the government’s made a very clear statement they’re open to revision on it."

Day says it's a "big gain" that, following enormous public backlash, the government is sending the bill straight to committee for amendments.

In 2007, Day contrasted what his government was planning with lawful access legislation tabled under the previous Liberal government.

"We are not, in any way, shape or form, wanting extra powers to police to pursue items without a warrant. That is not what our purported legislation is going to be doing. That is previous Liberal legislation and that's not the path we're walking down at all," he said.

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  • What's In Online-Snooping Bill

    Like similar legislation introduced in the past by both Conservative and Liberal governments, the new bill includes provisions that would: <em>With files from CBC</em> (Shutterstock)

  • Warantless Online Info

    Require telecommunications and internet providers to give subscriber data to police, national security agencies and the Competition Bureau without a warrant, including names, phone numbers and IP addresses. (CP)

  • Back Door Access

    Force internet providers and other makers of technology to provide a "back door" to make communications accessible to police. (Getty)

  • Location, Location, Location

    Allow police to get warrants to obtain information transmitted over the internet and data related to its transmission, including locations of individuals and transactions. (Alamy)

  • Preserve Data

    Allow courts to compel other parties to preserve electronic evidence. (Alamy)

  • New Bill Is Different

    However, unlike the most recent previous version of the bill, the new legislation: (Alamy)

  • Less Data

    Requires telecommunications providers to disclose, without a warrant, just six types of identifiers from subscriber data instead of 11. (Alamy)

  • Oversight

    Provides for an internal audit of warrantless requests that will go to a government minister and oversight review body. Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews is pictured. (CP)

  • Review After 5 Years

    Includes a provision for a review after five years. (Alamy)

  • More Time To Implement

    Allows telecommunications service providers to take 18 months instead of 12 months to buy equipment that would allow police to intercept communications. (Alamy)

  • Expanded Definitions

    Changes the definition of hate propaganda to include communication targeting sex, age and gender. (Alamy)


Filed by Michael Bolen  |