NDP MPs plan Victoria forum on terror bill

The NDP will host a forum on the federal government’s proposed anti-terrorism bill on Friday in Victoria.

Victoria MP Murray Rankin and Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca MP Randall Garrison will host the panel discussion at First Metropolitan United Church, 932 Balmoral Rd., from 7-8:30 p.m.

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The ruling Conservatives brought in Bill C-51 — which would significantly expand the powers of Canada’s spy agency and police — following the killings of two Canadian soldiers in October.

The bill has passed second reading in the House of Commons and will now be sent to committee. Hearings are expected next week.

The legislation would make it easier for authorities to control movements of terror suspects, expand no-fly-list powers, crack down on extremist propaganda and make it illegal to encourage acts of terrorism.

Panellists for Friday’s forum include: security and intelligence expert Reg Whitaker, a professor emeritus at York University; Laurel Collins, a social justice instructor at the University of Victoria; and Garrison, the Opposition’s public safety critic.

— with a file from The Canadian Press

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