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Canada Introduces Measures for Passport Cancellation, Refusal and Revocation

Canada Introduces Measures for Passport Cancellation, Refusal and Revocation Homeland Security TodayCanada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Steven Blaney, and Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, have announced the introduction of the Prevention of Terrorist Travel Act and changes to the Canadian Passport Order (CPO).

According to the announcement, “Amendments to the Canadian Passport Order will provide the government of Canada with a strengthened ability to cancel, refuse or revoke passports as a preventative measure against high-risk travellers and transnational child sex offenders, in alignment with the Criminal Code of Canada.”

With the amendments to the CPO, the ministers said passports could be cancelled, refused or revoked for national security purposes, terrorism or for transnational child sex offences in order to prevent individuals from travelling abroad. In addition, the maximum period for refusal of passport services is now set at 10 years.

"Our overnment has seen the troubling evidence of Canadians traveling overseas to participate in terrorist activities, particularly with the so-called Islamic State,” Blaney said. “We cannot ignore the danger posed by high-risk travellers looking to travel to places like Syria, only to potentially return back to Canada with training and experience necessary to threaten the safety of Canadians by engaging in jihadi terrorism here at home. The international jihadi movement has declared war on Canada, and we will provide our police forces and national security agencies with the tools they need to address the evolving threat of terrorism in order to protect Canadians and their families."

Blaney added that, "Our government will continue to do what’s necessary to protect the safety and security of Canadians. With these amendments, we will be able to take swift action to prevent individuals from travelling abroad for terrorism-related purposes or to commit a sexual offence against children."

"Our government will continue to do what’s necessary to protect the safety and security of Canadians,” Alexander said. “With these amendments, we will be able to take swift action to prevent individuals from travelling abroad for terrorism-related purposes or to commit a sexual offence against children."

Measures proposed under the Prevention of Terrorist Travel Act would enable a federal court judge presiding over proceedings for passport cancellation, refusal or revocation decisions related to national security or terrorism to protect sensitive information from disclosure, but also use that information in making their decision.

Under the Prevention of Terrorist Travel Act (and consequential amendments to the Canada Evidence Act), the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness has the authority to cancel, refuse or revoke a passport if that action is necessary to prevent an individual from committing a terrorism offence, as defined by the criminal code.

The government also will create a new mechanism to protect sensitive information from disclosure if, in the judge’s opinion, its disclosure could be injurious to national security or endanger the safety of any person.

The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has the authority to cancel, refuse or revoke a passport if that action is necessary to prevent a sexual offence against children in Canada or abroad.

Passport investigations for cancellation, refusal and revocation will continue to be conducted in close collaboration with security partners, including the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Photo: Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Chris Alexander (left), and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Steven Blaney, announced new measures for the prevention of terrorist travel at the Pierre-Elliot Trudeau Airport, in Montreal on May 7, 2015. (CNW Group/Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada).

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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