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Archived - Minister Blaney highlights coming-into-force of the Safer Witnesses Act

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November 1, 2014         Ottawa, Ontario             Public Safety Canada

The Honourable Steven Blaney, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, today highlighted the coming-into-force of the Safer Witnesses Act, which amends the federal Witness Protection Program Act, by making it more effective and secure.

The Safer Witnesses Act improves the federal Witness Protection Program by enhancing its interaction with provincial, territorial and municipal witness protection programs. It also aims to better protect those who require and provide protection through:

  • improved access to federal identity documents;
  • broadened prohibitions against the disclosure of information;
  • expanded admissions for national security, national defence and public safety sources; and
  • the extension of time emergency protection may be provided.

 Quick Facts

  • Witness Protection is recognized as a cornerstone in the fight against organized crime and terrorism.
  • Bill C-51, the Safer Witnesses Act, introduced legislative changes to the Witness Protection Program Act.  The Bill was introduced into the House on December 11, 2012.  After passing unanimously through the House and the Senate without amendment, it received Royal Assent in June 2013.
  • The Safer Witnesses Act supports the Government of Canada’s Air India Inquiry Action Plan, released in 2010.

 Quotes

“Our Government is committed to keeping the streets of our communities safe. An effective and reliable witness protection program is invaluable in the fight against crime, especially organized crime and terrorism. Through the Safer Witnesses Act, our Government is improving the federal Witness Protection Program by making it more effective for those it is designed to protect, while being responsive to the needs of law enforcement.”
Steven Blaney, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

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