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Archived - Harper Government Introduces Measures for Passport Cancellation, Refusal and Revocation of High-Risk Travellers

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Measures seek to protect Canadians by preventing the travel of those seeking to engage in terrorist activity abroad

May 7, 2015                  Ottawa, Ontario             Public Safety Canada

The Honourable Steven Blaney, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister, today announced the introduction of the Prevention of Terrorist Travel Act and changes to the Canadian Passport Order (CPO):

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, 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.

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.

Quick Facts

  • 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 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.

Quotes

“Our Government has seen the troubling evidence of Canadians traveling overseas to participate in terrorist activities, particularly with the so-called Islamic State. 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.”

The Honourable Steven Blaney, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

 “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.”

-  The Honourable Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

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Contacts

Jean-Christophe de Le Rue
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
613-991-2924

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada
613-991-0657

Kevin Menard
Minister’s Office
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
613-954-1064

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
613-952-1650 

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