OTTAWA - The head of the RCMP for the first time said the national police force has 63 active national security investigations open in Canada targeting 90 individuals suspected in terrorism probes.
However, Commissioner Bob Paulson told the public safety committee that Canadians need not worry, that the force is on top of the files, and working well with CSIS and other law enforcement agencies.
Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney told the Commons committee it shows that the Conservative government must remain vigilant and vowed to table new legislation with more “tools” for law enforcement agencies to prevent new terror threats.
Blaney said he will move in the “coming weeks” to bring in the new measures, suggesting some will be in line with the UN security council’s resolution that urged member states to take concrete action to stop foreign fighters from travelling abroad. But he also hinted the government will act to prevent those who use the internet to “brainwash” others.
Blaney confirmed numbers previously reported by his department, that the Canadian government is aware that some 130 Canadians have travelled abroad, many to Syria, to participate in terror training and fighting, and that about 80 of those have returned to Canada.
Blaney refused to comment on law enforcement “operations” when Liberal MP Wayne Easter asked if any of those 80 have been arrested, or had their passport revoked.
“We’re politicians,” said Blaney. “Let the police do their work.”