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Controversial Canadian anti-terror provisions set to expire after opposition balks

[JURIST] The Canadian government of Conservative Party Prime Minister Stephen Harper will likely allow two provisions of its Anti-Terrorism Act [text; CBC backgrounder] to expire at the end of next week now that the opposition Liberal Party [political party website] has withdrawn its support for the clauses. The controversial provisions include a preventive arrest clause that allows police to arrest suspects without warrant and an investigative hearing clause that allows judges to force individuals to testify in terror cases.

Some Liberals say the clauses, which have never been used, are unnecessary and trample on civil liberties. Conservatives, however, argue that Canada still faces terrorism threats and that the government has demonstrated that it will not abuse its power under the act. The Conservative Party [political party website] presented a motion in Canada's House of Commons Friday that would have extended the provisions for three years. The Ottawa Citizen has more.

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