Canada to raise surveillance after attack on parliament

OTTAWA (TIP) : Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper pledged more surveillance and detention powers for security forces in Canada on october 23 after a gunman killed a soldier and rampaged through parliament before being shot dead. Addressing the house of commons just metres away from where the gunman, a reported convert to Islam, was shot dead on Wednesday, Harper said lawmakers would expedite new powers to counter the threat of radicals.

“The objective of these attacks was to instill fear and panic in our country,” Harper said. “Canadians will not be intimidated. We will be vigilant, but we will not run scared. We will be prudent but we will not panic.” Harper also pledged to speed up a plan already under way to bolster Canadian laws and police powers in the areas of “surveillance, detention and arrest.” The killing of the Canadian soldier was the second this week with a possible link to Islamist militants. A convert to Islam on Monday ran over two Canadian soldiers with his car, killing one, near Montreal, before being shot dead by police. US President Barack Obama has condemned the shootings and offered assistance.

“We are all shaken by it, but we’re going to do everything we can to make sure that we’re standing side by side with Canada during this difficult time,” he said. The attacks in Ottawa and Quebec took place as the Canadian government prepared to boost the powers of its spy agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. Public safety minister Stephen Blaney said last week the new legislation would let the agency track and investigate potential terrorists when they travel abroad and ultimately prosecute them.At the start of parliament’s session on Thursday, the guard credited with killing a gunman in Canada’s parliament received a prolonged standing ovation, reopening debate in the house of commons dressed in his usual ceremonial garb and struggling to maintain.

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