Government Introduces Legislation to Combat Nuclear Terrorism

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OTTAWA, March 27, 2012 – Today in the Senate, Senator Raynell Andreychuk, on behalf of the Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, introduced amendments to the Criminal Code directed at combating nuclear terrorism.

"The Government recognizes that nuclear terrorism is a real threat to both national and global security," noted Senator Andreychuk. "This bill would improve our existing approach to counter-terrorism by punishing those who aspire to commit acts of nuclear terrorism."

The amendments to the Criminal Code proposed in this bill would create a number of new offences related to nuclear terrorism, including:

  • possessing or trafficking nuclear or radioactive material or a nuclear or radioactive device, or committing an act against a nuclear facility or its operations, with the intent to cause death, serious bodily harm or substantial damage to property or the environment;

  • using or altering nuclear or radioactive material or a nuclear or radioactive device, or committing an act against a nuclear facility or its operation, with the intent to compel a person, a government or a domestic or international organization to do, or refrain from doing, anything;

  • committing an indictable offence for the purpose of obtaining nuclear or radioactive material or a nuclear or radioactive device or to obtain access or control of a nuclear facility; and

  • the threat to commit these offences.

The enactment of these proposed amendments would permit Canada to ratify the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and the 2005 International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.

An online version of the legislation is available at www.parl.gc.ca.

Backgrounder: Nuclear Terrorism Legislation

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