OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 26, 2013) - Today, the Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, made the following statement on the Royal Assent of Bill C-51, the Safer Witnesses Act:
"I am pleased to announce that today our Government's Safer Witnesses Act, Bill C-51, has received Royal Assent from His Excellency, the Governor General.
Our Government is once again demonstrating our commitment to providing law enforcement officials with the tools and resources needed to protect the safety of our families and communities. Effective and reliable witness protection is essential in the fight against crime, especially organized crime and terrorism.
Through the Safer Witnesses Act, our Government is improving the federal Witness Protection Program by making it more effective for those it is designed to protect and safer for those administering it, while being responsive to law enforcement needs.
The Safer Witnesses Act enhances the collective effort required to combat organized crime. Specifically, this will be accomplished by enhancing the program and providing better service to other witness protection programs through:
- an improved process to obtain secure identity changes for witnesses in designated provincial programs;
- broadened prohibitions against the disclosure of information;
- expanded referrals from national security, national defence and public safety sources; and
- an extension of the amount of time emergency protection may be provided.
Our Government will continue to fight crime and protect Canadians so that our communities remain safe places for people to live, raise their families, and do business."
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