PARLIAMENT HILL—Public Safety Minister Vic Toews tabled amendments to the Witness Protection Program Act Tuesday in an effort to combat organized crime.
“Crimes committed by organized crime networks present a serious concern to both police and to Canadians,” said Toews.
Toews said increasingly transnational crime groups are becoming more sophisticated, using cyber technologies and secrecy to avoid arrest.
“Those that do come forward or cooperate often fear for their own safety as well as for the safety of their families or loved ones.”
Informants on terrorist groups face a similar threat, he said.
Through the witness protection programs, the federal and provincial governments hope to ease those concerns and get witnesses to come forward.
The changes aim to make it easier for witnesses to obtain new identities using provincial programs, and they also broaden prohibitions against disclosing the identities of their handlers.
The changes will also extend the program to sources coming from other security and national defence agencies.
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