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Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian during questioning at a legislative committee probing the gas plant scandal June 25, 2013 in Toronto.
Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian during questioning at a legislative committee probing the gas plant scandal June 25, 2013 in Toronto.
(The Globe and Mail/Moe Doiron)

Privacy watchdogs troubled by controversial bill extending police powers

The Conservative government plans to push ahead with a pair of controversial bills that will give police and other law-enforcement officials new powers to request and monitor the private data of Canadians, despite objections from privacy watchdogs.

Bills C-13 and C-31 are among those Government House Leader Peter Van Loan has pledged to make “progress” on before summer as MPs return Monday from a one-week break. The bills propose new powers for police and other “public officials” – including, critics say, many of the powers first proposed by former cabinet minister Vic Toews in his now-defunct surveillance bill, C-30, which became a lightning rod.