Terrorism Peace Bonds Annual Report
June 21, 2019 to June 20, 2020

Section I – Introduction

The Attorney General of Canada is required, under subsection 810.011(15) of the Criminal Code, to issue an annual report setting out the number of recognizances (terrorism peace bonds) entered into in the previous year.

As subsection 810.011(15) was enacted by clause 153 of Bill C-59 (National Security Act, 2017), which came into force on June 21, 2019, this is the first such annual report, and it covers the reporting period from June 21, 2019 to June 20, 2020.

Section II – Overview of section 810.011

Section 810.011 of the Criminal Code provides that any person who fears on reasonable grounds that another person may commit a terrorism offence may, with the consent of the Attorney General, lay an information before a provincial court judge. The judge may then compel the attendance of the parties - for example, by issuing a summons.

If the judge is satisfied by the evidence that the informant has reasonable grounds for the fear, the judge may order that the defendant enter into a recognizance to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a period of not more than 12 months. In the case where the defendant was previously convicted of a terrorism offence, the judge may extend the period for not more than five years.

If the defendant fails or refuses to enter into the recognizance, the judge may order a term of imprisonment for up to 12 months.

The judge may add any reasonable conditions in the recognizance that the judge considers desirable to ensure the good conduct of the defendant, including conditions set out in the section, such as to return to and remain in one’s residence for specified times or to participate in a treatment program.

The judge must consider whether it is desirable to add as conditions: (a) prohibiting the defendant from possessing any firearm, crossbow, prohibited weapon, restricted weapon, prohibited device, ammunition, prohibited ammunition or explosive substance; (b) requiring the defendant to deposit any passport or other travel document issued in their name that is in their possession or control; and (c) requiring the defendant to remain within a specified geographic area. Should the judge decide not to add these conditions, the judge must provide reasons in the record for not adding them.

The section also allows for applications to be made to a provincial court judge to vary the conditions imposed.

Section III – Overview of “terrorism offence” in the criminal code

Section 2 of the Criminal Code defines “terrorism offence” to mean:

  1. an offence under any of sections 83.02 to 83.04 or 83.18 to 83.23,
  2. an indictable offence under this or any other Act of Parliament committed for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with a terrorist group,
  3. an indictable offence under this or any other Act of Parliament where the act or omission constituting the offence also constitutes a terrorist activity, or
  4. a conspiracy or an attempt to commit, or being an accessory after the fact in relation to, or any counselling in relation to, an offence referred to in paragraph (a), (b) or (c).

The offences under paragraph (a) of the definition include a number of terrorism offences covering various forms of conduct, such as participation, facilitation, instructing, harbouring or concealing, leaving or attempting to leave Canada to commit certain terrorism offences, as well as terrorist financing offences.

The term “terrorist activity”, which is used in many of the terrorism offences, is defined in subsection 83.01(1) of the Criminal Code.

As a safeguard, the terrorism offences require the consent of the Attorney General under section 83.24 to commence proceedings.

Section IV – Statistics

No recognizances were entered into under section 810.011 of the Criminal Code in the period from June 21, 2019 to June 20, 2020.