Two controversial measures in the federal Anti-Terrorism Act will disappear from the law books after a vote last night in the House of Commons that marked the first major political test for Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion.
In a vote of 159 to 124, the combined opposition defeated a Conservative minority government motion that would have renewed the extraordinary legal powers of authorities to detain and interrogate terrorism suspects.
The Liberal caucus was deeply divided on the issue as recently as last week. But by the time of last night's vote, only one Liberal -- Tom Wappell -- abandoned Mr. Dion and voted with the Conservatives.
Former Liberal justice minister Irwin Cotler abstained, and a dozen other Liberals were absent, some for health reasons.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Mr. Dion had to force his caucus into line, thus putting internal party politics ahead of national security.
Mr. Harper said the failure of the renewal motion is not the end of the matter, suggesting the government might introduce fresh legislation. Source...