It has been said many times by politicians, media pundits and public figures that the Harper Conservative Government is “fanning the fears of terrorism”.
Some Canadians seem to believe this to be true.
Yet it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Terrorism is a very real, clear and present danger; both here at home and abroad.
Those who believe that terrorism is not a big threat, or even a big deal often respond with remarks such as, “You’re 353 times more likely to die from a fall and 5,882 times more likely to die from medical error than dying by terrorism. Let’s not even start talking about heart disease and car accidents”.
Technically that’s true (save for perhaps the numbers). More people are killed in vehicular accidents than are killed by terrorists. However, this argument belittles the validity of the claim that terrorism is a threat.
Moving the world aside for a moment and looking at Canada alone, acts of terrorism and terrorist threats are actually quite numerous.
Here is a List of Terrorist Activity in Canada prepared by Marilyn Taylor:
- 2006 – Toronto 18 terrorist group plotting to bomb buildings in Toronto and to decapitate Harper
- 2013 – Terrorists plotting to bomb a Via train
- 2013 – Terrorist group plotting to bomb the Victoria, B.C. legislature
- 2014 – RCMP warns of possible drone terrorist attacks
- 2014 – Terrorist running loose in Parliament Hill
- 2014 – Murder of two soldiers on our soil to terrorism
- 2015 – Terrorists in February threatening to bomb a mall in Edmonton
- 2015 – Man arrested in March for plotting to bomb the U.S. Consulate and other buildings in Toronto
- 2015 – Alberta teen taken into custody in March for terror-related offenses
- 2015 – Man arrested in April over concerns that he was plotting a terrorist act
- 2015 – Man arrested in April for threatening to blow up the parliament buildings in Ottawa
- 2015 – Two men in court in April over their plot to commit terrorist acts
- 2015 – Ten youths arrested in May at an airport in Montreal for being suspected of wanting to join terrorist groups overseas
- 2015 – Member of a terrorist group caught in May with $20,000.00 worth of firearms
- 2015 – Young man arrested in June for planning to carry out a terrorist attack
- 2015 – 27-year-old man arrested in June for going to Syria in 2013 to fight for the Islamic State of Iraq
- 2015 – West Jet airline flights had to be diverted in June four times in five days due to bomb threats
- 2015 – RCMP charged a Fort St. John man in July for committing terrorism offences
- 2015 – It was ruled that Jahanzeb Malik and Muhammad Aqeeq Ansari be deported by October 4th, for being a security threat
- 2015 – 18 year old arrested in Toronto in September on a terrorism-related peace bond
- 2015 – RCMP in Alberta laid terrorism charges against a Calgary man in October for going overseas to fight with the Islamic State
Fortunately, in Canada, there are laws in place to protect the population. Fortunately, in Canada, there is a competent police force, competent intelligence services and competent border security agents.
Fortunately, in Canada, there is a government that knows that the threat of terrorism is very real.
To that end, the Harper Conservative Government has enacted legislation designed to protect the public; bills such as C-24 and C-51.
Bill C-24, also known as the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, became law in June. The law allows the federal government to revoke Canadian citizenship from people convicted of terrorism, espionage or treason — provided they are also citizens of a second country.
Bill C-51, also known as Investigative Powers for the 21st Century Act, became law in June. The law modernizes and streamlines information sharing between all of Canada’s various security agencies, such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Canada Border Services Agency.
Unfortunately, these laws may be short lived. If the New Democratic Party forms government after October the 19th, both C-24 and C-51 would be repealed. Thomas Mulcair does not appear to value Canadian security.
Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party, takes it a step even further than Mulcair.
“The Liberal Party believes that terrorists should get to keep their Canadian citizenship … because I do,” Trudeau says. “And I’m willing to take on anyone who disagrees with that.”
Candice Malcolm of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation wrote an article that appeared in the Toronto Sun, “Trudeau wrong on Canadian citizenship”. In the article, Malcolm is critical of Trudeau, writing, “Trudeau gave a speech in Winnipeg earlier this year where he discussed the Conservative attack ads against him declaring he was soft on terrorism. He told the audience he believes a Canadian is a Canadian, no matter where they were born or what kind of heinous crimes they commit.”
Malcolm concludes, “But when a person decides to take up arms against Canada, committing treason or orchestrating a terrorist plot to kill Canadians, that person has forfeited their rights and freedoms.
They have chosen for themselves that they no longer want to be Canadian.
The ability to strip such individuals of their citizenship sends a message to would-be terrorists that Canada is no safe haven.
Contrary to Trudeau’s rhetoric, this strengthens the value of Canadian citizenship.”
Clearly both opposition parties, especially Trudeau’s Liberals either do not understand the very real threat posed to Canada.
Clearly, the only party in Canada that seems to understand the threat of terrorism and the only party to do something about it is the Harper Conservatives.
Haroon Siddiqui, long-time critic of the Harper Government and the Toronto Star’s editorial page editor writes, “Harper has used his foreign policy and its cousin, the war on terror, as cudgels to divide Canadians along religious and ideological lines. This legacy of his demagoguery will be harder to undo.”
He also writes, “Harper fans fear of terrorism — “he wants us to be afraid that there is a terrorist hiding behind every leaf and rock, for he can say he is there to protect us,” as Trudeau said Monday.”
To quote Marilyn Taylor, “You [Siddiqui] utter nonsense and fool no one but yourself.”
Siddiqui is the individual using Canada’s largest newspaper to divide Canadians. Like Trudeau and Mulcair, Siddiqui is either willfully ignorant or perhaps simply blind to the very real threat posed by radicalized persons who commit terrorism.
Canadians face interesting and difficult challenges ahead. Many parts of the world are unstable. The Islamic State militants have declared a holy Jihad against Canada. Roughly translated; ISIS has declared war against Canada and indeed the rest of the world.
Canadians must be protected. And it seems to date that the only political party in Canada that recognizes this threat for what it is, happens to be the Conservative Party of Canada.
Canadians must remember that when they head to the polls on October the 19th.
And that is Kevin’s Common Sense.