Phil's Editorials
Protecting Canadians From Terrorist Threats

February 23, 2015

The world is a dangerous place, and Canada is not immune to the global threat of terrorism.

Canadians are painfully aware of this new reality. As we witness attacks at home and around the world, and hear repeated calls for more attacks in our own country, this Conservative Government is taking action to protect the safety and security of Canadians.

Jihadist extremists are targeting Canada because of what we stand for. We are known around the world as a beacon of peace, democracy, and individual freedom. That stands in stark contrast to the totalitarian regime they seek to impose across the globe.

Our new legislation will give police and security forces the tools and flexibility they need to deal with evolving threats and better protect Canadians -- at home and abroad.

In line with measures taken by our allies, the Government is taking additional action to ensure our law enforcement and national security agencies can: counter those who advocate terrorism; prevent terrorist travel and the efforts of those who seek to use Canada as a recruiting ground; and disrupt planned attacks on Canadian soil.

These new measures will criminalize the advocacy or promotion of terrorism offences in general, counter terrorist recruitment by giving our courts the authority to order the removal of terrorist propaganda online, enhance the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS)’s powers to address threats to the security of Canada while ensuring that courts maintain oversight, provide law enforcement agencies with enhanced ability to disrupt terrorism offences and terrorist activity, make it easier for law enforcement agencies to detain suspected terrorists before they can harm Canadians and to toughen penalties for violating court ordered conditions on terrorist suspects and ensure that national security agencies are better able to protect and use classified information when denying entry and status to non-citizens who pose a threat to Canada.

We will never sacrifice the rights and freedoms that define us, in our quest to improve public safety. Our Conservative government will always safeguard the constitutional rights of Canadians – of speech, association, religion, and other freedoms we cherish. This new legislation ensures that strong oversight and prudent checks and balances remain in place to protect the rights of Canadians. But make no mistake, it is the Jihadi terrorists who have declared war on Canadian citizens that pose the true threat to our rights and freedoms, not our police and security officials who work hard every day to keep us safe.

That is why we are addressing these threats with our new legislation and new tools for law enforcement to do their job. Our Government will continue to confront the threat of jihadi terrorism head on and make sure that our security officials have the tools and the support that they need to keep Canadians safe from this evolving threat.