Mark MacDonald

Mark MacDonald

Safety and security for Canadians

Stephen Harper’s Conservative government has placed the safety and security of Canadians at the top of its list of priorities.

Mark MacDonaldConservative

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government has placed the safety and security of Canadians at the top of its list of priorities.

Some have suggested that the threat to our security is imagined, and measures taken to ensure our freedom are excessive. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The world changed on September 11, 2001, as terrorists flew airplanes filled with passengers into the World Trade Centre in New York as part of four coordinated attacks on the United States.

Our world changed on October 22, 2014, when Corporal Nathan Cirillo was gunned down at the Canadian National War Memorial in Ottawa by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who then rushed Centre Block on Parliament Hill before being shot by Commons Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers just outside rooms where government caucus members were meeting.

One of the first moves the government made was to introduce Bill C-51 earlier this year to further protect Canadians. In an article published in The Globe & Mail by Ron Atkey, the first chair of the Security Intelligence Review Committee (1984-1989) now an instructor of national security at Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, the author wrote about the limitations on the powers of CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) granted in Bill C-51. See: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/csis-oversight-is-alive-and-well/article22750488/

Atkey writes that the bill “rightly expands judicial control now in place for wiretap warrants, adding that ‘when CSIS uses its new powers to reduce threats to Canada’s security, within and outside the country, it will in most cases require the prior authorization of a designated Federal Court judge’.”

Further, Atkey notes “the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) will continue to review and monitor every aspect of CSIS, and “consultation with the Leader of the Opposition, the House and the leader of any party having at least 12 MPs. This means that currently Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau will be part of any process to round out SIRC.” It is a nonpartisan solution.

Prime Minister Harper recently introduced two more measures to protect Canadians, making it clear that diplomacy and studying root causes will not stop the ISIS terrorist threat.

“Canadians did not invent the threat of jihadi terrorism, but Canadians also know that we cannot make the dangers of the world disappear by simply denying their existence,” states the Prime Minister.

While Justin Trudeau and Thomas Mulcair irresponsibly proclaim their intent to end Canada’s military mission against the ISIS terrorist group, a Conservative government will continue to take the steps that are required to strengthen our military and to ensure that it is positioned to respond to the real dangers that Canada faces.

“Now is not the time for political correctness, inexperienced governance or an ideological unwillingness to act,” said Prime Minister Harper. “Now is the time to face those who threaten us with moral clarity, strength and resolve.”

And, lest we forget: These measures have been introduced to capture criminals and terrorists – and protect the freedom and security of law abiding Canadians.

markmacdonald.ca