We cannot allow these horrific crimes to go unanswered. However, we must make sure whatever we do does not make matters worse. C-51 won’t make Canadians safer. We should start addressing underlying issues and provide long term solutions to the terrorism problem.
To help prevent terrorism, the focus must be on peaceful assistance to local and international organizations working to resolve conflict, to protect local culture and sustainable practices, and to engage in the building of strong democratic institutions.
Canada must implement security procedures that provide rigorous standards of procedural fairness and allow meaningful defense for all detainees. A responsible government cannot sacrifice human rights in the name of security or we will actually be opening the door for greater injustice and insecurity. Canada’s security policies must be consistent with the values of the democratic society we seek to protect, or they will undermine those very values.
Here at home, we must develop effective programs to prevent the “radicalization” of Canadian youth, identifying those drawn to extremist movements and engaging clerics and communities where terrorist networks have been known to recruit.
We must also sign and ratify the International Treaty on Arms Trade. Canada must take a leadership role in stopping the flow of conventional arms to terrorists.
We need sensible plans to deal with these threats. Infringing on Canadians’ civil liberties will not solve this problem.