The Green Party of Canada is strongly opposed to the latest round of more government controls served up as security,” said Leader Elizabeth May, after learning that the Prime Minister intends to re-introduce expired clauses of the Antiterrorism Act. “What we need is security, yes, but security of jobs, pensions, housing, and transportation systems so that we have a place to live, a place to work and the ability to get there. We also strongly object to the divisive tactics Harper is using, “…including his failure to distinguish between the practice of Islam and the activities of radical Islamic militants. Imagine the uproar if the Prime Minister of Norway had blamed all Christianity for the actions of a radical Christian extremist! Prime Minister Harper owes an apology to all Canadians and especially Muslim Canadians.”
The Antiterrorism Act clauses, brought in after the 9-11 attacks, expired in 2007. They allow police to make arrests without warrants and hold people for up to three days without charges if they suspected a terrorist act. They also allow judges to compel witnesses to testify under penalty of jail for refusing.
Speaking on the anniversary of the 9-11 tragedy, Prime Minister Harper stated that “the major threat to Canada is still Islamicism,” leading to widespread outrage. “Greens stand with the other opposition parties that find this type of fear-mongering to be disrespectful and distasteful,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May. “If Mr. Harper wants to get real, he should recognize that climate is the biggest security threat, as a Pentagon-commissioned study has said.”
Joe Foster, Green Human Rights critic, observed, “Greens have growing concerns about the alarming erosion of basic freedoms and human rights in Canada. Scapegoating an entire religious group simply promotes intolerance and provides support for the few destructive elements in society who promote divergence rather than harmony.”
“Harper is attempting to rile fear against an entire religious group in order to bring back police-state type security measures. This is moving towards a Big Brother form of government where fundamental civil rights and freedoms are incrementally extinguished in the name of national security. This is exactly the response terrorists are attempting to trigger in order to turn people against government,” said Green International Affairs Critic Eric Walton.