COLUMN: Protecting Canadians from threats of terrorism

SD&SG MP Guy Lauzon. (Newswatch Group/File)

Lately, there has been much talk about terrorism and how prevalent the threat has become in Canada. I believe Canadians understand the reality of the world we are now living in. Horrifically, as we have seen right here in Canada, the international jihadist movement has declared war on us. Canadians are being targeted by these terrorists simply because they hate our society and the values we represent. Just last weekend, an ISIS terrorist member threatened to attack the West Edmonton Mall.

We only need to look back over the past several months at the terrorist attacks in Ottawa and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu as well as attacks abroad in Australia and Paris, to see that the threat of radical Islamic extremism is a very real threat.

These threats require a strong response.

That is why, under the strong leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, our Conservative Government took action and brought forward the Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act and Anti-terrorism Act 2015 (C-51). This new legislation is based on the need to have the most modern tools and resources available to be proactive in our battle with terrorism. The measures announced will protect Canadians against jihadi terrorists who seek to destroy the very principles that make Canada the best country in the world to live.
Prime Minister Harper was very frank in his assessment as well when he clearly said our Government rejects the argument that every time we talk about security, our freedoms are threatened. Canadians understand that their freedom and security go hand in hand. It is impossible to have freedom if you are not secure in your in your life and surroundings. Canadians expect us to protect both, and there are protections in Bill C-51 to do exactly that.

The fundamental fact is that our police and national security agencies are working to protect our rights and our freedoms, and it is jihadi terrorists who endanger our security and who would take away our freedoms. While the terrorists operate with major funds and no rule of law, our security agents are operated with antiquated laws and outdated technology. Providing national security agencies with new tools will ensure that gaps in sharing information about suspected terrorists does not limit their ability to prevent attacks on Canada or against Canadians.

We as Members of Parliament do not work on the front lines of combatting terrorism. We ask the brave men and women who work in our law enforcement agencies to do that on the behalf of all Canadians. The very least we can do is give them the necessary tools to do so.

We will continue to do just that.

Guy Lauzon
Member of Parliament
Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry

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