William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD

SURPLUS?

Arar: $10 Million for year of Terror
Wrongly Accused as a Terrorist, Canadian Arar awarded $10 Million for year of Terror
Fourteen Billion in surplus! Is it really out there?
The Canadian Government – will it lovingly share?
With all of those old veterans about whom they care?
Those clawed back army pensions they soon will repair?
No ifs ands or buts there definitely will be government tax cuts?
And the election possibility is still looming out there?
Anti-terror legislation is in place for the Nation
Helping Arar get his $10 million share.
Dionites and the Blocks and the Commie NDPs,
Want out of Kandahar – soon too, if you please.
They have made the mission a balancing act.
And they want the troops back just like Taliban Jack!
Hassan Almrei and a couple of Canadian terror guys –
Mohamed Harket and Adil Charkaoui are on stand bys!
They await their release as a gesture of peace?
Did Canadians make an error and accuse them of terror?
The Liberal Senate’s approach submitted by Ken Roach
Is to swing back to the rights and freedoms reasons?
Are our Canadian infidel’s no longer in season?

Gerry Perry Cartoon
Times Colonist articles/cartoon of September 30, 2007

MPS DRAGGING THEIR FEET ON ANTI-TERROR

by JANET BAGNALl of the Montral Gazette

If Canadians are depending on their elected representatives to come up with a law that will strike a fair balance between protection from terrorism and protection of civil liberties, it could be a long wait.

Even the example of Maher Arar – the telecommunications engineer whom Canada wrongly suggested was involved with terrorism and blithely allowed to be “rendered” to a Syrian jail – has failed, it appears, to convince Parliament of the seriousness of the task.

Post 9/11, our contribution to mak­ing the world a safe place (although not for Arar) was the Anti-terrorism Act, passed into law in December 2001. Acknowledging the inherent risks in acting with such haste, Parliament in 2001 required that by the end of 2004 a thorough review of the legislation be undertaken.

Earlier this year, more than a year after the mandated deadline, a Senate and a Commons committee reported separately on the Anti-terrorism Act.

Even late, even substandard, as one Canadian expert suggests they are, these reports should have been carefully con­sidered by Parliament. It needs all the help it can get to bring its terrorism legislation into line with Canadian court decisions and human rights concerns.

Additionally, a number of con­tentious provisions in the act have lapsed because of sunset clauses written into the legislation – for example, investigative hearings that empower police to compel testimony.

Did the reports prompt the govern­ment to consider carefully the changes that need to be made before Parliament passes a new security law?

Not according to one of Canada’s foremost legal experts on terrorism, Kent Roach of the University of Toronto.

“The government has yet to respond to the Senate’s thoughtful report,” Roach wrote recently in the Edmonton Journal. “It has also not explained why it intends to reintroduce preventive arrests and investigative hearings.”

“ It has provided no detail on its response to the Supreme Court’s secu­rity-certificate decision or to the Arar Commission’s recommendations for enhanced review of the national security activities of the RCMP, foreign affairs, financing officials.”

The Arar case was a debacle from which the government appears to have learned nothing. Nothing, in any event, that is showing up in its plans for a new anti-terror law.

Thanks to the commission of inquiry into the Arar case, Canadians found out their intelligence agency knowingly passed on information about Arar that was both unverified and obtained by torture. By feeding this information to the United States, the agency exposed a Canadian citizen to imprisonment and torture.

Canada’s Anti-terrorism Act was in place in 2002 when Arar was arrested in New York on his way home to Ottawa. Nothing in its provisions offered protection to a Canadian citizen from false and illegally obtained allegations. Canada ultimately paid Arar $10 million in compensation for a year of terror, his year of terror.

As the Conservative government prepares to draft new anti-terrorism legislation, Roach, in an Institute for Research on Public Policy paper this month, outlined issues that Parliament seems prepared to ignore (see Better Late than Never at http://www.irpp.org):

The definition of terrorism: Parliament has not redefined terrorism even though the courts struck down as unconstitutional the ATA’s definition of terrorism as religiously or politically motivated violence.

The use of security certificates: Under these certificates, suspected terrorists can be deported on the basis of secret intelligence to which the suspects have no access.

In February, the Supreme Court ruled this process violated the Charter of Rights. The court gave Parliament a year to draft a new approach. Failing that, the provision will expire.

Meanwhile, three suspected terrorists – Algerian-born Mohamed Harkat, Moroccan-born Adil Charkaoui, and Syrian-born Hassan Almrei – wait, along with everyone else, for a law that strikes a fair balance.

AFGHAN MISSION A BALANCING ACT

Re: “Generals shouldn’t be selling war,” letter, Sept. 24.

Letters such as this indicate a lack of knowledge as to how the military functions.

Gen. Rick Hellier is on a campaign to recruit personnel for the Canadian Forces who can perform the difficult missions required in hotspots around the world, including Afghanistan. These missions require Forces personnel to perform both combat operations and humanitarian endeavours, since one does not happen often without the other. In Afghanistan, schools and hospitals are opening and women and children are being cared for, while the Taliban are being effectively dealt with.

We are in Afghanistan under both United Nations and NATO mandates and have been welcomed by a democratically elected government. This same government is pleading for Canada to stay to finish the important work required.

Don’t let our animosity towards George W. Bush and the U.S. policies in Iraq stop us from helping the Afghan people.

H.J. Rice, Victoria