Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of my colleague’s motion to condemn ISIS Terrorists, their supporters and to call on this Liberal government to not allow Canada to become a safe haven for terrorists.
As I have said in this place before, the top priority of this House must be to protect all Canadians. The protection of our people should be placed ahead of political maneuvering and should be of top concern for all Members of Parliament regardless of their party. This view is shared by my Liberal colleagues on the Public Safety and National Security Committee who, earlier this year, endorsed the National Security report which stated:
“National security is one of the most fundamental duties – if not the most fundamental duty – conferred upon a government.”
THREATS TO CANADA
On the issue of Canadians who have left Canada to join ISIS and are now returning to Canada, I believe the Liberal government is failing to meet the National Security Report’s standard. The government’s threat level is currently at medium as a result of growing terrorist attacks and threats globally and here at home. A Medium Threat Level is where a violent act of terrorism COULD OCCUR.
A 2016 CSIS publication titled, “The Foreign Fighters Phenomenon and Related Security Trends in the Middle East,” stated clearly.
“One does not have to speculate terribly much to see the potential threat from ISIL to the West given its vast cadre of foreign fighters native to, or previously resident in, those countries. This unprecedented pool of foreign recruits suggests that ISIL would certainly have the capability to undertake …attacks.”
DEBT TO THOSE WHO SACRIFICED
We owe it those who sacrificed and fought to protect Canada from threats both foreign and domestic. Our Armed Forces, our veterans, our police and national security agencies – have paid a price to give us the freedoms we enjoy today. We owe it to every Canadian to ensure that all reasonable and lawful measures are taken to protect our nation from the threat of those who would do us harm and compromise our security. Lets’ be clear – Canadians are strongly opposed to welcoming terrorists back to Canada. We should not mince words on this – ISIS fighters are terrorists.
They are people who have:
• Publicly beheaded Canadians and other Westerners.
• Burned other human beings alive
• Drowned people in cages
• Thrown people off buildings for being who they are
• Raped and enslaved women and girls
There appears to be no manner of unspeakable atrocities that ISIS Terrorists would stop at to harm those who are not deemed true believers.Mr. Speaker, if we as a House cannot come together to condemn ISIS and their atrocities; If Members of this House cannot stand against oppression, slavery, murder, and war; If we cannot agree to oppose the annihilation of the freedoms of worship, belief, and association; Then this House has lost its moral compass and its moral authority. ISIS Terrorists stand against everything we as Canadians hold as fundamental to our way of life – The very foundations of our society.
GOVERNMENT CALL TO ACTION
There are clear tools to deal with these threats. Canadians who attempt to travel to join ISIS are recognized and have been convicted under the Criminal Code for treason. A crime against our society and our country. Canadians who participate with ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and other terrorist groups that seek to kill and destroy all who oppose their strict doctrine and beliefs, are in reality, committing treason against Canada. And there are charges that can be levied in Canada for returning ISIS terrorists – That is Treason.
In Canada there are two criminal charges of treason: High Treason is defined in Section 46 of the Criminal Code as those who
• Levies war against Canada
• Assists an enemy at war with Canada, or any armed forces against whom Canadians Forces are engaged in hostilities, whether or not a state of war exists between Canada and the country whose forces they are.
In my view, this describes those Canadians who have taken arms and joined with the radical ISIS terrorists groups to attack humanity.
There is also the charge of Treason which includes:
• Those who, in Canada, conspires with any person to commit high treason or to do anything to use force or violence for the purposes of overthrowing the government of Canada
In fact the Criminal Code is explicit that for Canadian citizens, treason applies “while in or out of Canada”. There is another tool for the Government to use to help protect the security of our country and that would be to revoke the Canadian citizenship of dual citizens who have traveled overseas to join or commit terrorist acts. When the Liberals passed Bill C-6 in June 2017, they removed the authority to strip dual citizens of their Canadian status if convicted of terrorism, treason or espionage. So today, we can’t stop these people from returning. And we can’t deport them. Moreover, as Canada falls behind other Western countries in taking away citizenship from these terrorists and extremists – it makes Canada the destination by default, for any with Canadian citizenship.
Canadians oppose ISIS Terrorists returning to Canada or rejoining our society. These ISIS terrorists have, by virtue of participation and their acts against others, forfeited that right. ISIS Terrorists are legitimate targets for such time as they take part in hostilities according to the Law of Armed Conflict at the both the Operational and Tactical Levels for international engagement for Canadian soldiers. Stuart Hendin, a lawyer and instructor at the Royal Military College and Canadian Forces College was explicit that the government can target ISIS – Canadian or not – who are engaged in conflict. Unfortunately, unlike many of our allies, Canada, under the Liberals, has withdrawn from this active conflict.
If this government will not stop this evil from returning to Canada, will they not vigorously pursue charges of treason? If we are going to provide funding to reform ISIS collaborators – Something the Minister of Public Safety admitted seems a low probability – let it be from behind bars. Let them begin to repay their debt to humanity as soon as they set foot back on our soil. Mr. Speaker, we should treat ISIS terrorists as the criminals that they are. Should they receive any supports from the tax payer, whether to de-radicalize or re-integrate – let that funding flow through Corrections Services Canada.
Mr. Speaker, there can be no forgiveness without repentance. The Bible says in Luke 3:17 “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.” Mr. Speaker, all who have supported and fought for ISIS, are rebuked by the citizens of Canada – if not by this government. For Canadians linked to ISIS, let them serve a sentence in Canada and do their penance – under far more generous conditions than under their oppressive regimes. Only then should there be forgiveness and acceptance into our society.
Mr. Speaker, the Minister and his Parliamentary Secretary have said that all that can be done is being done, however Canadians are confused about this Governments position and actions regarding these terrorists.
On November 23rd, the media asked Minister of Public Safety directly:
• If passports were being taken away?
• If names were being added to the no-fly list?
• If these people are neutralized in terms of a threat?
The Minister said that steps are beginning to be taken and that all Canadians can be assured that they are safeguarding the security of the country.
While we appreciate that disclosing specifics on security operations would be counterproductive, the Minister’s comments that steps are beginning to be taken are not a strong reassurance to Canadians that this Liberal government is on top of this issue.