I will begin my presentation in French, and then continue in English.
I want to thank the committee for inviting the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. The association has existed for almost 50 years, and its mandate still consists in taking a principled stand on issues facing society.
Today, I invite you to think about two issues. A framework of analysis should support the study of certain provisions that, like those included in Bill S-7, were subject to a sunset clause. In that context, it's a matter of conducting an in-depth study of what has happened since the terrible events that left their mark on Canada and the world.
The association certainly recognizes that the duty of states to protect their citizens and nationals is well-established. We must never neglect that duty. That is a state's primary duty. Terrorism is a threat to everyone's security. Therefore, a state must deal with terrorism while respecting international law and constitutional law. The threat of terrorism has not diminished. That's not what the association's position is.
As we heard earlier, terrorist acts have real consequences on many people. The Air India terrorist bombing took place 27 years ago, and the September 11 attacks were carried out 11 years ago. Despite everything, I think this committee's duty is to develop the most effective counterterrorism approach. The question is not whether we should react to terrorism or have an anti-terrorism strategy, but rather whether the strategies included in Bill S-7 are the best and the most appropriate ones.
We should take advantage—and I think that is the goal of this exercise—of the advances in knowledge that have been made in counterterrorism over the past 11 years. Many developments have been made around the world in the assessment of the best counterterrorism practices. I will share some observations—for instance, reviews from Great Britain regarding anti-terrorism measures.
We think that the framework of analysis invites parliamentarians to take their role very seriously and to address the issue as follows, while applying the following principles.
You certainly have to take into consideration the latest developments in the fight against terrorism. Parliamentarians must also ensure that the Constitution is respected. In addition, I think that parliamentarians must make sure that the bills that are passed have no indirect effects, unintended consequences or negative impacts on certain groups of citizens.
I will now talk about the latest developments in the fight against terrorism.
I'm going to move into English, if that's okay.