Mr. Speaker, seven and a half months after the attacks of September 11 in the United States, I would like to commend Canada's ratification of the international convention on the suppression of terrorist bombings.
This convention, adopted at the UN General Assembly on December 15, 1997, will improve international co-operation in fighting the problem of terrorism, which is defined as the actions of a person who:
unlawfully and intentionally delivers, places, discharges or detonates an explosive or other lethal device in, into or against a place of public use, a State or government facility, a public transportation system or an infrastructure facility
The 19 states that ratified this convention are committed to criminalizing such acts, bringing those who commit such acts and their accomplices before the court, and co-operating with other states by sharing information in order to prevent new attacks.
When it comes into effect, following the 22nd ratification, the convention will in no way change the fragile, but critical balance between security on the one hand, and freedom on the other. It specifies that the normal rule of law will continue to apply, as will international conventions safeguarding human rights.
With the ratification in February of the international convention for the suppression of the financing of terrorism, Canada has now finally signed the 12 UN conventions on terrorism.
The Bloc Quebecois is very happy about this. Terrorist violence only leads to more violence and repression. For this reason, in the days following September 11, the Bloc Quebecois asked the government to ratify these conventions. This is why we supported the principle of anti-terrorism legislation that would allow the government to put these conventions into effect.
However, we deplore the fact that the government took advantage of the climate of crisis to diminish citizen's rights, as in the controversial Bill C-55. The government should have taken its cue from the convention and maintained the balance between security and human rights.