Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise in this House today to support the anti-terrorism act, 2015, because the international jihadist movement has declared war on Canada.
From the time I fought in Afghanistan as a military engineer in the Canadian Armed Forces in 2007, a lot of things changed on the international scene, with an increase in terrorist attacks against our civilization and freedoms. Canadians are being targeted by these terrorists simply because these terrorists hate our society and the values it represents.
Jihadi terrorism is not a human right. It is an act of war. This is why our government has put forward the measures we are discussing today to protect Canadians from these terrorists who seek to destroy the very principles that make Canada the best country in the world in which to live. That is also why Canada is not sitting on the sidelines, as some would have us do, and is instead joining our allies in supporting the international coalition in the fight against ISIS.
I am very proud to stand in this place to support this historic legislation.
Our government has already increased the resources available to our police forces by one-third. The Liberals and the NDP voted against those increases each step of the way. Economic action plan 2015 would further increase the resources to CSIS, the RCMP, and CBSA by almost $300 million to bolster our front-line efforts to counter terrorism. Our government will continue to ensure that our police forces have the resources they need to keep Canadians safe.
Tom Quiggin, of the Terrorism and Security Experts of Canada Network, said that Canada has a series of deep networks whose aim is to create further extremism in Canada by recruiting young Canadians overseas to die in places like the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Somalia, and elsewhere. These networks have been set up by the Muslim Brotherhood. He said that confronting these extremist networks in Canada will be the work of a generation and that budgetary support for the RCMP, CSIS, and CBSA is a positive step in the right direction,
Canadians are speaking loud and clear. They know that our Conservative government, led by the Prime Minister, is on the right track to protect Canadians from the threat posed by the so-called Islamic State.
I would like to focus my comments on the first part of the bill, the security of Canada information sharing act.
Knowledge is power, as the old saying goes. In this day and age, the government has a lot of information about a wide swath of activities of the people of Canada. While some may argue that a succession of Liberal prime ministers expanded the size, scope, and reach of government far too intimately into the lives of Canadians, that is a question for a different day.
The fact of the matter is that whether it is an examination of tax records, information obtained by officers at the border, or things observed by consular officials, there is a great deal of information under the control of the Government of Canada that could be relevant to national security investigations.
Shockingly, right now it is prohibited for agencies of the Government of Canada to share most information with their counterparts in the national security field.
Let me give members an example given by the Commissioner of the RCMP.
An individual who has travelled abroad to engage in terrorism arrives at a Canadian embassy to seek consular assistance. The individual in question has recent bullet wounds and clearly looks as if he has been engaged in fighting. The individual asks for Canadian travel documents so he can return home immediately. The embassy employee is prohibited from passing on their concerns that this individual may be involved in terrorism to the RCMP. They have to orchestrate a chance meeting with their RCMP liaison officer in the hallway so that they can become aware of the risk posed by this individual.
It is completely ridiculous that the right hand of government cannot know what the left hand is doing. This is why I am pleased to support the bill.
Some, particularly members of the NDP, will tell us that this legislation would go too far. It would cause information to be given to CSIS regarding peaceful and legitimate dissent, and ordinary people would find themselves accused of being terrorists.
To that I respond with a question. How?
As I read the bill, it in no way targets protesters. In fact, it prohibits the sharing of information regarding protest or dissent.
Further, even if somehow a peaceful protest spontaneously turned into a threat to national security, I fail to see what possible information the government could be sharing that would cause such great offence.
What seems to be happening here is that the New Democrats' continuing talking points about civil liberties are a fig leaf to hide their real agenda. They are simply opposed to any measure at all to increase national security. We do not have to look far to see this. Every time our government brings forward new financial resources for security, they vote against it. They voted against the Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act. They even voted against making it a criminal offence to travel overseas for the purpose of engaging in terrorism. I hate to say it, but I believe this stems from the fundamental NDP left-wing ideology.
The NDP member for Pontiac was previously a candidate for the Communist Party of Canada, and part of his platform was the repeal of all national security laws, including the no-fly list. This is absolutely preposterous, but it does explain their opposition to the common-sense measures before us today.
Let us listen to what credible Canadians are saying about the bill. Ms. Raheel Raza, president of the Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow, said that this legislation is important to combat radicalization and that we need better tools to track jihadis who travel overseas. She said:
...unfortunately we are living in a post-9/11 world, and times are such that personal information needs to be shared. That's the reality and I don't have a problem with it.... Again, the larger picture is that of the security and safety of Canada.
Tahir Gora, of the Canadian Thinkers Forum, said:
The government's proposed Bill C-51, when passed by Parliament, shall help Canadian Muslims to curb ex2tremist elements
Canadian experts support this important legislation. I will vote in favour of this legislation, and I encourage all my hon. colleagues to do the same.