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“Any country that sacrifices human rights for security ends up with neither”

I believe in the saying that any county that sacrifices human rights for security ends up with neither.

On June 23rd 1985 Canada experienced the largest terrorist attack in our nations history. It was on this day that the 329 people aboard Air India Flight 182 lost their lives. Unfortunately our country did not act swiftly and to this day the families’ pain and distress continues. Although several recommendations have been made by the Air India Commission they have yet to be implemented.

This is also the 10 year anniversary of the September 11th attacks when the world watched the twin towers collapse in a tragedy that claimed the lives of thousands of people. These attacks took place just one week before I was sworn into the Senate of Canada. In response to the attacks governments implemented very stringent measures to tighten aviation security and it gave security officials the power to fight terrorism even if it meant of limiting the rights of citizens.
The challenge for government is two pronged. We must protect the rights of Canadians while at the same time ensuring their safety.

Since 2001 I have been a member of the Senate Special Committee on Anti-Terrorism. This is a committee that from time to time studies issues that deal with ensuring that Canadians are safe and that their rights are protected. In addition we also study bills on issues relating to terrorism.

I believe that it is very important that Canadians are truly safe however I also believe that it is important to remain mindful of the fact that it is equally important that Canadians do not feel threatened or fearful when their rights are compromised.

I want to share with you the work I have done on your behalf. I would also like to hear from you as to what further work you would like me to undertake on this issue.

 

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