Canada, although part of the British Commonwealth, due the distance between her and the seat of the central formal power, in the last some 80 years the defense of our country was, basically, under the USA defense umbrella.
The formal history as a country, Canada started to be from July 1st. 1867, when British North America Act was enacted.
Canada was not established as fully independent, since the United Kingdom retained legislative control over Canada and full control over Canadian foreign policy. Canada did not have any foreign embassies until its first one was established in Washington, D.C., in 1931. When Canada patriated its constitution with the passage of the Canada Act of 1982, the existing British North America Acts were either repealed, or “modernized” and retitled as “Constitution Acts” in Canada.
Like it or not, Great Britain did not have the power to defend Canada in case of invasion. Without having the border with USA to the South and to the North with Alaska State it is very possible that Stalin would not have any problem to invade our country.
However Soviet Union tried – and partly succeeded – to infiltrate communist agents in Canada. Lucky for us, it was a cipher clerk at Soviet Embassy in Ottawa who, in September 1945, defected taking with him a huge amount of documents proving the communist infiltration in North America. His name was Igor Gouzenko . Today nobody remembers him. Unfortunately, the PM – King , complacent that now we are “allied” with USSR refused to accept the defection and almost sent the poor man back to soviets. Without action from British agency MI5 Gouzenco could have ended with a bullet in his had.
Gouzenko’s defection “ushered in the modern era of Canadian security intelligence”.[ The evidence provided by Gouzenko led to the arrest of 39 suspects, including Agatha Chapman, whose apartment at 282 Somerset Street West was a favourite evening rendezvous; a total of 18 were eventually convicted of a variety of offences.[ Among those convicted were Fred Rose (born Fred Rosenberg), who was the only Communist Member of Parliament in the Canadian House of Commons; Sam Carr, the Communist Party’s national organizer; and scientist Raymond Boyer. A Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate espionage was conducted into the Gouzenko Affair and his evidence of a Soviet spy ring in Canada. It also alerted other countries around the world, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, that Soviet agents had almost certainly infiltrated their nations as well. Gouzenko provided many vital leads which assisted greatly with ongoing espionage investigations in Britain and North America. The documents he handed over exposed numerous Canadians who were spying for the Soviet Union. A clerk at the Canadian Foreign Ministry, a Canadian Army captain, and a radar engineer working at the National Research Council were arrested for espionage. A spy ring of up to 20 people passing information to the Soviets led by Communist Party MP Fred Rose was also exposed
After RCMP was organized and did an excellent job in defending us, job is continued with the same quality by our new security agency, seems we do not have anymore such a massive infiltrations as we did right after WWII. Spies and traitors are always available as it was found in a quite recent case of naval officer Delisle who committed espionage in favour of China.
In today’s world anybody can be affected by a new danger : terrorism.
We , Canadians, and Canada as a free and democratic country should not be complacent because we did not suffer ,yet, a tragedy like one recently in Orlando, or other places. The terrorism is very insidious, very resilient and it strikes mostly on “soft targets” which Canada has plenty.
Few year ago, Raeel Raza published a very documented essay about he possibilities of Terrorism in Canda, from which I will quote some parts. (in italics)
In 1998, Ward Elcock, then director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), testified before a Canadian Senate special committee that with perhaps the exception of the United States, there were more international terrorist organizations active in Canada than in any other country in the world. He said that the counter-terrorism branch of CSIS was investigating over 50 organizations and about 350 individuals. In his 2011 testimony before a Canadian Senate subcommittee, David B. Harris, Canadian lawyer and long-time intelligence specialist, referred to the problem of extremist attitudes being imported by immigrants from certain Muslim-majority countries. Relying on Pew surveys, he observed in the context of the tens of thousands of post-9/11 Egyptian immigrants, that the majority of “Muslim Egyptians prefer Islamists in charge, versus 27% wanting modernizers. Eighty-four percent favour death for converts from Islam, 82% want death for adultery.”
Soon, we started to see the overt rise of extremism in Canada. In December 1999, US Customs officials arrested Ahmed Ressam near Seattle after he came off a ferry from Canada in a car loaded with jars of nitroglycerine, timing devices, and other bomb-making materials. Ressam belonged to a Montreal-based terrorist cell thought to be linked to both the Algerian terrorist group Armed Islamic Group (GIA) and al-Qaeda. On 2 June 2006, 17 Muslims, including five juveniles, were arrested in Canada for planning major terrorist attacks on Canadian soil. The plot involved the storming of Canada’s Parliament and beheading of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
2009 was a bumper year for Canadian terrorism issues. In 2009 Momin Khawaja was the first Canadian to be convicted under Canada’s federal anti-terrorism act. Khawaja was charged with financing and facilitating terrorism and for building a remote-control device that could trigger bombs, was sentenced to 10½ years in prison, although this was increased to life on appeal.
In the past three decades, hundreds of young minds have been poisoned. In February 2010, the BBC aired a three-part documentary called Generation Jihad in which the producer travelled across North America speaking to radicalized youth. The producer warned of an entire generation of young Canadian and British Muslims who have been infected with the terrorism virus. Al-Qaeda is banned in Canada but has affiliated persons inside the country. Beyond Canada’s borders, the organization has killed Canadian citizens in the Bali Nightclub bombing. Other 2 Canadians have been recently beheaded in Philippines.
Numerous people have been detained in Canada on the basis of terrorism-related allegations, since 9/11, but not charged. Hassan Almrei, Adil Charkaoui, Mohamed Harkat, Mahmoud Jaballah, and Mohammad Mahjoub have been held under security certificates but were not charged. In August 2010, three Ontario men accused of taking part in a domestic terrorist plot and possessing plans and materials to create makeshift bombs, had allegedly selected specific targets in Canada. The suspects are said to have discussed attacks on specific government buildings and city public transit systems, security sources told CBC News. “This group posed a real and serious threat to the citizens of the National Capital Region and Canada’s national security,” they said. In 2013, Canadian authorities alleged that they had interrupted an Islamist plot against a trans-border train line. Two people face charges. Indeed, it was already being reported at that time that CSIS’ counter-terrorism program was investigating “50 organizational targets and 300 individual targets” in Canada.
The scale of this situation is a reminder of the interplay between radicalism and terrorism, on the one hand, and Canada’s enormous per capita immigration, on the other. About 260,000 immigrants are admitted each year to Canada or over 500,000 newcomers per annum, if student and temporary-worker visa-holders be taken into account. Within the immigrant category, tens of thousands seek political asylum and safe haven as refugees. Canada, however, does not automatically detain refugee seekers upon entry, even those with questionable backgrounds, so thousands of potential terrorists disappear annually into Canada’s ethno-cultural communities. Canadian law has also increased the government’s investigative powers and paved the way for the country to sign the last two of the United Nations’ 12 anti-terrorism conventions.
In 2003, the respected Center for Immigration Studies in Washington released a paper North American Borders by Professor Glynn Custred . “Canada is a weak link in America’s defense against terrorist operations,” wrote the professor. “US security is only as good as Canadian security since the US has no control over who comes into Canada.” One must also ask why Canada continues to be a haven for terrorists even as it has experienced a relative paucity of violent terrorist attacks. An October 2003 Library of Congress report titled Nations Hospitable to Organized Crime and Terrorism, reported that: “…terrorists and international crime groups are increasingly using Canada as an operational base and transit en route to USA. A generous welfare system, lax immigration laws, infrequent prosecutions, light sentencing and long borders and coastlines offer many points of entry and facilitate movement. Canada is a favoured destination for terrorist groups and international organized crime groups.”
The classic expression of Canada’s systemic inability to deal with certain kinds of immigration problems bearing on national security, involves the case of Mohammad Issa Mohammad. A Greek court sentenced Mohammad to 17 years for an attack on an El-Al airliner in Athens in 1968 in which a passenger was killed. The convict was released after just two years later in an inmates-for-hostages exchange engineered by a Palestinian terror group that took over a Greek airliner. He thereupon returned to work with terrorist operators for several years. Then, in 1987, Mohammad equipped himself with a false identity and succeeded in entering Canada as a landed immigrant. He was ordered deported in 1988, and was finally deported after 25 years and over $3 million in legal costs in May 2013. More recently, Raed Jaser was arrested in Toronto on 22 April 2013 along with co-accused Chiheb Esseghaier, a Tunisian living in Montreal. They were charged with terrorism offences over what police described as an extremist plot to kill train passengers. Following the arrests, it was revealed by the National Post that Mr. Jaser was a failed refugee claimant who had been convicted of threatening and multiple counts of fraud since coming to Canada in 1993 — but that he had been accepted as an immigrant nonetheless after having his criminal record pardoned. Furthermore, a transcript of a 2004 Immigration and Refugee Board detention hearing for Raed Jaser shows Canadian immigration authorities tried to deport him nine years earlier but never did so because, as a stateless Palestinian, he could not be sent to any other country.
They re more recent cases of terrorism are not very deeply analyzed.
A man accused of stabbing two members of Canada’s military at a recruitment centre in Toronto faced nine charges in connection with the attack. According to Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders, Ali said, “Allah told me to do this, Allah told me to come here and kill people,” during the attack. A series of shootings occurred on October 22, 2014, at Parliament Hill in Ottawa. At the Canadian National War Memorial, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau fatally shot Corporal Nathan Cirillo, a Canadian soldier on ceremonial sentry duty. He then entered the nearby Centre Block parliament building, where members of the Parliament of Canada were attending caucuses.
Canada’s citizens and authorities must come together, free themselves of the shackles of political correctness, and deal decisively with the threat of extremism coming from abroad, and arising in our midst. Revised approaches to law and policy might be among the answers to the problem of extremism and terror. To think that the terrorism is mainly an USA or Europe problem is a complacent attitude with very dangerous consequences.
While I agree that washrooms, climate changes, protection of sexual orientation are serious subjects, our government should have on the front burners the security of all citizens and not to be obsessed with how to collect more votes for the future elections.
To follow the example of an insecure president is not the best option and a lax migration is the worst attitude.