Failure to exercise adequate control over the entry
and the departure of non-Canadians on our territory has been a
significant factor in making Canada a destination for terrorists.
The latter have made our highly dysfunctional refugee
determination system the channel most often used for gaining
entry. A survey that we made based on media reports of 25 Islamic
terrorists and suspects who entered Canada as adults indicated
that 16 claimed refugee status, four were admitted as landed
immigrants and the channel of entry for the remaining five was
not identified. Making a refugee claim is used by both terrorists
and criminals as a means of rendering their removal from the
country more difficult.
In addition to examining specific shortcomings of current
policies, this paper will also look at the reasons why the
government has not rectified them. These reasons include the lack
of resources provided for effective program delivery as well as
the influence of special interest groups who argue that the
rights of refugee claimants and others ordered removed from the
country should take priority over other considerations.
A further reason for the reluctance of the government to take
firm measures against terrorists and their supporters is concern
over the possible loss of political support. A notable example of
this is Ottawa's failure to designate the Liberation Tigers of
Tamil Eelam as a terrorist group. Related to this is the fact
that little action has been taken to stop terrorist fundraising
in Canada even though this is now estimated at $180 million a
This paper will recommend that we demand a more explicit
commitment to Canada and Canadian values on the part of
newcomers. Putting into place the requirements for such a
commitment may be complicated by official multiculturalism policy
which, according to former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, has
evolved from its original intention of helping immigrants
integrate into Canadian society into a celebration of their
countries of origin.
Canada must also give emphasis to building bridges with members
of the Muslim community both to ensure they feel fully a part of
Canadian society as well as to enlist their full cooperation in
identifying extremists in their midst.
Finally, the paper will look at the impact on our trade with the
United States and our economy in general if there is another
major terrorist attack in North America and we have failed to
take reasonable precautions against such an eventuality. This
paper will argue that the measures we need to take are necessary
for our own security and sovereignty quite apart from helping to
ensure that our border with the United States remains open for
the movement of goods and people.