It has been several years since the Advocate has published as asinine an editorial as the one written by Cameron Kennedy for the Aug. 30 paper concerning Public Safety Minister Vic Toew’s authorizing the RCMP, CSIS and Canada Border Services officers to use information from other countries that might have been obtained there through the use of torture.
If Kennedy had bothered to read the original documents, he would have seen the careful qualifications and restrictions put on this authorization — its primary objective is to save Canadian lives and protect our nation.
How Kennedy’s thought processes led him to believe that in the future Canadian personnel might start torturing suspects themselves by plucking finger nails, etc., as a result of Toew’s document is beyond me.
My understanding of the paper is that if the RCMP or the other agencies hear from any source of a plan that would cause major loss of Canadian lives or facilities, the information can now be used legally to try to save our citizens and infrastructure.
Does Kennedy actually believe that our intelligence and security personnel should just ignore warnings of possible large scale terrorist strikes against such sites as, for example, our Parliament Buildings, Toronto’s Eaton Centre, a Montreal university, etc. because the information came from a brutal country and might have come to light as the result of torture there?
I hope not.
Using such information to protect Canada and Canadians is far removed from condoning torture or authorizing Canadian personnel to practise torture or encouraging it elsewhere in the world.
I and, I believe, most rational citizens would expect our government to first ensure the safety of our citizens and institutions and to then worry about the sources.
Proper research should be mandatory before the writing of any editorial.