Skip to comments.Canadians Want Strict Security, Poll Finds
Posted on 08/11/2005 6:39:42 PM PDT by NorthOf45
Canadians want strict security, poll finds
Most favour video cameras everywhere and deportation of terrorist sympathizers
By Campbell Clark
Globe and Mail
August 11, 2005
With a report from Daniel Leblanc
OTTAWA -- Canadians overwhelmingly pick tough security measures over civil liberties as terrorist attacks abroad fuel a climate of fear at home, a new poll has found.
The Strategic Counsel poll conducted for The Globe and Mail and CTV found that 72 per cent of Canadians support placing video cameras in all public places, and 81 per cent favour "deporting or jailing anyone who publicly supports terrorist bombers."
And although an inquiry is currently examining whether information from Canadian authorities led to the United States deporting Canadian citizen Maher Arar to detention and torture in Syria, 62 per cent of respondents believe Canada should give the U.S. "any information they request about Canadian citizens whom they suspect of being terrorists."
The federal government has raised the ire of Canada's Privacy Commissioner by moving toward a "no-fly" list of suspected terror threats and installing security cameras on transit systems, but the new survey suggests most Canadians do not fear that the balance between rights and security is being shifted too far.
Instead, there is an apprehension of danger: A majority (62 per cent) believe a terror attack will occur in the country within the next few years, and only 25 per cent believe Canada is very well or well prepared.
Pollster Allan Gregg, chairman of the Strategic Counsel, said that underlying concern about an attack probably left Canadians more willing to trade off rights for security, especially after four years of the so-called war on terror.
"It has caused kind of a quiet national anxiety that gnaws at part of the public consciousness," Mr. Gregg said.
But he suggested the national character has always been security-conscious, asserting that the imposition of the War Measures Act in the 1970 October crisis was popular.
"We have never had a very strong civil-libertarian tradition. The interests of stability and security has almost always trumped civil liberties in this country."
Overwhelming support for deporting or jailing anyone who expresses support for terrorist bombers is a free-speech issue that leaves open the question of where Canadians would draw the line, Mr. Gregg noted.
In Britain, Prime Minister Tony Blair has floated the idea of laying treason charges against Muslim imams who praise suicide bombers -- apparently leading a radical cleric who had expressed "understanding" of the bombers' motives, Sheik Omar Bakri, to leave the country.
Overall, about half of poll respondents -- 51 per cent -- think Canada has struck the right balance between civil liberties and combatting terrorism.
But those who think the balance is wrong tend to believe there is "too much emphasis on protecting civil liberties."
Mr. Gregg said Canadians appear to be more concerned when it comes to measures that they believe are more likely to harm the innocent.
They are evenly split on whether they would allow suspected terrorists to be detained without trial, or whether the government should send agents to infiltrate the Muslim community.
A majority, 53 per cent, are against "severely restricting the numbers of immigrants from Muslim countries."
"They do discriminate [between different types of measures]," Mr. Gregg said. "It's not like they're saying, 'do whatever you have to do.' "
The Strategic Counsel poll is based on interviews with 1,000 Canadians conducted between Aug. 3 and 7. A sample of that size is considered to have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
The survey period coincided with Transport Minister Jean Lapierre's announcement of a security review of transportation systems, including plans to expand the use of security cameras on urban transit systems and to create a made-in-Canada no-fly list of people barred from boarding planes because of security concerns.
Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart attacked those initiatives, saying preparing a no-fly list could intrude on the privacy of many Canadians.
"We think, 'well anything to catch the bad guys.' The problem is, these kind of measures to catch the bad guys involve sifting through mounds and mounds of data that concern everybody in society, putting them into huge databases, and making links between information on individuals," Ms. Stoddart said.
"And as we've seen from the American experience, some of this is not always accurate."
She has also opposed the broad use of video surveillance cameras, which are extensively used throughout London, and have been credited with aiding the investigation into the July subway bombings there.
Mr. Lapierre said yesterday: "I think people saw that it can be useful, and, in the case of London, how it can be useful not to prevent, but to understand the modus vivendi.
"It didn't prevent the first attack, nor the second, but people saw that the system was useful," he said at a meeting of Liberal MPs from Quebec.
Mr. Lapierre said all measures must respect the balance between security and privacy, and added he feels that Canadians are now willing to adopt new measures that have proved their effectiveness elsewhere.
"We've got to be careful not to become paranoid. That's why the measures that are adopted must be well thought out. That's why we've taken our time on the no-fly list."
Do Canadians feel secure?
A majority of Canadians feel the country will be targeted by terrorists and security must be improved, according to the latest Globe-CTV poll conducted by The Strategic Counsel.
Question: How likely will an act of terrorism take place in Canada within the next few years?
z Not very likely/not at all likely: 36%
z Very likely/somewhat likely: 62%
z Don't know: 2%
Question: How well is Canada prepared to deal with a terrorist threat?
z Not very well prepared/not prepared at all: 67%
z Very well prepared/well prepared: 25%
z Don't know: 8%
Question: What measures for the war on terrorism do Canadians support?
Deporting or jailing anyone who publicly supports terrorists or suicide bombers.
z Oppose/strongly oppose: 15%
z Strongly support/support: 81%
z Don't know: 4%
Having video cameras in all public places.
z Oppose/strongly oppose: 25%
z Strongly support/support: 72%
z Don't know: 2%
Giving the U.S. any information it requests about Canadian citizens whom they suspect of being terrorists.
z Oppose/strongly oppose: 33%
z Strongly support/support: 62%
z Don't know: 5%
Data may not add up to 100 due to rounding.
SOURCE: THE STRATEGIC COUNSEL
I doubt they ever get it!
That's what happens when you have so many socialist/communist immigrants. They bring their cultures with them and pretty soon liberty vanishes down la toilette. What real dangers do Canadians, in fact, face? And is it not possible to deal with them -- if they really do exist -- and still have freedom?
Let us hope for once polls are somewhat indicative of the "national attitude" on this issue. Then let your government take the responsibility of becoming very very unfair, and follow the Brits,French and others to make life miserable at best for any muslim cleric or "leader" to want to even consider grooming future terrorists. And do everything in ones power to first try to figure out how to put them away for very long jail terms on the slightest of charges. And if no loopholes can be found export them to pre-arranged ME countries where the arrangements can be made to turn them into fertilizer. A few years in this mode and we shall see a much improved security condition in our countries. What else is going to work, outside of law breaking actions. Change the laws as required.
I wonder. They've already given Canadian Islamists everything they have asked for. Are they willing to begin scrutinizing CAIR's activities in Canada? Are they willing to send agents into Canadian mosques and madrassahs? Because if they aren't willing, then they remain clueless.
Could it be that Canada's radical left wing has finally worn out its welcome? I hope so!
A VERY significant part of the US response, above and beyond the WOT has been military. Ships moved into NY harbor to assist in evacuation and cleanup. Fighters setting up no fly zones. National Guard protecting monuments and other likely targets. NG assisting in the cleanup process.
Is canada's military up to the task? Uh huh.
Western "Canada" probably want to fight, Central Canada asks "what problems?", Quebec wants to cut and run, and the Maritimes say "Wherever Central Canada stands we stand, wherever he goes we go" (Borrowing the words coined by Michael Joseph Savage, the WWII era Prime Minister of New Zealand)
Well, maybe we should vision this as what happens in the year 2015:
Thanks for the pings NorthOf45
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