At the request of Ruby Sahota, Member of Parliament for Brampton North, the Liberal Members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety & National Security held a conference call on December 19th, 2018 to discuss the 2018 Public Report on the Terrorism Threat to Canada.
To clarify, the primary responsibility of this Standing Committee is to examine, debate, amend and report on legislation or motions before the House of Commons as they relate to Public Safety and National Security. As such, the Liberal Members of this Committee wish to emphasize that the Committee did not have the mandate to review or approve this report before its release, and only became aware of the report’s contents after it was made public.
The Report is a product of the Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre (ITAC), within the Department of Public Safety Canada, which is also responsible for assessing and recommending the National Terrorism Threat Level. ITAC is an independent body of professionals from departments and agencies within Canada’s security and intelligence community responsible for assessing terrorism threats to Canada and Canadian interests worldwide. ITAC reports and assessments are based on classified and public information, and the Minister of Public Safety does not make
substantive changes to its content, nor are the documents seen or approved by Cabinet prior to
The Liberal Members of this Committee agree with Minister Goodale’s observations regarding the terminology used in this Report, and strongly and emphatically support his request for it to be reviewed. Our Government firmly believes that diversity is part of what makes Canada strong and thus, we must ensure that we never equate any one community or entire religions with extremism. Nevertheless, the Liberal Members of the Committee call upon the Government to review the Report when Parliament resumes. A particular emphasis should be placed on how to introduce more precision to the correlations drawn by the report in its efforts to explain current threats and
strengthen the integrity of the report.
Canada is home to communities of many different faiths and ethnicities, all of whom make valuable contributions to our country. We must continue to ensure that respect and inclusion remain at the core of our Government’s decision-making, and is evident in all of our communications with the public.