National Security and Human Rights Concerns in Canada: A Survey of Eight Critical Issues in the Post-9/11 Environment
Canadian Human Rights Commission, National Security and Human Rights Concerns in Canada: A Survey of Eight Critical Issues in the Post-9/11 Environment, Wesley K. Wark Associate Professor Munk Centre for International Studies University of Toronto, October 2006
The report calls attention to several key areas of concern that warrant ongoing research. These areas include: Border security. The practice of border security, including the construction of anti-terrorist “watch lists,” is a potential generator of important human rights concerns. The Anti-Terrorism Act. This Act (Bill C-36) will have significant long-term implications. Forthcoming court trials, potential Charter challenges and the mandatory Parliamentary review are all important elements of any study of the Act’s implications. Security certificates. Immigration security certificates under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act are a key point of friction between national security and human rights prerogatives, despite the fact that they have not been widely used since 9/11. The case of Maher Arar. The O’Connor Commission of Inquiry into the Actions of Canadian Officials with Regard to the Treatment of Maher Arar (Arar Commission) has provided, and will continue to provide, important insights into national security policy and the protection of human rights in a post-9/11 environment. The author’s recommendations for future study attempt to align these issues with the CHRC’s mandate. Recommendations (see the individual recommendations following each section of the report and the consolidated list in Appendix A) are in keeping with the CHRC’s desire to keep a watching brief on all important federal legislation that affects human rights and to construct a planned annual “report card” on human rights in Canada.
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