Stephen Harper this week has proposed plans to outlaw travel to places that are “ground zero for terrorist activity.” Harper said that if his party is re-elected, then they will look to introduce legislation that will make it a criminal offense for any Canadian to travel to areas in the world that are under the control of extremist groups. They vow to prevent Canadians from traveling to “the most dangerous places on earth, where government is nonexistent and violence is widespread and brutal.” Harper failed to mention any specific countries or locations, only that the new law would apply to certain “declared areas.”
"There's no more importance than ensuring the safety of Canadians. Our opponents just do not get that," said Harper.
The Party provided the media with a document which asserted that parts of Syria and Iraq would “likely” be among the first areas that would be subject to a travel ban. Similar laws to this one now being proposed, already exist in Australia; they've declared parts of Iraq and Syria to be no-travel zones. The new rules might not apply to everyone though, there might be some exception made for a few individuals, according to Harper. These special cases might apply to individuals such as journalists, diplomats, aid workers, and others. Regardless, Harper pressed on the notion that there were “few legitimate reasons” to travel to such parts of the world and he declared that travel to such places was “not a human right.”
Taking the chance to stoke the fear fire again, Harper reiterated the importance of security and he touted the Tories record on this. Harper took the chance during the same announcement, to paint his opponents (Liberals, NDP) as being "soft on terror," even though the Liberals helped the Tories to push Bill C-51 through to becoming law. If the Tories do win re-election later this year, and the Tories do manage to push through this travel-ban legislation, it might not be long before it too ends-up in a court challenge just like Bill C-51 has.
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