Canadian PM to ban travel to ISIL 'hotspots'

Stephen Harper says travel to these areas 'not a human right' and that if re-elected if his government is re-elected

Canadian PM to ban travel to ISIL 'hotspots'

World Bulletin / News Desk

 Prime Minister Stephen Harper pledged Sunday that if his Conservative government is re-elected this fall he will make it a crime for Canadians to travel to countries under the control of extremist groups.

“A re-elected Conservative government will designate travel to places that are ground zero for terrorist activity a criminal offence,” Harper said while speaking during a campaign stop in Ottawa. “We are taking about the most dangerous places on earth, where governance is nonexistent and violence is widespread and brutal.”

The law would designate “declared areas” the government considered under terrorist control. While no names were mentioned Sunday, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that a media handout from the Conservatives said some parts of Syria and Iraq would “likely” fall under the travel ban. Australia has such a law.

Harper said some exceptions might apply for individuals such as journalists, aid workers and diplomats, but added that there were “few legitimate reasons” to go to extremist controlled areas.

Travel to these areas is “not a human right”, the prime minister said. “That is something we have to nip in the bud before trained terrorists return to this country.”

With an election set for Oct. 19, Harper is boasting of the Conservative’s record on security during a decade in power. He is also reminding Canadians of the clear and present danger from homegrown extremists, as demonstrated by the deadly attacks in Ottawa and Quebec last fall. Two soldiers were killed by lone individual Canadians in separate attacks.

Harper also pointed out that his government introduced legislation in 2013 that made it illegal to leave the country and join an extremist organization.

He repeated his claim that the main opposition parties -- Liberals and New Democratic Party -- were soft on terrorism and that the Conservatives would provide the best protection for Canadians.

“There’s no more importance than ensuring the safety of Canadians,” Harper said. “Our opponents just do not get that.”

Harper made the promise during a stopover to support Conservative candidate Abdul Abdi, a former police officer.

The prime minister’s agenda then called for a rally in Quebec, where Conservatives are looking to better the party’s representation in the October election.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Ağustos 2015, 09:44
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