Prime Minister Jean Chrétien
Counter-Terrorism in Canada
September 25, 2001

The horrific acts in the United States have reminded us that terrorism is a global threat against which no nation is immune.

It has also revealed that terrorist operations are increasingly decentralized and terrorist cells are made up of highly-motivated, highly-trained individuals.

We are constantly re-examining and improving our methods and processes – to improve information sharing and investigation methods as well as our working relationships with other governments to deal with new and emerging threats.

As the Prime Minister said in the aftermath of the events of September 11, 2001: "Together, with our allies, we will defy and defeat the threat that terrorism poses to all civilized nations."

But Canada’s fight against terrorism – in all of its forms –long pre-dates the terrible events of September 11. Strong partnerships already exist among Canadian law enforcement and security and intelligence agencies, and their international counterparts.

We have already taken concrete measures to enhance Canada's ability to combat terrorism:
  • The new Immigration and Refugee Protection Act will strengthen our ability to keep Canadians safe from undesirable individuals while ensuring that those who need Canada's help are permitted to enter;
  • Canada already had legislation and regulations in place to freeze the property owned by the Taliban or Osama bin Laden and his associates;
  • The proposed Charities Registration (Security Information) Act will prevent tax-assisted donations from being used to support terrorism;
  • The recent creation of the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness to develop and implement a comprehensive approach to protecting Canada's critical infrastructure, in both its physical and cyber dimensions;
  • Coordinating an initiative to develop options to strengthen the capacity to respond to chemical and biological terrorism; and,
  • Budget 2000 allocated $1.5 billion to RCMP, CSIS, Canada Customs and Citizenship and Immigration Canada so that they can continue to do their jobs effectively.
Canada has signed all twelve of the UN counter-terrorism conventions and has ratified ten. Work is underway to implement and ratify the remaining two.

In Response to September 11, 2001

As the Prime Minister said: "We will change laws that have to be changed. We will increase security to protect Canadians. We will remain vigilant."

The RCMP continues to work in close cooperation with Transport Canada, CSIS, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and local airport authorities to ensure security and safety of all Canadians.

The RCMP is working with its American counterparts to provide whatever technical, logistical and other support is necessary to assist them in their investigation.

Customs officers are maintaining a high state of vigilance. We have increased the questioning of people and the examination of goods entering the country.

Security measures for air travellers have been increased.

Any assets related to Osama bin Laden or his associates in Canada are frozen.

Canada is moving quickly to ratify and implement the UN Convention for the Suppression of Terrorism Financing. This is expected in the near future.

We will propose amendments to the Official Secrets Act to address intelligence gathering activities by foreign states and terrorist groups .

The Government of Canada will also propose amendments to the Canada Evidence Act to better govern the use and protection of information that could be injurious to national security were it disclosed.


©2001 Government of Canada.