The Conservative Party, which is homeland security one of his main campaign themes, hopes, if elected, criminalize most Canadian travel to areas where terrorist groups practice “hostile activities”.
A Canadian who would, for example, in parts of Iraq or Syria controlled by the Islamic State group would be subject to investigation and could be arrested on his return.
The Government would identify as “prohibited areas for foreign travel” after consultation with security and intelligence agencies of Canada, said the Conservative Party.
“The creation of a category of prohibited foreign travel areas will give law enforcement additional tools to better protect Canadians against those who go to these dangerous areas with the intention to return to Canada to commit acts terrorists, “said Conservative leader Stephen Harper yesterday morning visiting Ottawa. The party says that some parts of Syria and Iraq would “probably” among the first areas covered by the law, but that no “plan” is planned for Somalia at the moment.
This type of legislation, said Mr. Harper, are particularly in Australia. On the site of the national security of the Australian government, it is actually written that people who go to Raqqa, Syria or Iraq Mosul facing up to 10 years in prison.
Mr. Harper also takes on his own terms “hostile activities” and “designated areas (Declared areas) Australian law.
Some citizens, however, could visit these areas for “legitimate reasons”. This could be the case for humanitarian workers, journalists, diplomats and other government officials. There could also be exemptions for those who must visit family, said the Conservative Party.
“Canadians can demonstrate that they have traveled in areas designated for legitimate purposes will not be prosecuted under this new law,” said PC in a statement. We can also read in the same statement: “Prime Minister Harper added that diplomacy and the search for root causes do not would stop the Islamic state.”
From a legal point of view, the criminal lawyer Jean-Claude Hébert believes it could be difficult to determine a traveler legitimate reasons.
“Who will interpret what is legitimate?”, If he asks. He also noted that there could be a reversal of the burden of proof, which usually is rather poorly received by the courts although it is not prohibited.
“If Canada has the power to adopt extraterritorial laws, it is not so easy to decree that going to fight in Syria is terrorism. This is tricky, because we know that there are former Canadian soldiers will fight Islamic state. Does it will be two weights, two measures? ”
When asked about it, the Conservative Party has provided this response to the press: “This legislation is not intended to prosecute those who can prove they work with groups fighting against the Islamic state or other enemies of Canada . “The party, however, invites Canadians to fight against EI Group to join the Canadian Armed Forces.
“It seems more like an election ball to show we want to protect Canadians, but it’s easy to make promises without a law that would bring nuances and criteria,” concluded Mr. Hebert.