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We live in a world obsessed with terrorism, but Canada doesn’t have a terrorism problem

By Phil Gurski      

We have the good fortune in the Great White North of having witnessed a grand total of two deaths at the hands of terrorists since 9/11. When this figure is compared to the numbers of victims of drug overdoses, domestic abuse, or even throughout the MMIW tragedy, it is hard not to conclude that terrorism is an insignificant blip in our country and suggests that we need to focus resources elsewhere to deal with vastly larger social ills and threats.

Terrorism here is a blessedly tiny problem and one that will most likely remain insignificant. Furthermore, moving to underemphasize or even eliminate terrorism offences would not have that much of an impact on the agencies tasked with investigating—and thwarting—it: they could continue to collect intelligence (CSIS) and evidence (RCMP) to the same degree. The only real difference is what to do with the evidence when it comes time to lay criminal charges. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

OTTAWA—It might strike the reader as odd that someone with so much invested in counterterrorism is here making the suggestion that we need to worry less about terrorism. After all, if we stopped spending so much time talking about it, wouldn’t that put me out of a job and undermine my regular column in The Hill Times? Would I have anything meaningful to say or write anymore? Perhaps not. Then again, as a ‘glass-half-full’ kind of guy, I also recognize that were this to happen I could actually retire and spend more time staring at the lake up at my Madawaska Highlands cottage.

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