Thursday, June 05, 2022
OTTAWA (CP) - Canada's spy agency says "certain elements" of
the animal rights and anti-globalization movements in this country
pose a terrorist threat.
The annual report of the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service,
released Thursday, cites animal rights, anti-globalization and white
supremacist groups under domestic extremism as one of four main categories
of terrorism in Canada. While religious extremism - specifically Islamic
extremism - tops the CSIS list of terrorist concerns, the inclusion
of two of Canada's mainstream domestic lobbies in the report raised
Not listed in the public CSIS report were three other domestic groups
cited in an initial report: aboriginals, separatists and environmentalists.
The initial report, from which the public report is culled, is a ministerial
direction - a document that gives CSIS an idea of the solicitor general's
concerns regarding terrorism.
Canadian Alliance MP Kevin Sorenson said he and other MPs on the Commons
security committee received that document earlier this week.
read from the report: "to a lesser degree,
Canada is confronted by domestic terrorism issues related to aboriginal
white supremacists, sovereignty, animal rights, the environment and
The four areas of concern are: religious extremism, state-sponsored
terrorism, secessionist violence and domestic extremism.
When Solicitor General Wayne Easter tabled the CSIS report Thursday
in the House of Commons, he said Canadians should not be complacent
about terrorist threats.
"The Canadian Security Intelligence Service . . . is aware of
emerging terrorist threats and tactics that could have severe consequences
for Canadians," Easter said.
NDP Leader Jack Layton said the report should be of concern to all
"It looks as though CSIS is lumping together anyone who disagrees
with the government," Layton said. "It's important to preserve
the right of people to disagree. That's one of the fundamentals of
Rob Sinclair, a campaigner with the International Fund for Animal
Welfare, said equating animal rights groups with white supremacists
was particularly offensive.
"This is a sort of smear on the entire community," Sinclair
said from Toronto. "To have this group thrown in with neo Nazis
. . . is truly insulting. It sounds like CSIS is once again completely
out to lunch."
of the Council of Canadians, which has helped organize rallies questioning
everything from international
to environmental policy, said the "catch-all" phrase of
anti-globalization gives CSIS carte blanche to investigate all sorts
of citizens' groups.
concerned about the implications for the average citizen who will
go out to a protest march, whether or not
they're going to
be put on some blacklist."
Easter defended the inclusion of domestic lobbies.
"In any of these kind of instances, it's not who you are, it's
what you do," Easter said outside the Commons.
the kind of security environment that's required since Sept. 11,
2001, we as a government have to take every
to ensure that no group - whatever they may be named - (escapes
scrutiny) who may have as one of their objectives to disrupt our society
violent or terrorist means."
Sorenson said he's much more concerned about groups not included on
Canada's formal list of terrorist entities, including the Tamil Tigers,
than he is about CSIS monitoring domestic organizations.
"I don't have a problem with CSIS doing investigations on anything
that may lead to a terrorist threat or a breach of security in our
country," he said.
While Sri Lanka's violent secessionist movement does get a mention
in the report, the government has yet to ban the Tamil Tigers organization,
a failure Sorenson calls inexcusable.
Sorenson also said the Canadian government must seriously debate whether
the country requires a spy agency that can operate abroad, whether
along the lines of the CIA or another model. The mandate of CSIS does
not permit the agency overseas operations.
Highlights of the 12th annual report released Thursday by the Canadian
Intelligence and Security Service:
Terrorism categories in Canada:
extremism "with Islamic extremism
being the most serious threat at present."
terrorism "exemplified by the
current regime in Iran."
- secessionist violence, including Sikh extremism.
extremism "including, but not limited
to, certain elements of animal-rights, anti-globalization and white
Budget 2002-03: Projected expenditures of $256 million, up 30 per
cent from 2000-01.
Workforce: 2,290, up from 2,097 in 2001-02.
2003 The Canadian Press