Most Canadians would not trade rights to fight terror

Most would not trade rights to fight terror

A new survey marking this week's 30th anniversary of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms shows Canadians remain largely - but far from unanimously - resistant to surrendering certain rights in the name of reducing the threat of terrorism.

Close to two-thirds (64%) of the 1,522 respondents in a poll commissioned by the Montreal-based Association for Canadian Studies disagreed with the statement: "In order to curb terrorism in this country, it will be necessary to give up some civil liberties."

But significantly fewer respondents (57%) balked at the idea of forcing citizens to carry state-issued I.D. cards and being subjected to random police checks, with 43% agreeing that "everyone should be required to carry a national identity card at all times to show to a police officer upon request."

The findings were released to Postmedia News ahead of a two-day, ACS-organized conference at the University of Ottawa this week - titled Checking our Constitution(at)30 - where the April 17, 1982, patriation of Canada's Constitution and the adoption of the charter will be discussed and analyzed by some of the country's top legal scholars.

The Trudeau-era constitutional reforms "have had a profound impact on our law and public policy," the conference overview states. "Canadians hold a favourable opinion of the Constitution and charter. Yet many see these defining documents as divisive."

A summary of the survey results notes that in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, "security issues and how they affect human rights have been the object of considerable attention" across North America.

In the U.S., tightened security regimes and expanded law-enforcement powers "have invited strong reaction from organizations engaged in the defence and promotion of human rights."

According to the ACS survey, conducted in March by the polling firm Leger Marketing, Canadians are considerably more open to rules requiring everyone to carry an I.D. card than they are to laws allowing police to imprison suspected terrorists without a trial.

Only 29% of respondents expressed agreement with using that powerful tool to combat terrorism. While nationally 71% of those surveyed said they were against the idea, the strongest opposition was registered in Atlantic Canada (81%) and the least in the combined polling region of Saskatchewan and Manitoba (68%).

Although less than half of the overall Canadian population supported the concept of I.D. cards, a slim majority (53%) among the oldest segment of society (those aged 65 and over) liked the idea.

A majority of Quebec residents polled (54%) also expressed support for mandatory identification cards, while respondents from British Columbia (32%), Atlantic Canada (36%) and Alberta (39%) were least likely to applaud the notion.

Forty-two per cent of residents of Ontario and Manitoba/Saskatchewan expressed support for I.D. cards.

Most would not trade rights to fight terror, says poll
Free Thinker
#2  Top Rated Post
The trouble,as I see it,is that,for too long,governments have been inventing boogymen to increase their security budgets,now people like me {normal people}just yawn at the latest crisis and go about their bizness.I'm sure if there was a real threat,most folks would step up,but this ID card thing is just a way to controll people,s'got nothing to do with security.

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