“Editorial: Tories rolling back rights” (The Ottawa Citizen)

A Kurdish soldier sits in the background as Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Defence Jason Kenney visit members of the Advise and Assist mission, approximately 6 km from active ISIL fighting positions, 40 km west of Erbil, Iraq, on Saturday, May 2, 2015. (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Editors note: Canadians are free to go anywhere. The question is whether or not that should change. Is a “blanket ban” on travel to places “controlled by terrorist groups” a good idea? The Ottawa Citizen says no.


The Ottawa Citizen Editorial Board:

Putting the onus on citizens of a free country to get approval for their reasons for leaving Canada is problematic. Among the many consequences of such a law might be the state deciding which journalists were “legitimate.”

Canada does need to address the problem of its citizens going overseas to fight alongside our enemies; it also needs to address the problem of those who stay in Canada, such as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. But every time we restrict Canadians’ freedoms out of paranoia, out of a desire to just do something whether it solves the problem or not, this only helps the terrorist agenda.

Not only are blanket travel restrictions based on an assumption of guilt an affront to Canadians’ rights, they’re expensive and, in many cases, unworkable. At best, Harper’s announcement was a cynical election ploy. At worst, it’s an attempt to roll back Canadians’ freedoms using fear as cover.

Either way, it’s unacceptable.

Full editorial here