Canada’s House of Commons Approves Anti-Terrorism Act

June 23, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. criminalize / ˈkrɪm ə nlˌaɪz / (v.) – to make something illegal or punishable by law
Example: The new law criminalizes cyberbullying.

2. promotion / prəˈmoʊ ʃən / (n.) – the act of showing support or encouraging awareness about something
Example: International unions work toward the promotion of peace between nations.

3. detain / dɪˈteɪn / (v.) – to keep a person in prison or in any confined room
Example:  He filed a lawsuit for being illegally detained.

4. parliament / ˈpɑr lə mənt / (n.) – a group under a government that makes laws
Example: The Canadian parliament drafted a law about anti-terrorism.

5. terrorism / ˈtɛr əˌrɪz əm / (n.) – the use of violence and threats for political purposes
Example: The country’s security has become tighter because of the recent threats of terrorism.


Read the text below.
Canada’s House of Commons has approved the Anti-Terrorism Act in early May.

The approval of the Anti-Terrorism Act or Bill C-51 would enable the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to function outside the country and prevent terrorist attacks from occurring. The bill will also allow Canada’s Security Intelligence to criminalize the promotion of terrorism on all platforms, even those on the Internet. The police will be allowed to arrest and detain individuals without an official charge.

Bill C-51 was developed after last year’s terrorism attacks in Canada. In October 2014, a gunman killed a soldier stationed at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. The gunman, along with his group, then attacked nearby parliament buildings. 

In that same month, a man who was a recent convert to Islam killed one soldier and injured another at a car park in Quebec [kwi-BEK]. According to Public Safety minister Steven Blaney [bley-NEE], this incident was an act of violence linked with terrorism.

Although Bill C-51 intends to address Canada’s issues on terrorism, many Canadians oppose the bill. A poll by the Forum Research Inc. revealed that out of 1,239 Canadians, 56% were against the bill. Furthermore, only a quarter of the respondents thought the bill would have positive effects on their lives, while 42% thought otherwise.

Some members of Canada’s Senate are also against the bill’s legislation. Senator James Cowan, one of the bill’s critics, said that Bill C-51 violates Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Senator Grant Mitchell [MICH-uh l], another critic of the bill, added that Bill C-51 still requires proper review mechanisms.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What are your thoughts about Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Act?
·         How else can the government of Canada ensure the safety of its citizens?

Discussion B

·         What do you think causes terrorism?
·         How do you think terrorism can be stopped?

June 23, 2015