Credits: file photo
Stopping that terrorism before it happens, and punishing those terrorists after it does, should be our top priority. But there is something symbolic that we need to do as well.
Devinder Shory, a Conservative MP from Calgary, has introduced a private member's bill, C-425, that would strip terrorists who are dual citizens of their Canadian citizenship.
It seems like a trivial sanction to apply to a murderer. To the terrorist himself, losing Canadian citizenship has no moral pain - jihadists do not acknowledge the sovereignty of a secular constitutional democracy. They only believe in a theocratic caliphate, whose constitution is the Qur'an.
But to the rest of us, citizenship is enormously important. It isn't just a mailing address or a place to get free health care. It's a symbol of our loyalty and affiliation. It's our larger family and culture.
It's fitting and touching that such a bill would be put forward by Shory, an immigrant himself - it's a love letter to Canada, a statement of his own gratitude to our country. It's a signal that Canada isn't just another hotel; it's not a random or transient destination.
Shory's bill has another provision that rewards would-be immigrants who go above and beyond in their support for Canada.
C-425 says anyone who signs up for a three-year tour of duty with our Canadian Forces can get a year shaved off their residency requirements to become a citizen.
The bill is a private member's bill, but it has recently received public support from Jason Kenney, the immigration minister. Kenney knows loyalty is important in new immigrants.
But it's also important to prove that loyalty to the rest of Canadians, in order to maintain public support for immigration.
By taking a hard line against the handful of lawbreaking immigrants, from terrorists to queue-jumpers, Kenney maintains support for the majority of immigrants who are law-abiding.
The symbolism is why this bill is important.
And it is why Canada's left-wing parties are opposed to this bill.
The NDP's caucus chair, Peter Julian, opposes the bill. But he won't come right out and say it. Asked by Sun Media if he thinks terrorists should keep their Canadian citizenship, Julian said, "No, I'm not saying that. I'm saying that the practice of this government has been to put forward legislation that sometimes goes too far."
That's a non-answer. C-425 is very brief. The part about stripping a terrorist of his citizenship is less than 100 words. Why can't the NDP bring themselves to say whether they support it or not?
No matter. We already know the answer. The NDP and the Liberals are the Omar Khadr party.
They have talked more and lobbied more for that convicted terrorist than for anyone else in the past decade.
Former NDP candidate Judy Rebick actually compared Khadr to Nelson Mandela. And they've done everything they could to pressure Ottawa into bringing Khadr back to Canada.
Where do you think they stand on stripping terrorists of their citizenship?
You know where they stand. They hate the idea. They're just too cowardly to say it on camera. You always hear the left saying they support our troops, they just don't support the war.
That's a lie. Canada's left wing doesn't support the war on terror, and they don't support our troops doing the fighting and dying, either.
What's crazy is they won't even support innocent civilians who are the intended victims of these terrorists, by stripping terrorists of their citizenship.