Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Trudeau Condemns 'Deplorable' Brussels Attacks; Security Increased

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Trudeau Condemns 'Deplorable' Brussels Attacks; Security Increased

Article excerpt

Trudeau condemns 'deplorable' Brussels attacks


OTTAWA - The terrorist attacks in Brussels became fodder Tuesday for politics as usual in Canada.

Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose and other Tory MPs took the opportunity to hammer Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government for being soft on terrorism.

They criticized the government for withdrawing Canadian fighter jets from the bombing campaign against Islamic extremists in Iraq and Syria.

They denounced Trudeau's election promise to repeal some measures in the Tories' anti-terrorism legislation, which gives security officials new powers to prevent and disrupt terrorist networks.

And they repeatedly pushed the government to explain why it refuses to declare that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is perpetrating "genocide" against religious minorities.

The Conservatives' line of questioning prompted Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion to say: "Today is not the day to make politics about that."

Conservative MP Jason Kenney, a former defence minister, asked if the government is prepared to declare, as French President Francois Hollande has done, that Canada is "at war" with ISIL, and why Canada has withdrawn from the aerial bombing mission.

Dion reiterated that the government has decided Canada can be more effective in the fight against ISIL by tripling efforts to train local forces, doubling intelligence efforts and boosting humanitarian aid.

"I hope the minister's not suggesting that President Hollande is making politics," Kenney retorted.

The raw politicking followed earlier expressions of grief, shock and solidarity with Belgium from politicians of all party stripes.

"I was outraged when I woke up to the news that so many innocent citizens had been killed and injured -- shocked and profoundly saddened," Trudeau said after a cabinet meeting on Parliament Hill.

"This cannot and will not be tolerated."

Ambrose said later that the new anti-terror tools the previous Conservative government gave security forces had been used successfully. She called on Trudeau to reverse his promises to scrap some provisions so that "security forces can keep Canadians safe from terrorism. …

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