News Release

February 27, 2007

Telegdi Proudly Votes Against Continuation of Draconian Provisions in the Anti-terrorism Act

Ottawa -- Andrew Telegdi voted today for the elimination of the preventive detention and investigative hearings provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act. Telegdi who consistently opposed these measures and voted against the Act in 2001, stated: "The decision to put these measures in place was made in haste at a time when the country was acting out of fear. I believed that our institutions were strong enough to protect our country."

In his speech in the House on Nov. 27, 2001 he said: "It would be ironic if we win the war on terrorism at the expense of Canadian human rights and civil liberties." At that time, he reminded MPs that those who sacrifice freedom in the name of security deserve neither freedom nor security.

"Measures that force people to testify against themselves, particularly when combined with security certificates that allow people to be held indefinitely under detention without charge, provide a dangerous threat to our democracy and smack of McCarthyism," Telegdi said. "

He believes that we are fortunate that they were never used and that we avoided creating a situation that we would have to apologize for in the future. We faced difficult situations during both world wars where we victimized minority groups with shameful acts for which we have belatedly apologized. Canada must never again condone a them and us mentality that serves to undermine our collective security.

Telegdi views the war on terror conducted by George W. Bush as having made the world less secure and is thankful that Stephan Harper was not in a position to commit Canadian troops to Iraq. And while he believes in the credo that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, he feels that we must be more strategic in our fight against terrorism and work to create the democratic institutions and living conditions that are anathema for terrorists.

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