The Anti-Terrorism Act and Security Measures in Canada: Public Views, Impacts and Travel Experiences
- 5.2 Application
This section of the survey dealt with how the ATA has been applied as well as the possible effects of the legislation. Data for this section can be found in Table 2 of Appendix B.
The respondents were asked whether or not they felt that the ATA was a necessary response to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. Three-quarters (75%) of the participants indicated that the legislation was necessary and almost two-thirds (60%) felt that the ATA has made Canada safer from terrorist activity. When the responses of visible minority respondents were compared to non-minority respondents, fewer visible minority respondents felt the ATA was necessary, or that the legislation made Canada safer (69% vs. 76%; and 52% vs. 63%) (see Figure 2).
Slightly more than half (52%) of the respondents felt that the ATA has led to many people being unfairly targeted based on their ethnic, racial or religious background. Greater proportions of
non-minority participants felt the ATA has been applied fairly when compared to visible minority participants (43% vs. 35%).
Most (89%) participants felt that it is vital for Canada to have law enforcement/security officials investigate individuals within Canada as well as abroad.
Finally, participants were provided with the following definition of terrorist activity: In general, the Act defines "terrorist activity", in part, as an illegal act that is committed either within or outside of Canada for a political, religious or ideological purpose; and "terrorist group" means, in part, an entity that has as one of its purposes or activities to facilitate or carry out any terrorist activity.
The majority (84%) of respondents agreed with this definition of terrorist activity.
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