(This article originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)
More than 300 foreign terrorists, spies and criminals who pose a risk to Canada’s national security tried to sneak into Canada last year, according to a report quietly released by the federal government on Monday.
It outlines all visa applications rejected between November 2015 and December 2016, and the grounds for refusal.
There were 310 cases where an individual was found inadmissible under Section 34 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) — the section dealing with national security concerns.
Among these 310 were seven individuals rejected for “engaging in terrorism,” nine for “engaging in an act of espionage or subversion,” and 13 for “subversion by force” against any government.
Another 79 were found to be a member of an organization that engages in terrorism or espionage, 26 to be a “danger to the security of Canada,” and 48 were stopped for having committed a war crime or crimes against humanity.
In total, there were 1.4 million visa applications rejected by the Canadian government. The most common reason was that a person was not truthful in the information they supplied.
The immigration report was released in response to an Order Paper question tabled by Conservative MP Tom Kmiec, and was exclusively given to the Toronto Sun by the True North Initiative, a Canadian think tank focused on immigration and security reform.
The report does not reveal the country of origin or nationality of those rejected, so it is unknown where the 310 individuals rejected on terrorism and national security grounds came from.
Obviously, the report only outlines instances where the government was successful in stopping an individual with security red flags from entering Canada.
It is therefore unknown how many individuals were able to thwart Canada’s screening and vetting system, and enter the country undetected.
Canadian security officials have repeatedly warned the federal government about its security screening.
In 2011, the federal government was forced to release a “Most Wanted List” after it was discovered that at least 30 war criminals and terrorists were on the loose in Canada.
This new report, showing that Canada continues to be a destination for terrorists and war criminals, was released just days after U.S. President Donald Trump issued a sweeping executive order on immigration security.
Among other directives, Trump ordered the U.S. government to stop processing all refugee applications and to block for three months all immigration and visitor visas from seven countries struggling with large Islamist terrorist insurgencies.
Trump also ordered an overhaul of the security and vetting process, in order to stop the flow of terrorists entering the United States.
The Canadian report suggests Canada is also dealing with a large, possibly coordinated effort by terrorist organizations to enter our country.
Security experts have long warned that Islamist groups see Canada as a soft target, and view our immigration process as a source of weakness.
A 2014 report from the Washington D.C.-based Center for a Secure Free Society noted that, “known state sponsors of terrorism, namely Iran and Syria, along with terror-proxies like Lebanese Hezbollah, are ... exploit(ing) the weaknesses within the refugee and migration process in Canada.”
That report highlighted 19 Iranian nationals who made...(READ MORE)