MP Blair Wilson, who represents the West Vancouver - Sunshine Coast - Sea to Sky Country riding in Ottawa, called the recent revelation of an alleged terrorist plot in Ontario, while serious, a "small anomaly" and a "little incident."
Police arrested 17 men and teenagers in suburban Toronto on June 2 in connection with an alleged plot to bomb several Southern Ontario buildings, storm the Parliament Buildings and behead Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
One of Canada's strengths, said Wilson, is that it is an open, tolerant, diverse society where people, by and large, live peacefully together.
"I think this is just a small anomaly, very small, in the whole scheme of things," he said. "It's serious, but I don't think we should be making generalizations about this little incident and draw it across the whole population of any specific race or any specific religion. Having said that, though, we have to be cognizant that we act in a global world now, and if we start making changes in our foreign policy and get closer to the Americans and start getting more war-like and less peacekeeping-like, that comes with a price. The price may be that different small organizations around the world look at Canada in a different light."
Harper and the Conservative Party are moving Canada closer towards the Americans, Wilson said, and the role Canadian soldiers have in Kandahar is more war-making.
"I don't think that's what most Canadians want," he said.
Since Canada is a relatively small country on the world stage with a small military budget, Wilson said, he believes it has to be used effectively.
"I think our forces are put to better use in Darfur, where they can actually go and save lives and continue our tradition of peacekeeping and peacemaking," Wilson said.
Wilson also said he is not concerned about security on Parliament Hill and hopes the atmosphere there doesn't change."One thing about Canadian security that is different from American security is, I think, we're a lot less visible," he said. "They like to have the big toys and the big guns and put everything up front. Canadians are a little more subtle."
The fact that the 17 individuals were caught before anything happened is a perfect example of how good Canadian security is, Wilson pointed out.
"I think that says a lot to how the RCMP works and how CSIS [Canadian Security Intelligence Service] works. We do have a strong internal security. It's just not as flamboyant as other countries."
Wilson is a member of the standing committee for citizenship and immigration, an important committee not just for the riding, he said, where there are many immigration issues, but for Canada, in light of the country's labour shortage.
"We just don't have enough skilled workers. Combine that with an aging population and the baby boomers they say by 2010 to 2015, there's going to be more people retired than working. If we want to have the health care system that we're accustomed to, we're going to have to somehow square that imbalance. The only way we can do it is to increase our immigration."
Wilson said the immigration process should be sped up and people should be moved around the country to places that need skilled workers, such as B.C. and Alberta.