The Views of Canadian Scholars on the Impact of the Anti-Terrorism Act


Measuring the impact of terrorism and the Anti-terrorism Act is a complicated and challenging undertaking. Some may even argue that social scientists and legal scholars do not currently possess an instrument precise enough to measure the impact that such events have on Canadian society. Regardless of the challenges, attempts to develop an instrument or method must be made. The Research and Statistics Division (RSD) has implemented a program of qualitative and quantitative research that will inform the Parliamentary review of the Anti-terrorism Act, which is to begin with three years after the legislation received royal assent. As part of this program of research, the RSD has completed a number of quantitative and qualitative studies to gauge the impact of the Act, including monitoring national and foreign public opinion poll results and commissioning focus groups across Canada.

In October 2003, during the launch of Research Week, the RSD hosted a panel on the findings of a focus group study concerning the views of minorities and the Anti-terrorism Act. At the launch, Deputy Minister Morris Rosenberg commented that research is the foundation upon which informed, evidence-based policy and legislation are developed and supported. The present report, entitled The Views of Canadian Scholars on the Impact of the Anti-Terrorism Act, is a timely example of that type of quality research. The study used an innovative approach to mine the expertise of recognized scholars on terrorism issues. Implementing this approach and completing the report would not have been possible without the timely replies from the participating scholars and the work of Professor Gabor who compiled and summarised the individual papers.

This report and the individual unedited papers, which were included as an appendix, demonstrate the Research and Statistics Division's commitment to providing policy makers and Canadians with objective and relevant information.

Damir Kukec
Research and Statistics Division
Department of Justice