Christianne Boudreau says Bill C-51 is reactive, not enough

On Friday, Stephen Harper announced new anti-terror legislation to combat domestic extremism and prevent potential terrorist attacks. The mother of a dead Canadian jihadi says the bill needs more proactive measures.

Bill C-51 would expand powers for Canada's police and intelligence agencies to combat domestic extremism

Christianne Boudreau, mother of Calgary's Damian Clairmont who died Jan. 2014 in Syria fighting with ISIS, says she's working with local authorities across the country trying to help and intervene with youth at risk of being radicalised. (Adrienne Arsenault/CBC)

The mother of a Calgary man who died in Syria fighting with ISIS says the federal government's new anti-terrorism takes the wrong approach and says the government must attempt to stop Canadians before they become radicalized. 

On Friday, Stephen Harper announced new anti-terror legislation to combat domestic extremism and prevent potential terrorist attacks.

Bill C-51 would give more powers to police and security agencies to thwart travel plans, disrupt bank transactions and interfere with radical websites.

"I think it's just reactive and rigid," said Christianne Boudreau. "I think they need more proactive measures beforehand, more resources, before we get to this point where they're ready to leave.

Boudreau's 22-year-old son Damien Clairmont was killed a year ago while fighting with rebels linked to al-Qaeda.

You can't just take away their passports and expect them not to find another way to go- Christianne Boudreau

Clairmont converted to Islam after a troubled few years in his youth where he was diagnosed bi-polar, dropped out of high school and attempted suicide at 17.

Boudreau says she believes the bill should include measures to help radicals before they leave.

"You need counselling, you need support, you need some way to bring it back to some sort of normalization," she said.

"You can't just take away their passports and expect them not to find another way to go."

The new bill would also lower the threshold for arrest, criminalize promoting terrorism and remove terrorist materials from the internet.

"Unfortunately, with what they're doing right now, sometimes, it fuels the fire," she said. "They're not taking an educated approach in the way that they are going about it."

Beaudreau says Canada needs to start educating families in order to reach out and intervene before young people get to the point of radicalization.

She  is organizing people across the country to give support and help families of young radicals.


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