World

Canadians in Washington over terrorism-related concerns

Heads of a number of Canadian agencies were meeting with American lawmakers in Washington Thursday to try to refute recent allegations by some that Canada has become a safe haven for terrorists.

The heads of Canadian agencies, led by Canada'sambassador to the U.S., were meeting withAmerican lawmakers in Washington on Thursday to try to refute recent allegations that Canada has become a safe haven for terrorists.

Michael Wilson took the delegation to congressional offices on Capitol Hill. It included CSIS director Jim Judd, RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli and Canada Border Services Agency president Alain Jolicoeur andDeputy Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Janice Charette.

The arrests of 17 people on terrorism-related charges earlier this monthprompted some U.S. officials to complain about Canada's immigration policy.

New York Rep. Peter King, chairman of the U.S. homeland security committee, claimed that " there is a large al-Qaeda presence in Canada." He blamed the country's "very liberal immigration laws" and "how political asylum is granted so easily."

During a hearing on Capitol Hill last Thursday, Republican Congressman John Hostettler said Canada is in denial about the threat of terrorism within its own borders.

He said Canada "hosts an abundance of terrorists and as many as 50 terrorist organizations."

Hostettler said he was concerned about the "porous border between the United States and Canada."