section 83.19(1)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

Knowingly facilitating a terrorist activity is a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment for up to 14 years.

SECTION WORDING

83.19 (1) Every one who knowingly facilitates a terrorist activity is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.

EXPLANATION

Section 83.19(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada deals with the offense of knowingly facilitating a terrorist activity. Under this provision, anyone who knowingly facilitates a terrorist activity can be charged with an indictable offense and face a maximum prison term of fourteen years. The provision aims to prevent individuals from aiding or abetting terrorist activities in Canada or beyond its borders. The law defines 'facilitation' broadly, covering a range of activities that could assist terrorists, such as providing funds, weapons, or intelligence to support terrorist acts. The legislation aims to deter individuals who might be considering knowingly helping terrorists and to hold them accountable for their actions. It reflects the Government of Canada's commitment to combat terrorism and bring those who engage in terrorism to justice. In Canada, terrorism-related offenses, including facilitating terrorism, are taken very seriously, and offenders can expect to face severe penalties. The law encourages individuals to be vigilant against terrorism and report any suspicious activities or persons to the authorities. Overall, section 83.19(1) represents an essential tool in Canada's fight against terrorism. By criminalizing the facilitation of terrorist activities, it sends a clear message that such behavior will not be tolerated and that individuals who engage in it will be held accountable.

COMMENTARY

Section 83.19(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada serves to define a criminal offence that involves knowingly facilitating a terrorist activity. This provision criminalizes the actions of those who assist, aid, support or otherwise encourage terrorist-related activities that threaten public safety and security. Such activities can include planning, financing, organizing, directing, or participating in terrorist events that aim to destabilize or disrupt social and political systems, or cause harm to individuals or groups. This provision was introduced as part of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015, which aimed to strengthen Canada's response to terrorist threats and activities. The provision seeks to deter individuals or groups from engaging or contributing to terrorist activities. It also seeks to disrupt and dismantle terrorist networks by targeting not only the terrorists themselves but also those who facilitate their actions. The punishment for the offence of knowingly facilitating a terrorist activity is severe, with a maximum imprisonment term of fourteen years. This serves as a deterrent to those considering engaging in such activities and serves as a clear message that Canada does not tolerate terrorism in any form. It is important to note that in order to be found guilty of this offence, the accused person must have knowledge that their actions are contributing to or facilitating terrorist activities. However, this knowledge can be inferred from the circumstances surrounding the offence, such as the accused's awareness of the terrorist organization or its activities, or their involvement with known members of the terrorist network. Section 83.19(1) has been used in several high-profile cases in Canada, including the prosecution of individuals involved with the Toronto 18 - a terrorist group that plotted to bomb various targets in Toronto, including the Toronto Stock Exchange, CSIS headquarters, and a military base. In that case, several individuals were convicted of knowingly facilitating the planned attack and received lengthy prison sentences under this provision. While the provision has been effective in prosecuting individuals who have knowingly facilitated terrorist activities, critics argue that it can be overly broad and may unfairly target people who unwittingly or unknowingly provide support to terrorist groups. They also point out that the provision lacks a clear definition of what constitutes terrorist activities, leaving it open to interpretation and potential abuse. Overall, the inclusion of Section 83.19(1) in the Criminal Code of Canada sends a clear message that Canada takes the threat of terrorism very seriously. However, it is important to ensure that the provision is used appropriately and that individuals accused of this offence are given fair trials and due process under the law. This involves balancing the need for security with protecting the fundamental rights and freedoms of all Canadians.

STRATEGY

Section 83.19(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada criminalizes the act of knowingly facilitating a terrorist activity. This provision is a critical tool in the fight against terrorism as it ensures that individuals or organizations that support terrorist activities are held accountable. When dealing with this provision of the Criminal Code, several strategic considerations come to mind. One strategy is the need for evidence. Usually, knowingly facilitating a terrorist activity is not a straightforward offense to prove. The prosecution needs to prove that the accused had knowledge that their actions would result in terrorist activities. This could be challenging for the prosecution as they sometimes have to rely on circumstantial evidence. Therefore, it is essential to collect evidence that would help to establish the accused's nexus to the terrorist activity. Another critical strategic consideration is collaboration across different agencies. Given the complexity of terrorist activities, it is essential to collaborate with relevant agencies to gather intelligence and build a case. This means that the police need to work together with other intelligence agencies, such as CSIS and RCMP, to share information and intelligence, as this would help to identify potential terrorist activities and gather evidence. A third strategic consideration is the need for specialized expertise. For effective prosecution of individuals who knowingly facilitate terrorist activities, it is crucial to have prosecutors with specialized knowledge and expertise. Such specialized prosecutors can work with the police and intelligence agencies to gather admissible evidence, assess the credibility of informants, and present evidence effectively in court. Another critical strategy is the use of undercover agents. Undercover agents can be useful in gathering evidence and intelligence about individuals who knowingly facilitate terrorist activities. The agents can infiltrate groups and collect evidence that supports charges against suspects. The use of covert means to gather intelligence and evidence can significantly assist in proving the accused's guilt. A final strategic consideration is the need to ensure that the legislation is effective. The Criminal Code provisions relating to terrorism should be regularly reviewed and updated to respond to emerging threats. This means that the provisions should reflect changes in technology, tactics, and strategies used by terrorist organizations. This ensures that the law remains relevant and effective in the fight against terrorism. In conclusion, the strategic considerations when dealing with section 83.19(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada are numerous. The need for evidence, collaboration across agencies, specialized expertise, the use of undercover agents, and ensuring that the legislation is effective are all critical strategies. With these strategies in place, enforcement agencies can effectively respond to terrorist activities, ensuring that public safety is always a priority.