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Colin Kenny


Colin Kenny entered the Senate on June 29th, 1984. Throughout his career he has focused on a wide range of issues including; banking, trade and commerce, energy, tobacco control, and alternative fuels. He was the inaugural Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, serving from 2001-2009.

It's Time For The Defence Minister To Focus On Search And Rescue

Since the government took office last December, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan has spent much of his time musing about Canada's military role in Iraq, the CF-18 replacements, and a future role in peacekeeping operations. As important as these issues are, the minister would be wise to spend some time on another file that is need of his attention: search and rescue.
08/22/2016 01:12 EDT

The Security Intelligence Review Committee Is Not Doing the Job

There are a number of concrete steps the government should take to address the gap in national security accountability. Chief among those are improving the integrity of the application process for national security warrants, re-establishing the Office of the Inspector General of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, and expanding the Security Intelligence Review Committee's (SIRC) size, capabilities and mandate.
03/11/2015 05:22 EDT
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Don't Fall For Harper's Election-Year Economic Rhetoric

No matter how you slice it, Harper has failed to lead Canada towards a sustained economic recovery from the financial crisis seven years ago. It doesn't matter how much public money he spends on ads claiming otherwise. Facts are facts. So, what does a government facing re-election do when its top agenda item, economic management, is in tatters? It changes the channel to something else.
02/18/2015 06:01 EST
Peter Dazeley via Getty Images

Canada Needs A Better System Of Watching Over Anti-Terrorism Legislation

One promising means of addressing the gap in national security review would be to vest Parliament with some of that responsibility. Canada holds the shameful distinction of being the only country among the Five Eyes, the international intelligence partnership that includes the U.K. and U.S., without some form of intelligence review by its legislative body. This needs to change. But that alone won't fix everything. The U.S. has legislative oversight mechanisms in place and yet couldn't avoid scandals around torture.
02/03/2015 05:12 EST

On Terrorism, Harper is all Talk and No Walk

The two terrorist attacks in October and the Charlie Hebdo incident in Paris have created a climate of fear in Canada around terrorism. In order to assuage these concerns, the government recently announced its intention to introduce further anti-terrorism legislation. But there are two ways to stop terrorism: you can create new laws and you can also provide adequate funding. While choosing the former option may create the illusion that Harper is tough on terrorism, it's in the latter area that our national security agencies are in greatest need.
01/25/2015 11:13 EST

We Need to Fix Canada's Half-Baked Airport Security System

As much as I wish the festive season was all eggnog and Christmas carols, the fact of the matter is the holidays have some drawbacks. Top among these is the stress of travelling during the busiest time of the year, which is made even worse by Canada's half-baked airport security system.
12/31/2014 05:35 EST

10 Signs Someone Is Becoming Radicalized to Violence

The two terrorist attacks in October and the participation of over 130 Canadian citizens in the Islamic State's military campaign make it clear a growing number of our compatriots are edging towards violent extremism. Experts involved in national security have arrived at a consensus that the following traits are an indication that someone is becoming radicalized.
12/22/2014 12:42 EST

Harper's Secret Budget Cuts Undermine Canada's Democracy

When a government underspends to the extent we are seeing with the Harper government, the estimates become unreliable. Parliamentarians aren't able to find out how much the government is actually spending until months after the end of the fiscal year. As a result, they can't inform the public about what programs and services have been diminished in time to make a difference. The way the underspending scheme stifles debate reminds me of the Harper government's omnibus legislation, except it's even worse.
12/01/2014 05:05 EST

Canada's National Security Needs Money

In light of the tragic events in Ottawa and St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, the Harper government is looking to increase the powers of our national security agencies to combat terrorism. But the greatest challenge facing our security officials isn't a lack of powers. They already have plenty of them. The problem is a lack of funding. For years now, the Harper government has been cutting the national security budget and we're only now beginning to see the consequences in a striking way. With our vulnerability to terrorism just recently highlighted, the prime minister has placed our national security officials in a precarious situation.
11/14/2014 06:07 EST
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Harper Should Protect Consumers Instead of Agriculture Inc.

Stephen Harper is known as a free market enthusiast who believes that unfettered competition is vital to any country's economic well-being. Yet the federal government continues to force Canadian families to squander in excess of $275 per family per year to protect the lucrative Canadian dairy and poultry industries. What gives?This system isn't supporting thousands of small Canadian farmers. It's supporting a small group of agricultural industrialists who are inhaling money at Canadian consumers' expense.
09/04/2014 12:48 EDT