About Wesley Wark

Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

C-51 Has Sparked A Much-Needed Conversation About Security and Rights

Published in the Globe and Mail, March 25, 2015 The best thing that might come out of Bill C-51, the government’s proposed new anti-terrorism legislation, will not be the bill itself, certainly not if it passes through the House of Commons and Senate un-amended. The best thing might be an affirmation that Canadians care about finding the right balance betwe… Read More

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The Anti-Terrorism Legislation Has Likely Been Oversold

Published in the Ottawa Citizen, January 28, 2015 The Canadian government has been beating the drum about the need for new counter-terrorism powers since the October, 2014 terror attacks in Quebec and Ottawa. A legislative package is finally scheduled to be tabled in Parliament on Friday. The substance of this new legislation has been subject to some inte… Read More

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The Rise and Fall of Arthur Porter

Published in the National Post, September 29, 2014 Arthur Porter led a seemingly charmed life, which took him from the impoverished country of his birth, Sierra Leone, to elite Cambridge University, where he earned a medical degree. The young Arthur Porter, “ambitious and driven,” as he describes himself, embarked on a dizzying rise to the top ranks of hos… Read More

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Can Al Qaeda Compete With ISIL?

By Archana Sundarachari and Wesley Wark The world’s attention has been riveted for weeks on the military exploits and brutal excesses of a relatively new jihadist entity, the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant (ISIL, or ISIS or IS). ISIL traces its roots to the U.S. occupation of Iraq and was once an affiliate of Al Qaeda, operating under the banner of ‘Al Qa… Read More

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Where’s the Megaphone on the Threat to Canada?

Published in the Ottawa Citizen on September 6, 2014 The Conservative government has a strange way with public pronouncements on security issues. When it comes to the gravest of international crises, the government is prone to bold, headline-grabbing statements, whether on Putin’s role in stoking the flames in the Ukraine, or the threat posed by Iran, o… Read More

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Spy Agency Watchdog Strikes a New Pose

Published in the Ottawa Citizen, August 23, 2014 The old adage in the spy business, when it came to publicity, was “no news is good news.” That ceased to pass democratic muster in Canada only in the mid-1980s and we have been slowly turning our minds to greater scrutiny of the intelligence game ever since (and with increased earnestness after 9/11). Over the pa… Read More

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Security Certificates Are Flawed Tools

Published in the Ottawa Citizen, May 14, 2014 It was not a jailhouse door that slammed in Mohamed Harkat’s face this week, but something ultimately more definitive: a Supreme Court ruling. Harkat has lost a long legal battle that commenced in 2002 when he was detained under a security certificate and faced allegations that he was engaged in terrorism, in fac… Read More

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Reforming the Spy Game

When it comes to secret intelligence, the United States sometimes behaves like a true democracy.  It reminds me of the Leonard Cohen line, “democracy is coming…to the U.S.A.” President Barack Obama’s speech on January 17 marked an important occasion in the ongoing American struggle to conduct espionage while remaining true to democratic values. The U.S… Read More

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