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The Terrorists are Coming! The Terrorists are Coming! (or are they?): A Critical Discourse Analysis of The Anti-Terrorism Act, Bill C-51 in Canadian Newspapers

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This paper argues that the Canadian mainstream print news media helps to legitimate the increase in security measures, government agency powers, and new legislation in Canada through the dissemination of a discourse of terrorism, as well as through legitimation of the types of questions being asked about terrorism, and Canada’s response to it. To reflect on how the mainstream print news media are using the discourse of terrorism news articles from The Globe and Mail and the National Post about Bill C-51 were analyzed using critical discourse analysis. The analysis shows that there are inherent assumptions present within the discourse of terrorism related to race, nationality and causation. How terrorism is conceptualized and spoken about needs to be changed. The role of the Canadian military in provoking violence against the state, the hegemony of counter-terrorism responses and the discourse of terrorism, and the existence of counter-terrorism measures need to be critically analyzed for the future.
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