Whoa!Canada

laurel l. russwurm's political musings

Liberal Leader Gets Bill C-51 Wrong

with 6 comments

In spite of the fact the Harper Government fast tracked Bill C-51, the Parliamentary Committee won’t re-convene until next week. When you consider the Harper Government’s vow to have this legislation rushed through so it can be passed by the end of the month, this is a dramatic demonstration of how little scrutiny the Harper Government is willing to accord Bill C-51. The same can’t be said for the rest of us, because Bill C-51 is actually getting a great deal of scrutiny outside the Parliament Buildings. There are a lot of terrible things in this draft legislation, but as a writer I am especially concerned about it’s assault on Free Speech.   Ordinarily I only blog about Canadian Politics sporadically, but this week I hope to post daily.   Previous posts include: David Weber warns Bill C-51 will lead to a Police State #RejectTerror #StopBillC51 the film I’ll be seeing tonight, The Secret Trial 5 ~ Screening Tour,  Learned at the KW Stop C-51 Day of Action, and Thursday’s Stop Bill C-51 the Musical.  Better late than never, here is #5.


Not long ago I joined the local Liberal Party in hopes of making a difference for the 2015 federal election.  Over the years I’ve got to know some LPC folks through events like the Electoral Reform debate local MP Candidate Bardish Chagger hosted a few years back.

I made a point of notifying the local Liberal Candidate Nominees and Candidates about last week’s National Day of Action.  A week ago today a great many concerned citizens across Canada held more than 70 events to protest the fatally flawed Bill C-51 the Harper Government has been trying to sell as an “anti terrorism” measure.

Mr. Trudeau's idea of a National Day of ActionI was aware of Justin Trudeau’s promised support of Bill C-51 but expected the Liberals to come anyway, maybe to hear the other side so they might make informed choices when the time came to vote, or at least to take the opportunity to explain the Liberal stance to an audience of people who will certainly vote in the next election.   So you can imagine my surprise when not a single LPC Candidate showed up at the Kitchener rally.  Worse, I heard a rumour that the Liberal Party had ordered its candidates to avoid the Day of Action.   I was stunned.   I was going to bring the matter up with the local Electoral District Association before making a decision about whether to remain a Party member.

And then I got another ridiculous email from the LPC inviting me to a “Day of Action.”   I had previously explained the absurdity of calling a party fund raising or volunteer training or t-shirt designing gathering for the Liberal Youth Movement a “Day of Action” and yet here they are doing it again.

Particularly after ordering Party members to avoid a real Day of Action.

Since the local Liberal Candidates are not allowed to explain the LPC position on Bill C-51, I realize I had to find out just why Mr. Trudeau believes supporting it is a good thing.

Liberals: newly minted Kitchener Centre MP Candidate Bardish Chagger moderates an LPC panel on Electoral Reform.

Apparently, Justin Trudeau’s primary reasons for supporting C-51 are:

  • Expanded powers related to preventive arrest which make it easier for police to detain someone, and to hold them in custody without a charge or a warrant for longer
  • Strengthening of the no-fly list
  • Increased information sharing between government departments and agencies

“[These] are significant improvements that will keep Canadians safer,” he told the crowd.

Liberals Are Supporting Bill C-51 So Tories Can’t Make ‘Political Hay,’ Trudeau Says

Preventative Arrest.

That means Canadians would be liable for arrest because we might do something.  Think about that, now. What does that mean, exactly?  Not because you have done a criminal act, and not because you planned to engage in a criminal act.   The laws we have now give law enforcement ample provision to prosecute anyone for crimes committed, and even for crimes that have only been planned, as we know from the prosecution of the VIA Terrorist Plot.  Canadian law allows such prosecutions because, when there is a real crime, there is real evidence.  Under Bill C-51 you could go to jail  because someone thinks you might do something.

I expect most people have been misjuged at least once in our lives.  Imagine if someone in law enforcement decided you were a potential terrorist because you attended a Day of Action.

Very few of us have been personally connected with criminal activity; even fewer have had any actual contact with terrorists. So let’s think about this one in more human terms.

Let’s say you are married, and you and your spouse go to a party. As often happens, the two of you end up in different corners socializing with different people. It’s a good party, you’ve had fun, but when you get home you discover your spouse is angry and wants a divorce — because you might have an affair with someone you had an animated conversation with at the party.

Or say you’re in your final year of university. It’s been a tough year, you’ve had to take on a part time job to make ends meet. So your studies have been extra difficult, and your work isn’t up to your usual standards. When it’s time to take the final exam, your professor doesn’t believe you are capable of passing the exam, so she refuses to allow you to take the exam since she thinks you might cheat.

Or maybe you’re going through a messy divorce. Imagine how you might feel if, instead of the shared custody you had been working toward, the judge awards sole custody of your children to the other parent and you are now limited to state supervised visitation twice a month. Because the judge thinks you might take off with the child.

This law won’t make Canadians safer, it will strip us of our Charter Rights.  It is unconstitutional.

If you want an idea how these things might play out, you should watch the powerful documentary “The Secret Trial 5.”

The No Fly List

I have to wonder if the No Fly list is constitutional in and of itself.   If all it takes is an allegation to abrogate our Charter rights, the Charter doesn’t offer us much protection at all.   People used to be innocent until proven guilty.

Increased information sharing between government departments and agencies

Such irresponsible flagrant invasion of privacy is certainly unconstitutional.

I understand Mr. Trudeau might wish to get out from under his famous father’s shadow, but throwing the Canadian Charter of Right and Freedoms under the bus is not the way to do this.

Imagine a World With No Privacy....

6 Responses

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  1. I agree. I am very against Bill C-51.
    I’d like to keep what little privacy I have….. That’s the sad thing, this Bill is just making public what the government already does in secret.

    thepaganspirit21

    March 21, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    • I think you’re correct. After Bill C51 becomes law (or, I should say, laws) if they get caught it won’t matter because they will be doing lawful things.

      This is one of my favorite quotations:
      “There are times when what is lawful are distinct from what is rightful.” — Ed Snowden

      Edward Snowden

      Laurel L. Russwurm

      March 22, 2015 at 9:47 pm

  2. I was shocked and totally surprised to hear that JT supports C-51! I’m sure PET is rolling in his grave over this!! What you’ve written today is so relevant – in fact, on Thursday night in Edmonton RCMP arrested a young man (http://globalnews.ca/news/1894594/edmonton-area-teen-arrested-on-terror-charges/?utm_source=NewsletterCalgary&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=2015) Below the article/before the comments section, there was a video of ISIS or jihadists or whatever, in full regalia, masks, covered heads, guns…… I didn’t bother to watch. Directly under that “That is why our government has put forward the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015 to better protect Canadians against jihadi terrorists, and that is why we are not sitting on the sidelines – as the Liberals and NDP would have do – and are instead joining our Allies in the international coalition in the fight against ISIL,” the ministry spokesperson continued,”

    That Global News would put such a video on the same page makes one wonder who is doing the orchestration of all this fear?! Do they have such a hold on the media that they’ve ALL become sycophants? Was a time when you went to the media to find out the truth! – Guess that day is long past eh?

    cheena1

    March 21, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    • I’m afraid young Mr. Trudeau has lost his way rather badly. And I think the “news” media coverage is driven by economics as much as anything. In Canada the government spends more money (tax dollars) on advertising than the richest corporations (which in itself should be seen as a problem) so the media outlets generally do what they want. The fact that prominent conservatives and both the Globe & Mail and the National Post have come out against C51 is a sign that they understand how screwed *they* will be if C1 passes.

      Laurel L. Russwurm

      March 22, 2015 at 9:42 pm

      • Yes, I think young JT really shot himself in the foot over C-51. IMO, ‘playing politics’ should have a limit, and when it is our country, our charter, our rights and freedoms, well, this is not the time to ‘play those games’!! Good Lord, are we, can we, ever hope to have a govt. that actually CARES for the people, the country, the environment, et al?? I’d love to see it in what’s left of my lifetime, but I somehow doubt it!

        cheena1

        April 9, 2015 at 10:49 pm

  3. […] Liberal Leader Gets Bill C-51 Wrong […]


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