There have been many complaints against legislation the Harper Government has pushed through since gaining it’s “majority*” in the House of Commons. Our antiquated inequitable electoral system allows any government that achieves a “majority” to do pretty much whatever it likes.
But Bill C-51 is a game changer.
Law Professors Craig Forcese and Kent Roach (at the University of Ottawa and the University of Toronto respectively) have been raising the alarm in articles like“Bill C-51: the Good, the Bad . . . and the Truly Ugly” which outline many of the very disturbing elements of Bill C-51. They’ve created a website where they have shared their findings about Bill C-51 in detail http://www.antiterrorlaw.ca/
Possibly the single most disturbing element for me is something Mr. Forcese says in one of his information videos:
…the whole thing is covert.
We just have never seen anything like this in Canada before. Personally I would expect judges to consider all this unconstitutional and they could never let CSIS breach the constitution. But you and I may never know because, as I’ve said, this legal question would likely be decided as part of secret proceedings.
Although Bill C-51 makes sweeping changes to Canadian law (and life) the Harper Government is pushing this bill through at break neck speed. Instead of thoroughly investigating every element carefully, only 9 witnesses will be allowed to speak at the hearings, which are scheduled to be wrapped up by March 31, 2015.
The thing is, a majority government can pass any law it wants to pass. So why not give such a law a proper hearing, why not examine it to ensure there will be no unexpected consequences. After all, shouldn’t every law within a democratic nation receive proper scrutiny?
On Saturday (that’s March 14, 2015) Canadians across the country will to join a scheduled National Day of Action to protest Bill C-51.
Many organisations and a whole lot of people from Privacy Commissioners to former Prime Ministers have spoken out against Bill C-51 because they believe its provisions should be of concern to all Canadians. If Bill C-51 becomes law, it will clearly allow for the violation of our Charter Rights, destroy personal privacy and facilitate spying on innocent Canadians while it creates a new secret police force with little oversight or accountability.
Canadians need to tell our MPs how we feel about this.
You can write a letter and/or sign Leadnow’s Petition:
REJECT FEAR. STOP STEPHEN HARPER’S “SECRET POLICE” BILL
Tell them that attacks on civil liberties including the sweeping expansion of spy powers, criminalization of speech, and preventative arrest for those who have committed no crime are not acceptable.
Find out where a local Stop Bill C-51 rally may be taking place on Facebook or Twitter, or visit LeadNow’s http://we.leadnow.ca/stopc51 webpage where they are trying to co-ordinate the whole thing. If there isn’t one scheduled in your neighbourhood, you can start your own, by setting up a Facebook Event and inviting your friends or by announcing it on Twitter.
In my own Waterloo Region we have three groups (so far) coming together to stand up for Canadian civil rights.
Waterloo Region National Day of Action Bill C-51 Events
11:00AM Waterloo Walk against Bill C-51
I love the idea of a protest march where the marchers pass out information. The march will begin at the University of Waterloo, in the Davis Centre Quad
(the big ‘green’ space between Davis Centre, Mathematics/Computer and Chemisty buildings). Then we’ll walk down University Avenue, past Laurier, down King Street until Victoria Park and City Hall. There will already be a rally in progress at city hall, so if you want to stay at the rally you can meet up there and talk to some cool people. Otherwise, you can bus back or something.
has merged with Julian Ichim’s Info Picket against Bill C 51 to create a single event at Kitchener City Hall.
Folks are welcome to meet up at Kitchener City Hall on March 14th at 12pm, 200 King St W. Federal Green party candidate Richard Walsh will be giving a short speech.
I have been told this is not a partisan event; Richard Walsh won’t be the only Federal Candidate for the 2015 Election slated to speak. I would certainly like to hear from candidates from all major Parties in Waterloo Region and sitting MPs on this very important subject.a
The weather is supposed to be lousy, but if they pass Bill C-51 this may be the last time anyone can attend a protest rally without risking 5 years in jail.
Stop Bill C-51
*”Majority” government in Canada does not mean a majority (which would be 50+%) it is a “plurality” — the winner only needs to get more votes than any other, not a majority of votes. Which means that a government that wins a majority of the seats in Parliament with only 39% of the vote (like Mr. Harper has) actually gains 100% of the power, which is effectively a dictatorship, not democracy.