This is from the Toronto Star:
“So far, the only opposition MP with enough guts to critique the content of the Conservative government’s new anti-terror bill is Green Party Leader Elizabeth May.”
In late January, the Harper Conservatives introduced a new bill under the guise of fighting terrorism that is invasive, overreaching and dangerously vague.
Acts of terrorism are a threat that must be addressed, but C-51 is not primarily an anti-terrorism law. We already have anti-terror laws, prohibiting terrorism, treason, sedition, espionage, and the proliferation of nuclear and biological weapons.
Bill C-51 would expand CSIS’ powers to enable them to conduct any operation it thinks is in the interest of Canadian security. The definition of activities “undermining the security of Canada” is vague and undefined, and lists at least nine types of threats, including interference with “economic or financial stability,” “global information infrastructure,” and “critical infrastructure.”
These definitions are so overly broad they could apply to almost anything. Elizabeth has twice asked the government whether C-51 would apply to non-violent civil disobedience, such as blockading along a pipeline route. Neither Public Safety Minister Stephen Blaney nor Justice Minister Peter MacKay would provide that assurance. Without assurances to the contrary, we can only assume this bill could now treat peaceful protesters as potential terrorists.
The government’s own Privacy Commissioner said the bill will allow too much information sharing, and that it will impact the privacy of innocent Canadians.
This new legislation risks turning the Canadian Security Intelligence Service into a “secret police force” without proper oversight or accountability.
Green Party MPs will continue to be your voice in the House of Commons, defending your civil liberties as a top priority.
Tell your MP that sacrificing individual rights and freedoms is not the solution to the threat of terrorism.
Please add your name here: greenparty.ca/defend-our-rights-and-freedoms
If you are able, please print out the paper petition and collect signatures in your community. With 25 signatures, Elizabeth can table the petition in the House of Commons.
Thank you for standing up to protect Canadians’ civil liberties.