Chris Wattie / Reuters
Chris Wattie / Reuters
The ICLMG simply cannot support Bill C-22 in its current form. Not only will it not create a Committee of Parliamentarians capable of real and strong oversight over our national security apparatus, its mere creation will give Canadians the impression that proper parliamentary oversight exists - which will not be the case.
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In 2011, the government introduced a ministerial directive that allows, under exceptional circumstances, for information garnered under torture by a foreign country to be transmitted to and used by Canadian security agencies. These kinds of directives play a clear role in perpetuating human rights abuses.
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Canadians have spoken out loudly against Bill C-51. Last year, hundreds of gatherings took place across Canada, and Canadians clearly showed and expressed their concerns about its contents and the extensive, unjustified powers it grants to security agencies. So, why is the Liberal government conducting consultations?
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On the anniversary of filing a Charter challenge to Bill C-51, the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression is calling on Canadians to send a message to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal government that it's past time to restore our constitutional freedoms and repeal the unconstitutional aspects of this dangerous and ineffective legislation.
Today, the political landscape has changed. We have a government that promised to conduct public hearings on several issues and to listen attentively to the demands of the population. Nevertheless, when it comes to solid gestures and courageous actions, there seems no political appetite to tackle Bill C-51.
With additional extraordinary powers granted to CSIS since the passing of Bill C51, one only can wonder whether these visits are becoming the norm rather than the exceptions. The disruption powers included in Bill C-51 allow CSIS to seize documents or computers, enter people's properties, spy on them without a judicial warrant.
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"We've never accepted it's an either-or proposition.''
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Immediately, after the Brussels attacks, an engineering student from the University of Waterloo was arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Even if the Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale went out publicly and declared that Canada isn't under any additional or specific terrorist threats, the RCMP decided to choose to arrest the suspect during a time of fear.
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Ill-conceived measures, like the no-fly list must be made smarter so they do not target the innocent. Otherwise, they have the ironic potential to actually erode our national security by alienating those they single out and stigmatize. But the way the no-fly list works, with a total lack of transparency and overwhelmingly targeting just one group -- Muslims -- feelings of alienation and powerlessness are exactly what the no-fly list is causing.
The government's appeal to national security should not exempt it from rigorous accountability and oversight. As many critics have argued, the system envisaged by the Passenger Protect Program and as amended by SATA has proven neither necessary nor effective. It is unconstitutional.
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Bill C-51 is simply unCanadian: it's vague legislation that violates the human rights and freedoms which define us as a country. The Liberal government has committed to rewrite what they describe as "problematic elements" of Bill C-51 and introduce new legislation that strengthens accountability in regards to national security, balancing this with rights and freedoms.
In the midst of the honeymoon period of the new Justin Trudeau Liberal government, we're seeing positive changes in a lot of the top areas that resonate with Canadians. However, we've still not heard anything about resolving Bill C-51, one of the top political issues in Canada this year.
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Harper says he would renew a federal initiative aimed at countering terrorism and radicalization in Canada.
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The past year has been a very active one for the anti-Islam industry in Canada. Leading the charge is none other than Prime Minister Stephen Harper who -- in gearing up to the elections in October 2015 -- has been stoking Islamophobia by pandering to public unease about Muslims.
On Wednesday our parliament passed bill C-51; a bill which takes a sledgehammer to the principles in the Charter. How could a controversial bill with 52 per cent of Canadians opposing it and only 33 per cent supporting it pass? Ignoring the voices of your constituents is dangerous, especially in an election year.
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Bill C-51, dubbed the Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015, should cause Canadians deep concern. Its provisions, if passed into law, would jeopardize many of our most basic rights and liberties and would only serve to undermine the health of our democracy. Any limits imposed by Parliament on our basic rights and fundamental freedoms must be "reasonable"; they must not be overly broad; and they must be "demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society. On the thirty-third anniversary of the signing of the Charter, we should demand that Parliament scrap Bill C-51 altogether.
Even after the Conservative government buckled to pressure to amend the anti-terrors laws, Canadians can still be deemed too dangerous to travel by airline and won't be allowed to challenge the "evidence" against them. As lawyer and author Faisal Kutty puts it, Canadian Muslims can be considered "too guilty to fly, but too innocent to charge." Bill C-51 is a reckless attempt to win over an understandably fearful electorate under the pretense of fighting terrorism. Marginalizing the very Canadians who are on the front-lines of this struggle is worse than poor policy -- it's a threat to all of us.
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Bill C-51 is complex, dangerous, and poses a serious threat to free expression in Canada. If found to be in violation of the proposed legislation, citizens and visitors could wind up slapped with censorship orders, detained without due process or imprisoned for up to five years. Is the federal government giving itself and its agencies more power to fight ISIS-like terrorism, or is it using high-profile tragedies to illegally spy, surveil and silence innocent citizens and its political enemies? Silencing Canadians with the threat of prosecution is tantamount to a chilling or denial of freedom of expression and association, among other Charter rights.
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How best to describe the rushed hearings the House of Commons' Public Safety Committee held over the past few weeks examining Bill C-51, the government's anti-terrorism law reforms? Circus, farce and disgrace all come to mind. I know, I was there on Amnesty International's behalf earlier this month.
OTTAWA - The executive director of the watchdog that keeps an eye on the Canadian Security Intelligence Service is questioning whether the review body will have enough resources to do its job in the f...
The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke sent an open letter to Stephen Harper on Wednesday expressing concerns about how Bill C-51 may impact the ability of First Nations to defend and support Aboriginal rig...
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An ex-skinhead, now a counsellor trying to turn around the lives of potential extremists, is warning that Ottawa's plan to fight homegrown terrorism is primed to backfire. Daniel Gallant, 39, is a re...
Unfortunately, when it comes to CSIS, Canadians can expect very little transparency, a cause for additional concern when you recall Harper eliminated the position of the CSIS watchdog in 2012. The only overview of CSIS is handled by the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC), a body comprised of part-time appointees with limited resources that assess CSIS operations after-the-fact.
OTTAWA — Muslims are often the scapegoats in political debates, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair said Wednesday. “There is a vilification that is happening," Mulcair told reporters. "I have been doing federa...
The Conservatives are pushing to devote just three meetings to hearing expert testimony on the government's proposed anti-terrorism bill when it goes to the public safety committee for review, CBC New...
Critics ranging from Jean Chretien to Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald all urge caution when it comes to Bill C-51.
Convicting and incarcerating those who return to Canada from fighting with extremist groups overseas alone is not enough. Radicalization spreads, particularly in prison, where many individuals feel wronged by the system and society more generally. Once those prisoners return to civilian life they take with them their twisted and radicalized beliefs and spread them in the communities where they live. Many of Canada's allies have their own de-radicalization programs in place for those who return home after joining terrorist organizations abroad.
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OTTAWA - Information-sharing measures in proposed anti-terrorism legislation are so broadly worded they would allow the government to spy on its political foes, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair says.Mulcair too...
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Huge numbers of Canadians, including key Ottawa decision-makers, are pushing back hard against the government's Bill C-51, which proposes unprecedented new powers for Canada's security agencies. The bill effectively turns CSIS into a secret police force and would place every Canadian under a government microscope.
OTTAWA - The privacy rights of Canadians will be respected under new anti-terrorism legislation that would allow more information-sharing with the United States, says Public Safety Minister Steven Bla...
Canada's spy agency is expected to be given new powers to stop would-be Canadian jihadists before they leave the country as part of sweeping new anti-terrorism measures being unveiled Friday. So...
OTTAWA - The House of Commons resumed Monday following a five-week break and now enters its last scheduled sitting before the fixed federal election date next October. Here are five things you should...