To the editor;
The Conservatives “anti-terror” Bill C-51 is seriously flawed; sweeping, dangerously vague and ineffective. It doesn’t do things that are proven to work, and puts politics ahead of protecting Canadians.
The threat of terrorism is real and protection of the public must be paramount. However standing up for our values, refusing to allow cowardly attackers to change our way of life doesn’t mean we must sacrifice our freedoms.
C-51 is yet another massive Omnibus bill and Conservatives are ramming it through Parliament.
The Liberals have folded, but New Democrats are standing on principle, demanding the bill gets needed scrutiny.
It gives broad new powers to CSIS without enhancing oversight. It makes possible for law enforcement agencies and CSIS to take action against legitimate social and political activism.
Harper’s judgment on CSIS oversight is lacking, he abolished the internal watchdog office in 2012. PM Harper dismisses parliamentary oversight as ‘red tape’, something required by all our major allies.
Protecting democratic rights is not ‘red tape’!
Canadians died in wars for fundamental freedoms.
I attended Kamloops Rally against C-51 because I am a democrat, first and foremost. I belong to a team analyzing C-51 for the CBA (36,000 Canadian lawyers).
The Harper government engages in partisanship, refusing to hear from the CBA, Special Advocates (experts in national security hearings), and the Privacy Commissioner. It ignores former Supreme Court Justices, 4 former PM’s, and legal scholars.
Instead Conservative MP’s respond with talking points, on matters of fundamental importance. MP Cathy McLeod is wrong is alleging “misinformation” by those expressing concern about C-51 and that it has been cleared for Charter compliance.
The overwhelming legal expertise is not onside with the government.
Harper’s government has recently experienced half-dozen Supreme Court defeats for violating the Charter.
This is a cynical government that does not respect meaningful Charter compliance and puts crass politics ahead of respect for fundamental freedoms and the Charter.
C-51 goes too far and isn’t balanced. Canadians can count on New Democrats to take a principled stand for our rights and freedoms.
Federal NDP Candidate,