Bill C-51 was passed and became law in Canada long ago and at that time it was passed in the face of widespread discontent from across the country. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians protested in the streets, they contacted their representatives, they signed petitions online, and yet none of it seemed to do any good as the new law was eventually passed; thanks to Conservatives and Liberals working collectively to see it through. Former Canadian Prime Ministers, security experts, civil liberties advocates, and hundreds of Canadian law professors urged the government to withhold from passing this law, calling it a gross violation to our Charter rights, but they did it anyways.
Since then, there has been a lawsuit launched by the Canadian Journalists For Free Expression (CJFE) and Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) on the grounds that at least five sections of Bill C-51, the Anti-Terrorism Act, grossly violate individual liberty of Canadians by overstepping their Charter rights. The lawsuit is currently in court and is awaiting a response from the government. But agencies have already begun using their new powers under the new legislation, despite recent calls from civil liberties advocates stating that police agencies need to drastically re-think their anti-terror tactics and approach given the recent case of entrapment.
For Canadians who want to help they can spread awareness by signing one of the many petitions online regarding Bill C-51 or by donating to those who are pushing the legal fight to reverse the damage; the CJFE and the BCCLA. Since the law was passed, Canadians have been promised that they will be heard on the matter but those promises are sounding rather empty considering that an overwhelming amount have already voiced their opinions about wanting it to be repealed and yet nothing has been done to appease their concerns.
The NDP have also increased their vocal concern against c-51, with public safety critic Randall Garrison declaring that in the fall this year that the NDP plan to introduce a private member's bill to parliament that will seek to repeal the Anti-terrorism Act. For now the House of Commons is on summer break and they will resume toward the end of September.
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Mail to Dan Dicks:
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Langley BC, V1M 2Y2