Tories Offer Weak Amendments To C-51


As many people across the nation continue to learn the truth about Bill C-51, the Tories have been in overdrive trying to rally support for this bill by bullying citizens, promoting fear, and misrepresenting the facts. It seems that now they are ready to offer some amendments to it, in another attempt to seek compliance and support. “As we have said for weeks we are open to amendments that make sense and that improve the Anti-Terrorism Act 2015,” said Jean-Christophe de Le Rue, director of communications for Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney. They haven't officially released the amendments yet, however summaries have been circulated. 

 

Many Canadians have been concerned with the verbiage in Bill C-51, specifically that which indicates that those who exercise their natural rights in protest might be targeted. To ease suspicion, the Tories have offered several changes. To start with, they are now proposing to scale back the definition of “activity that undermines the security of Canada” with regard to protesting, they now agree to get rid of the portion that allowed for CSIS to arrest people, and they're offering little more. They say that because of the newly proposed amendments, C-51 will now seem more “certain.”  Although they present these and other amendments to the bill, they have yet to clearly detail the most important fact about how exactly they will go about violating Charter-protected rights in order to investigate suspects. The Charter is in place in order to help protect and enforce due process in this country, a practice which Bill C-51 seeks to undermine. Regardless of these last-ditch amendments, C-51 is unnecessary and should be rejected in full, rather than tweaked with minor proposals that we can only hope are truthful and will be respected once they are put into play. 

 

As various legal experts have already pointed out, Canada has many agencies currently established that are dedicated to protecting and enforcing the law, investigating, and addressing any threats that might be made to the security of the nation. Bill C-51 now in its current form states that threats to national security will not include “lawful advocacy, protest, dissent, and artistic expression.” However, we have seen on many occasions when the state has in fact deemed a public and peaceful gathering to be “illegal,” even though people have the right to freely assemble in public spaces, or on their own private property, and to express their rights in a peaceful way. Craig Forcese, an associate law professor at the University of Ottawa, says that from what he has already seen of the proposed wording for the bill amendments, it only further confuses the matter. He points out again that they haven't addressed the core problem of the bill about how the process will allow for Charter rights to be violated, “There’s no backing down on the idea that federal court judges will authorize unconstitutional activity by the service,” Prof. Forcese said 

 

We need to keep in mind that this bill isn't just about Canada and it really isn't about terrorism, it's part of a much larger surveillance and control objective. Along with the Five Eyes arrangement and other endeavors, the Canadian government is attempting to further engage in the same broad phishing expedition that the U.S. has been paving via the National Security Agency (NSA) for years now.  This should be alarming to every Canadian, yes even to those who have “nothing to hide,” for it attempts to undermine the rule of law in this country, it's both reckless and dangerous

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