As 2017 is coming to a close, parliament has not yet passed the Liberals' Bill C-59, “An Act respecting national security matters.” Going into the New Year and a new parliamentary session, there remains huge human rights concerns regarding Bill C-59, and whether it is a really responding to the widespread criticisms of Harper's detested Bill C-51.
During the month of December, the National Council of Canadian Muslims gave an oral submission to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security on Bill C-59 that clearly outlined their opposition and lack of trust in providing CSIS or any other government agencies any more powers to attack our democratic and human rights, “...members of Canadian Muslim communities have been victims of Canadian national security policy. Over the last 15 years, we have seen three separate judicial inquiries, numerous court rulings, out of court settlements and apologies that acknowledge the constitutional violations committed against innocent Muslims by national security intelligence and enforcement. Canadian Muslims are not only disproportionately affected by these errors and abuses, but we also bear the brunt of social impact when xenophobic and anti-Muslim sentiment surges.”
These concerns are also reinforced by CSIS' private settlement of a multimillion-dollar lawsuit with five intelligence officers and analysts who faced years of discrimination because they were gay, Muslim or Black.
As well, in a recent 90-page document released by the University of Toronto's CitizenLab and the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) highlighted the dangerous new powers Bill C-59 would grant secretive Communications Security Establishment (CSE), “From mass dissemination of false information, to impersonation, leaking foreign documents in order to influence political and legal outcomes, disabling account or network access, large-scale denial of service attacks, and interference with the electricity grid, the possibilities for the types of activities contemplated in (Bill C-59) are limited only by the imagination.”
With these reports echoed from many different sectors and people in Canada, it is clear that Bill C-59 is nothing more than a continuation of Bill C-51 and that would continue to invade our privacy and erode more of our democratic and human rights.
In the month of December, the Working Group to Stop Bill C-51 also continued its weekly action campaign articulating and organizing the opposition to Bill C-51 and Bill C-59. The Working Group returned to the busy Commercial-Broadway Station, where reception was very warm despite the cold weather and chilly winds. Many people joined the e-mail list and had questions about Bill C-51 and especially Bill C-59. This trend also continued in the suburbs of Richmond and Coquitlam.
While the parliament chose to break early again this year, the Working Group stayed busy and organized its147th weekly action before the end of December. Organizers have resolved to continue these important actions until Bill C-51 is repealed and Bill C-59 is scraped for good!
REPEAL BILL C-51!
SCRAP BILL C-59!
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