May 27, 2015 No. 88 Previous Issues 

Harper Government's Arrogance -- A Matter of Grave Concern
Bill C-51 Pushed Through Clause-by-Clause Review

All Out to Defeat Bill C-51!

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

After arriving in the Senate on May 7, Bill C-51 underwent clause-by-clause review at the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence May 26, clearing the way for Third Reading this week.

Clause-by-clause review is the final phase of committee study of legislation, meaning the bill can now be adopted by Senate as soon as it undergoes Third Reading and the Conservative majority in the Senate decides to support it.


The Committee's pre-study of the bill began two weeks before C-51 was introduced in Senate as part of the government's attempt to pass the bill as quickly as possible in the face of the broad opposition of Canadians.

As opposition to the bill continues to grow the government has turned to increasingly convoluted justifications for the measures it contains, which include broadening information sharing between government and security forces, allowing spies to undertake "disruptive" measures and black ops against what they deem "threats to the security of Canada," prohibition of speech said to be "supporting terrorism" and countless other items of concern.

Testifying before the Senate committee on May 25, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney declared, "I always said there is no liberty without security now I am convinced there is no prosperity without security." Blaney suggested that the government's initiatives will not end at Bill C-51, saying he is investigating new measures for "pre-criminalization" of individuals.

The Harper government is desperate to close the book on the debate on Bill C-51, which has seen serious issues with the bill raised by Senators. This desperation was expressed by Blaney, who told the Committee "This is a bill that is important to my heart."

Protests will take place in more than 18 cities across the country on May 30, as part of the third national day of action demanding Bill C-51 be scrapped.


Bill C-51 Measures Seek to Force Canadians to Assist Police "Disruption"

Another matter of concern with Bill C-51 that has not been adequately addressed in the House and Senate hearings concerns the role Canadians will be forced to play with regards to CSIS violations of the law and Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

This was brought forward by David Fraser, writing for the Canadian Privacy Law Blog on March 18. He pointed out a little-noticed aspect of Bill C-51 that allows a judge to secretly order individuals to assist the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) in exercising the new "disruptive" powers granted under the bill.

Fraser describes the new measures, noting, "Bill C-51 expands the sort of warrants that [CSIS] can obtain. It used to be that they could make secret applications, in secret, in front of a judge in a secret bunker for secret warrants to do things like wiretap, install bugs, etc. Now, CSIS is given a broader mandate to take measures to reduce 'threats to the security of Canada.' (Which is an incredibly vague term that should send chills up your spine.) And under C-51, CSIS can apply for warrants permitting its agents to break laws, including the Charter, to reduce such threats:

"21.1 (1) If the Director or any employee who is designated by the Minister for the purpose believes on reasonable grounds that a warrant under this section is required to enable the Service to take measures, within or outside Canada, to reduce a threat to the security of Canada, the Director or employee may, after having obtained the Minister's approval, make an application in accordance with subsection (2) to a judge for a warrant under this section."

The report goes on to point out, "Bill C-51 also gives CSIS the ability to get an order requiring others to help them violate our criminal law or the Charter."

The bill states:

"Assistance order

"22.3 (1) A judge may order any person to provide assistance if the person's assistance may reasonably be considered to be required to give effect to a warrant issued under section 21 or 21.1."

Another section of the bill allows for a gag order to be imposed to prevent an individual from revealing that they have been ordered to work for CSIS in the violation of rights, including "kinetic" measures, the use of force and the kind of dirty tricks and black ops for which Canadian police and security agencies have become infamous.

"Confidentiality

"(2) The judge may include in the order any measure that the judge considers necessary in the public interest to ensure the confidentiality of the order, including the identity of any person who is required to provide assistance under the order and any other information concerning the provision of the assistance."

These are matters of grave concern to Canadians who do not want crimes committed in their name, let alone be forced to commit them themselves. The time to speak out against these things is now!


 

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