Bill C-51 Pushed Through
After arriving in the
Senate on May 7, Bill C-51 underwent
at the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence May
26, clearing the
way for Third Reading this week.
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
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
convoluted justifications for the measures it contains, which include
sharing between government and security forces, allowing spies to
measures and black ops against what they deem "threats to the security
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
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
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
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:
"22.3 (1) A judge may order any person to provide assistance if the
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.
"(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
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!