Participate in the Public Consultation on National Security

Demand the government kill Bill C-51 and Support Bill 303.

Bill C-51, now law and known as the Anti Terrorism Act 2015, has raised red flags since its inception, hundreds of thousands of Canadians from a diversity of backgrounds are demanding the government to repeal all aspects of Bill C-51.

Here is our suggested text to use in the online public consultation on National Security/Bill C-51:

Bill C-51, now known as the Anti-terrorism Act 2015 must be unconditionally and fully repealed immediately. Since its inception, the bill has been condemned by legal and security experts, Supreme Court justices and civil rights organizations across Canada. The violations of our rights, privileges and liberties enabled by this legislation are unacceptable and do not make us any more safer or secure. The targeting of Muslims by this legislation is similarly unacceptable and not befitting of a free and democratic society. Canada’s national security institutions have already been proven to be dangerously unaccountable and this legislation has only expanded the powers of these institutions to surveil, detain and disrupt without any increased oversight or monitoring bodies. Before the introduction of this Act, Canada’s national security legal framework, according to politicians as well as legal and security experts, was already more than equipped to address threats to the nation, this Act is a serious overreach and puts Canadians in more danger of serious rights violations at the hands of their own government. The Anti-terrorism Act 2015 allows for a dramatic increase in surveillance and information sharing domestically and internationally, it makes it easier for police to arrest and detain individuals without charge, criminalizes dissent, increases the secrecy and powers of Canada’s national security institutions without an increase in oversight and accountability and violates the privacy of all Canadians at an unprecedented level. All of this without any kind of adequate justification as to why such legislation was ever needed in the first place. The government must act now to repeal Bill C-51 unconditionally, and make no further changes to all laws pertaining to national security and terrorism without a comprehensive and full consultation of the public. Repeal Bill C-51 unconditionally by supporting Bill C-303, introduced on Sept. 26, 2016.

Want More Discussion points – Check out suggestions by our friends

International Civil Liberties Monitoring Groups: OUR ANSWERS TO THE NATIONAL SECURITY ONLINE CONSULTATION

Primer on Providing Input to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security (Faisal Kutty)

Discussion points and a handy online tool hosted by (OpenMedia).

Want More reasons how the Anti Terrorism Act 2015 is draconian and needs to be totally and absolutely repealed?

The National Security Consultation Themes are addressed below:

1.  Accountability – The government should immediately implement Commissioner O’Connor proposed creation of the Independent Complaints and National Security Review Agency (ICRA): an independent, arms-length mechanism for both the review and the handling of complaints. ICRA would be given substantial investigatory powers and be able to conduct self-initiated reviews, investigate and report on complaints, conduct “joint” reviews alongside other review bodies and launch an investigation on ministerial request.
See CEPS Special Report/March 2009 By Lindsay Aagaard
Also: Ten years after the Arar report — what have we learned? By Monia Mazigh

2.Prevention – the government should stop perpetuating the myth that terrorism is mainly driven by Muslims. Statistics and also CSIS internal documents demonstrate loud and clear that terror from Right Wing Extremists also knows as White Supremacists is greater than that posed by Muslims – yet the rhetoric of the state and national security agencies vociferously suggest that Muslims are the number one threat.  Why does the government continue to invert reality and target Muslims and not Right Wing Extremists – when since 2001, 59 per cent of lone wolf attacks were ideologically motivated by Right Wing Extremists.  Dr. Barbara Perry’s recent study asks the same question of our security establishment – why the emphasis on Muslims when the majority of terrorism is not committed by them?  Why did the RCMP manufacture a case of terrorism and entrap Muslims in the so-called Canada Day Bomb Plot – Justice Catherine Bruce said police manipulated and entrapped two Muslims into planting pressure cooker bombs in an attempt to blow up the B.C. Legislature in 2013 and in her conclusion, wrote: “There are no remedies less drastic than a stay of proceedings that will address the abuse of process. The spectre of the defendants serving a life sentence for a crime that the police manufactured by exploiting their vulnerabilities, by instilling fear that they would be killed if they backed out, and by quashing all doubts they had in the religious justifications for the crime, is offensive to our concept of fundamental justice. Simply put, the world has enough terrorists. We do not need the police to create more out of marginalized people who have neither the capacity nor sufficient motivation to do it themselves.[836]”
Read Justice Bruce’s decision here.
See Dr. Perry’s Study: Right Wing Extremism in Canada: An Environmental Scan
Hear Expert Witness Dr. Omid Safi discuss the Canada Day Bomb Plot with Zool Suleman
Also: Right-wing extremism a greater threat in North America
Also: CSIS quietly flags Canadian online anti-Islam threat in Public Safety briefing

3. Threat Reduction – Disruption powers need to be revoked, these powers are scary dangerous and tantamount to the creation of a secret police in Canada. This ignores the recommendation of the McDonald Commission, which called for separating policing and information gathering powers. CSIS admits these powers have been used two dozen times without going the required Judicial approval and is happening without transparency and in secret. Senator Jaffer talks about it here.
Professor of Law Craig Forcese outlines his concerns here: Assessing CSIS’s New Bill C-51 “Threat Reduction” Powers: Observations On The SIRC Report
Also: False Security: The Radicalization of Canadian Anti-terrorism By Craig Forcese and Kent Roach, leading authorities and critics of the current Anti-Terror Laws, they maintatin a blog of their assessments of Canada’s Anti Terrorism Act here.

4. Domestic National Security Information Sharing Scope is Breathtaking & Unacceptable:First, the bill permits information sharing across government for an incredibly wide range of purposes, most of which have nothing to do with terrorism (“It is, quite simply, the broadest concept of security that we have ever seen codified into law in Canada”).  Second, the scope of sharing is remarkably broad: 17 government institutions with the prospect of cabinet expansion as well as further disclosure “to any person, for any purpose.” Third, the oversight over public sector privacy has long been viewed as inadequate. In fact, calls for Privacy Act reform date back over three decades. The notion that the law is equipped to deal with this massive expansion in sharing personal information is simply not credible”; writes Law Professor Michael Geist in: “Total Information Awareness”: The Disastrous Privacy Consequences of Bill C-51
Also: The federal privacy watchdog the Privacy Commissioner was blocked from giving testimony to the The Commons public safety committee on Bill C-51 in 2015. 

5. Passenger Protect Program – the No-Fly List – defies logic, and the government should not proceed with creating this list.  How can someone be too dangerous to fly yet not dangerous enough to be arrested and free to wander about?
See: BILL C-51 AND NO FLY-LISTS: Still too dangerous to fly yet too innocent to arrest
By Colin J Bennett Big Data Survellance expert at Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria
Faisal Kutty talks about the No-Fly List here.
Also: Secret Bans, Secret Trials: The Canadian ‘No-Fly’ Lists By Micheal Vonn BCCLA
Also: I Live The Terrifying Reality Of Being On Canada’s No-Fly List

6. Criminal Code Terrorism Measures – the new language is both vague and overarching the Act has changed the language in the criminal code [from suspicion that an individual “will commit a terrorist act” to “may commit”, and at the same time the thresholds of what activities constitute suspicion of terrorism are lowered as are the evidentiary thresholds of what constitute suspicion and have expanded powers of detention and restriction of rights and liberties by enhancing the ‘terrorism peace bond’.  According to Craig Forcese, 18 people mostly Muslims are currently held under this new provision.
See Antiterror Peace Bonds In A Nutshell By Professor Forcese.

7. Terrorist Entity Listing Procedures – are discriminatory and target Muslims and traditional methods of dissent from civil society.  It is curious and troubling that the charitable status of an organization such as Canadian chapter of the Jewish National Fund, (the same parent organization’s tax-exempt status was revoked by the US government in 2011, for ethnic and religious discrimination) continue to freely operate and receive Canadian tax money while “more than 100 cases of individuals, organizations and public service institutions have been muzzled, defunded, shut down or subjected to vilification.” See the “Hit List” of organizations compiled by Voices-Voix involved in advancing civil society democratic traditions, and Canadians’ collective and individual rights to debate and dissent that have been harassed by the Canadian government.

8. Investigative Capabilities in a Digital World – “The government must end legal immunity for ‘voluntary’ warrantless disclosure of Canadians personal information, for example by telecom providers. Telecommunications companies should never be asked to spy on their own customers, and should not be forced to hand over their customers’ basic subscriber information without a proportionate warrant. I oppose mandatory data retention laws for telecommunications companies operating in Canada. Storing our private information in large, insecure databases leaves our sensitive data vulnerable to governments and malicious actors, and is extremely costly.” Open Media