The opposition to Bill C-51 continues to rise… Or should I say support for the bill continues to fall, starting at an 82 per cent approval rating down to 38 per cent, once the truth about the content and scope of the bill surfaced.
Opposition has come from a number of unions to the Assembly of First Nations to Margaret Atwood and Sarah Harmer.
Bill C-51 — also called the Anti-Terrorism Bill — will do more to terrorize activists (with special concern for Indigenous Rights Activism) than actual bonifide terrorists.
Yes, terrorism is bad. Pointe Final. But Bill C-51 goes well beyond the scope of protecting ordinary citizens and has way more to do with the potential of spying on them.
The ruling Conservative Party under Stephen Harper and the Liberal Party under Justin Trudeau both support the bill.
The NDP under Thomas Mulcair and Green Party leader Elizabeth May are both against the bill.
One thing I have noted watching resistance to the bill built is the disappointment many voters feel towards Justin Trudeau.
Some Tory concessions were made, for example, it was clarified that CSIS agents, while newly empowered to “disrupt” potential threats, will not be able to make arrests.
Other concessions were around the ability to demonstrate lawfully in Canada, though this has done little to quell the fear that activists will targeted if it is somehow deemed they are a threat to Canada if their actions violate the terms of the bill.
Specifically, “the purpose of the bill is to eliminate any ‘threat to security of Canada’ which includes any activity that undermines the sovereignty, security or territorial integrity of Canada. It also includes some of the following interference with the administration of justice; interference with diplomatic relations; the economic or financial stability of Canada; terrorism; and interference with critical infrastructure.”
The bill only needs to receive the Senate’s blessing before it becomes law after passing in the House of Commons by a vote of 183-96.
Public demonstrations against the bill are being co-ordinated for Saturday, May 30 2015, with the main convergence set for Ottawa.
Here is a list of some of the major locations for Bill C-51 demonstrations taking place across Canada this Saturday:
Kitchener-Waterloo (May 28th): https://www.facebook.com/events/1598894650399174/
*A big thanks to Kevin Konnyu who took the photo that was made into the anti-Bill C-51 poster.