Stop what you’re doing right now. It’s crunch time: we’re coming down to the crucial deadline for experts to give testimony on the government’s “secret police” bill, C-51.
Since announcing the bill last month, Canadians have had practically no opportunity to provide input on the new legislation, which would dramatically increase our spy agencies’ powers while providing virtually no parliamentary oversight.
Despite huge numbers of people speaking out against the new bill, large protests in over 70 communities in every province, former Prime Ministers expressing their concerns, dozens of academics signing an open letter to oppose the law, former CSIS agents denouncing the new powers and criticisms from privacy experts across the country, the government is intent on forcing the new law through.
They won’t even let Canada’s Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien give his expert testimony at the committee hearing. That’s right — the person that the government appointed to review laws affecting our privacy rights won’t be allowed to do his job. If that sounds ridiculous to you, you’d better read on.
There’s still hope. Our own Steve Anderson has been invited to testify before the committee and share our community’s concerns about C-51 with key decision makers.
We know that when we speak out together with one voice we can change the government’s mind. That’s why we need your help right now.
Tell Steve what you want him to say at the committee hearing on “secret police” bill, C-51.
Some of the concerns that our community have relayed to us already include:
C-51 will allow CSIS to pretty much do anything except cause “cause death or bodily harm… obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice… [or violate] the sexual integrity of an individual.”
C-51 features frighteningly vague language around what constitutes terrorism — opening up the possibility of our spy agencies profiling and actively disrupting law-abiding Canadians.
The bill is so vague that it will even empower the Public Safety Minister to direct airlines to do “anything he wants.“
The government has effectively blocked much-needed additional oversight of CSIS, making Canada the only country in the Five Eyes spy network with no accountability to parliament when it comes to spying.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
This crucial Parliamentary Committee Hearing will take place on Monday, March 23, so we need your feedback by Thursday, March 19.
Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to help us get Bill C-51 amended or scrapped. Share your concerns in the comments on our website or on Facebook, Twitter, or Google +, and Steve will take your voices directly to Ottawa.