C-51 is a very real threat

I stand with Elizabeth May, who is urging Members of Parliament “not to allow the Conservatives to turn CSIS into a secret police force.”

Prime Minister Harper’s proposed Bill C-51 (Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015) is by all appearances a very real threat to Canadian civil liberties–most notably, freedom of expression.

Researcher/writer Joyce Nelson cites several provisions in Bill C-51, including these examples. One, the bill lowers the threshold for “preventive arrests.”  Another is that it would allow a judge to impose up to a year of house arrest on someone who has not been charged or convicted of a crime.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association declares that the bill significantly broadens the powers of CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) and “may criminalize legitimate speech.”

The result? “A potential chilling effect on academics and journalists and bloggers,” who could face up to five years in prison, according to the CCLA.

I stand with Elizabeth May, who is urging Members of Parliament “not to allow the Conservatives to turn CSIS into a secret police force.”

Jack Thornburgh, North Saanich

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