Can we stop C-51?

On Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 in Island Tides
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The fight to amend C-51, the so-called Anti-Terrorism Act, ended after a forced march through the Green Party’s 60 amendments (all defeated), as well as the NDP’s 28 amendments, Liberals’ 13 amendments and ten from the Bloc Quebecois — all defeated.

It was a grueling ten hours (8:45 AM- 12:45 PM and 4 PM til 10 PM – all on Tuesday March 31.)

It was the most anti-democratic treatment of legislation yet under the Harper Conservatives, and that’s saying something. I didn’t think anything could be worse than C-38. At least in other committees, I was allowed to ask questions. Not once in the Public Safety committee was I allowed to ask even one question. And the witnesses were treated abominably. The Globe and Mail editorial got it right when it referred to witnesses not as being able to testify to the committee, but to witnesses “allowed to be abused by the committee.”

The process by which Green MPs submit amendments to committee is one created by PMO to deprive me of my right to‎ present substantive amendments at Report Stage. I had used this right effectively in opposing Bill C-38 in spring 2012, submiting over 400 amendments resulting in 24 hour voting marathon. Since the fall of 2013, due to identical motions passed by Conservatives in every committee, we are required to submit our amendments to committee 48 hours before the committee gets to clause by clause. Since we are not allowed to be members of the committee, even temporarily, Green amendments are deemed to have been moved at committee. Bruce Hyer and I were given roughly one minute per amendment to present the rationale for the change.

Throughout the process, as I presented concerns, the Conservative MPs would often accuse the Green Party of “privileging the rights of terrorists” over those of Canadians. Or allege that we were in favour of terrorists. When I would ask for the floor to rebut, I was denied. It was a pretty brutal process.

The Harper Conservatives did back down on one point. Having pretended for weeks that they did not understand when I pounded away at the problems created by saying the act did not apply to “lawful advocacy, protest, dissent, and artistic expression,” it was a Conservative amendment that removed the word “lawful.” This should serve to better protect non-violent civil disobedience. The other government amendments repaired some of the damage complained of by the airline industry in mandating that they be prepared to do “anything” requested by the Minister of Transport to enforce the no fly list. There was also a bizarre Conservative amendment that actually further confuses the role of the CSIS powers to “disrupt” potential threats to the security of Canada. The new amendment says the CSIS agents do not have the power of law enforcement. None of the bill’s critics had ever suggested they had. But the refusal of the PMO to allow any amendments to rule out CSIS having powers to detain confirms that they will have such powers.

As of the evening of March 31, the bill was through the committee and new hearings had started in the Senate. On April 2, 2015, before the Senate Committee, Joe Fogarty, a man with 25 years of security service experience, former security liaison from the UK to Canada, classified experience with both SIRC and UK ISC, testified that C-51 will not make us safer. He outlined the weaknesses in Canada’s current anti-terror efforts and then explained how C-51 cures none of it. In fact, like many witnesses before the House committee, he testified it will increase security risks. Bill C-51 will make us less safe. And, at the same time, it will trample on our rights.

The bill still needs to be brought back to the House for Report Stage and Third Reading. That cannot happen now until after the Easter parliamentary break. We resume on April 20.

We can stop C-51. The Bloc Quebecois had initially supported it. Watching public support for C51 slip away, they now oppose it. That makes the Greens, the NDP and the Bloc voting “”no.” We need to pressure the Liberals to join us. The Liberal position is, transparently and unapologetically, unprincipled. Wayne Easter, Liberal MP, was forceful in committee pointing out the bill was unconstitutional and was dangerous without oversight. Yet, Liberal spin-doctors have decreed that to avoid Harper accusing them of being “soft on terrorism” in the election campaign, they will vote for the bill. It’s time for Liberals to oppose it. It is shocking they would even consider voting for such a deeply dangerous piece of legislation. Once the Liberals come to their senses, it will create the opportunity for Conservative MPs to find their back-bone. With Conservatives like Conrad Black, who said this bill would make Canada “an unrecognizable despotism,” it is not only progressive voices that are rising in opposition. C-51 is now opposed by the editorial boards of the Globe and Mail and the National Post.

Please do whatever you can to pressure the Liberal Party to stand up for the Charter. By far the best outcome is to defeat the bill in the House. If not, we need to pressure both Mr. Mulcair and Mr. Trudeau to be committed to repealing it if they form government. So far, their positions are remarkably similar versions of “We will fix it later.” It’s not fixable. Stop it. Repeal it.

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  • Rod

    Well worth looking at, believe me.

  • AMH4

    Elizabeth, I am thrilled to hear that this bill has not been passed in the House yet! I was under the impression that it was already on its way to the Senate! I will do all that I can to pressure the Liberals to not support the bill. Will it actually be possible to stop it if all those parties’ MPs vote against it? Don’t the Conservatives still hold the majority?

    • Daphnia

      Yes, they hold the majority…but…even if all opposition parties oppose, the CPC will still prevail unless a few of their own members vote against C-51. Not likely! I watched most of these committee meetings and found, like most others, the same disgraceful behaviour. If CPC is re-elected in October, things will be 10 times worse bcs Harper will have free rein! I weep for Canada, now: I don’t know what I will do, then.

      • AMH4

        So … why is Elizabeth May pretending that it is possible to stop the bill?

    • antoinette

      Unfortunately, it’s my understanding is that the Senate stage was pushed ahead, and has taken place already, BEFORE the final round of “debate” (??) in Parliament.
      The only hope, as far as I can see, is to build on the public pressure that has already tilted the Bloc, try to tilt the Liberals, AND get to the Harper Conservative backbenchers who might remotely consider being “sick” on the day of the vote.

  • Jeffery Bucove

    I’m posting this to FB for the enlightenment of the masses. The Canadian reflex to avoid conflict is much like the behaviour of Van Isl’s black bears: be as circumspect as possible, engage only if desperate. In modern Canadians, the inverse of this model seems to be more common: stay with the herd, don’t face the enemy. Domestication of the Great White North has set in, and I don’t really believe it sits well with most Maple blooded people. We are not Sheep; we are Bison if we join the herd at all and many of us most emphatically do not! I think the Liberals have a far better chance of seeing the truth in this than the Reform Party.

    • secsts

      The only thing the LIBERALS can see is Justin’s face in front of a camera. Kathleen Wynne and Dalton McGuilty have totally destroyed Ontario.

      Please don’t think the Liberals will ever HELP Canadians because they won’t.

      • Jeffery Bucove

        I am referring to the formation of a coalition against the Reform Party wolf in conservative clothing. This coalition should be exigent, and sunset after an investigative process into the criminal abuses of the Harper PMO

  • OutWest

    Following the first successful rally to STOP BILL C51, the same group have organized another rally for this weekend. Please attend if you possibly can! And pass this information on to your other networks. Elizabeth, we hope you will join us!

    SATURDAY, April 18th at noon. Meet in Millie’s Lane (it is Odeon Alley on Yates
    between Blanchard and Douglas). From there we will walk to Centennial
    Square, but we will stop on Douglas in front of the Bay Centre and do a sit-in.
    We will have sidewalk chalk and other things because we’re making a
    “Block” C-51 Party out of the event. After some playing hopscotch or
    Harper Says instead of Simon Says, etc., we will move on to Centennial Square where we’ll have speakers, a band, petitions…Here is a link to the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/983880328289600/

    • Anti

      Rallies , Marches… who at the top are even looking… time to get these guys out and throw them out or better still in prison for life..Do what Iceland did the ONLY country with balls so far..

    • NewCycle

      I’m in support, but feel that none of these rallies and protests will amount to anything, if Canadians do not get out and vote for the candidate in their riding most able to defeat the Conservative in the next election. I would like to hear Mr Trudeau commit to a system of proportional representation beyond the next election, so that we could know that regardless of which progressive party is voted for in a riding, we would have a commitment from those not in the Conservative party to change our electoral system, so that this would be the last unfair election in Canada. We need proportional representation, so that those who would like to vote for Ms. May, or her party’s representative in their riding, would know that their vote would not be wasted. I would bet that markedly more Canadians would vote Green if we knew that our votes would count, rather than just succeed in splitting the progressive vote. It is repulsive and nauseating to think that we might yet again elect this Harper dictatorship.

  • SolarSteve

    Thank you Elizabeth! We are having another event here on Saturday. Here are few comments that I hope to make.

    I work in the energy industry. C-51 is designed to suppress civil disobedience that would interfere with pipeline development and projects deemed in Canada’s National interest. First Nations groups and environmentals have been labeled radicals for their opposition to the Northen Gateway Pipeline.

    Canada is now actively engaged in a war in the Middle East. Stephen Harper has been positioning Canada as a secure energy super power. Following the money, Harper is using fear and violence to sell oil. Bill C-51 is part of that plan.

    Dissent is a fundamental part of democracy. Over 1,000,000 Muslims were killed during the Iraq war as the US secured access to oil under the pretense of seeking weapons of mass destruction. There has not been an apology. Justice has not been sought. Youth, Muslim youth, the Boston Marathon bombers, passionate Canadians see the injustice and abuse of power. Violence is never a solution. Neither is Bill C-51. C-51 does not bring justice, does not make our society more open, and will not promote peace.

    Bill C-51 is an attempt to distract Canadians from the carbon tailspin our economy is currently in – while simultaneously creating a market for our dirty oil. Canada needs to be seeking justice and not war. Bill C-51 will drive dissent under ground. Democracy needs vocal engaged citizens who are supported by their government. Dissent is fundamental to democracy.

    If Michael Chong can criticize this bill in Parliament Liberals can vote against it.

  • Josef Krancevic

    As always thank you Elizabeth,

    It seems that 1984 is here and if you Elizabeth stand on guard for our rights as Canadians the Conservatives try to brand you as one who stands for terrorists. We as Canadians are most terrorized by the Conservative government. All that is Canadian is being dismantled by their government, The Canada Wheat Board, The Canada Coast Guard, even our place as peacekeepers has been torn from us as we are now bombing away at …? We Canadians really don’t even know exactly who they’re bombing in our name and yet we may be targeted in retaliation.

    The Conservative government is dangerous to anyone who believes in Canada.

    We need to start leading the citizens of the world back to a sane cooperative balance. It seems that Mr. Harper would rather play war with our lives against adversaries who would skin him alive. Mr Putin for instance is not someone who will take Mr. Harper’s sabre rattling lightly. If not for the geographic location of Alaska we would already be in a worse situation in our far north than the Eastern Ukraine currently is.

    Though we need to come together to end this Conservative reign of power in the next election it seems that the Liberals and New Democrats are still delusional enough to believe their own press releases and dream of being the grand leader rather than banding together to stand on guard for us the way they have promised over and over again with hand on heart.

    If the Conservatives get in again we will lose our country for once and for all.

    Stand up Canadians and seize this opportunity to write the history we all wish for. Stand with Elizabeth and get informed. Discuss the issues which most affect us such as Bill C-51. Get everyone registered and ready to vote and vote strategically to make sure that we don’t split the left.

    We can do this. We must

    • Francine

      Putin is NOT the one invading Ukraine, but Americans are ! Wake up guys ! The state ukrainian army of Kiiv are bombarding poor russian people in the east, with arms furnished by the West with the help of faschist Poroshenko (the last expression was used several time last year by natives over there, mothers per exemple, havin’ lost their dear sons….)

      • Steve

        Whatever the role of Americans in the Ukraine war, Putin is indeed invading Ukraine. Do not forget, or learn now, that Russia starved 10.000 Ukrainians to death in WWII. Whatever claim they may have had to any part of Ukraine, they have thrown it away. Whatever provocation by the West, the actions of Putin are motivated by centuries past thinking.

        • Steve

          Russian starved 10 MILLION Ukrainians to death.

          • Terry Lawrence

            Rubbish.

          • Stephan Williams

            It really wasn’t Russians who deliberately starved 10 Million Ukrainians. It was the Bolsheviks who had stolen Russia and the Ukraine who were responsible – despicable men like Lazar Kaganovich and Genrikh Yagoda come to mind – two of the worst serial killers in history.

          • troubledworld

            show me your evidence or stfu

        • Anti

          and the germans murdered many millions more , and all for the BANKSTERS who used the prison camps as cheap labour in Poland … All these wars are purely for the Bankster families to profit by, ordinary folk can get along with each other, the cheats at the top cannot cope with out using ordinary folk to fight and die for their profit..

  • GENGRO

    Why-O-why are Canadians, along, with the (laughable) “media” most Canadians rely on for “unbiased” information (both main stream and social) so stupid about THEIR Parliamentary Democracy? Bill C-51 was a “done deal” the day it was tabled since Canadians gave Harper and his CONS a majority in Parliament in 2011… As well, the main reasons for Bill C-51 have absolutely nothing to do with “terrorism” or “keeping Canadians safe”… Bill C-51 came about because Harper, as he did in 2011 when with the help of his “media”, successfully changed CON Contempt and Corruption to talking about a non existent “coalition”, so that Harper could define the opposition parties as weak on “terrorism and keeping Canadians safe” along with keeping Canada’s tanking economy out of the spotlight… Luckily for Canadians, Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada | Parti libéral du Canada were too smart and politically astute to fall for Harper’s ploy and are now in a position to turn the tables on Harper and his CONS once the election is called… Why not see for yourselves? — When the “the rubber meets the road” (Liberal ACTIONS=TALK)… — If you have any doubts be sure to note that the Liberals are prepared to make the amendments a part of their Election Platform (in simple English)… That’s no small commitment for the Liberals to do with a pending election coming up…
    You may also wish to click on the link there to view the actual (PDF) text of the Liberal’s proposed amendments to address the oversight flaws with Harper’s Bill C-51, including a 3 year “sunset clause” and Parliamentary oversight to ensure it’s constant, strict, oversight, and review to PROTECT Canadians and their Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms…
    http://www.liberal.ca/liberals-unveil-amendments-to-address-canadians-concerns-on-bill-c-51/

    • Clint Hunter

      = that would be a 18% majority
      + please Stop using the misleading expression ” Canadians gave Harper and his CONS a majority in Parliament ” while Fukushima began raining down on the West Coast of BC in those 4 long years ago !
      ~ RoBo Caller is hardly Canadian and most of the brain worm copted ballot tampers were dual citizenship, apperantly ! ? !

      • GENGRO

        Canada is a Democracy, flawed as it may be, and while one may not get the Government one wants, one will always get the Government one deserves; even if only because of voter ignorance and apathy… – by me
        There are some 22 MILLION eligible voters in Canada…
        In 2011 only some 12 MILLION loved their country enough to even vote… The other 10 MILLION didn’t…
        While you can blame Harper and his gang of CONS for many things, unfortunately, how 22 MILLION Canadians voted or didn’t bother to vote isn’t one of them…

        • GDook

          Please look up the definition of Democracy. What we have is in name only. This is an elected dictatorship and it is time we put a stop to it. As Einstein said, tell the people a lie enough times and they will begin to believe it.

    • Frank_Reminder

      The party I vote for won’t make amendments to the bill, they will not support it in any way shape or form. If the Libs had any cojones they would fight it and gain some respect.

  • Sarah_SW

    Yesterday, a friend sent a link to me that in reality the USA is no longer a democracy. Canada is obviously also in a similar situation, with Harper openly defying anyone who disagrees with him while ramming omnibous bills through while limiting or denying debate or amendments. I can fully understand why there are so many who can’t be bothered to be knowledgeable about politics (especially younger Canadians), including not voting. When democracy can be so abused by this current government with them getting away with it, why bother? And as a added insult to injury, Harper is still voted as the most prime ministerial in the latest poll! There are obviously a large percentage of really ignorant Canadians.

    • GDook

      Sarah, if you look at the definitions of democracy you will see we do not have it either. I have laid this out very clearly on my website, citizenbaseddemocracy.com. We are electing dictators, they are not fulfilling their fiduciary duty to the citizens and they are in fact making agreements with other countries that at treasonous.

      • John Smith

        I encountered the following post from this link.
        http://thetyee.ca/News/2015/04/06/Young-Voters-Could-Defeat-Harper/

        You might be inerested in checking out Mad Max’s blog. http://rise-up-canada.ca/

        MadMax • 10 days ago

        “I can’t remember the last time I visited a board as civilized and aware as this one. My 1st foray into politics in the late ’60s turned me completely off until about 18 months ago, when by accident, I discovered that the Bank of Canada is not doing what it is supposed to be doing. Since then, I have spent several hundred hours in research, resulting in this blog: rise-up-canada.ca

        In the blog, I conclude that 2 key changes must be made to move our country forward.

        1- change our electoral system to proportional representation

        2- restore the Bank of Canada to its role as lender of first resort to governments in Canada

        I also realize that neither of these changes could ever take place under our current system, UNLESS, concerned citizens organize together, vote strategically, and create a momentum that would force the next government to capitulate to our demands.

        I have had remarkably little success in gathering support for this idea. To the point, that I am thinking retirement in Central America might be my best option. My opinion of fellow Canadians has fallen so far…and then, I find this board…that lights my fire, again.

        I would appreciate some feedback, on the above and on my blog. Based on the discourse that I have read here, I believe you good folk will, collectively, show me the way.

        Thanks in advance,

        MadMax”

        Also you might be interested in this:

        “Guest Blog by James Robb – Using the internet to bring democracy closer to the people”
        https://openmedia.org/blog/guest-blog-james-robb-using-internet-bring-democracy-closer-people

  • wondering

    I see this as a deeper conservative strategy. Harper has ended a public media with the “reconstruction” of the cbc, he controls what used to be an independent parliament, which is now endlessly whip voted, our senate if filled with harper conservatives, who are also endlessly whip voted. Therefore it seems to me the pmo controls 3 of the 4 pillars of our democracy, the public media, the parliament and the senate. leaving the court. I think bill c-51 will pass even with the liberals wake up to the consequences. Leaving what I think the real conservative strategy is. Write bad legislation which confronts the very laws of Canada , then convince the ‘base’ the court is an activist court. Then if harper succeeds in controlling the court then he can call himself king or what ever he wants

  • Clint Hunter

    SHARED
    ” The bill still needs to be brought back to the House for Report Stage and Third Reading. That cannot happen now until after the Easter parliamentary break. We resume on April 20.

    We can stop C-51. The Bloc Quebecois had initially supported it. Watching public support for C51 slip away, they now oppose it. That makes the Greens, the NDP and the Bloc voting “”no.” We need to pressure the Liberals to join us. The Liberal position is, transparently and unapologetically, unprincipled. Wayne Easter, Liberal MP, was forceful in committee pointing out the bill was unconstitutional and was dangerous without oversight. Yet, Liberal spin-doctors have decreed that to avoid Harper accusing them of being “soft on terrorism” in the election campaign, they will vote for the bill. It’s time for Liberals to oppose it. It is shocking they would even consider voting for such a deeply dangerous piece of legislation. Once the Liberals come to their senses, it will create the opportunity for Conservative MPs to find their back-bone. With Conservatives like Conrad Black, who said this bill would make Canada “an unrecognizable despotism,” it is not only progressive voices that are rising in opposition. C-51 is now opposed by the editorial boards of the Globe and Mail and the National Post. “

  • Canada Tommy

    This is one bill that needs to go to a referendum asap.

    This is more important than GST/PST referendum that happened in BC.

    If the government is so fascinated with terrorism that logic gets in the way then change Canadian role to intelligent common sense peace keeping people just like we used to do.

    “That’s it , that’s all” and see the pic we attached.

  • DigTheSkeena

    Re:
    Bill C-51

    The Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, Prime
    Minister of Canada,

    Dear Sir,

    Douglas Channel Watch was organized six
    years ago by a group of like-minded citizens of Kitimat, BC to oppose the
    Northern Gateway Pipeline. We realize
    that you do not sympathize with our position but please hear us out. It is every citizen’s right and
    responsibility to involve themselves in the governance of their country even if
    that only means voting once every four years.
    However, it would be a sad country where citizens could not legitimately
    organize, for example, to support the climate change views of the United
    Nations, 98% of climate scientists, James Hansen of NASA, an increasing number
    of religious organizations, First Nations, Mark Carney of the Bank of England,
    and the IPCC, without being suspected of terrorism. Yes, the issue is political but we repeat: In a democracy, it is every citizen’s right
    and responsibility to involve themselves in the governance of their country.

    Members of Douglas Channel Watch worked
    incredibly hard to develop expertise on the subjects of diluted bitumen,
    pipelines, ocean shipping and many other topics. We took time away from our jobs, friends and
    families so that we could oppose a project that we felt would be extremely
    harmful to our country while benefitting only a few large corporations with
    head offices outside of Canada. We are
    ordinary people from all walks of life.
    We are parents and grandparents, we work in industry, health, education,
    public service and run our own businesses. We are tradesmen and artists. And we
    have exercised our right and responsibility to involve ourselves in the
    governance of our country. And we have
    never been afraid.

    Until Bill C-51 was introduced.

    According to Professor Kent Roach of the
    University of Toronto commenting on C-51, “The same dual concern about unintended adverse effects on both
    rights and security are in play with the advocacy offence proposed to be added
    to the Criminal Code. It contains an overbroad reference to “terrorism offences
    in general” and no defences for legitimate
    expression of political or religious thought. This harms and chills freedom of
    expression…” (Italics ours.) No competently written law should have
    unintended effects, adverse or otherwise.
    This bill would have benefited from the
    disallowed testimony to the Commons Standing Committee from the Federal Privacy
    Commissioner, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the Canadian Bar
    Association, four former Prime Ministers, and five former Supreme Court Judges
    for rigour and fairness. Nothing should harm or chill freedom of
    expression. This freedom is what
    differentiates us from the terrorists.

    There is no political and/or civilian over
    sight for C-51 either. You are giving
    CSIS a free ticket to do whatever they want and not even have to check in with
    a judge on all occasions. This is an
    invitation for abuse. C-51 should
    mandate an oversight committee of knowledgeable politicians and academics who
    will know how to provide proper governance to a secret service. It is ridiculous to simply rely on the
    infallible judgement of CSIS employees.

    Mr. Harper, chilled we might be but
    silenced we are not. C-51 will turn CSIS
    into a de facto secret police and it is unconstitutional and contrary to the
    Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It has received a failing grade from the two
    top security law experts in the country.
    You should drop it or rewrite it altogether. It seems that once again, it is our right and
    our responsibility to involve ourselves in the governance of our country.

    Yours sincerely

    Douglas Channel Watch

    • Francine

      Cheers to that ! No to Northern gateway pipeline Enbridge Project ! No to
      Bill C-51 ! No to…faschist Harper !!!

  • PareidoliaX

    Thank you for your efforts Elizabeth. This undemocratic kabuki theatre has to stop. #stopC51mccarthyism

  • mdouble

    It seems to me that the time for a majority conservative government in Canada has passed. At any time egregious anti-democratic legislation is forced on the public, against common support, it is an indication of nothing less than abuse of the public trust. The glaring problems with C-51 are clear indications that it does not represent the best interests of Canadians.

    The fact that it is being pushed ahead was is the case strongly suggests that the Conservatives have no interest in fully representative government. One is left to wonder if they are seeking to create a legal framework which will allow a free hand in developing something akin to the offensive and unconstitutional patriot act in the USA.

    Canada is known world wide as country which respects freedom and human rights. Canadians in their thousands fought and died to protect the world from tyranny and to preserve those very values. Apparently those things now seem less important to those who would impinge those rights and values under the guise of improving security – while factually making us less secure.

    In this age of paranoid oversight should free people be subjected to draconian measures against undefined and uncertain groups or events. Should we give over control of our lives and our liberties in trust to those whom are in fact in service to the public, not the master?

    Finally and as a matter of note: Once legislation is enacted it has an unfortunate way of becoming a fixture, irrespective of the government. Without sufficient force of numbers subsequent governments may well be unable to overturn unpopular legislation, even with the best intentions.

  • Don Ewes

    Thank you, Elizabeth. Your efforts on any number of fronts over the past few years have frequently kindled some faint hope in me for what still passes as democracy in this country. Having said that, though, and as laudable as your attempts to derail bill C-51 may have been, I think there’s an aspect to this whole affair that’s gone largely unnoticed–or at least, I’ve yet to hear anyone comment on it in the media. It’s this: I don’t think the Conservatives are particularly interested in implementing bill C-51. Of course, in their version of an ideal world they’d love to see it implemented, but although they may be ideologues, they’re not idiots. Given their recent experiences with the Supreme Court (the most recent one being the court’s judgement quashing mandatory minimum sentences), they have to know that this bill won’t survive its first Charter challenge. That being the case, one has to ask–why are they going ahead with it? I think it’s because implementing the bill is really a secondary objective. Their primary objective is to be SEEN to be implementing it. Like so many of their initiatives, this is all about appealing to their base–hence the hurry to ram this bill through Parliament before the coming election. I have no doubt that the few amendments they made to the bill were in response to polling numbers that showed such amendments would appeal to their supporters. This administration has become so preoccupied with massaging the message that actual governance has long ago fallen by the wayside. They need to be called on this behaviour. It’s cynicism in its purest form, and it needs to be recognized as such.

    • Marty Hykin

      You may be right – BUT – once having passed the bill, and even giving the Harperites benefit of the doubt that they won’t abuse its powers, when have you ever heard of any government, whichever party it might be, voluntarily giving up the kind of despotic power that this bill hands to them? If Harper doesn’t abuse this power, Trudeau or some other a–hole will do so in future for sure.

  • Liz

    Thank you Elizabeth May for standing up for our fundamental freedoms and human rights. Stephen Harper has done so much to make us less safe with his racist, fear-mongering, anti-democratic policies. What can we do to help you oppose Bill C-51?

  • Merritt1st

    Time to flood the individual Liberal MPs with emails, letters, phone calls, whatever we can to vote against this on 3rd reading.

    • Golestan

      I have done that already. Every time they send me campaign information I reply condemning Bill C-51 in one form or other. But I gather these replies just go to lower ‘stafflings’, who in a fit of party loyalty toss it in the virtual ‘circular file’.

      • Merritt1st

        I sent a email directly to the MLA.

        • Golestan

          Good idea!

  • Susan

    For anyone to think that “we will fix it later” is any way to deal with legal issues is ridiculous.Just look at all the problems of trying to set up legislation before it is made into law then tell me once it is law how the heck will it get fixed? This line of arguement is a blatant pack of bs by a party who’se only goal is to tie the hands of any opposition and give itself complete power.If this bill is not dealt with before it is made into law it will be too late.The law itself would prohibit opposition.

  • antoinette

    What’s this: “…. we
    need to pressure both Mr. Mulcair and Mr. Trudeau to be committed to
    repealing it if they form government. So far, their positions are
    remarkably similar versions of “We will fix it later.” It’s not fixable.
    Stop it. Repeal it. ” ??
    I’ve seen no sign whatsoever that Mulcair and the NDP are saying what Trudeau is, namely they’ll “fix it later”. On the contrary, like you Elizabeth, the NDP has vowed to fight it with all their might.

  • Molly

    What would we do without you, Elizabeth?
    I say, Elizabeth for Prime Minister!

    You appear to be the only one with common sense and any real democratic principles. Thank God you are in Ottawa, even if our PM appears deaf to intelligent dissent; determined to put a bullseye on our country; to militarize our country; and to leave a disastrous mess for future generations. Does he think he is playing a board game??? Many species’ existences and the planet’s health are at stake.

    The only hope for Canada (after stopping this horrendous bill) is to have the Liberals, NDP and the Bloc join the Greens and form a coalition for the next election. We’ve got to upset this deadly applecart. Let’s start a groundswell now!
    Speed on great leader!

    Cheers and blessings,
    Molly Mulloy

  • Kathy

    Thank you for once again taking a principled stand on a key issue. WE all need to join in this fight.

  • Merritt1st

    I just sent a email to the MLA for our area urging him to vote against C51.

    • D Jackson

      Hi Merritt1st, What party does your MLA belong to?

      • Merritt1st

        Conservative

  • Golestan

    What Terrorism??? This bill is a totally unnecessary restriction of our freedoms

    After Trudeau, the elder famously said ” The government has no business in the bedrooms of the nation.” his offspring is now supporting that infamous and completely unwanted spy bill. Time to close the blinds to our bedrooms securely.

  • montezaro

    Listening to Justin Trudeau lately, it sounds like an Liberal-Conservative coalition. If you notice more wind this spring, it is his dad, spinning in his grave.

  • Derek

    Thank you Elizabeth for your Spring Newsletter laying out clearly the implications of BillC51. I had previously read the bill on line. It seemed to me that it repeated much of what is already included in law wrt things like entry, search and seizure and left me wondering what all the fuss was about. It is now clear that the words about critical infrastructure and use of the term “lawful” with respect to active dissent are of great concern, particularly in the context of the Harper objective of lacing the continent with pipelines.
    I fully support whatever you are doing to change these controversial parts of Bill C51and thank you for your clear headed approach to this and other issues.

    Derek Emmerson
    Salt Spring Island.

  • Erica B

    Elizabeth, you’re the best. I feel a sense of comfort having you on our team!!

  • Michael Mallin

    This bill is so sweeping in its powers and so badly written (don’t they have any competent lawyers) that it could be used in all sorts of ways. What if a bunch of ardent environmentalists rose to power in parliament or in CSIS, under the clumsy wordings of C-51 couldn’t the recent oil spill in English Bay, Vancouver be interpreted as an act of terrorism. The spill disrupted the health and economic security of the people of BC. Was it just an accident? or an Act of Terrorism? Who knows? CSIS should look into it! In fact any disruption to the economic security (via environmental disaster) of Canadians could be suspect.

    C-51 is a sword that can cut both ways. Depending on who is wielding it.

  • Richard Savy

    This has been a fabulous read. Harper’s bullies backed by big industry will not ruin us or pass this bill. Majority is not on His side. Most know little because of biased media and CTV has proved bias several times to me. Justin is still a kindergarten teacher and has no understanding of the Canadian Charter if he allows this to carry out. Mulcaire seems to be getting lazy, I think Elizabeth May is what is keeping the country informed and safe without this unnecessary restriction policy that is designed only for exploitations by corporations and banks. It isn’t what Canadians need or want and Harper is as bad as Bush and Brits in the greed war for oil. Orchestration of the preludes to 911 were heard clear and no known attempt has brought those who did that to justice. They hold Harper’s puppet strings.

  • D Jackson

    Humm…Let me take stock here…the dismantling of years of good hard work by many different parties members concerning Canada’s environment, the sell off, through back room deals, of Canada’s natural resources to which we are committed to, for decades. A bullied group of puppet MP’s that have no right to be in parliament, engaging in acts of war, far from our shores, against “enemies” created by our allies… and now an outright blatant attack on each and every Canadian’s rights and freedom…

    I think I know who represents the greatest threat to Canada, it’s culture and values and it’s not from some far away land but from a zealot in our midst.

    • http://votp.blogspot.ca J Michael McCutcheon

      Fellow Canadian, you’ve that ‘totally correct’.

    • troubledworld

      AGREE

  • http://votp.blogspot.ca J Michael McCutcheon

    Do the fat-cat, spineless, clapping seals in the Liberal and Harper Parties not realize what they are actually doing by approving Bill C-51’s knee-jerk, over-killing, anti-terrorist legislation?

    The spying on and covert surveillance of any citizens by a government, ‘without a robust, democratically-elected oversight’, is both tyrannical and an open invitation to target, blackmail, silence, suspend and/or jail all voices of political opposition.

    Without elected oversight, the freedom-killing threats from our own Parliament of leader-directed. conrtroll and gutless, sold-out seals, will far outweighs those from all terrorist organizations combined?

    What group of egotists and undemocratic.worthless, cheap sellout sheep, huh?

    Their short-term jobs for our forever-liberties.

  • Peter Shaw

    Please stop this bill!

  • Mike Testart

    Elizabeth, now you know how it feels when the Salmon Arm City Council votes against public input or vote for something that the City Staff like without any public input. Our elected representatives are there to vote for what the electors support, not how the Party tells them to vote. Now that would be a Democracy. There has been overwhelming support against the passing of Bill C-51, and yet all the Conservatives vote the way they are told by the Party. Colin Mayes did not even have the guts to show up at his office when the protest was being made. The Green Party and the NDP party were there, but the Liberal Office (right around the corner) although open, did not send over anyone.

    I’m really upset with Politicians who are elected by a small portion of the voters, and think that once they are elected, they can do anything they want. Where are their morals? How can they sleep at night? Oh, I forgot, they think about the money we pay them and that they will be comfortable in their Retirement years. “I’m all right Jack, and I am the only one that counts.” Democracy??

  • catladytwo

    Elizabeth your dedication and commitment against all odds is truly amazing and we who care along with you thank you most sincerely!!

    Just like SolarSteve says any bill and particularly C-51 is an opportunity for Mr. Harper to add anything he sees fit to further enhance his unpopular distasteful oil agenda. Like a spoiled child who has to have his own way no matter what the consequences, his conniving has gutted anything that protects this land, and silencing anyone who opposes him in his plan, whatever it takes.

    His statement “You won’t recognize Canada when I have finished with it” is certainly sadly true already and if his PC pals bow and scrape just to protect their jobs instead of seeing the big picture and speaking out to oppose many of his destructive schemes; shame on them. At lease one would hope the Liberals could show some back bone and help derail C-51as they don’t have much to lose and losts to gain. Fingers crossed!!! With an election at hand don’t any of them listen to public opinion???

  • Anti

    Isn’t it time this illegal government , due to proven election fraud by this NeoCONservative party, was thrown out and ALL legislation brought in by this bunch of cheats was revoked?
    Talking is NOT WORKING… we need ACTION and physically throwing these Con men OUT…. YOU CANNOT REASON with the UNREASONABLE. let alone psychopathic.

  • Howard

    I keep hearing that voting Green is a ‘wasted’ vote because of the strengths of the three parties with the most ‘clout’–PC, NDP and Libs–but truly, in this system of first-past-the-post, we need more than ever, a voice of reason; a party that has vision–instead of cronies and historical connections; one that has a clean slate and is not afraid to challenge status-quo; a voice and party that is willing to include and debate with existing ideologies, but not kowtow to them; that is willing to address the more-than-urgent needs of the planet above boosting mega-corp. coffers; one that recognizes that war is not, and LOVE is, the answer…. Our current state of ‘democracy’ is a shameful sham and needs an extensive, thoughtful and publicly-driven overhaul…. Can’t think of anyone more dedicated, suited to and qualified for this task than our own Elizabeth May…. MAY; Canadians, WAKE UP!!

  • Eva van Loon

    Thank you, Elizabeth. I am appalled by what is being done to Parliament by the Cons.

  • Wayne F.

    We are watching an agenda, supported by a “terrorist in every bush” narrative, continue to unfold…

    Well hopefully, not just watching.
    Please join Elizabeth in raising awareness of, and saying a resounding no to, this further step towards despotism. It is OUR power, and Harper’s puppet-masters wish to take it away from us.

  • childofsol

    There are demonstrations across the entire country on Saturday. Go to http://www.stopbillc51.ca/locations.html to find one near you!

  • Stop Bill C-51

    http://www.stopbillc51.ca/locations.html

    Find your local April 18 Rally here: http://www.stopbillc51.ca/location.html

    Sustained opposition is important – I believe it -is- possible to strike this legislation down. The Tories have a very slim majority and they break ranks more than any other party. There is hope, but we must use our strongest weapon this year – their fear of being voted out.

    In Vancouver the event is at 1pm at the Vancouver Art Gallery. There will be music, speakers, a march…and most importantly, LETTERS TO YOUR MPs!!!! Come and fill out a thousand of them!

  • Dan Jenneson

    Well said Elizabeth, we are fighting with every resource we’ve got to organize and promote opposition to this bill. Thank you for your help, thank you for standing up for basic rights, freedoms, and sanity!

  • clennox

    What is the best way to pressure them? Send letters/emails to Liberal MP’s? I’ve already posted on Justin Trudeau’s FB page how much he has let Canada down with his stance on Bill C-51.

  • Guest

    April 12, 2015
    Divine Mercy Sunday – 3:00 P.M. Service

    Jesus is here as He is in His Divine Mercy Image. He says: “I am your Jesus, born Incarnate.”

    “My Divine Mercy is from age to age. It has no beginning and no end. This generation must turn to My Mercy by first acknowledging their own sins; for I tell you, no one can seek My Mercy without a repentant heart.”

    “The time approaches when, as quickly as lightning flashes from the east to the west, all souls will be shown their state before God. In that moment, they must repent and fly to My Mercy. My Mercy is not the acceptance of sin, but the forgiveness of sin.”

    “It would be a mistake to wait upon this universal grace before you repent and seek My Mercy. Only the Eternal Father knows the hour of its unfolding. Each soul must be clothed in My Mercy in order to be saved. My Mercy is your preparation for eternal life and you do not know the hour in which you will be called. Therefore, be prepared. Search your hearts and run to My Mercy by first recognizing the sins in your hearts.”

    “When I walked amongst you, My Purpose was your spiritual well-being. Today, I come here at this site* for the same reason. In the days of My Presence amongst you, those in power feared My Popularity and My Influence. It is no different today. Many lies and calumnies are circulated as a means of discrediting My Efforts.”

    “I come to draw everyone into My Mercy. I come to teach you how to live in Holy Love and to earn the reward of Heaven. I come to give you Truth and to help you distinguish good from evil. Do not allow My Words to you to fall upon deaf ears.”

    “It was never My Intent that any religious institution be synonymous with scandal, political controversy or flagrant abuse of authority. I formed My Church as an extension of My Mercy, just as this Mission is an extension of My Mercy. Therefore, one should not oppose the other, but all work together for the welfare of souls. All should promote the Truth which is Holy Love.”

    “It is not My Mission of Holy Love which opposes unity, but all who oppose Holy Love.” **

    “Mankind cannot dictate whom I use as a messenger or what I say. It is the spirit of control that objects to this. But, I am undaunted in the face of every objection and continue to speak the Truth despite controversy. With this Truth I never appease the sinner, but convict him of error, helping him to seek My Divine Mercy, helping him towards his salvation through Holy Love.”

    “Today, I come to share with you My Victory over sin and death. The torment of My Heart remains those who will not listen and those who do not believe. Every effort has been expended on behalf of these proud hearts, yet I continue to ask My Father to delay the hour of Justice as more may be persuaded to choose the Truth. Pray with Me for this.”

    “My brothers and sisters, I am listening to all your petitions, most of all I ask that you pray for the conversion of the heart of the world, which is sorely in need of prayers. You will not have peace in the world until all seek My Mercy and turn to Holy Love. I desire that you look into your own hearts and find your our own faults so that you can turn to My Mercy with sincerity.”

    “Today, I am blessing you with My Blessing of Divine Love.”

    * Maranatha Spring and Shrine.

    ** It is not the Mission of Holy Love that opposes unity, but those who oppose Holy Love who oppose unity.

  • Rebecca de Winter

    No matter what bill is brought forward, it will likely be defeated by the conservatives.

    For Harper’s government, treason seems to be a Canadian virtue. This government is not aimed at protecting Canadians, it serves only to support the police state.
    We have to work to restore our Democracy and change the voting system to proportional.
    Stop being such polite “Canadians” get involved, exercise your civil rights or you’re in for a shocking awakening when your freedoms are taken away.

  • pygmycory

    Sounds like writing to Mr. Trudeau about how bad an idea this bill is is probably the most useful thing to do – unless you happen to live in a riding with a liberal MP or know who your liberal candidate for this year’s election is.

  • altor

    The number of Amendments point to a sign of “collusion” between the LPC & the PCP, both Neo-liberist, which I deem equal to what goes on in USA, UK, Germany etc. where the only and true Independents remain the Greens. Thank YOU Elizabeth!

  • Timid

    You are truly the only honest politician out there, along with being the hardest working one with the best communication. I’ll write to the Liberals to commit to repealing it. No wonder Justin’s popularity as a future leader has slipped badly.

  • Donna Peerless

    There are many things still to be grateful for & you are at the top of my list Elizabeth May. I am going to pressure my MP Joyce Murray & her team & Mr. Trudeau to wake up here & realize that they are not likely to form government this time & this ignorant bill will be law for a good long time. Thank you Elizabeth, you are much admired!

  • secsts

    I’ve watched you and Tom Mulcair both try to STOP BILL C-51. The NDP oppose it as much as you do and for that I am so grateful.

    The total invasion of our privacy and human rights are not something HARPO should be able to enforce on his own.

    The CONS definitely need to be stopped. Thank you for all you and Tom Mulcair are trying to do TOGETHER.

    If not for HARPO, Drew Doiron would still be alive. How many more Canadian Service men and women will be killed because of him.

  • iamli3

    how come there’s no mention of the canadain action party here? ….

    http://www.canadianactionparty.ca/

    have they been doing anything about this? are do they still not have a seat and thus aren’t able to really do anything in this system of government?….

  • secsts

    I’ve watched you and Tom Mulcair both try to STOP BILL C-51. The NDP oppose it as much as you do and for that I am so grateful.

    Tom Mulcair has stated emphatically………the FIRST thing he would do as Prime Minister is BRING OUR TROOPS HOME.

    Six fighter jets will NOT WIN THE WAR over there. Their own fighter jets which number over 100 can’t do it. It’s a religious war that has gone on for over a 1000 years and will probably continue for another 1000 years.

    The total invasion of our privacy and human rights and BILL C-51 is not something HARPO should be able to enforce on his own.

    The CONS definitely need to be stopped. Thank you for all you and Tom Mulcair are trying to do TOGETHER.

    If not for HARPO, Drew Doiron would still be alive. How many more Canadian Service men and women will be killed because of him.

  • supermario

    I’m so glad that Ms May is in parliament she has so often been a voice that is missing from the other parties .
    Stephen Harper has obviously studied history and must be aware of this quote.
    “The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. that is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce any opposition for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country ” Hermann Goring via Russel Brands book Revolution (great reading)
    Keep up the good work Elizabeth Canada needs more politicians like you.

  • ExYankee

    C-51 speaks to the conservative base, and they know they can count on support for this draconian BS from the base. The right-wing authoritarian type is always in fear of something. Just give them a scapegoat, and they are front and center with torches and pitchforks. (Read “The Authoritarians” by Bob Altemeyer of U. Man.)
    Thank heaven Sun News is gone from Canada. In the US, the Fox brand of propaganda, misinformation, made-up numbers and data, along with outright lies has warped that nation so far to the right, it’s almost unrecognizable. Something Harper clearly planned for Canada before he was ever elected to his first minority.

  • Glennis Macdonald

    thank you Elizabeth May and all other officials who are fighting against this bill, and come on Liberals please get on the band wagon so we can defeat this horrible Bill from passing. It is up to you, if it passes I will have a very difficult time supporting any parties that were any part of it.

  • frothquaffer

    Elizabeth, the voice of sanity in a House of Commons gone rogue.

  • Jenn Potter

    Elizabeth thank-you for sharing!

    As a newbie to political involvement (beyond simply voting) I’m searching for possible ways to pressure the “Liberal Party to stand up for the Charter”. My local Member of Parliament is a member of the NDP. I will write him a letter encouraging opposition to Bill C-51. What else can an individual do?

  • Davoud Tohidy

    Stephen Harper, Serial Abuser of Power: The Evidence
    http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2015/08/04/Stephen-Harper-Abuses-of-Power/

    Tories blasted for handbook on paralyzing Parliament
    http://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/tories-blasted-for-handbook-on-paralyzing-parliament-1.241797

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