Elizabeth May Third Reading Speech on Bill C-51

On Wednesday, May 6th, 2015 in Parliament, Speeches

Mr. Speaker, I want to begin, of course, by thanking all parties in this place and all members. If even one voice had said no, I would not have had this opportunity to speak to Bill C-51 at third reading. I am genuinely grateful for the generosity of spirit in accepting this as a motion by unanimous consent.

Having participated in the debates on Bill C-51 from the very beginning, and having been the first member of Parliament to declare firm opposition to the bill, I am enormously concerned that we have made such little progress in addressing those concerns.

Let me acknowledge at the outset that one of the first concerns I had was the use of the word “lawful” as a modifier for protests and actions in civil society. That word “lawful” has been removed, and that is a small improvement, but it is insufficient to deal with the dangers that are embedded in this act.

Sitting here today through third reading, I heard a great number of propositions from Conservative members of Parliament. I have no doubt that they believe those propositions in their speaking notes to be true, but they are consistently repeating fallacies that I would like to try to explain and deconstruct so that Canadians will understand why these repeated bromides are just not true.

The three fallacies I want to address in the time I have are the following. One notion is that information-sharing, which is part one of the bill, is designed to ensure that our security services, which are the RCMP, CSIS, Canada Border Services Agency, and CSEC, the agencies of policing and intelligence, share information with each other. That was put forward earlier today several times, and that, indeed, is something that must be done, but this bill does not do it.

The second fallacy is that there is judicial oversight in this bill, because judges are involved in one section. I want to deal with that one as well.

The other fallacy is that the terrorism and propaganda sections in the amendments to the Criminal Code in this omnibus bill would actually make it more likely that we could stop youth from being radicalized.

There are some things that are not in this bill, and I want to mention those, because I do not understand why, if the Conservative Party and administration were serious about avoiding radicalization, they would not have followed the example of the United Kingdom. Not everything the U.K. is doing in this area do I endorse. However, in December of last year, the U.K. came up with a very specific anti-terrorism bill, with proactive programs to go into schools and prisons to find those people at risk of radicalization and stop them, prevent them, dissuade them. We know that the horrific attacks recently in Europe were by people who were allegedly radicalized in prison. Why do we have nothing in Canada to deal with that?

On the other hand, and I will get to this by starting with my last point first in terms of fallacies, the fallacy that the provisions in the act to take terrorist propaganda off the Internet will in fact stop radicalization needs to be understood in the context of a legal analysis of the words that are used. In the section of the bill that deals with the Criminal Code and what I now call the thought-chill section in part three of the act, what it says is that this bill would deal with something called promoting terrorism “in general”, which is not a defined term. Terrorism and general propaganda would include any visual image or general language.

Legal experts have looked at this and are concerned about a couple of things. This business of getting things off the Internet is not brand new to Canadians. We have hate speech laws that take things off the Internet, and we have child pornography laws that take things off the Internet. In what way have we constructed these provisions on terrorism in general that are fundamentally different from what we did about hate speech and child pornography, which I think we would all agree we take very seriously? Those kinds of laws have statutory defences, and more significantly, those laws specifically exclude private conversations. This one does not.

A person could be arrested and go to jail for a private conversation, for discussing things that, in general, and it is very vague, could be seen to promote terrorism or might be reckless as to whether they promoted terrorism or not. Legal experts are concerned that this chill provision would make it harder for a community to continue to converse with people who are at risk of radicalization to stop them, to argue with them, to say that their understanding of Quran is entirely wrong and that they need to talk about this.

By failing to exclude private conversations, we increase the likelihood that no one will reach out to that person, and we have no programs to deal with it.

The second fallacy, going backward, is the notion that we have judicial oversight. We have no judicial oversight in the bill. First, one needs to understand what oversight means. For this, I quote from a paper by the very dedicated law professors who took this bill on and have published hundreds of pages on it, Professor Craig Forcese and Kent Roach, who wrote the following:

“Review” and “oversight” are often confused. Oversight is a real-time (or close to real time) operational command and control strategy. Review is a retrospective performance audit….

We can say that SIRC provides review, although it has part-time employees and part-time members of the SIRC board and a very inadequate structure, but there is no oversight. We used to have an inspector general for CSIS. The inspector general for CSIS was done away with in omnibus Bill C-38 in spring of 2012.

The term “judicial oversight”, as used by members of the Conservative Party in this debate, is truly a perversion of reality. It is one of the most offensive sections of the whole bill. It is the notion in part 4 that CSIS agents with an operational role now, what Roach and Forcese describe as “kinetic” functions, would go from collecting the data in the information to taking up disruptive activities themselves. If they thought they were going to break a domestic law or violate the charter, they would go to a judge in a secret hearing and ask for permission to violate the charter. Do not take it from me. Every legal expert who testified before the committee said that this was outrageous and that no other government, and certainly none of our Five Eyes partners, allows their spy agencies to violate the Constitution through the simple expedient of going to a federal court judge in a secret hearing.

Earlier today, the parliamentary secretary for public safety ridiculed a speech from the official opposition when it pointed out that no one would be there. How could anyone be there, she asked.

That brings me to a brief from a group that was excluded from giving testimony to the committee, the special advocates. Special advocates are security cleared lawyers who operate in secret hearings, usually on security matters, to ensure that the public interest is protected. These experts who were not heard before committee did submit written evidence urging that the bill be changed to ensure that we do not have secret hearings with no one present other than the minister and CSIS.

This kind of secret hearing, by the way, is particularly egregious, because it is very unlikely to ever be subjected to judicial challenge. It would be hard to ever find out what happened in a secret hearing. It would not come before the Supreme Court of Canada and be struck down. Establishing standing, for instance, for a civil liberties organization to challenge this would be nearly impossible. That is why my position is so firm that the bill must be repealed if it should ever pass.

The last fallacy is the really large one. It is part 1, about information-sharing making us safer. First, another witness who was not allowed to testify was the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Daniel Therrien. He was very clear. He said that he was:

…concerned with the breadth of the new authorities to be conferred by the proposed new Security of Canada Information Sharing Act. This Act would seemingly allow departments and agencies to share the personal information of all individuals, including ordinary Canadians who may not be suspected of terrorist activities….

This is an important point. However, what the information-sharing section does not do, which is critical if we want safety, if we want to ensure that Air India does not happen again, is ensure that the spy agencies and the policing agencies are talking to each other so that they are not letting critical information be hoarded.

By the way, Joe Fogarty, a U.K. expert in security, testified before the Senate about recent examples, on the public record, where CSIS found out that the RCMP was tracking the wrong people and decided not to tell it, or where CSIS found out there was a training camp for terrorists and decided not to tell the RCMP. We need to ensure that these agencies share the information.

Part 1 of the bill would allow agencies of government to share information about individual Canadians, but there is no requirement and no pinnacle control to ensure that an RCMP operation tracking terrorists has information and the benefit of information from CSIS. As a structural matter, experts, from John Major, who was the chair of the Air India inquiry, to former heads of CSIS and former heads of SIRC, have all urged that the bill not be passed as is.

It is not too late. I ask my colleagues to vote no to Bill C-51.

Print this page

  • S. webb

    Thank God for Elizabeth May…she stands up for democracy and freedom when others cower in fear of Mr. harper and his ignoarant followers.


    • rabbitupnorth

      Once again, Elizabeth May stands as one of the pillars of common sense and reason, against the power hungry Conservatives and Liberals, who gleefully look forward to their proposed new powers.

    • Terry Lawrence

      Over 100 MPs in the NDP caucus, 37 or so Lieberals, and the only actual information I receive is from Elizabeth May, the one-woman Opposition. All I ever hear from the NDP is a dozen “send money” pleas a day with nary a comment on how the Harper regime is reshaping Canada in Himmler’s image. As for Trudeau’s Lieberals – well, they are sitting in the back of Harper’s bus going 90 miles an hour down a dead end street, as the old country song had it.

      • ladygaga2012

        I used to receive these NDP ‘newsletters’ that weren’t newsletter at all as I suspected much later, they were just automated spam mail ‘flooding’ various inboxes without any connection just ‘praying’ for ‘donation’, no information, took much effort to ‘unsubscribe’ from these ‘spam emails’, things got worse or so overcrowded missed important email because of it. Do they have internal hackers responsible for this? Liberals currently just ‘Waiting for Godot’ ? Need maybe at least get elected 100 Green party members on Parliament Hill to actually receive real time news just to stop all these spam mails !! Conservatives are the worse with spam mail praying for $5 contribution………

      • vortices

        Well put. Alberta’s NDP Rachael Notley seems to be leaning toward a centrist position: the federal NDPs should understand and alter their direction. If they are to win the Federal election, they must understand that Canadians aren’t in a position to accept much free-spending now. Re Liberals: unless they soon arrive with a comprehensive election platform that pleasantly surprises, their support will dwindle away.

        The only sensible voice is that of Elizabeth May – a single, Green voice. In any riding where the Greens can make a significant showing – even if they do not win – it will raise their profile and can make further inroads next time. If they do win more seats, we will be moving toward a Canada where we can expect that social and political justice can prevail.

        • Craig_Hubley

          Notley unfortunately is unlikely to oppose illegal spying on behalf of dirty oil, who she has aligned the Alberta NDP with.

  • Patricia Joyce

    Ms. May’s superior command of language and the laws of Canada is surely the clearest indicator to all MPs to “pause and reflect and learn” what faulty security measures they are about to pass into law. Should a decision to call for further study of the fallacies named by Ms. May come before Parliament, this would surely be understood as commendable action: that of exercising wise judgement.

  • http://studioarmoury.com/ Johanus

    We need more reasonable voices like her!

  • Leslie Stanick

    Elizabeth May is brilliant! Her commitment to democratic process is insightful, well researched, and unwavering. The response by our Conservative government is unacceptable. I urge all members of the legislature to follow Elizabeth May’s lead and vote no on C-51.

  • saludoshorita

    I look forward to someone summarizing and circulating in mainstream media Elizabeth’s main points for those who have neither the time nor adequate fear level to be concerned about Bill C51′s shameless assault on Canadian democracy and how it supports a cluster of current Harper government actions–audits of environmental groups, while right wing, oil funded registered charities like the Fraser Institute are on a roll opening up new offices and increasing exposure in mainstream media; and the leaked RCMP reports that identify opposition groups to Canada’s energy policy as “a clear and present criminal threat” to Canada’s energy sector and policy. Many see Bill C51 created to provide the necessary judicial support to silence and prosecute these groups who “are more likely to strike at critical infrastructure than religiously inspired terrorists” (Toronto Globe and Mail Sept. 14/14).

    • Craig_Hubley

      You will never get “mainstream media” doing this. The Globe and Mail is not “mainstream”, it is increasingly a fringe denialist rag promoting a police state.

      A dirty oil pipe is not “critical infrastructure”, it’s a weapon of mass destruction. My source on that by the way is John Kerry, US SecState.

  • Paul Cadogan

    Thank you Ms. May for standing up and saying what most of the country is thinking. Harper has made such a mess of things he’s come up with ‘terrorists’ as a distraction. This monstrous bill won’t make any difference to radicals’ beliefs or prevent mayhem. The couple who decided to attack the Victoria legislature were so stupid they were almost begging to be caught. RCMP/CSIS didn’t need Bill C-51 to catch them. They didn’t need C-51 to catch the more serious group that was planning to attack Via Rail. What they will accomplish is the same as airport security: they will prevent people like you, me and just about the rest of the country from doing something we would never even consider in the first place.
    I don’t like Harper or any of his cohorts snooping around in the name of ‘keeping us safe’. It’s a red herring and won’t accomplish what those so and so’s that put it together think it will.
    Education would be helpful. Fear-mongering isn’t. Thank you again for being there for us.

    • vortices

      Excellent comment; thanks.

  • Samuel Hearne

    It is not a if individual Canadians are not being watched by a prolifration video camera’s, being listened in on telephones and having all social media being collected already. Now the so-called security angenies will as a group eb compiling all this information, and, at the the drop of a hat, sharing it with whichever foreign power might request it. All this with no vetting regarding truth and accuracy.
    Long live democracy?

  • Judi

    Thank you Elizabeth ! You are one great speaker. Judi

  • Donna Deneault

    Well done, Hon. Elizabeth May ! I am not saying we don’t need a security bill for Canada…but this one is fraught with errors or intentions that will take away the rights of Canadians. If we want to peacefully protest issues, for which we feel strongly, we do not want to be in fear…we should never be in fear for our democratic rights.

  • Farhat Rehman

    Thank you so much for bringing a voice of reason to the House. I hope it falls on receptive ears, and the penetrates the deaf ears as well.

  • Lesslie Askin

    My only disappointment with this speech is that Ms. May did not put a HUGE spotlight on Part 4, Section 42 of the Bill, which seeks to amend s. 12 of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act as follows:

    The Act is amended by adding the following after section 12:
    12.1 (3) The Service shall not take measures to reduce a threat to the security of Canada if those measures will contravene a right or freedom guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or will be contrary to other Canadian law, unless the Service is authorized to take them by a warrant issued under section 21.1.

    The above-mentioned warrant issued by a Federal Court judge on application by CSIS explicitly REQUIRES a Canadian court to authorize the OVERRIDING of a person’s Charter rights at the behest of bureaucrats and/or police officers.

    In their Committee hearing presentations Forcese and Roach (and others such as Atkey) clearly stated this provision would be immediately declared unconstitutional by the SCC … that provision in the CSIS Act would not stand for 5 seconds once judicially reviewed.

    Otherwise an outstanding statement by Ms. May.

    • Craig_Hubley

      Section 42 is not effective, so not worth comment. The problem is not that a judge can override someone’s rights, a judge does that every time they pass sentence or approve an injunction. The problem is that there is literally no due process that can be appealed, as Elizabeth noted herself http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/elizabeth-may/elizabeth-may-bill-c-51_b_6910778.html

      You cannot “add oversight later”, because the spy data has been shared already with unknown parties, the “disruptors” have been paid and sicced on the protest leaders, and it will be 10 or 20 years before new protest leaders emerge that they don’t already have intimidation files on.

      Without independent due-process oversight from day one, there is no way to know if someone was raped, murdered or framed. These incidents by RCMP or CSIS “disruptors” will simply never be reported nor recorded, or those that report them will simply be raped or murdered or “disappeared” themselves. That is how a police state operates.

      Secret warrants that only vaguely authorize “disruptor” activities will not cause the arrest for conspiracy of the senior police officers nor the judges, because they will not be subject to review by other judges. So it’s irrelevant that ” a warrant issued under section 21.1?”, which is ” issued by a Federal Court judge on application by CSIS” in theory “explicitly REQUIRES a Canadian court to authorize the OVERRIDING of a person’s Charter rights at the behest of bureaucrats and/or police officers.” In practice this happens now, and generally, with no warrants. Requiring secret warrants doesn’t help, it just makes it all look legal when it should all look illegal, giving RCMP and CSIS and agents a legal out on “beyond a reasonable doubt”. That’s the danger of secret non-warrants. Yes the Supreme Court will throw out the provision, but in the meantime, perhaps several years, there will be unlimited rape, murder and frameup under the vague “disrupt radical activity” mandate in the secret warrants.

      Contrast the tactics taken by the opposing sides in the New Brunswick “shale gas rebelilon”, the issues in which are laid out best in this article

      How did the NB PCs under Alward, the RCMP, SWN Inc. and the Irving Security forces they hired react? By hiring a known gang rapist and frameup artist that had worked for the RCMP before in Quebec http://www.thecoast.ca/halifax/how-to-destroy-a-political-movement/Content?oid=4679149

      Missing and murdered indigenous women #MMIW is not a social justice issue solely, it’s a deliberate terror policy of dirty oil gas and mining. So despite the fact that it would take a warrant to rape or murder a native activist woman, in practice all it takes is having no oversight mechanism, and secret non-processes, and enough paper for a hired “disruptor” to point to as a “get out of jail free card” of the type Elizabeth mentions in http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/elizabeth-may/elizabeth-may-bill-c-51_b_6910778.html

      We also know that in Canada any feasible “oversight” will be provided by corporate cronies who simply sell secret spy data to corporations they work for, for money http://thetyee.ca/Mediacheck/2014/01/16/watchdog-is-a-lobbyist/ – Basically, Enbridge *IS* the oversight, and will remain so.

      Bill C-51 did nothing effective to clean up either of these situations. The rational conclusion is that Liberals and Conservatives voted for continued rape, murder, frameups, intimidation and illegal spying by dirty oil corps.

      • Lesslie Askin

        Thank you for your insightful observations. You make a number of excellent points. And I agree with you entirely that in practice police do break the rules way more often than most folks are aware. I would however like to focus on several statements you made, because I feel they are both not entirely correct and also miss the essential point I was making in my comment.

        First of all you said that “judges can override someone’s rights, and does that every time they pass sentence or approve an injunction”. This is not actually a correct statement of what presently occurs under existing REASONABLE (and therefore SOCIETALLY PRODUCTIVE/ACCEPTABLE) search and seizure laws, but it’s way too difficult to explain why without going into a long discussion of what actually constitutes a Charter violation. The law is well established in that area, and though it is indeed abused on specific occasions by authorities, the law up until this Bill was passed actually HAS recognized the necessity to adhere to Charter principles.

        What is DISTINCTIVELY DIFFERENT about s. 42, however, is that up until this Bill was passed, a judicial warrant could ONLY be granted by a Court under fully Charter compliant “search and seizure” requirements. [Judges have in specific instances not always been properly observant of those requirements, but that is a different point from the one I was making in my original post.]

        Whereas under s. 42, of Bill C-51, A JUDICIAL WARRANT CAN BE OBTAINED …
        This is very very clearly so completely contrary to not only Charter provisions but also the fundamental principles of all Westminster parliamentary democracies, it should need no further explanation here.

        Secondly … and this is the most important point I was trying to convey … there is a MASSIVE difference between one-off abuses under properly crafted Charter compliant laws and this s. 42 provision which ENTRENCHES IN THE LAW ITSELF THE EXPLICIT … repeat EXPLICIT … AUTHORITY TO VIOLATE A CITIZEN’s CHARTER RIGHTS.

        Trust me, Craig, no law can exist on the books for long unless it is Charter compliant … you need to look at s. 52 of the Constitution Act , 1982 (which is itself NOT a part of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms … which is Part 1 of the Constitution Act , 1982 ).

        It reads as follows:
        52(1) The Constitution of Canada is the supreme law of Canada, and any law that is inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution is, to the extent of the inconsistency, of no force or effect.

        Directly quoted from the Government of Canada website: “This section of the Constitution gives the courts the power to rule that a particular law is not valid if it violates the Charter, which is itself part of the Constitution. While section 52(1) is not part of the Charter, it provides courts with an important power to strike down laws that violate Charter rights. If only part of the law violates the Constitution, only that part will be ruled invalid.”

        In my post I was trying to say that it’s unconscionable (and by way of s. 52 above impossible) to have the laws of Canada ENTRENCH an authorization to violate an individual’s Charter rights. I was not claiming that the Charter rights of individuals are not regularly violated by the police today … I understand that to unfortunately be a widely recognized occurrence. Believe me. this s. 42 provision is an order-of-magnitude deeper threat to our system of governance than any of Mr. Harper’s previous constitutionally challenged legislative blunders.

        Again, to be fully clear, I am personally focusing on the UTTER MUTILATION OF THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE WHICH ARE IN FACT AT PRESENT CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED UNDER THE RULE OF LAW IN THIS COUNTRY. If you want to argue further with that objective, then we are on totally different pages of entirely different stories.

        Incidentally, I am not a lawyer. Rather I study constitutional law and governance extensively, and have good access to legal advice from a number of lawyers with whom I have discussed these points made here. So verify what I say for yourself, but I believe I am on solid grounds with the observations offered above.

  • Frank Manuel

    It really is time to re-read 1984. The corporate police state is upon us.

    • Don Davidson

      I agree, Frank, that and A Brave New World…2 of the first books I read as a young teen!

  • Mike Sharkey

    This horrific piece of legislation can not be allowed to pass. Let’s get calling and writing our MPs guys! Put their feet to the fire on this!

  • Davoud Tohidy

    Thank you for your fight against Bill C51. We will fight it even if it passes. We will not let our freedoms taken away by conservatives!
    Conservatives and liberals are going to lose this election in the federal election. Crushing winning of the NDP in Alberta is just the beginning.

  • Mfanawemkosi Fakudze

    I whole heartedly support the position of Elizabeth May regarding Bill C-51. I wrote a letter to Ralph Goodale asking him to influence the Liberal leadership and Justin Trudeau to vote against Bill C-51. I received response telling me they intended to support the bill even though they said it had serious flaws. Personally I think that is the wrong approach because by voting for the bill they are giving the government the notion that the Liberals and their flock support the bill. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am a Liberal supporter but I am adamantly opposed to the provision of Bill C-51. The danger in having this bill passed is that, heaven for bid, the Conservatives would win the next election, this bad bill will remain on the books. This is possibility is beyond imagination for all of the reasons stated by Ms. May.

    • Michael Mallin

      The Trudeau (I loved his father) Liberals have completely lost my vote. These are dangerous waters my friends. The day C-51 passes is the day we have officially become a police state. I was willing to vote Liberal to stop Harper and the Conservatives but not now. Trudeau says he will amend the bill when he comes to power. How presumptuous! He’s lost my vote.

      • Eva van Loon

        Mine, too. Do the Liberals still have a vertebra or two left?

      • Johnny Pistola

        Same here. I’ve debated this point with our local Liberals but they seem more concerned with politics than truth. I am voting NDP or Green… whichever candidate has the best chance to win.

    • Craig_Hubley

      It’s good that you got such a clear refusal to do their duty from senior Liberals.

      Now you can join the Greens or NDP in good conscience. ;-)

  • Barry Davis

    It would be interesting to see the political calculus behind the Harper Party’s stand on this monstrous bill. Which sectors are in support, besides the secret police themselves and others who will benefit from the assumed pork rollout. Which immigrant from an oppressed country, who has found a home in Canada, would vote for the secret police? Which person of Jewish heritage would vote for the secret police? Which farmer, computer scientist, librarian?

  • dough hart

    NDP won Alberta…..now Green to win Federally!!!

    • Keith Stringer

      Not going to happen and we all know it. I just wish that Ms. May would join forces with the N.D. P. and fight for her agenda from a position of strength!

      • robinottawa

        Hear, hear. She’s wasting a big and important opportunity in the green wilderness.

        • 4IndependentMPs

          The thing is she wouldn’t be Elizabeth May, the person we so admire if she joined any other political party. Personal integrity dictates you stand by your own principals. The NDP can join her if anyone want to join someone.

      • Craig_Hubley

        Easily done. Just identify a half dozen Cons that Greens can unseat that NDPers have no good prospect to unseat, and sign up a few thousand Greens and NDPers to vote swap. http://voteswap.ca

        The NDP however is actually much more of the problem as their internal structure prevents any rational co-operative strategy at all.

    • Johnny Pistola

      Don’t we all wish… But Keith is right. If Elizabeth May was at the helm of the NDP their victory would be assured. The Liberal party has clearly aligned themselves with the right wing, so hopefully they will split those that want more of the same bs. I support Ms. May in principle, but my vote will go to any anti PC and Liberal candidate that can win.

      • 4IndependentMPs

        There is no reason we cannot have both NDP and Green seats increase in the next election. The Harper party and the Liberals have lost already.

  • Barry Davis

    The lesson from the secret police within the FBI, according to author Betty Medsger (The Burglary):
    “The expectation of pemanent secrecy and no effective oversight led many to ignore the law”

  • Kathleen Wall

    Thank you for your careful, reasoned discussion. You are keeping a very important practice alive: reasoning from facts and language–something Conservatives seem to be less and less willing to do.

    • 4IndependentMPs

      I don’t think they have ever been capable of reasoned discussion. It’s not who they are made of.

  • http://business-lister.com Small Job Provider

    Does anyone even remember why this bs bill was enacted? They swept that away very fast, ever STOP and wonder why that is. The entire premise of this crap is the exact same as in every other country..you really think getting rid of cons or libs will do anything, DOOMED..

  • Lamorial

    My gut feeling is Harper must b filling his pants over the Alberta results – and shud
    Ms. May is
    by far the best brain over the C51 controversy – kudos 2 her

  • montezaro

    Bravo again! We need MP that read and know what is in the proposed bill, not just vote, clueless what are they voting for. Elizabeth does her job and does it brilliantly. That is probably the reason for excluding her from TV debates. They are scared.

  • http://www.asterisk.ca Heather MacAndrew

    Excellent speech – once again – by Elizabeth.

  • Crystal Hooper

    thank you, always-brilliant Elizabeth May. Very informative. The second-to-last paragraph (re CSIS-RCMP information-sharing) is particularly re-assuring!

  • Marilyn Glasgow

    Thank you Elizabeth May. It is always such a pleasure to hear you speak. It reminds us that there is someone with brain power in our government. So glad you’re there.

  • Greg Rauscher

    If the members of the legislature fail to follow through on her recommendations then we the people should be allowed to 1. Get the names of the ones who vote for the bill as is so we could boot their scurvy butts out in an election 2. Re-elect those member who vote against it 3. Repeal the Bill as being just plain bad for us. If the agencies would communicate now we would NOT need this outrageously horrible bill!!!
    King Harper’s grab for power. We really need term limits for the top people…Prime Minister’s should be held to two terms just like the USA has for the President!! DOWN WITH C51!!

  • Le Canadien

    Brilliant, except…. could my posting be subject to C-51 investigation?

    EMay sheepishly avoids what is behind some of this ‘thought-chill’ section: a recent effort by the Harper cabinet to criminalize criticism of Israel and join the worldwide BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement.

    I organized a successful church conference on this in Vancouver last week (to which Ms. May was invited to speak but was ‘unavailable’).

    Kairos Canada defunding, and all these bullying tactics against the churches by this government, won’t silence us or put the chill in.

  • Tom Ryan

    The voice of reason . That said when did Harper ever listen to Reason ?

  • natureprotector

    Having worked in a country South Africa, in the 70s which had laws like this I experienced on 2 different occasions, women whose husbands had disappeared, not come home. 2 weeks later they came home, they had been arrested, put in jail and questioned and then let go, no explanation nor were families informed. This is what could happen if this Bill passes, especially with secret court. It can happen to any of us. Thank you, Elizabeth for fighting for our democracy with good legal arguments

  • natureprotector

    If it passes the first victim must be Harper who is terrifying us with his actions. Our secret court will convene…..

  • Don Davidson

    The ONLY people we need security from, are the jewish puppet masters who are the real draftsmen of bills such as C-51, and the NDAA and “patriot” acts in the US. The jews have inflicted one false flag attack after another on the the world, and the jewish controlled MSM is always blaming radical islamists for the crimes. Can anyone name one terrorist attack that was actually perpetrated by muslims? The King David Hotel bombing, the attack on the USS Liberty, 9/11…all those terrorist attacks were blamed on muslims, but were actually committed by jews! Research it!

    • vortices

      A shockingly bad comment …

      • Don Davidson

        Why is my comment “shockingly bad”…because it’s true?

  • John Mullane

    MPs who blindly follow the instructions from their Political Party Headquarters fail in their responsibility to their constituents. Those without moral fiber will be defeated in the coming federal election. Elizabeth May and the Green Party give us hope for the future.

  • Paula Harder

    Cogent complete compelling. Thankyou

  • Maite

    Thank you Elizabeth May for your excellent representation for the democracy and freedom lovers. I’m so glad I joined the Green Party from the start. I hear over and over Elizabeth May is brilliant! I agree.

  • Frank Vetere

    this is the kind of reasoned discussion we need on issues as important as this one! Congrats to Elizabeth May for her thoroughness, her integrity and her unwavering support of democratic principals.

  • Bruce Eggertson

    “W” Bush is probably beaming with pride at Steven Harper for following his lead (US Homeland Security). The US got rid of Bush… can we get rid of Harper? I have just returned from Germany where memorials like Berlin’s “Topography of Terror” and Nurmberg’s “Documentation Center” sent chills down my spine as they chronologically showed how Hitler’s use of oratory, propoganda and strong-arm tactics got him around the usual judicial oversight and gave him the powers he needed to become “untouchable”. Can we not learn a lesson from History?

  • John Fraser

    i’d just like to say that i’m a conservative but i think that c51 is a bunch of crap. it is basically ‘The Patriot Act, Eh?’ and nothing else

  • Jo. Unrau

    Thanks Elizabeth. You’re an asset to Canada & we’re proud of you. Keep fighting. We’ll get there yet.

  • Glen MacDonald

    Thank-you Ms. May for exposing the glaring defects in this faux-security bill. If only my MP here in Toronto were half as useful as you have repeated shown yourself to be.

  • Basia Nawarro

    Thank you Elizabeth May.

  • McFidgety

    I appreciate Ms. May’s efforts on this but the realist in me know that there are none so blind as those who will not see…and the Conservative benches are filled with them.

    • 4IndependentMPs

      That is true but the electorate is still open for change.

  • R E

    The Harper clan has to go. Since when should a democracy be run like this!

  • Freedom4Life

    I’ve never had much love for the Green Party, but watching events unfold such as this it becomes clear that Elizabeth May is one of the last beacons of hope for personal freedoms and liberty in this country.

  • Archie1954

    For the first time in my life I will vote NDP in the next federal election.

    • vortices

      I may do so as well, and for the first time, particularly because I am disgusted by the Liberal vote in favour of C-51.

  • Rene Vogrin

    Thank you Elizabeth for your tireless work on behalf of our Constitution, our civil liberties, and the rights and freedoms of everyday Canadians.

    Your respectful but dogged pursuit of those that would pervert democracy in this country is highly admirable.

    Unfortunately as your singular voice echoes through the halls of the uninterested, it highlights the very feeling average Canadians have when their voices are ignored.

    As with most governments that have ruled for too long, the Conservative party has lost touch with the average Canadian and traditional Canadian values.

    First we lost our international status as peace keepers in exchange for a national identity as a military aggressor and trained dog for the likes of the US and Israel.

    Now it appears through Bill C-51 we are looking for national security guidance from the likes of Russia and China who have little regard for the citizens o r their well-being.

    Thank you for your tireless work and your ability to put a reasonable argument together with more tact and diplomacy than most of us.

    P.S. I hope this letter doesn’t get me in trouble with our secret service. (Shhh! )

  • sonny

    politics is a hoax. politicians don’t have any real power. the power lies with the money. governments are all in debt. no power there. they are told what to do by the corporate elite. remember when obama seemed to be a saviour? the usa is getting very near marshall law. we’re next. doesn’t matter who the politicians are.

  • http://www.manitoulinphotosandpottery.com Jan McQuay

    I am so disappointed that the Conservatives and Liberals passed this anti-civil rights bill. I hope some civil liberties groups take it to court quickly.

  • Greg Wyndlow

    Good going Elizabeth, This bill makes Canada a police state and Harper a dictator
    A very dangerous bill for any and could be all Canadians. Harper flew down to the Middle East and his private publicity group took pictures and posted them on the internet which can endanger our troops. The man cannot even follow the proper protocol when in an active army area.
    This bill is another example of Harpers arrogance What is the matter with the rest of the members of the house even in the govt. ranks Members should be looking the best interests of all the people not Harpers wishes. Bad bad bill. No oversight is one major shortcoming .I am very disappointed in the Liberals, THEY SHOULD BE OPPOSING IT TOTALLY .DO NOT SUPPORT THEN TRY TO CHANG IT LATER !

  • Mike Robson

    Thank you Elizabeth May the only actual and clear information I ever receive on any legislation is from you. It is a joy to hear you speak with energy and information that staggers my mind. The need for Canada is to have all of it’s MPs be as clear when they speak, instead of the waffling and dodging that they all seem so able to do.

    Mz May I applaud you and hope your very presence in the House will affect others to do as much for our beloved Canada and in addition do not pass Bill C-51.

  • robinottawa

    Well done. This speech will be referred to many times as we watch the abuse of the government of the day on civil and human rights. Shame on the liberals.

  • robinottawa

    Ms May is wasting her time outside the game.

  • Dharlene D’Angelo

    Elizabeth May is such a hard-working diligent member of Parliament An honest voice for our country and the planet. Most of all she has restored integrity to our country Please read through this bill and join our signatures all Elizabeth is asking for right now is backed up to Secure our Freedom of speech

  • b3man

    Bill C-51 passed third reading as of last night. Petitions won’t stop it from being enacted. It’s a done deal.

  • preConfederation

    As long as Canada keeps using,” First-past-the-pole vs. proportional representation, we’ll miss the opportunity to find people like Elizabeth May, who can really make a difference in Canadian lives. Do I agree with everything she says, “No”. But, her arguments are some of the best I heard and she’s not reluctant to quote other legal experts, inside and outside Canada to defend her suppositions.

  • Patrick Longworth

    Thanks Elizabeth!

  • Len Horne

    Ms. May must be applauded for her determination and concentration of purpose to defeat Bill C51 in it’s present form. The leaders of the opposition parties are the only people we have heard from who have been allowed to speak on the Bill.
    On an issue as important as Bill C-51 in a Parliament Representing a Democratic Society. It should have been an open debate and vote of all MPs who are supposed to represent their Constituents but not allowed to. They are stifled and fettered by ridged party disciplines enforced by leaders who are in fact Dictators. Until our Parliament reflects the will of the Canadian Voter and Taxpayer. Bills like C-51 will be rammed down our throats. Remember Democracy and Accountability.

  • Joe Wiseman

    This Act must be repealed. PEI and Alberta have sent messages to Ottawa – change or be gone.

  • Sunshine

    Ms May: I, alone, will warrant TWO surveillance agents for a while. Why? I receive some 200 emails a day on Islam and its atrocities and infiltration strategies and successes worldwide. I don’t care… I also look at the ISIS-issued videos, the Islamic gore sites (no choice – they’re included with the email messages), Islamist websites and so much more.
    Yes, MS MAY. I will be on their radar for a while, but I don’t care. I welcome it. When one has nothing to hide, they welcome it.
    Question: what do you have to hide? Regards.

  • germaine

    We are being run over by our own govt. This needs to stop. We, the voters, and lovers of our beautiful, Canada must stand up and stop them from selling our country.

  • 4IndependentMPs

    It’s very hard to imagine what kind of a government we could have if they all took their jobs as seriously as this incredible woman! Thank you Elizabeth May and the Green Party for giving Canadians a choice they can turn to and not have to give up any of their own personal integrity in doing so. This is what “serving” looks like. Most are just eating for themselves.

  • Paul

    Bravo to Elizabeth May,..in the video of Mulcaire, why does the CBC play a clip of ISIS on the right while Mulcaire is discussing C-51? ISIS is a NATO construct for purposes of public manipulation..

  • Craig_Hubley

    Trudeau destroyed his leadership by voting for C-51 and demanding other Lliberals do so.

    The Senate destroyed its relevance by voting for C-51 without so much as modifying it.

    We are on utterly unknown political ground now. C-51 is not law, it’s intimidation and fraud, and it will now take many court cases to sort out what aspect is what.

    I’m not going to change or cease to advocate or promote my own view of what is right and wrong in Canada, nor the view that the Harper regime “are the terrorists”.

    I continue to advocate the forcible removal of the organized crime and terrorism syndicate known as the Conservative Party of Canada from all influence or power in Canada. I’d love to simply file criminal charges, as Democracy Watch intends to do, but it’s apparent the RCMP will not act against the criminals they report to. They will charge someone with accepting a bribe, but not the ones offering it. Judges rule Michael Sona did not act alone, but there are no further arrests nor even investigations. A judge ruled Harper was not credible in alleging the tape of himself knowing of “financial considerations” offered to Chuck Cadman in 2005 (a bribe and a crime) was faked, yet Harper didn’t face perjury charges.

    I do not obey the Conservative Party of Canada and I do not consider them to be the lawful nor legitimate government of Canada. The representative of the Queen, David Johnston, by failing to negotiate issues in the treaties with the Crown directly, has forfeited Crown rights and abdicated the Queen’s rights in Canada entirely. Thus he is not legally capable of appointing any Prime Minister, certainly not one that would have any power to overrule any native sovereignty.

    So the law that I consider myself obligated to obey are those of the other parties to the treaties, the First Peoples that existed in confederacies prior to the 1867 law that is now abdicated, and prior to the 1981 law that is now obsoleted and superceded by the UN Declaration of the Rights of Inidigenous Peoples. I don’t believe the Harper regime is owed any loyalty, it appears to be a military occupier.

    And only that.

    So, is that or proceeding on that understanding, “terrorism”? Is murdering 47 at Lac-Megantic to promote a dirty oil pipeline, using unsafe operating permits as a weapon? I don’t know. Now we have to take all those questions to the courts.

  • keith stringer

    I hope that Elizabeth May wins her seat but having said that the most important consideration in the upcoming election is to decimate the Cons. Please do not vote Green if they have no chance of winning, it would be a vote for Harper.

  • Davoud Tohidy

    Please donate to help the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and Canadian Journalists for Freedom of Expression to launch a constitutional challenge against Bill C-51!

  • Craig_Hubley

    Private companies gathering sensitive information (like genetic profiles), even if they use double-blind methods, can’t store both their database of test results and their separate database of persons in Canada. Unless of course they want the RCMP, CSIS, Chuck Strahl, Enbridge, TransCanada, any cronies of the Liberals like Power Corp., etc., nabbing both databases and doing a simple join on them.

    Who would they do this to? Oh, any native leader or activist – they’ve done it often before, including deliberately disrupting lives and blackmail and frameups and worse – read up what “Chief Poison Feather” said about his “work” as an RCMP agent in Mohawk territory. C-51 is already causing high tech companies and those dependent on secure software and service guarantees in marketing, to flee the country. I can’t see another BlackBerry ever emerging in Canada, thanks to this bad law and tolerance of NSA abuse of US law that reaches into Canada.

    If Canada wants a high-tech economy it will eliminate Bill C-51 and all warrantless spying and reliance on torture-derived “information”, which is always inadmissible and untrustworthy and can be invented on demand to justify spying.

How you can help

Follow Me

facebook-icon Facebook Twitter YouTube Digg


Learn how to support Elizabeth May with her work in Parliament ALT

Latest Articles

Island Tides: Movement for Oceans
June 22nd, 2017

Policy Magazine: The Slow Pace of Parliament
June 21st, 2017

Hill Times: The Liberals’ climate plan? A chocolate cake diet
June 7th, 2017

Policy Magazine: A Green Balance of Power in BC
May 15th, 2017

Island Tides: Another Liberal promise about to be broken on Canada’s navigable waters?
April 27th, 2017

Island Tides: Report from the world’s largest ever gathering of Greens!
April 13th, 2017

Green Party Logo

Constituency Office

1-9711 Fourth St
Sidney, BC  V8L 2Y8

Phone: 250-657-2000
Fax: 250-657-2004

E-mail: elizabeth.may.c1a@parl.gc.ca

Parliament Hill Office

518 Confederation Building
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0A6

Phone: 613-996-1119
Fax: 613-996-0850

E-mail: elizabeth.may@parl.gc.ca

Jobs & Volunteering

Click here for the latest opportunities