Experts have said that Bill C-51 under the previous government made us less safe

On Thursday, June 21st, 2018 in Debate, Parliament

Elizabeth May

Madam Speaker, to the last point made by my hon. friend from Durham, that Bill C-51 in the 41st Parliament, the Anti-terrorism Act, was there to make us safe, again, the expert evidence we heard, even before that bill passed, was that Bill C-51 under the previous government made us less safe.

For that, I cite the evidence of Joe Fogarty, an MI5 agent doing security liaison between Canada and U.K. When asked by the U.K. authorities about what Canadian anti-terrorism legislation they might want to replicate in the U.K., he answered “not a thing”, that they have created a situation which is akin to an accident waiting to happen. It has made Canadians less safe, through the failure to ensure that one agency talks to the other. In the example that the member just gave, agencies have a proactive requirement to talk to each other and not guard their information jealously.

Erin O’Toole – Member for Durham

Madam Speaker, I wonder if that member would invite the same approach that the British use? Literally, if they walk out of their house, they are on television in Britain. With CCTV, the intrusion into lives is unparalleled. Is that what that member might be suggesting? Their security forces have a totally different landscape, which cannot even be connected to our law enforcement and the tools they have here. To compare it to the United Kingdom is quite frankly irresponsible.

Law enforcement has asked for tools with respect to preventative arrest. There needed to be an evidentiary threshold. Allegations that we were going to have some police state, and ridiculous arguments that I heard around Bill C-51, were embarrassing. Why I quoted the Prime Minister was because he supported these preventative arrest powers in Bill C-51. As I said, the Liberals criticized Bill C-51 in a bland and undetailed way, but they voted for it. One of the specific areas where the Prime Minister was willing to stand up and say “where necessary” was on preventative arrests.

This is about balance. Some on the left have used an unbalanced approach to talking about public safety and security, and I think it diminishes responsible debate in this chamber.

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