Elizabeth May urges public to engage on Anti-Terrorism Act (C-51) changes

Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada (Saanich-Gulf Islands), encourages all Canadians to participate in the final days of public consultation on changes to Bill C-51: The Anti-Terrorism Act. Public consultation will end on Dec. 15.

Ms. May submitted her response to Our Security, Our Rights: National security Green Paper, 2016 on Dec. 1. In it, Ms. May urges Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to make significant amendments to the controversial Act and repeal sections to protect the privacy of Canadians and curb secret police powers.

“With Bill C-51, the Harper administration converted the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) from an intelligence-gathering agency into an active agency for ‘disruption of threats’ – creating a secret police agency,” Ms. May said. “There is no evidence that this seismic shift in intelligence services will improve the security of Canadians. In fact, legal experts have warned this Act will have a chilling effect on freedom of speech.

“C-51 also empowers CSIS to break laws in foreign countries with no review or warrant, and for CSIS agents to obtain secret warrants for Constitutional breaches within Canada. I urge the current administration to repeal the Anti-Terrorism Act and to renew its commitment to the hard-fought privacy rights of all Canadians,” Ms. May said.