Target: Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper
Goal: Stop anti-terror legislation from restricting rights of Canadians.
Canada’s spy agency powers could be expanded by legislation being pushed by Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper which would have a dramatic effect on civil liberties.
Led by Harper, Canada’s Conservative Party is pushing the anti-terror bill called “C-51” that would make promoting terrorism a crime subject to five years in prison while also giving courts permission to shut down all Canadian-based websites that are promoting terrorism or trying to find recruits. This new legislation comes after a lone gunman broke into Parliament in October and killed a soldier at the national war memorial.
If the bill passes, it will permit Canadian spies to disrupt radical websites, whether they are in Canada or elsewhere, and allow court proceedings to be sealed in terror-related cases. While the Prime Minister may think he is doing the proper thing to try and combat terrorism, this gives Canada’s government an enormous and unprecedented amount of power.
Many are outraged and worry about the infringement on their personal freedoms. The director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association Sukanya Pillay said, “New laws and new powers don’t necessarily guarantee security, but they can guarantee a shift away from democratic freedom.”
Pillay is right. If this legislation is building on past anti-terror legislation, why did these previous laws fail? Shouldn’t we be trying to address these concerns rather than pass legislation that gives far too much power to the Canadian government? This also seems like a distraction for Harper who is seeking re-election in the fall and will most surely have to answer for the bad economic news of his country.
It would be a shame to allow this overreach of power out of fear of terrorism. This is the same rhetoric used for the excess power given to the United State’s National Security Agency (NSA). Edward Snowden already revealed how far the NSA had overstepped its boundaries. Please sign the petition below and urge the Canadian Prime Minister to not pass this anti-terror legislation.
Dear Prime Minister Stephen Harper,
I am writing to you with concerns over the new anti-terror legislation, or “C-51.” This new legislation is a knee-jerk reaction to fear and it gives far too much power to the Canadian government.
The new legislation will give Canadian spies the ability to invade radical websites whether they are in Canada or elsewhere. C-51 will also allow court proceedings to be sealed in terror-related cases and give courts permission to shut down all Canadian-based websites that are promoting terrorism or trying to find recruits.
We will be a less democratic country if this bill passes. Our political speech will be silenced and our actions watched. We should not give up these personal freedoms in the name of fear. Please do not pass this unconstitutional legislation.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: ErikaWittlieb