Friday, September 9, 2016

Canadian Government Opens Public Consultation on Bill C-51

The Liberal Government of Canada aims at revisiting the controversial Bill C-51 which was introduced by the outgoing Conservative government. Bill C-51, also known as the “Anti-Terrorism Act” received royal assent earlier in June 2015. 

Even before the bill became law, it faced intense scrutiny because it gave law enforcement and CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) sweeping powers.

Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government believes that this public consultation will help shape this anti-terror legislation in a way that protects Canadians, and at the same time, reflects the rights, values, and freedoms of Canadians. 

As a first step in doing so, the government has opened an Online Public Consultation in hopes of soliciting feedback from Canadians. This is what Public Safety Minister, Ralph Goodale has to say about this online public consultation: 

Today’s consultation launch is an important step in the development of our national security framework…

David Christopher, Communications Manager of the OpenMedia (an Internet Rights group) commented on the above saying that his organization is happy about the launch of the public consultation. However, he has concerns with the wording in the consultation’s backgrounder, sighting that it is biased towards law enforcement, rather than the public.

Watch this CTV News Channel video below, as Public Safety Minister, Ralph Goodale, dsicusses the issues that will be addressed in the public consultations on Bill C-51:

The public consultation is open until December 1, 2016. This is an opportunity for Canadians to have their say on a very important subject that affects all Canadians. I would encourage you to read the background document titled “National Security Green Paper” to get a detailed understanding of the purpose of this public consultation. 

The next step, after reading the above paper would be to head over to the “Online Consultation on National Security” website to provide your written feedback. Additionally, Public Safety Canada and the Department of Justice Canada, plan to organize public events, between now and December 1, 2016, to talk to Canadians on this issue.

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