NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has adamantly restated his opposition to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s anti-terror bill, which is set to be reviewed this Wednesday in the House of Commons. He is hoping the Liberals will do the same.
Mulcair has called Bill C-51, which has been proposed as a tool in the fight against terrorism at home and abroad, “dangerous, vague, and ineffective.” In fact, he reiterated Wednesday that, “The truth is we cannot protect our freedoms by combating them.”
If the bill passes it will give the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) greater powers to combat terrorism by disrupting and intercepting information flow in regards to terrorism through the entire country and from external sources.
However, it will also give more powers to other law enforcement agencies across Canada. It will give the RCMP more leeway in obtaining peace bonds, thus being able to hold suspects if they are suspected of being involved in terrorist-related activities.
“Experts warn that broad measures in this bill could lump legal dissent together with terrorism,” Mulcair said. “And the bill would give significant new powers to CSIS without addressing serious deficiencies in oversight.” said Mulcair.
The main fear behind the bill, as expressed by Mulclair, is that it will interfere with the freedoms of Canadians, and possibly make the situation worse.
“We cannot protect our freedoms by sacrificing. New Democrats have a different vision. Freedom and public safety have to go hand-in-hand. We will hold true to our principles and oppose this dangerous, over-reaching legislation.” he said.
Mulclair is not alone in opposing the bill, as Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party has also disproved of the content and aims of the bill.
Justin Trudeau, Leader of the Liberal Party made it clear that his party will vote for the bill, although he expressed concern about the powers it will give CSIS.
Bill C-51 was reviewed for the second time in the House of Commons today.
By Milad Doroudian
Image by Jonathan Allard