Elizabeth May condemns Bill C-51, saying it would create a secret police force

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      Today in Parliament, the leader of the Green party, Elizabeth May, criticized Bill C-51 as being so "overbroad" that it "could apply to anything".

      The legislation, which was tabled on January 30, would expand the mandate of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to permit it to disrupt radical websites and apply for court orders to remove terrorist propaganda from the Internet.

      May told MPs that she agrees with a critical Globe and Mail editorial today, which was entitled "Stephen Harper's secret policeman bill".

      "This parliament must not allow the Conservatives to turn CSIS into a secret police force," May declared.

      Then she asked Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney if the Conservatives' new antiterrorism bill "will apply to nonviolent civil disobedience, such as that against pipelines?"

      Blaney didn't directly answer her question.

      "Mr. Speaker, we live in a society of rights," Blaney replied.  "Any violence is going against the Criminal Code. Terrorism, Mr. Speaker, is a criminal act and those who goes [sic] against the Criminal Code will meet the full force of the law."

      Meanwhile on CBC Radio's The House on January 31, host Evan Solomon asked Blaney if the legislation would apply to people who protest against pipelines or to First Nations demonstrators.

      Blaney went off on a tangent to say that the Supreme Court of Canada has recognized freedom of speech in Canada, but noted that there are provisions in the Criminal Code outlawing advocating genocide and hate propaganda.

      "So if there's anyone who's encouraging individuals to commit a terrorist attack—to kill or to harm a Canadian here or abroad—they will face the full force of the law," Blaney stated on The House.

      Solomon followed up by citing section 16 of the law—the advocating and promoting terror aspect of the bill—which prohibits terrorist propaganda.

      "Would you criminalize a newspaper for doing an interview with a member of ISIS?" Solomon asked. "Could that be used to criminalize a media organization as 'promoting terrorist propaganda'?"

      Blaney didn't respond directly. Instead, he said an example of "knowingly advocating or promoting terrorism" would be to put a terrorist video on YouTube that concludes with the words "attack Canada".

      "You would face the full force of the law," he stated again.

      Solomon persisted, mentioning that former Globe and Mail reporter Graeme Smith interviewed a Taliban representative. Solomon asked Blaney that if this were to happen under the new legislation, would the newspaper be liable to prosecution or be ordered to remove the material from its website.

      "I would certainly argue for freedom of the press in that case, Evan," Blaney said.


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      Feb 2, 2015 at 7:45pm

      This is totally outrageous!Canadians Do Not deserve this nor want this!
      Harper-you and your "filth"are total pieces of shit.
      Fuck You!


      Feb 2, 2015 at 8:11pm

      At bare minimum, this sets up the foundation for further incremental expansion of police powers at the cost of fundamental freedoms. Two things that people should remember:

      a) The board that reviews the activities of CSIS consists almost entirely of Harper appointees with deep connections to the energy industry.

      b) This and other moves that give security forces more power are timed for the elections. Please remember the assistance the RCMP gave the Conservative government by announcing a criminal investigation into Liberal Ralph Goodale's office during the 2006 election campaign, as well as when they guarded Chuck Cadman from reporters in 2008 after refusing to investigate the alleged half-million dollar insurance bribe he turned down from the Conservatives to step down.

      CSIS was formed from the RCMP in 1984, amidst intense protest. People were afraid that the new agency faced too little scrutiny and would be used to skirt the law for the benefit of corrupt politicians and other privileged parties...

      Fat Guy

      Feb 2, 2015 at 9:21pm

      "Any violence" is terrorism??? Holy crap, Batman - I guess that's the end of fighting in the NHL! Seriously, though, this legislation would give the Tories the authority to use their secret police to lock up just about anyone who looks at them cross-eyed. Will the NDP and the Liberals promise to vote against this horror show? Or will they wet their pants and give us some weasel words about better oversight and sunset clauses? Waiting for an answer, Tom and Justin....

      Guilin Fish

      Feb 3, 2015 at 8:13am

      The NDP has a fantastic environmental platform.
      Elizabeth May is an amazing MP
      Instead of splitting votes, she should join rank with the NDP and together they COULD win.

      scott swanson

      Feb 3, 2015 at 8:15am

      interestingly, terrorism worldwide peaked in the 80s and in Canada in 1974

      scott swanson

      Feb 3, 2015 at 8:16am

      interestingly, terrorism worldwide peaked in the 80s and in Canada in 1974

      Inky Mark

      Feb 3, 2015 at 9:01am

      Harper,s new terror bill is invoking terror on the people of Canada. We have the 2001 Security Act which is draconian enough. An affront to our liberty, InkyMark, former MP

      Tommy Khang

      Feb 3, 2015 at 9:11am

      I really like this stock photo of Elizabeth May that the Georgia Straight likes to use, it makes it seem like she is about to say something really important and not just more hot air about wifi or something about GMO crops!

      On topic: people are way too paranoid about CSIS, I mean seriously what are you afraid of - do you really believe that this bill will have an impact on the day to day livelihood on the vast majority of Canadians?

      ursa minor

      Feb 3, 2015 at 9:21am

      "Blaney went off on a tangent to say that the Supreme Court of Canada has recognized freedom of speech in Canada, but noted that there are provisions in the Criminal Code outlawing advocating genocide and hate propaganda."

      Then let the Criminal Code provisions do what they're supposed to and stop bullying the rest of us. The Supreme Court recognizes free speech, but the Tories certainly don't.


      Feb 3, 2015 at 9:52am

      Thank you Ms. May for being one of the few voices of commons sense in the House of Commons.