Vancouver rallies to protest Conservatives’ “secret police bill” C-51

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      Internet activist group OpenMedia might send out more press releases than any other nonprofit in the Vancouver area.

      Its latest release promotes a "massive" national day of action planned for Saturday (March 14).

      At issue is Bill C-51, which is titled the "Anti-terrorism Act, 2015" but is being called the "secret police bill" by opponents.

      An OpenMedia website says the legislation "turns CSIS into a ‘secret police’ force with little oversight or accountability", "opens the door for violations of our Charter Rights including censorship of free expression online", and "will lead to dragnet surveillance and information sharing on innocent Canadians that even Stephen Harper has admitted is ineffective".

      “This bill encourages reckless sharing of our sensitive private information, dangerous new powers for CSIS, and offers zero accountability or oversight,” Steve Anderson, OpenMedia executive director, stated in today's (March 10) release. “Everyone knows the Conservative government is bad on privacy issues, but Bill C-51 takes it to a whole new level.”

      Bill C-51 would introduce the Security of Canada Information Sharing Act and Secure Air Travel Act, and amend the Criminal Code, Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act, Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and other laws. The government bill has passed second reading in the House of Commons and has been referred to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security.

      This Leadnow video about Bill C-51 has been viewed over 10,000 times on YouTube.

      On March 9, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Steven Blaney issued a statement saying that the bill "mitigates gaps and helps better protect the public from the real threat of terrorism".

      "I will vigorously make the case for our security and law enforcement agencies to have the tools they need to counter radicalization, prevent recruitment and stop the promotion of terrorism. I will urge Parliamentarians to support the provision that allows security agencies to disrupt terrorist plots. We believe that Canadians want our Government to take the steps necessary to prevent terrorist travel, thwart efforts to use Canada as a recruiting ground, and prevent planned attacks on our soil. The Anti-terrorism Act 2015 will better protect our rights and freedoms," Blaney said.

      In Vancouver, a rally is planned for the West Georgia Street side of the Vancouver Art Gallery. 

      Meanwhile, another protest is scheduled for Industry Minister James Moore's riding office at 2603 St. Johns Street, Port Moody.

      Both events are slated to take place Saturday between noon and 2 p.m.



      Time is running out

      Mar 10, 2015 at 12:46pm

      If I had a nickel for every time a rally at the VAG influenced policy, I would be broke. But it's better than nothing and with so few days given for discussion of the bill, time is of the essence.

      The idea of the bill itself is very popular with Canadians and the Conservatives are pouncing on this as fast as they can. So I don't think that the basics are going to be changed at this point. However the lack of proper and workable oversight is definitely a major problem and this might be the only facet that could be changed. I hope protest groups zero in on this factor and pressure needs to be put on the Liberals to argue this case - rather than sitting back and letting the NDP do it all, for purely political reasons of course.


      Mar 10, 2015 at 1:05pm

      This worked out so well in the U.S. - I'm glad we're adopting their freedom-drenched methods. I'm so scared of terrorists - help me, Harper, protect me from the monsters!

      ralph kramden

      Mar 11, 2015 at 2:00pm

      Between C-51 and Herr Harper using his hate mongering to attack our Canadian Muslim brothers and sisters this government is morally bankrupt. Vote for the Canada of acceptance and tolerance not hatred and fear


      Mar 11, 2015 at 4:49pm

      The action is on March 14, not March 15 (as posted below the photo).

      Also, the idea that Canadians love this legislation is completely false. They're getting their "poll" information from things like this and relying on under-informed voters:

      Rae Paul

      Mar 13, 2015 at 9:56pm

      The four pillars of Democracy in Canada ;parliament;senate, court, media.Since that harper government we have an endlessly whipped parliament, a supreme court acknowledged whipped senate. Our public broadcaster in bleeding, and this government has attacked the court for upholding the charter , which is of course their duty. This government has called the charter 'hug a thug' etc. Seems to me this government has spent taxpayer money trying to claim the people they don't like are exempt from the charter. C-51 looks like a typical cynical harper finding a back door way to kill the charter with out needing the provinces consent. Question is , what happens when the charter dies?

      Payam Azad

      Mar 14, 2015 at 6:27am

      This so called anti terror bill (c-51) has absolutely nothing to do with security. Instead, it has a lot to do with suppression of dissent and liberty. It is also an attempt to divide Canadians along ethnic and religious lines.

      This bill is too vague, and therefore, it will be subject to interpretations and abuse.

      It is very important to reject this bill.

      In addition, let us always keep in mind that a bad law is not a law at all.

      Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

      victor Paquette

      Mar 14, 2015 at 10:39am

      The time of day would be helpful. Thank you

      Integrity Quest

      Mar 14, 2015 at 4:37pm

      There are so many problems with Bill C-51 it's difficult to itemize them. However the issue that stands out beyond all others is that this Bill explicitly specifies the courts (which ultimately could mean the Supreme Court of Canada) are legally required to authorize the overriding of the people's Charter rights at the behest of bureaucrats and police officers.

      This is an utterly ludicrous proposition. The Supreme Court of Canada CANNOT... I repeat CANNOT.. do this, because the Canadian Constitution is the supreme rule of law in this country... every other law in Canada must meet its constitutional requirements... and Canadian Courts must abide by the law.

      In this instance Mulcair got it right and Trudeau did not. Trudeau needs to IMMEDIATELY withdraw his support for Bill C-51 on these grounds alone. His father must be turning over in his grave.