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.
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.