Sunday, March 15, 2015

Bill C-51 and Human Rights

Yesterday, thousands of Canadians took to the streets in protest over Bill C-51: the Anti Terrorism Act.  You can see some pictures here.  You can read about the government of Canada's rationale for the Act here and a brief summary of the criticism here. The government claims that C51 is necessary to give security agencies more power to combat the threat of terrorism while civil liberties advocates argue that C51 could be used to crack down on legitimate protest.  What are your thoughts on the Bill and its relationship to social justice and the common good?  Will C51 make Canadians safer or will it undermine basic civil liberties across the country?


  1. My biggest fear is that "progress" means so many different things to so many different people. To be labelled and condemned a terrorist for standing in the way of it (progress) seems like a fairly slippery slope.

  2. I don't know if being labelled a terrorist would happen if one simply "stood in the way." Can you elaborate some more Michelle? I think I know what you mean, I just am not sure.

    1. I think I'm specifically referring to activists protesting pipelines and tar sands in the North, but I can imagine this applying to other protests that haven't been thought up yet. Once the legislation is in, it will be there for awhile. Activists have been a thorn in the Conservative gov'ts side for awhile, and using this kind of legislation would make it easier to remove them. Yet, progress to me means something totally different than what it means to the Conservative gov't, let alone what it means to Indigenous groups and other people who want radical change rather than just the reproduction of the current system.

      Here is a look at how Mohawk groups were written about in documents pertaining to terrorism in 2007 after the Oka crisis:

      And when Harper said environmental activists were a threat to national security in 2013:

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