A National Day of Action to stop the "secret police" Bill, C-51, has been called for March 14. All Canadians are encouraged to get involved.
Ottawa (11 March 2015) — As the federal government continues to try to ram through Bill C-51, the Anti-terrorism Act, there has been growing opposition across Canada. In February 2015, the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) released its response to the legislation—Who Watches the Watchers.
Now a national coalition has called for a day of action on March 14. People will gather together in communities across Canada to speak out against Stephen Harper's reckless secret police Bill C-51. To find an event in your community click here.
Enough with the scaremongering
"There is a great deal of scaremongering going on with this legislation," said James Clancy, NUPGE National President. "We want to help Canadians distill the major issues in this legislation so they understand its impact on their lives."
"The government is trying to convince people that this legislation is not harmful to people who are not doing anything wrong," Clancy continued. "The problem is that there are questionable and vague aspects of this law that infringe on the rights of everyday Canadians."
Dangerous piece of legislation
As the Conservative government tries to limit debate on the Bill a wide range of experts have raised their concerns by pointing out that, if passed, the bill will:
- create a secret police force with little oversight or accountability;
- facilitate government spying and information sharing on innocent Canadians;
- open the door to a variety of violations of our Charter Rights.
Prominent Canadians have spoken out against legislation
Four former prime ministers — Joe Clark, Jean Chrétien, Paul Martin and John Turner — five former Supreme Court justices, seven former Liberal solicitors general and former ministers of justice, three past members of the intelligence review committee, two former privacy commissioners, and a retired RCMP watchdog — have written an open letter expressing serious concern that the legislation is too broad, and lacks appropriate accountability, review and oversight.
The letter raises the problem that recommendations for a new oversight regime, proposed in 2006 following the inquiry into the Maher Arar torture affair, were never implemented.
These prominent Canadians, the Official Opposition New Democratic Party, and many others are urging the government to accept amendments to the legislation, but so far the Conservatives appear uninterested.
Your turn to speak out
The March 14 National Day of Action to Stop the Secret Police Bill provides Canadians the opportunity to have their voices heard on Bill C-51. People can join the events that are being planned across the country.
If there isn't one in your community as yet, organize one! We all need to speak out.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE