The President of the Canadian Labour Congress vowed to keep up his and the labour movement’s opposition to the government’s flawed and dangerous anti-terror legislation, bill C-51, as it moves to the Senate after passing in the House of Commons yesterday.
“It’s very disappointing to see MPs voting to strip Canadians of their most fundamental rights as citizens for reasons that go beyond the security concerns posed by ISIS and its supporters. They have not stood up to defend our rights and freedoms, they have instead voted to put the Charter in a shredder,” said Hassan Yussuff.
According to Yussuff, the new laws, now before the Senate, give CSIS and the RCMP far-reaching new powers to intervene and interfere with people’s lives. The irresponsibly broad definition of what constitutes a threat exposes peaceful work stoppages, wildcat strikes and other forms of nonviolent civil disobedience to a very real risk of being wrongfully targeted for police action, including arrests and detentions. At the same time, new definitions of criminal activity for “advocating” or “promoting” the commission of anything deemed a threat could impact freedom of speech and freedom of opinion, including freedom of the press and academic freedom.
“We will keep up our work to prevent this terribly flawed legislation from becoming terribly flawed laws that work against the very democratic rights and freedoms it claims to protect,” said Yussuff.
“The strong opposition to this legislation that we’ve seen in Parliament is encouraging as are the promises that a change of government later this year will reverse the mistakes that are being allowed to happen today,” he added.