Dionicio, it’s amazing to see how fast our campaign against the government’s spying Bill C-51 is growing.
In just the past week we’ve seen thousands of Canadians join the campaign – and your voices are having a big impact, with editorials, columnists, and Ottawa decision-makers from across the spectrum now criticizing this reckless secret police bill.
It’s great to see so many groups coming together to speak out. In fact, our Privacy Coalition partners at Leadnow have launched a new campaign we can all get behind – check out Leadnow’s email below — and, if you’d like, click here to join the campaign.
We know from past experience that it’s crucial to build momentum at a time like this. Please, don’t miss this chance to sound a loud call right across Canada. You can speak out right now at:http://you.leadnow.ca/p/reject-fear
–David, on behalf of OpenMedia
— Forwarded Message from Leadnow —
The Globe and Mail editorial board, which endorsed Stephen Harper and the Conservatives in the last election, has now accused Harper of using his new spying law to create a “secret police force” in Canada.1
The new law would give unprecedented powers to spy agencies and police, including the power to detain people who haven’t committed any crime, with minimal oversight or democratic accountability. Yet, few politicians have been brave enough to reject Harper’s fear-mongering.
Many MPs, including many Conservatives, are concerned about these outrageous powers and the lack of oversight – but before they stand up to Harper, they need to know that people across Canada will speak out too.
You might be wondering if the laws really are as bad as people are saying. In fact, they’re probably worse. The law has been roundly condemned as reckless and unnecessary – particularly as recent revelations show that spy agencies are already shirking oversight.2,3,4
Harper’s plan would give spy agencies that were built to target foreign powers the ability to:
- Expand their surveillance of citizens.
- Act like a domestic police-force. They won’t just collect intelligence, they’d be able to intervene in day to day life in Canada.
- Criminalise some forms of speech, including communication that’s vaguely defined as the advocacy or promotion of terrorism. But with a history of everyday concerned Canadian citizens being labelled “extremists” in the past, who’s to say what (or who) will fall into this category?5
The law would also extend the RCMP’s power to detain people who haven’t committed any crime, on the basis of mere suspicion.6
The truth is: these laws don’t protect our freedoms. They undermine them – and risk silencing reasonable, democratic dissent.7
Harper is trying to stir up fear to pass these laws – and sadly, it’s working, especially on the Liberals. That’s why we need people across Canada to speak out now, reject Harper’s fear mongering and defend our democracy.
Let’s use this moment to gather huge numbers in opposition to the bill. Let’s show political leaders that they don’t need to be afraid of standing up for the freedoms that make a country great. Click here to join the campaign: http://you.leadnow.ca/p/reject-fear
Last year, our community stood with allies to fight the “Unfair Elections Act,” and the pressure forced the Conservatives to back down on some of the worst parts of the law. With enough pressure, we can do it again now.
Harper is pushing the limits of what he can get away with in an election year. A big public backlash would pop the bubble of silence, force Harper to take out some of the most extreme parts of the bill, and push MPs to advocate for a dedicated committee of Parliamentarians, tasked with scrutinising Canadian spy agencies and their activities. Even some among Harper’s own ranks have staunchly supported such a committee in the past.8
We’ve got to ask ourselves. Are we the kind of people who give up our freedoms to fear-mongers, or are we the kind of people who will defend our democracy?
Please join us and tell MPs and party leaders: handing unfettered powers to spy agencies is reckless, and we won’t let this go without a fight. Sign now: http://you.leadnow.ca/p/reject-fear
With hope and respect,
Jamie, Kelly, Rodrigo, Stefan and the whole Leadnow team
PS – If we get enough signatures, we’ll be able to take this campaign to the next level. We’ll put pressure on all political parties, the Committee, and MPs in swing ridings. But it starts with getting your support here & now on the first step. Will you kickstart this campaign and sign the petition now?
 Parliament must reject Harper’s secret policeman bill. Globe and Mail, February 1 2015. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/editorials/parliament-must-reject-harpers-secret-policeman-bill/article22729037/
 John Major, Retired Supreme Court Justice, Warns Over ‘Knee-Jerk’ Reaction To Ottawa Attack. Huffington Post, February 2 2015. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/10/29/ottawa-attack-security-legislation_n_6070832.html
 Ian Holloway appointed to Security Intelligence Review Committee. CBC, January 30 2015. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/ian-holloway-appointed-to-security-intelligence-review-committee-1.2937838
 Tories’ Anti-Terror Bill C-44 Extends CSIS Source Protection, Judicial Warrant Powers. Huffington Post, 27th October 2014. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/10/27/bill-c-44-csis-spy-watchdog-conservatives_n_6055512.html
 Ham-fisted terrorism bill cries out for repair: DiManno. Toronto Star, February 1, 2015. http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/02/01/ham-fisted-terrorism-bill-cries-out-for-repair-dimanno.html
 Harper’s New ‘Anti-Terrorism’ Bill Will Create a Climate of Self-Censorship. Huffington Post, 4th February 2015.http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/peter-nowak/bill-c-51-terrorism_b_6605980.html
 Liberals to support Conservative anti-terror bill, but want more oversight. February 4 2015. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/liberals-to-support-conservative-anti-terror-bill-but-want-more-oversight/article22784759/
 MacKay once backed intelligence oversight now rejected by Tories, February 2 2015. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/mackay-once-backed-spy-oversight-now-rejected-by-tories/article22755202/
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