Bill C-51 uses terrorism as a pretext for a new secret police

EROSION OF CIVIL LIBERTIES 

CUSJ members to join demonstrations coast to coast against “anti-terrorism” bill

TORONTO – On Saturday, March 14 2015, Unitarians will join with other concerned Canadians coast to coast for a National Day of Action to oppose the federal government’s latest security legislation, Bill C-51. Peaceful #StopC51 demonstrations that day are to be held in over 35 cities across Canada.

“The language of C-51 is too open-ended,” said Margaret Rao, Canadian Unitarians For Social Justice (CUSJ) President. “It poses a serious threat to Canadians’ constitutional rights to free speech, to dissent, and to take various kinds of protest actions against government policy. It promotes fear of one another rather than a sense of community. Pervasive surveillance and expanded powers to detain people indefinitely will not produce greater safety and security for Canadians. Taking away our rights to see the evidence against us and to defend ourselves in court moves us closer to a police state.”

Bill C-51, the ‘Anti-Terrorism Act,’ is currently before the House Standing Committee on Public Safety and is scheduled to come up for a final vote in the Commons within weeks.

“CUSJ is deeply troubled that these new powers come without any effective Parliamentary oversight,” said Rao. “The legislation far exceeds what would be reasonable and justified in countering the real threat of terrorism today. Canadians should not, and need not, be asked to give up essential civil liberties or give carte blanche to security agencies in order to secure their safety.  The legislation as it is currently written goes so far that it is likely unconstitutional. CUSJ is asking elected representatives to oppose this flawed bill.”

A number of civil society groups organizing Saturday’s National Day of Action have launched a website: https://openmedia.org/stopc51/ for March 14th. We encourage our members to support these actions.

Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice is a national faith-based organization founded to support Unitarian values through social action including the promotion of justice and compassion, and of the right of conscience and democracy in our society at large.

For more information:

Margaret Rao, CUSJ President: Tel. 416-658-0998 or president@cusj.org

Click here for  PDF Version of this press release.

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