With support from Liberals, the Tories pass controversial Bill C-51

Bill C-51 passes the House and will become law if the Senate votes in favour



OTTAWA – The federal government’s controversial new anti-terrorism bill has won the approval of the House of Commons.

The Anti-Terrorism Act, also known as Bill C-51, easily passed third reading by a margin of 183 to 96, thanks to the Conservative government’s majority and the promised support of the third-party Liberals.

The legislation gives the Canadian Security Intelligence Service more power to thwart suspected terrorist plots — not just gather information about them.

It also increases the exchange of federal security information, broadens no-fly list powers and creates a new criminal offence of encouraging someone to carry out a terrorist attack.

In addition, the bill makes it easier for the RCMP to obtain a peace bond to restrict the movements of suspects and extend the amount of time they can be kept in preventative detention.

Related: Two experts take a side of the Bill C-51 debate

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney has said the legislation is required to keep Canadians safe from jihadi-inspired attacks like those that claimed the lives of two soldiers in attacks just days apart last October.

Opponents of the bill have denounced the idea of allowing CSIS to go beyond gathering information to actively derailing suspected schemes.

A range of interests — civil libertarians, environmental groups and the federal privacy commissioner — have expressed grave concerns about the information-sharing provisions, saying they could open the door to abuses.

Related: So, when do Canadians start caring about privacy?

Prior to the vote, the Opposition New Democrats voted noisily — and in vain — in favour of proposed amendments that they say would have added a level of oversight and stronger privacy protections, among other things.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s national security adviser told the Senate national security committee last week that the agency’s new powers are not as scary as their critics contend.

The new disruption powers could permit CSIS to thwart travel plans, cancel bank transactions and covertly interfere with radical websites.

The bill says CSIS needs “reasonable grounds to believe” a security threat exists before taking measures to disrupt it.

It requires CSIS to get a court order whenever its proposed disruption violates the charter of rights or breaches Canadian law in any way.

As recently as this past weekend, Harper plugged the anti-terror bill in a speech to Canadian troops in Kuwait, telling them that it will give security agencies greater powers to thwart terrorist plans.

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With support from Liberals, the Tories pass controversial Bill C-51

  1. This isn’t anti-terrorism; it’s government-sponsored terrorism. A law that allows secret courts to suspend the Charter and rule of law is an attack on the fundamental underpinnings of our society. It is nothing short of treason.

    At this point, the discussion should not be whether to re-elect this government (or replace them with the Liberals) but how long their jail terms should be.

    Having said that publicly, I guess I should be afraid. If I should suddenly disapp

    • Nonsense. I get suspicious of these people that figure the legislation is aimed at them. It is clearly aimed at terrorist potentials. And there is ample evidence it is overdue.

      • The law has been eviscerated by every credible source that’s examined it. It will not do what the CPC claims. It will give Harper his own little Ministry of Love, to allow him to pursue those on his “enemies list” http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2013/07/18/stephen_harpers_enemies_list_a_reason_to_worry_editorial.html

        If we had reason to worry before, we should really worry now. How many more will end up on “no fly” lists? How many will – to their own great surprise – find themselves arrested in a child porn sweep (after CSIS plants the evidence)?

        This law gives them that kind of power.

        If there was a scintilla of evidence that this law actually would do what Harper claims it will, I’d back it. It doesn’t. It’s another Trojan Horse bill. And by now, most Canadians have awakened to that fact.

        • “CSIS planting evidence of child porn”….that is pouring on a bit thick. The no fly list though that can be disconcerting. Look what happened to Cat Stevens. Is it true that the Liberals supported this bill?

          • Pouring it on a bit thick? Perhaps… but it is well within the realm of the possible, given how broadly this bill has been written. With no oversight and inadequate review, and judges being able to sign warrants for CSIS agents to do whatever they want, even if the order doesn’t come directly from the PMO, what’s to stop some overzealous and unscrupulous agent from doing just this? aid agent may think he’s just following the government’s lead… “You’re with us or with the pedophiles.”

            Yes the Liberals supported this bill. And I’m voting NDP this election as a direct result of that decision. Treason is treason – regardless of party.

      • ” I get suspicious of these people that figure the legislation is aimed at them. ”

        Indeed. Maybe a discreet word to the relevant officials to have a look at their internet and phone records.

  2. I guess that means prosecuting Duffy and all the crooked conservative government officials will be an act of terrorism.

  3. I don’t care if the Harper Government reinstitutes slavery. As long as it spells their demise in October. Canadians can rebuild the damage this dictatorship has done. Heave Steve!

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