A pair of cabinet ministers took their defence of Bill C-51, the contentious anti-terror bill working its way through Parliament, to the House public safety and national security committee earlier today. Parliamentarians opened their scrutiny of the bill with questions for Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney, Justice Minister Peter MacKay, CSIS Director Michel Coulombe, RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson, and a few other departmental officials.
C-51 is a big, complicated attempt on the government’s part to stop terrorists before they inflict terror. Plenty of critics have lined up in opposition. Maclean’s associate editor Aaron Wherry has followed every second of the debate. University of Ottawa law professor Craig Forcese has offered his own comprehensive critique of the legislation. Forcese has also made his thoughts known at macleans.ca, including as part of an exhaustive roundtable with Ray Boisvert, a security analyst who spent nearly 30 years with CSIS. He also mused about the Tories breaking their own future law with a controversial Facebook post.
This morning, after the parliamentary committee wrapped up for the day, Wherry and Forcese chatted about C-51. See the recap below.