Canada's anti-terrorism bill: Reassure me.

Relevant article from the CBC; quotations from this and other CBC articles

I am frightened by Bill C-36. It apparently includes the following measures:


meaning that this bill is meant to be a long-term change to Canadian policy, and not a short-term contingency measure to deal with immediate terrorist threats.


Here is some reaction from various heavyweights:

Now, when the privacy commissioner and the information commissioner - who are the people the government in power hires to talk about this kind of thing - start speaking this way, I start to get worried.

The government and the RCMP has offered some rebuttals. Solicitor General Lawrence MacAulay

I find this somewhat odd, considering that the bill says you can be arrested and held for 72 hours without the police having to claim that you have done anything, but moving right along.

I have also been listening to reassurances from a gentleman from the RCMP who was interviewed on This Morning this morning (sorry). His reassurances boiled down to, “Don’t worry, we would never misuse this power.” He assured us, for example, that
[li]the protesters in Quebec City[/li][li]nurses on an illegal strike[/li][li]First Nations blocking logging roads[/li]would not be considered terrorists by the RCMP for the purposes of the bill. However, I have nothing but his word on that.

I am ready (nay, eager) to accept more concrete evidence that civil liberties cannot be put in jeopardy by the bill as written. However, as yet I have no such assurances. Canadians, does this bill worry you too?

I’ve not had a chance to look at the bill, but the President of the Canadian Bar Asociation, speaking to the Senate, also raised the issues of the sunset clause and the definition of terrorism.

The CBA is still studying the bill and has not yet issued its detailed critique, but you could check out the notes of his speech.

Yes, I am worried. Considering the various levels of government track record during our preceding terrorist crisis in October 1970, I am very wary about their various re-assurances that the powers won’t be abused. The present politicians presentely in office might be telling the truth that they won’t abuse these powers. However, there is no guarantees that those following them won’t.

For info on :
the October Crisis
here is what the B.C. Civil Liberty Association had to say about the limitiations of power on governemnt agencies.

Sorry, I couldn’t find the report of the Marin Commission on the activities of the RCMP

the October Crisis
Sorry about the coding.