#CyberFLASH: Bill C-51 will bury supporters

n-ONLINE-SPYING-CANADA-large570This week’s topic: Does the passing of Bill C-51 ensure an NDP win in the federal election?

The federal Liberal and Conservative parties are in free fall. Although the Alberta election is a factor, the NDP surge in recent polls is likely a result of their strong opposition to Bill C-51.

As Canadians learn more about the bill, they will continue to turn away from the two parties responsible for passing it.

The Anti-Terrorism Act is perhaps the most disturbing piece of legislation in recent history.

It expands the power of government to spy on Canadians and arrest individuals who will never commit a violent act. Citizens can now be jailed for making statements perceived as advocating or promoting terrorism in general. News reports, poetry, or any other expression interpreted as glorifying terrorism could be subject to arrest and prosecution.

The government also granted itself new powers to censor Internet activity it deems “terrorist propaganda.” History has shown that such legal ambiguity will be exploited to harass, intimidate and silence citizens.

Read Brent Stafford’s column here.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe published a legal analysis warning that Bill C-51 violates several international standards and treaties, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Some argue that like America’s Patriot Act, Bill C-51 will keep Canadians safe. However, a recent Department of Justice report revealed the FBI’s expanded spying powers have not helped crack a single terrorism-related case.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has abandoned the traditional Conservative ideals of individual rights and limited government. He should not expect Conservatives to flock to the polls to build their own cages.

Perhaps more offensive than the bill’s passing was not a single Liberal MP voted against it. Justin Trudeau agreed the bill was flawed, but cowered to the threat of Conservative attack ads. Through political calculation he lent Harper the support of the Liberal Party, thereby shielding Bill C-51 from criticism. Tom Mulcair’s NDP now stand nearly alone in Parliament, defending the people’s right to due process, privacy, and freedom of speech. Unsurprisingly their support across the country is skyrocketing.

Read more here

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