Canadian Association for Free Expression
Rexdale, Ontario, M9W 5L3
Ph: 905-566-4455; FAX: 905-566-4820
Paul Fromm, B.Ed, M.A. Director
June 3, 3015
Re: Bill C-51: Please Vote No
To the Senate of Canada:
I am writing on behalf of the Canadian Association for Free Expression, Canada’s most active free speech group, incorporated as a non-profit educational organization in the Province of Ontario.
I write to urge you, no beg you, to protect civil liberties and freedom of belief by voting against Bill C-51 on Third Reading
Under the Canadian system, the Senate is the chamber of “sober second thought.” Bill C-51 has been rushed through the House of Commons with unseemly haste. Many important people who wished to be witnesses, including the Privacy Commissioner, were denied a hearing.
On March 4, I wrote to Daryl Kramp, Chairman of the House Committee on Public Safety and National Security, requesting permission to appear before the Committee in the matter of C-51. I didn’t even receive the courtesy of a reply. I called his office and was assured I’d be contacted. i never was. Arrogance and high handedness seem the order of the day,.
Bill C-51 is billed as “anti-terrorist” legislation. It is nothing of the sort. It is a blatant power grab that could make mere dissent on immigration the equivalent of “terrorism” and CSIS agents, with a court order, could disrupt your activities with false information, break-ins, computer hacking, anything except rape, murder of physical harm. If this sounds hyperbolic or alarmist, it isn’t. Four former Prime Ministers, Joe Clark, John Turner, Brian Mulroney and Jean Chretien have called on the government to withdraw this legislation. So, have more than a hundred law professors and senior academics.
A Globe and Mail editorial (February 6, 2016) explained: “Why does the bill do so much more than fight terrorism? One part of Bill C-51 creates a new definition of an ‘activity that undermines the sovereignty, security or territorial integrity of Canada’ that includes ‘terrorism,’ ‘interference with critical infrastructure’ and ‘interference with the capability of the Government in relation to … the economic or financial stability of Canada.’
But wait. If a person blew up critical infrastructure – a pipeline, for instance – wouldn’t that be terrorism and that is already clearly covered under the CSIS Act? So, what is this other class of security-underminer the bill refers to? A political party that advocates Quebec independence (there goes our ‘territorial integrity’)? Indian activists who disrupt a train line? Environmental activists denounced as radicals by a cabinet minister? These things are on a par with terrorism now?”
The government’s party line, agreed to by all the other parties, is that we need “immigration to grow our economy.” I, for one, have lobbied for 15 years for a five-year moratorium on immigration. Could this be seen as “interference with the capability of the Government in relation to … the economic … stability of Canada?” Who knows?
The important thing is that C-51 is not needed. The Canadian Security and Intelligence Service, since 1982, has had a clear mandate to investigate potential terrorists. Already two Moslems have been apprehended and charged with trying to derail a New York City to Toronto VIA train; a Canadian couple of Moslem converts are now on trial in Victoria for attempts to plant kettle bombs outside the BC Legislature and become “el-Qaeda Canada.” Arrests of three Ottawa radical Moslems have followed efforts by the trio to join the jihadis in Syria. The present system seems to be working relatively well.
After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the Liberal Government of the day introduced Bill C-36. It did little to fight terrorism but gagged the Internet. It turned over censorship of the Internet through the notorious Sec. 13 to the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Richard Warman went on a rampage of complaining. Many free thinkers, immigration critics, WW II skeptics were put through hell. Not a single Moslem extremist or terrorist was ever charged. Fortunately, after years of lobbying and with your help, Sec. 13 was repealed.
Then, there was the totalitarian “national security certificate” which allowed a non-citizen to be deemed a “threat to national security” and, accused with secret evidence and witnesses, deported. Most of these provisions have since been ruled unconstitutional, but not before they were used to incarcerate publisher Ernst Zundel for two years (2003-2005) and deport him to face five years in prison in Germany for doubting the copnventional version of WW II. A lifelong pacifist and a man who scrupulously paid his taxes and obeyed the law to the letter, Mr. Zundel was deemed to be a “terrorist”. The preposterous reasoning by a tainted Federal judge who three times refused to recuse himself for a “reasonable apprehension of bias” (he was the former political boss of CSIS, the source of most of the secret evidence against Mr. Zundel) was this: Ernst Zundel had attended several lectures three decades before by Dr. William Pierce; Pierce wrote The Turner Diaries; Timothy McVeigh read The Turner Diaries; Timothy McVeigh blew up the Murragh Building (allegedly); therefore, Ernst Zundel is a terrorist,
We stand 100 per cent against terrorism. Much more careful immigration screening, including a requirement for “cultural compatibility” would help reduce the numbers of terrorists in our midst. Bill C-51 will do nothing but bring more police state intrusion into the lives of dissidents who peacefully disagree with government policy. It happened under Bill C-36 and there’s no reason to believe Bill C-51 will be anything different.
I urge you to vote “no” to C-51.