A new report has revealed that extraordinary new powers from Bill C-51, Harper’s “secret police” law, have already been used by Canada’s biggest spy agency nearly two dozen times in the past few months. Our new government has promised to review and repeal parts of the law – but that is not enough. They have the power to shut down these abuses now.
The new Liberal government has acknowledged that C-51 is flawed, and amendments to the bill have been promised for months. Yet C-51 still stands – with all its dangerous provisions that allow our spy agencies to secretly target people in Canada without proper oversight.
We are calling on the new government to suspend C-51 while they consult Canadians. C-51 is unnecessary, and too dangerous to leave in place – even temporarily. The longer this lasts the harder it will be to undo.
A broad range of groups and experts have said that C-51 threatens on our freedoms, our privacy, and our rights. It is only a law because Stephen Harper forced it through parliament, despite overwhelming public opposition. And while the new government can suspend C-51 right away, by formally instructing the agencies to stop using these invasive powers, spy agencies are already using C-51’s powers.
This cannot continue. We cannot let C-51 stand, waiting for a slow-moving review process. It’s time to suspend C-51 immediately.