November 30th, 2017

NDP Statement on Demystifying Liberal Rhetoric around C-59

NDP Public Safety Critic, Matthew Dubé, issued the following statement:

"New Democrats have long called for and will continue to call for the full repeal of measures brought in by the previous Conservative government, and supported by the Liberals in the former Bill C-51.

This morning at the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale showed a lack of political will to do so, as well as to protect Canadians’ rights, claiming it was not feasible to repeal the Conservative Bill C-51. However, my colleague Randall Garrison did just that with his Bill C-303: a simple solution that we offered to the government to fully repeal the odious measures that were contained in the Conservative bill.

After promising robust study on the Liberal omnibus national security bill, Bill C-59, the Minister only appeared for one hour, with only officials present for the full two hours. At 138 pages, this bill merits much scrutiny and should be divided into separate bills. Instead of offering more parliamentary scrutiny, the Liberals are exploiting procedural loopholes to prevent the bill from being subject to separate votes at second reading by the Speaker of the House of Commons.

These concerns are further exacerbated by questionable practices uncovered in a Federal Court decision earlier this week, based on expansive and invasive powers held by CSIS and entrenched in Bill C-51. Furthermore, a decision last year – also from the Federal Court – established that CSIS acted against the law by retaining metadata that was irrelevant to national security threats. Following these judicial rulings, I remain deeply concerned about spying by government agents through Stingray or cell-site simulator (CSS) technology without judicial oversight, and overly lax thresholds for the sharing of information between government departments and agencies that could well violate the privacy of Canadians."

Canadians deserve a government that fully respects their rights and freedoms while ensuring public safety."