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April 17th, 2018

Liberals must protect Canadians' rights in sweeping national security bill

OTTAWA – As members of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security begin voting on amendments and going clause-by clause on the Liberals’ sweeping and potentially dangerous national security legislation, the NDP is presenting over 60 amendments to ensure the government can keep Canadians safe while fully protecting their rights.

“Despite cosmetic changes, C-59 does not fix the most egregious elements of the Conservative’s Bill C-51, which was an unprecedented assault on the rights and freedoms of Canadians”, Public Safety Critic Matthew Dubé pointed out. “In C-59, the Liberal government has not addressed information sharing powers that violate Canadians’ privacy, has not rolled back sweeping threat reduction powers by spy agencies, and has not given review and oversight bodies enough access to information in order to keep the government accountable.”

In light of current controversies surrounding the conduct of companies such as Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, the already slippery slope of “publicly available information” used by CSIS and the CSE – among other departments and agencies – poses a grave threat to Canadians’ privacy. The broad new powers being given to Communications Security Establishment leave us with many questions, were never part of the government’s consultations, and have been shoehorned into this omnibus piece of legislation.

“We ask Liberals to work with us and accept our amendments to protect our security while protecting our rights and freedoms”, added Mr. Dubé.