Jul 102017
 

Bill C-59, the Liberals’ new national security legislation, is a cleaned up continuation of the Tories’ infamous and draconian Bill C-51, which the Liberals promised to significantly amend if elected in 2015. In fact they voted for C-51 despite mass country-wide protests against the Bill before and during the election. Their promises to amend it were widely understood to mean they would rewrite it to expunge the dangerously authoritarian, repressive and anti-democratic core of the legislation. Two years later, the Liberals have produced C-59, the twin brother of C-51, cleaned-up, but no less dangerous to Canadians’ civil, labour and democratic rights.

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Dec 222016
 

Brief to the House Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security

Consultation on Canada’s National Security Framework, including Bill C-51

Communist Party of Canada, December 2016

The following Brief outlines the position of the Communist Party of Canada regarding former five-part omnibus Bill C-51, (the Anti-terrorism Act, passed by the Harper Conservative government in 2015) and the threat that the renewed “War on Terror” posses to fundamental human rights, security and peace. Continue reading »

Aug 252016
 

As the economic crisis continues, more progressive people are drawing partisan conclusions and deciding they need to take action, get organized and involve themselves in resistance. Some are becoming active in their unions and mass organizations. The most advanced are being won to the struggle for socialism, and some are joining our ranks.

The urgent question today is to forge a plan of united class action linking the struggle for reforms with the revolutionary struggle for socialism.

Neither social reformism nor ultra-leftism can forge such a way forward. Socialist theory and practice will not arise spontaneously. Only the work of the Communist Party, as our programme says, Afuses scientific socialism with the class struggle and by so doing spreads political and socialist consciousness among the workers B an awareness of their historic mission as a class,@ to lead the peoples of Canada from capitalism to socialism and ultimately communism. Continue reading »

Feb 192000
 

As the Globe has noted, “one of the sections of the bill touted most loudly by Prime Minister Stephen Harper would make it illegal to promote terrorism ‘in general.’ But even the experts don’t know what that means. It is already an offence to urge people to commit a terrorist act. What does this law add?” Here are some quotes which should give us good reason to question.

The violent “anti-Canada petroleum movement”

“There is a growing, highly organized and well-financed anti-Canada petroleum movement that consists of peaceful activists, militants and violent extremists who are opposed to society’s reliance on fossil fuels,” concludes the [RCMP] report which is stamped “protected/Canadian eyes only” and is dated Jan. 24, 2014. The report was obtained by Greenpeace. “If violent environmental extremists engage in unlawful activity, it jeopardizes the health and safety of its participants, the general public and the natural environment.”  Reported in The Globe and Mail, Feb. 17, 2015

“Far left and eco-terrorism”

I’d say that, in addition to their obvious military successes, ISIL is extraordinarily good at messaging in a way that is unprecedented. […]  You can see that just in the lone wolf terrorist attacks that occurred last year. Obviously, Canada, quite sadly, was victimized twice on consecutive days.  But in general, over the course of the past decade, across 15 western states you had an average of 7.3 lone wolf terrorist attacks per year for all kinds of terrorism, not just jihadist terrorism, but far right, far left, eco-terrorism, and the like. […] One thing, obviously, that Canada is concerned about now, which is reflected in Bill C-51, is trying to figure out a way to disrupt ISIL’s messaging.   Dr. Daveed Gartenstein testifying at the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Feb. 5th, 2015

And Marxism-Leninism?

But whatever it calls itself – Nazism, Marxist-Leninism, today, terrorism – they all have one thing in common: the destruction, the end, of human liberty.  PM Harper at a Fundraiser, May 2014

Or any “ideologies at odds with the status quo”

The 2010 G8 Summit in Huntsville, as with most venues of this type, will likely be subject to actions taken by criminal extremists motivated by a variety of radical ideologies, resulting in potentially serious public safety challenges.  These ideologies may include variants of anarchism, anarcho-syndicalism, nihilism, socialite, and/or Communism. These ideologies may also include notions of racial supremacy and white power and engage in public incitement of hatred. The important commonality is that these ideologies (or at least the interpretations included here) place these individuals and/or organizations at odds with the status quo and the current distribution of power society. This may include a theoretical and practical opposition to authority (i.e. law enforcement and government); the capitalist, or mixed market economy; Multiculturalism, notions of free trade, and/or the current political systems embodied in most of the participating countries, etc. In addition to then generally held tenets,  a variety of grievances exist: These grievances are based upon notions/expectations regarding the environment, animal rights, First Nations’ resource-based grievances, gender/racial equality, and distribution of wealth, etc. Most importantly, the ideologies or motivations that propel these individuals/organizations incorporate an acceptance or criminal activity and violence to achieve their various goals. Often this acceptance of criminal activity as a mesas is overtly stated, while at times it is known only internally.

Original files on CBC’s website, exposed internal documents of the RCMP on the “JIG” or domestic intelligence operation, which spied on community organizations and activists before the G8 and G20 summits. This operation “was in excess of 500 personnel from numerous federal, provincial, and municipal agencies, likely the largest JIG ever assembled in Canada.”

However — Nazi-inspired violence is not terrorism

“The attack does not appear to have been culturally motivated, therefore not linked to terrorism.”

Justice Minister Peter McKay, talking about the alleged thwarted “Valentines Day Massacre” by reported Nazi sympathizers Lindsay Souvannarath, Randall Shepherd and James Gamble, who planned to shoot and kill dozens at a Halifax shopping mall. Quoted in The Toronto Star, Feb. 17th 2015

 

Stop Bill C-51 campaign site.

Feb 192000
 

New laws “won’t keep Canadians safer”

New laws and new powers don’t necessarily guarantee security. But new laws that violate constitutional rights are a prescription for mistakes, and mistakes won’t keep Canadians safer.  Sukanya Pillay, Executive Director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association

“A secret police force”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper never tires of telling Canadians that we are at war with the Islamic State. Under the cloud of fear produced by his repeated hyperbole about the scope and nature of the threat, he now wants to turn our domestic spy agency into something that looks disturbingly like a secret police force.  Canadians should not be willing to accept such an obvious threat to their basic liberties.  Editorial, The Globe and Mail, Feb. 1st 2015 

“The entire Charter may be set aside”

[I]n the world of search and seizure, judicial warrants are designed to prevent – not authorize – Charter violations. That is because the Charter privacy protection is qualified – the Charter protects against “unreasonable” searches and seizures and a search under a warrant is prima facie proper. Other Charter rights are dramatically different. There is (and never has been) a concept of “reasonable” cruel and unusual punishment, for instance.  In the result, the new provision places judges in a radical new universe. Their task is no longer to define the limit of privacy protections and to prevent the violation of reasonable expectations of privacy, but rather possibly to authorize violations of Charter rights. This is an astonishing rupture with foundational expectations about both the rule of law and the role of the judiciary. In our constitutional system, it is for Parliament to prescribe by law limits on Charter rights and for the courts to protect those rights and to determine if limits on those rights are reasonable. Parliament should not avoid democratic responsibility by writing anyone — even judges — a more or less blank cheque to authorize violations of Charter rights.

We are baffled why the government would construct a regime that even hints that the entire Charter may be set aside through judicial warrants. Indeed, when we first confronted the bill, we were reluctant to read it literally. However, the government’s own backgrounder clearly anticipates that it means what the bill says: “CSIS would need a court warrant whenever proposed threat disruption measures contravene Charter rights or would otherwise be contrary to Canadian law.”  Law professors Craig Forcese and Kent Roach, Feb. 12, 2015

How does “jihadism” match up with state terrorism?

How does “jihadism” match up with the lives of tens of millions of innocent civilians, destroyed since 1900 by state terrorism—west and east, north and south—or the continuing efforts seeking to seize or occupy territory?  Ralph Nader, Open Letter to Stephen Harper

“We already have anti-terror laws”

We already have anti-terror laws. Terrorism, treason, sedition, espionage, proliferating of nuclear and biological weapons and other offences repeated in C-51 are already illegal. The police already have expanded powers in relation to terrorism. RCMP have powers to disrupt terrorist plots. […] Those suspected of terrorism already have a second set of Kafa-esque laws to allow their detention through security certificates. Oversight of the operations of CSIS was reduced in the 2012 omnibus bill C38. Put simply, Canada has already significantly intruded on Charter rights to give the RCMP, CSIS and Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) broader powers and less over-sight. Thanks to Edward Snowden, we now know that CSEC has been gathering millions of internet communications every day from Canadians – even though CSEC’s mandate was supposed to apply only to foreign activities.  Green Party leader, Elizabeth May

“Serious problems”

The NDP has identified several serious problems in C-51, including that the bill will give broad new powers to CSIS without enhancing oversight, that it includes provisions that could impact legitimate dissent, and that the government has not produced any plan to counter radicalization in Canadian communities. “This legislation is sweeping, dangerously vague, and likely ineffective. The Conservatives have played politics and intimidated the Liberals into giving them a blank cheque to pass any law, even one like C-51 that goes too far,” added Mr. Mulcair.   NDP posistion statement, Feb. 18th 2015

 

Stop Bill C-51 campaign site.

 

Feb 192000
 

1. ACTING OUTSIDE THE LAW
Under this legislation, CSIS agents will be allowed to act against any perceived “threat to the security of Canada,” without a judicial warrant if they claim that their activities do not contravene Charter rights or the law.

2. DISRUPT “RADICAL” WEBSITES
CSIS would be permitted to disrupt vaguely defined “radical websites”, and to apply for court orders to remove “terrorist propaganda” from the Internet.

3. “PREVENTATIVE” ARREST
The Bill lowers the legal threshold to detain people without criminal charges, and expands the reach of the “no-fly list”. CSIS agents will be allowed to break into homes and offices, seize documents, remove whatever they find, install monitoring devices, or carry out “dirty tricks” or disruptive activities a judge agrees is “reasonable”.

4. “BLACK OPERATIONS”
Since the government has declared that Canada is at war, there is every reason to believe that any judicial limits on these police powers will be minimal at best, and that these activities will be integrated with the CIA’s “black operations” around the world.

5. ZERO PUBLIC CONTROL
Just as ominous, there will be no mechanism for Canadians to even monitor CSIS, leaving only the PMO and a tiny clique of powerless and complicit government officials with knowledge of its actions.

 

Stop Bill C-51 campaign site.