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Globe and Mail: Trudeau’s support of Bill C-51 weakened the Liberal party

Bill C-51 is so unpopular that is having a major role in the electoral campaign. No matter who wins, this reckless bill should be repealed. Speak out now at Article by Jane Taber for The Globe and Mail John Fenik is the Mayor of Perth, a picturesque community just southwest of Ottawa. A card-carrying Liberal for more than a decade, Mr. Fenik turned in his membership card a couple of months ago, and is now the NDP candidate for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston, one of the bluest Tory ridings in the country.

An uphill battle, for sure, but Mr. Fenik said he couldn’t support leader Justin Trudeau any longer because of his decision to support Bill C-51 – the Conservative government’s anti-terrorism legislation. He felt there had to be another voice in the riding. “It was not easy leaving,” says Mr. Fenik. “I felt my principles and my values reflected more with [NDP leader Thomas Mulcair] who is taking leadership on these issues.” His concerns with Bill C-51 were over the lack of parliamentary oversight and the implications for peoples’ rights and freedoms, he said.

The Trudeau Liberals have been weakened by their support for the bill. They know it. So do the NDP, who are riding high in the national opinion polls and trying to capitalize on the grief Grits are taking over it. The once popular bill quickly lost favour with Canadians and the NDP’s sustained opposition to it looks more principled to some people than the Liberals’ decision to support it but modify it if they form government.

Like Mr. Fenik, Diane Freeman, a professional engineer and veteran city councillor in Waterloo, says she was a Liberal member for the past 10 years – but turned in her membership in March. Mr. Trudeau’s position on Bill C-51 was the last straw. “It fundamentally undermines civil liberties of Canadians. There was no requirement for the Conservatives to need the support of the opposition.” She is now the NDP candidate for Waterloo, a riding held by the Conservatives. She was approached by the NDP to run.

- Read more at The Globe and Mail

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