Image for iPolitics: Time for Trudeau to lay his anti-terror cards on the table
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iPolitics: Time for Trudeau to lay his anti-terror cards on the table

Less than 100 days away from the election, this debate is already having a major impact on the opinion polls - and any party leader who wants to be the next PM had better get onside with what Canadians want. Speak out now to get C-51 repealed at Article by Steve Sullivan for iPolitics

It’s conventional wisdom now to attribute the Liberals’ drop in the polls — and the New Democrats’ rise — to centre-left voters deserting Justin Trudeau over his tactical support for the Harper government’s alarming new security legislation, C-51.

Is Bill C-51 really responsible for the drop in Liberal support? Maybe. It wasn’t that long ago when pundits were betting Stephen Harper had the election sewn up on the terrorism issue, while the smart money said Tom Mulcair was taking an awful risk by opposing what was (at the time) a popular bill. But it’s safe to say the issue has had an effect.

Trudeau has said he would repeal parts of the bill. In the House, he said he welcomed“the measures in Bill C-51 that build on the powers of preventative arrest, make better use of no-fly lists, and allow for more coordinated information sharing by government departments and agencies.” But his party would “narrow and clarify the overly broad scope of the new powers” for CSIS, create a parliamentary committee to oversee the security agencies, and put the bill up for parliamentary review the bill within three years.

His views may not be that distant from those held by many Canadians. Even some of the bill’s fiercest critics admit it’s not all bad. But Trudeau still has a lot of questions to answer. Would he repeal the parts of the bill that allow judges to authorize CSIS to violate someone’s legal rights? Or the very disturbing provision that criminalizes the ‘promotion’ of terrorism? What does he think about the fact that CSIS never even asked for a broad expansion of laws pertaining to information-sharing?


- Read more at iPolitics Canada

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