September 9, 2016
Our Best Chance to Repeal Bill C-51 is Officially Here
Here we go, everyone: the government has just released its official consultation on Bill C-51, privacy, and national security. This consultation represents our last, best chance to get this reckless legislation repealed, and to deliver the strong privacy rights Canadians deserve.
Your OpenMedia team are working hard to ensure your voices won’t be ignored. Today we’re sharing a new action for you to tell the government to repeal Bill C-51 and strengthen our privacy laws to keep us safe.
By taking action, we’ll send a full letter on your behalf to Public Safety Canada's Consultation on National Security. Check it out right now at https://act.openmedia.org/security and let’s tell Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale: “Repeal Bill C-51 and create strong, transparent, and enforceable privacy laws as outlined in Canada’s Privacy Plan.”
Save Our Security: Strong Privacy Rules Keep Us Safe
In our petition — which will feed directly into the official government consultation — we are calling Minister Goodale to implement the key recommendations of our crowdsourced Canada’s Privacy Plan by completely repealing Bill C-51, ending warrantless access to our private information, putting a stop to mass surveillance, and embracing accountability for our security agencies.
When the previous government’s reckless, dangerous, and ineffective Bill C-51 was introduced in January 2015, Canada’s privacy deficit grew larger in the midst of already existing spy agency scandals and stingray surveillance, thus deepening our concerns for our personal security. Such concerns were manifested in multiple ways including: mass cross country protests, a Charter rights challenge (thanks to our friends at Canadian Journalists for Free Expression) and a major petition delivery to Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale, just to mention a few.
The message was strong and clear: Canadians were not happy (to say the least) with the government’s spying bill and the Liberal government, was not being proactive in amending it, as it had promised months ago.
We are now coming close to the year since the Liberals came into power and the long overdue public consultation on Bill C-51 is finally here after months of silent limbo. This is not only an opportunity for Canada to address its privacy deficit and reform its national security, but it’s also an opportunity for it to establish itself as a global leader in privacy protection in a digital age. And this is where your OpenMedia team comes in.
Why we need everyone on board
Spy agency bureaucrats would like nothing more than for you to believe the fight against C-51 is a lost battle. But in fact it is vital that we, it is vital that we take this crucial opportunity to speak out as this privacy deficit is dangerous and will have lasting consequences for the health of our democracy, for our basic liberties, and for our daily lives.
In fact, in their “green paper” on national security, Ministers Goodale and Raybold-Wilson concede:
When former Bill C-51, the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015 (ATA, 2015), was tabled in the House of Commons, many Canadians voiced concern with the Government’s approach to these responsibilities and whether the proposed legislation appropriately safeguards both security and rights. Those concerns have not diminished since the passage of the ATA, 2015. [emphasis added]
Plus, needless to say, the more people who take part in this consultation, the more likely we are to have a significant impact in our country’s national security reform.
Remember: Strong privacy rights need to be at the heart of any healthy democracy, because they are the foundation of many other democratic rights we hold dear.
This petition is just the start - stay tuned for our in-depth consultation tool launching in a few weeks. For now, speak out at Save Our Security and spread the word on Facebook and Twitter. You can also donate to help us keep our own efforts to save our security strong at: https://act.openmedia.org/security/thanks
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