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BREAKING: Government shamelessly moves to cut short debate on Peter MacKay’s unpopular and unconstitutional Online Spying Bill C-13

Radio ads set to air in MacKay’s riding, as Gov’t prepares to ram Bill C-13 through House of Commons, despite opposition from tens of thousands of Canadians and a Supreme Court ruling that warrantless disclosures are unconstitutional

“Peter MacKay should be ashamed of himself for trying to cut short debate on a piece of legislation this important,” said OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson. “Minister MacKay is clearly trying to ram C-13 through in this irresponsible manner because he is running scared of massive opposition from Canadians. By following this course, MacKay is disrespecting the Supreme Court and trampling on the right of MPs to fully discuss the implications of passing a piece of legislation, important parts of which are now unconstitutional, and which could cost taxpayers millions to defend in the courts.”

Anderson continued: “Peter MacKay has shown he isn't listening to Canadians, the Supreme Court, his own privacy commissioner, and even a huge majority of his own party’s supporters. If the government was doing its job and listening to the public, it would withdraw this reckless online spying plan. And if that doesn’t happen, Canadians can at least look forward to holding this government to account for their terrible track record on privacy at the next election.”

Tens of thousands of Canadians have spoken out about Bill C-13 in campaigns organized by community-based OpenMedia.ca in cooperation with a diverse coalition of over 60 major organizations spanning the political spectrum, including: the Council of Canadians, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, the National Firearms Association, major unions, and small businesses. A recent independent Forum Research poll showed a massive 73% of Canadians now oppose Bill C-13, with Conservative voters opposing it by over 2.5 to 1.

When first published, Bill C-13 sparked immediate controversy after experts revealed how over 60 pages of the bill were lifted from Vic Toews’ failed online spying Bill C-30, which the government was forced to withdraw after Canadians spoke out against it. Experts say that Bill C-13 would give a wide range of authorities access to the private lives of law-abiding Canadians. The bill grants legal immunity to telecom providers who hand over Canadians’ private information without a warrant, as has already happened over 18,000 times in the case of just a single government agency last year.

A hard-hitting video about Bill C-13 was launched earlier this year by OpenMedia and rapidly went viral, getting over 12,000 views and securing the top two spots of Reddit Canada. OpenMedia's radio ad about C-13 will also soon be airing in Peter MacKay's home riding.

Tens of thousands of Canadians are calling for effective legal measures to protect our privacy from government surveillance at OurPrivacy.ca

About OpenMedia.ca

OpenMedia.ca is an award-winning community-based organization that safeguards the possibilities of the open Internet. We work toward informed and participatory digital policy by engaging hundreds of thousands of people in protecting our online rights.

Through campaigns such as StopTheMeter.ca and StopSpying.ca, OpenMedia.ca has engaged over half-a-million Canadians, and has influenced public policy and federal law.


David Christopher
Communications Manager, OpenMedia.ca
[email protected]

About OpenMedia.ca’s privacy campaign

OpenMedia.ca led the successful StopSpying.ca campaign that forced the government to back down on its plans to introduce a costly, invasive, and warrantless online spying law (Bill C-30). Nearly 150,000 Canadians took part in the campaign. To learn more, see this infographic.

On October 10, 2013 OpenMedia.ca collaborated with over 40 major organizations and over a dozen academic experts to form the Protect Our Privacy Coalition, which is the largest pro-privacy coalition in Canadian history. The Coalition is calling for effective legal measures to protect the privacy of every resident of Canada against intrusion by government entities.

OpenMedia.ca and the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) recently announced they will work together to put a stop to illegal government surveillance against law-abiding Canadians. OpenMedia.ca has launched a national campaign encouraging Canadians to support a BCCLA legal action which aims to stop illegal spying by challenging the constitutionality of the government’s warrantless collection of data on Canadians’ everyday Internet use.


More Information

  • OpenMedia radio ad for Peter MacKay's Central Nova riding
  • Supreme Court’s historic decision on warrantless disclosures is huge win for Canadian privacy, places big question mark over constitutionality of govt’s Bill C-13. Source: OpenMedia.ca
  • Bill C-13 would let authorities obtain private information without a warrant. Source: Michael Geist
  • Supposed “cyberbullying” legislation will erode the privacy of Canadians. Source: OpenMedia.ca
  • Canada's Lawful Access Bill Appears to Have Contained a Provision to Enable PRISM-Style Surveillance Source: Michael Geist
  • Lawful Access back on the agenda this Fall? - Michael Geist.
  • Data breach protocols deficient in 9 federal departments, watchdog finds. - [Source: CBC News]
  • Internet Law expert Michael Geist on why Canadians should be concerned about government spying.
  • In this article, The Globe and Mail describes the revelations about Canadian government spying as “disturbing and unacceptable”
  • This document, obtained by The Globe through Access to Information, shows how Minister MacKay authorized a top secret program to data-mine global ‘metadata’ in 2011.

OpenMedia works to keep the Internet open, affordable, and surveillance-free. We create community-driven campaigns to engage, educate, and empower people to safeguard the Internet. Take action now

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